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Bayern Rundfahrt
Photo ©: Schaaf

World Championships Cycling News for September 23, 2005

Edited by Jeff Jones

Elite Men's TT wrap-up

Three for Rogers

Michael Rogers (Australia)
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
Click for larger image

Australia's Michael Rogers has made history this afternoon when he became the first rider to win three Elite World Time Trial Championships. The 25 year old took his third successive title with a superbly measured ride on the Casa de Campo circuit in Madrid today, beating José Ivan Gutierrez Palacios (Spain) by 24 seconds and bronze medallist Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland) by the same margin.

Rogers starting slowly, placing only fifth at the first check, but while early leader Bradley Wiggins (Great Britain) faded, the Australian continued to build speed. By checkpoint two he was second, eight seconds off the pace set by Gutierrez, and then by the third point he had pulled seven seconds clear of the Spaniard.

Rogers' acceleration continued all the way to the line, his final winning margin rising to more than 20 seconds. Gutierrez and Cancellara were separated by fractions, while Ruben Plaza (Spain), Alexandr Vinokourov (Kazakhstan) and his compatriot Andrew Kashechkin took fourth, fifth and sixth.

Pre-race favourites Victor Hugo Peña (Colombia), Bobby Julich (USA), Denis Menchov (Russia) and Thomas Dekker (Netherlands) all had disappointing rides, finishing outside the top nine. Christophe Moreau (France) and Viatcheslav Ekimov (Russia) were similarly off the pace.

Also see: Elite Men's TT - Full results, report & photos, Live report

Plaza did his best

By Hernan Alvarez Macias in Madrid

Ruben Plaza (Spain)
Photo ©: Sirotti
Click for larger image

Spain's Ruben Plaza felt very bad when he realized Michael Rogers' time took him out of the podium. He didn't want to get out of the hotseat area where the three best riders stayed during the race. He refused to go, even though he knew he was not going to receive a medal. Cyclingnews spoke to him just after he finally left.

"I gave it all," said Plaza. "I fell slightly short. I did a good tempo, but there were moments when I lacked some energy. I ended very badly as I had problems in my chest and I couldn't do more. It's a shame to be so very near the podium and not to step onto it. I have to accept this." About his feelings while the others were riding, he said, "At the moment Rogers was doing the best times, I realized it was going to be difficult to be there on the podium."

Francisco 'Paco' Antequera is Spain's national selector. He was content with the second and the fourth place of the two riders he had chosen. "It was a good time trial," said Antequera. "The shame was that Ruben Plaza couldn't get onto the podium too, however we should congratulate him. Ivan [Gutierrez] has done a very good time trial. Ivan needed a podium like this and in the end it came for him. Gutierrez liked the circuit and he did his utmost. If you like the course, it's much better."

The Spaniards wanted to place two riders on the podium, but due to Michael Rogers and Fabian Cancellara, they couldn't. "Things went that way," said Paco, "We truly wanted two guys in the podium, but we should be satisfied with how things went."

The home team should do a good performance in Sunday's road race, considering they will ride in their own country in front of their fans. Referring to that, Antequera said "Sunday's race is another one; we will see how things go. Now we should enjoy today's results."

Wiggins pleased; Larsson not

By Hernan Alvarez Macias in Madrid

Gustav Larsson (Sweden)
Photo ©: Hernan Alvarez
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There were some riders who were happy and some who weren't at the end of today's Elite Men's time trial. Cyclingnews was at the finish line and spoke to Brad Wiggins (Great Britain), who finished 7th. "I hoped for a top 10 today, so I finished seventh which is a good result for me," he said. "I'm pleased, very happy. It was difficult to get in the top five, there were so many good guys who came in; so, I'm just pleased that I got into the top 10."

On the other hand, Sweden's Gustav Larsson finished 27th and didn't perform as well as he wanted. He placed fourth in the Verona 2004 World's. This year he was one of the last ten to start, but he couldn't get in the top 10. "My time trial wasn't too brilliant although I don't know the time," said Larsson. "I had problems like last year where there were a few more corners, but anyway I wasn't as good as last year either. Hopefully, I have a better season and I'll prepare really well next year."

Julich finishes "best season ever" with 11th

Bobby Julich (USA)
Photo ©: Sirotti
Click for larger image

The USA's Bobby Julich finished the best season of his career with a slightly disappointing ride to place 11th in the elite men's time trial in Madrid, Spain. The 33-year-old won several major races this year, including overall victories at the Paris-Nice and Tour of Benelux, both UCI ProTour races, and the Criterium International, but he said the demands of a full season finally took its toll in September.

