First Edition News for October 9, 2003
Edited by John Stevenson & Jeff Jones
Julich and Leipheimer get ready for TT
By Mark Zalewski in Hamilton
The USA's two competitors for the Elite Men's Time Trial, Bobby Julich and Levi Leipheimer, both think that this year's course is a good one and look forward to racing it tomorrow for 41.6 kilometres. Cyclingnews spoke to them today to assess their thoughts on the race and more.
"I just did two laps of the TT circuit," Bobby Julich said. "I think it's a great course, very difficult - perfect course for me. Much better than some of the courses I have seen in the Vuelta or the Tour, because it is just really hard, I can't believe how hard the climbs are - definitely small ring climbs. Long, technical, a lot of turning - there are just a few places where you can let up on the concentration, otherwise you are going to lose time for sure.
As for the road conditions, which have been criticised by some competitors, "they're okay," said Julich. "We race all over Europe where the roads aren't fantastic. Yes, there are a couple of places where the road is a bit choppy, but it shouldn't be any problem."
Looking to the road race, Julich believes it will be tough to control. "Right now, the team is based around George [Hincapie], but on this course it is going to be difficult to protect one guy, with the laps being so small and the climbs being so hard, I think it is going to explode really early. You are going to see a group maybe get away early, and have most of the countries represented - and it's going to be really hard."
Julich is at the end of his contract with Telekom/T-Mobile this year, and has yet to decide on his future team. "Right now I don't know what I am doing yet," he said. "My agent and I are talking with a few teams. I went to Telekom to work for Jan, and that obviously didn't work out, so I wound up working for Erik and Vinokourov. I thought I was doing a good job, and then they decided to cut the team down to 22 riders, and now they have brought Jan back, so there's not really a place on the team for me anymore. I've raced a hundred times this year, so right now I don't really care - but maybe talk to me in two weeks and maybe I'll feel differently. I'll be 32 in November, and I've had my share of ups and downs - made a good living at it. Honestly, I hope [retirement] is another year or two away, but if it isn't, I'll move to phase two."
As for a rainbow jersey: "That wouldn't hurt - that's the only reason I am here. I've raced a hundred times this year and the Vuelta was mentally very difficult for me, knowing that I wasn't going to be on the team the next year. Being in September - I haven't raced in September in so long. But the only thing that kept me going was the World's being here in North America. And you never know, it's like the lottery, you gotta play to win. And the World Championships are just that."
After riding a solid Vuelta a España Levi Leipheimer is expected to be a good contender for the time trial. It's been three years since he last raced in North America, and he's looking forward to it. "It's a good course," Leipheimer agreed with Julich. "For me I like the hills, and it's not flat - a lot of changes to it. I'm excited about the time trial. You have to ride smart. It's only 42 kilometres, but it's a hard 42 km. You have to hit the hills hard, but you gotta have it in the end, so it's a balance."
Leipheimer also echoed Julich's comments about the road conditions. "I've heard that people were complaining [about the road conditions], but it's not that bad. I mean, yeah there's definitely a couple of sections that are rough, but it's not anything we aren't used to in Europe."
As for next season, "I need to sort of take a break and reevaluate for next year," said Leipheimer. "I definitely won't be putting everything on the Tour like this year."
World's Elite Women's TT vox pop
Cyclingnews reporter Mark Zalewski caught up with a few of the riders after the elite women's time trial at the world championships. Here's what they had to say about the championships, their rides and the course.
Judith Arndt (Germany, second): "I am optimistic for Saturday, because we are a very strong team, the German team. I am tired, because the season was seven months long."
Genevieve Jeanson (Canada, fifth): "I had a 54-11 and a 42-22, but I don't think I went on that. I just tried to keep the gear I was comfortable on and spin my legs, even though spinning too much is not good."
Dede Demet-Barry (USA, eighth): "You can't measure yourself out there -- you just have to give your best effort. There were some bumps, but I pre-rode the course so I knew where to ride.
"The initial hill was really challenging. I had to break my legs at the beginning to get over it and then just settled into a rhythm and held a smooth pace the rest of the way. The course was great and the fans on the hills were massive. I had really good sensations and did the best I could. I made a few mistakes, but it's impossible not to make a mistake in a time trial. You can't measure yourself against anyone else but yourself in a time trial."
Kristin Armstrong (USA, 13th): "After the initial climb, I had my minute and a half person in sight, so I was motivated to catch her. The course was constantly changing with climbing, descents and corners. The variety made it easy to stay focused and not fall into a complacent rhythm. There were a lot of spectators around the course screaming my name, you almost had the hometown feeling."
Olivia Gollan (Australia, 16th): "There was a headwind for a little bit and a good tailwind across the top section but the two climbs were what made the difference. It was a really, really tough course and there were just much stronger riders out there today."