"I was going full gas in January and I just didn't have any gas left in the tank after a long season," a disappointed Julich said after the race. "Right now, it kind of stings. I wanted to go out on a high note and I wouldn't have even raced if I thought I was going to get 11th, but I have nothing to be ashamed of. It just proves I'm human and I do have limits."

Julich finished 1:45.37 seconds off the pace of Australia's Michael Rogers, who became the first rider to capture three consecutive elite men's world time trial titles, completing the 27.4-mile course in 53 minutes, 34.49 seconds.

Julich began his season with the GP d' Ouverture La Marseillaise in France on February 1, a traditionally early start for the pro peloton. "I'm normally pretty good in August, but September is pretty difficult for me when I start in January."

Most recently, Julich completed the Tour of Poland on September 18 in which he placed 11th overall after riding to a second-place finish in the final time trial stage. "Tour of Poland, I think, was a little bit too much. I went a little too deep there and I guess I just didn't have enough time to recover. This was about my 100th race of the season and I finished every single one of them, so I've got to look at the positive side and say that I made it through a long season and won some good races."

Julich is currently sixth overall in the inaugural UCI ProTour standings as one of four Americans in the top-ten and just 10 points out of second place.

Two Bulgarians unfit

By Hernan Alvarez Macias in Madrid

Two riders from Bulgaria have been declared unfit after a blood test made by the UCI's Sporting Safety and Conditions Commission at the World Championships today. Ivaïlo Gabrovski was supposed to start the time trial that Michael Rogers won today, but he was prohibited. Bogdan Stoytchev didn't pass the UCI control either, and won't be allowed to start the road race on Sunday.

The teams that were tested were Russia, Great Britain, Czech Republic, South Africa, Belarus and Bulgaria between 7.30 and 9:00am on Thursday morning. The UCI judge Didier Simon confirmed to Cyclingnews that the Bulgarian will have to choose three riders from the four others who are in able to start the road race.

Varese: a beautiful place for the 2008 World’s

By Hernan Alvarez Macias in Madrid

As it did with Verona in 2004, Italy will host the 2008 World Road Championships. This time, it will be in Varese, in the Alpine northern Lombardy region, close to the border of Switzerland.

Varese has prepared for the road races with a circuit of 17.6 kilometres. The parcours has a small climb with its summit at km 1.65, and then there are three descents. At km 10.5 the road climbs until km 13.58 where it flattens out, before returning to the start/finish in the "Le Bettole" hippodrome.

For the time trials, there are three different routes, starting and finishing like the road races. The men’s TT parcours is 45 km and will be held on a beautiful route around Lake Varese. The course has a climb with its summit at km 2.25. After 7 km, it descends, and most of the rest of the course is flat or undulating.

In terms of logistics, Varese boasts a complete motorway network, a very good railway system, and is close to the Milan's Malpensa airport. In terms of cycling history, the region of Lombardy has one of the richest traditions in the world, but it hasn't hosted the World Championships for approximately 50 years. Current stars from Lombardy include Ivan Basso (CSC) and Paolo Savoldelli (Discovery Channel), and in the past, great riders such as Gianni Bugno and the first ever world champion, Alfredo Binda, came from Lombardy.

In other World's news, the UCI awarded the 2007 B World Championships to Cape Town (South Africa), and the 2008 BMX World Championships to Taiyuan (China).

Belgians miss top U23s

The Belgian team is regretting its selection for the U23 men's road race on Saturday, with officials not being aware of the rules regarding selection of professionals. The team includes Nic Ingels, Pieter Jacobs, Gianni Meersman, Greg Van Avermaet, and Evert Verbist, none of whom ride for a professional squad. But the rules state the professionals are allowed, so long as they don't ride for a ProTour team.

"If I'd known, then I would have taken Maxime Monfort from Landbouwkrediet with us to Madrid," said selector Jose De Cauwer. "You can think about that! Someone who was just fourth in the Tour de l'Avenir could have ridden here among the espoirs."

The Italians have no such problems, with Team LPR's Mauro Santambrogio making the selection. "The rules change was made halfway through January," said Belgium's Freddy Van Steen. "The real problem is that the new rules weren't explicitly reported. It's up to you to fish them out from the UCI website, where changes are reported. Therefore you have to get through a mass of pages. And in this case, there was just one word next to the old regulations: out of date. Well..."

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