Sara Carrigan (Australia, 18th): "I suffered a little bit on that last climb, and I lost a little bit of confidence when [Joane] Somarriba came flying past me."
"I was going in it to win. I've been undefeated in all my time trials except one this year and that was the most recent one. The loss had given me extra determination to go out and at least get on the podium so 18th placing is really disappointing."
"I felt fine out on the bike and felt I was pushing the power through but when Joane came by it took me a little while to refocus and that was basically my world championship [gone]."
Francis Newstead (Great Britain, 20th): "It was tough, a good testing and hard course. You had to think of your technique. Once you get to the highest point it was a sprint from there -- you needed to keep your head on to that point. I've struggled all year with my threshold, but it came on good today. I'm happy with the way I rode."
Kirsty Robb (New Zealand, 29th): "The wind has picked up from this morning -- it was hard going. I feel like I could have gone faster around the top were I aimed to, but at the end of the day you can only go as fast as you can. The second descent was a bit hairy with the water on it, so I backed off and chickened a little bit (laughs)."
Wendy Houvenaghel (Great Britain, 36th): "The first half, more so than the second, was more difficult. From that point onwards it was less unrelenting -- you could really get some power out of your legs. And of course, we had that nice descent at the end on the homeward stretch, so that was quite welcomed.
"This is my first international competition. I won the British Championships, and that was supposed to be my last race, but then I got a call a few days later. I was a little bit in the deep end!"
Canadian Cyclo-cross nationals
This year's Canadian cyclo-cross national championships will be held at Jericho Park, Vancouver on November 9. The event will be organised by the Team Soliton Cycling Club and Kreb's Cycling Club; this pairing has been organizing 'cross events in Vancouver since 1999 including the last couple of year's British Columbia championships.
The Nationals course at Jericho Park will be centred around the 'old' paved road on the southeast side of the park. Organisers say they have attempted to concentrate the course in a very confined area to limit impact on other park users and also to create a better venue for spectators.
Soliton and Kreb's will also run the 2003 BC championships at Vanier Park on October 25.
Canberra to host two weeks of masters cycling
The last week of October and first week of November will see some great masters road cycling in Australia's capital city, Canberra, firstly with the running of the Australian Veteran Cycling Council's National Road cycling championships followed up by the Australian Masters Games.
The AVCC championships kick off on October 26 with the Criterium Championship, sponsored by local bike shop 'Rideshop', the event being staged on a closed circuit near Lake Burley Griffin. The time trial will be held the next day on the Uriarra Rd circuit over a distance of 20km, this is a an out and back circuit and is quite undulating with a very fast section not far from the finish. The highlight of this event is the awarding of the Russell Mockridge Cup, which is awarded to the fastest rider on an age standard basis. Russell Mockridge was a top cyclist in the 50's - a track sprinter that actually finished the Tour de France.
The road race championship is being staged at Uriarra Homestead on Monday October 27, with varying distances depending on age, this course is renowned for the long hills but also has long fast sections, and is sponsored once again by another local bike shop 'Bike Culture'.
On the last day of the championships a 50km handicap race will be staged, again on the Urriara Rd, which is famous for the long climb out of Urriara Crossing known to the locals as the 'Three sisters'. This event is sponsored by SportsCare and Physiotherapy.
Between the AVCC nationals and the Australian Masters, a track carnival will be held at the Queanbeyan Park Cycle track on Thursday 30 October. This will be a fairly informal event and line entries will be taken. Races will be for track bikes and road bikes (not at the same time).
Information and entry forms for this event can be found on the club's website, actvcc.dynamite.com.au. and there's more Masters Games info at www.amg2003.com.
Vergegear.com MACCC Series round 2
This weekend sees the second round of the Mid-Atlantic Cyclo-Cross Championship Series, the Burt Hoovis Memorial at Manor Township Park, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, October 11. The fast Manor Township Park course is considered one of the best venues for spectators as riders pass within sight of the main viewing areas multiple times each lap.
In the opening race last weekend, Mike Yozell (Wissahickon/Serfs) overcame the combined power of the Fort/GPOA team and "drew first blood" in the Elite Men's category. Yozell's win means that he will be wearing the Vergegear.com leader's jersey when he takes the start line on Saturday in Lancaster. The Fort /GPOA team of Ryan Leech, Greg Ferguson and Gunnar Shogren, took three of the top six spots at Evo Cross but was unable to stop Yozell. They will be looking to capitalize on their teamwork this week to knock Yozell off the top spot.
In the Elite Women's field, the Veargear.com leader's jersey sits on the shoulders of Marianne Stover (Gearworks/SpinArts) after an impressive win at Evo Cross. The 2001 and 2002 defending series champion, Josie Shew (FSVS) was a no-show at round one and her absence has riders wondering if 2003 will see the crowning of a new champion.
For more details, see www.monkeyhillcs.com/mac.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2003)