News for October 16, 2000

World's news

Romans Vainsteins
Photo: © AFP

After his powerhouse sprinting performance in yesterday's elite men's road race, Latvian Romans Vainsteins saw his preparatory work of the last few weeks pay off in spades, as he left Zbigniew Spruch and Oscar Freire in his wake. He survived all of the attacks made by the Italians and Belgians on the climbs, and hung on for an somewhat unexpected bunch finish. Not according to Vainsteins though.

"I had one teammate remaining, Arvis Piziks, who worked well for me especially near the beginning when I had mechanical problems. I didn't have a choice: it was necessary me to model my race on other teams. I chose the teams of Italy, Belgium and France which seemed most dangerous to me," he told AFP in an interview afterwards.

Vainsteins had selected Tchmil, Freire and Bartoli as the ones to watch, but after the attacks went no-stop in the closing laps, he just tried to stay with the best riders. "It became clear to me that on this fast course, no escape would make it to the finish."

He managed to stay in contact and win the sprint - a perfect example of playing Poker to perfection. The near future? "I intend to enjoy this victory - it's not everyday you become World Champion. Then I will return to Brussels to sign with Domo-Farm Frites."

Romans Vainsteins - a brief bio

Born: March 3, 1973 in Kuldiga (near Riga)
Resides: near Bergamo (Ita)
Height: 1.76 m
Weight: 66 kg

Professional teams: Kross-Selle Italia (1998), Vini Caldirola (1999-2000), Domo-Farm Frites (2001)

Major results


World Military Champion


1st, GP Larciano


1st, GP Canton Aargau
2 stage wins, Tirreno-Adriatico
1 stage win, Giro d'Italia
Memorial Cecchi-Gori (+ 1 stage)
Latvian Road Championship
3rd, HEW Cyclassics
5th, Gent-Wevelgem
3rd, Coppa Bernocchi


1 stage, Tirreno-Adriatico
Coppa Bernocchi
1st, World Road Championships
3rd, Ronde van Vlaanderen
3rd, Clasica San Sebastian
4th, Amstel Gold Race
9th, Milan San Remo
2nd, Driedaagse van De Panne

Some post-race quotes

Zbigniew Spruch (Pol, 2nd): "The Polish team started chasing as soon as we realized that all the strong nations were represented in front. I dedicate this medal to my team".

Oscar Freire (Spa, 3rd): "The team worked very well. My comrades worked so much that they did not have any more strength in the end, but that was understandable. It was up to me to look after myself."

"I was not well placed on the sprint. Also, I made an error when Bartoli touched my rear wheel. I slowed down and I had to start again. I didn't want to take anyone's wheel because I didn't know who was the freshest."

Michele Bartoli (Ita, 4th): "Something did not click in the team. I tried three times to attack. But when I saw that it was impossible, I decided to wait for the sprint. If I had been helped more, it could have been another scenario. Treason? I don't want to comment".

Scott Sunderland (Aus, 7th): "I felt so strong today. I tried to get into a better position in the final, on Vainsteins' wheel, but there were so many Italians and Belgians there in the last kilometers...It was impossible to get into the right spot for the sprint"

"I am happy, being the first Australian finishing this high up in the World Championships - I think Alan (Peiper) got a 9th once...But I think I could have been on the podium today if the strong Italian and Belgian 'front' wasn't there...Vainsteins was so strong in those last meters, incredible."

"The boys (Jay, Tom, etc) were all great to work with today, it was really a lot of fun doing this one...I didn't hurt once; that makes me feel confident for preparation during the 'winter'-break and for the coming season."

Andrei Tchmil (Bel, 19th): "I put everything into an attack on the last lap. When I attacked the second time, I believed that it was possible to win. It is a very hard blow".

Laurent Jalabert (Fra, abandon): " At the beginning I was not feeling too bad but as soon as it got harder, I was on the rubber band. It is the law of the sport - one does not always do as well as one wants."

"I am sorry for the public and I am disappointed with these excuses. On a circuit like that, there is no place for weak people".

Goussev's bike

Four centimetres - that's how much young Russian Vladimir Goussev was beaten by in Saturday's junior men's road race. However, it was not the gap between him and New Zealand's Jeremy Yates, although Goussev did take second in the sprint behind the Kiwi. Four centimetres was the amount that the bottom chainstays on his black and gold carbon fibre Basso exceeded the official UCI regulations. 12 cm was the thickness, but 8 cm the maximum allowed.

It was a cruel way of depriving Goussev of his silver medal, that he had certainly earned with his attacks on the last two laps. Ironically, he had actually changed bikes on the fifth lap to the thicker tubed model. Clearly, the bike wasn't aesthetic enough for the UCI.

Final Medal table after day 6:

                Gold Silver Bronze Total
Russia            2     1      1     4
Poland            1     2      1     4
France            1     1      -     2
Ukraine           1     1      -     2
Belorussia        1     -      -     1
Great Britain     1     -      -     1
Latvia            1     -      -     1
New Zealand       1     -      -     1
USA               1     -      -     1
Australia         -     1      1     2
Italy             -     1      1     2
Netherlands       -     1      1     2
Germany           -     1      -     1
Switzerland       -     1      -     1
Canada            -     -      1     1 
Hungary           -     -      1     1
Lithuania         -     -      1     1
Spain             -     -      1     1
Sweden            -     -      1     1

The future of the AIS Track program

With Olympic fever dying down, and the medals and money being counted, now is crunch time for Australia's track program. Although it has been located in Adelaide for many years, there is talk of moving it elsewhere, and Sydney with its new Dunc Gray velodrome is a strong candidate. The final decision is expected before the end of the month.

This year the AIS program received AU$3.5 million in funding, but this will be dramatically cut next year to AU$2.4 million, in line with post-Olympic budgeting for all sports. Much of this is spent on the overseas camps and altitude training programs, and it is likely that these will be significantly reduced.

The Adelaide track program shares the multi-million dollar Del Monte Hotel for accommodation with the Australian Cricket Academy, while the AIS bicycle workshop is housed at the Adelaide Superdrome. One option would be to sell the hotel and rent/buy smaller premises as required, as the athletes spend a good part of the year in the base in Buttgen, Germany. The mechanic's facilities could be contracted out to local bicycle manufacturers.

Adelaide has advantages over other major capitals in that it is quiet, and there are easily accessible hills/flats to train on. Bankstown (where the Dunc Gray velodrome is located in Sydney) is near the geographic centre of the city, and hills and car free roads are harder to get to. Melbourne, with its new Vodafone arena may be somewhat better in this regard.

Team news

Swiss team Phonak will recruit Italian Mirko Puglioli (Linda McCartney) and German Bert Grabsch (Cologne), to join Nicolas Dumont and Jean Nuttli. Jerome Delbove will leave the team.

Former world champ, Luc Leblanc will manage the CPU Felletin 23 team next season. He had intended to start/manage a pro team, but is still seeking sponsors.

Big Mat-Auber 93 have found another sponsor for next season - the Point P store chain.

Matthew Gilmore, who this year rode with Memory Card and won a silver medal in the Olympic madison race, will change teams next year to Vlaanderen 2002, a team much closer to home.

The Swiss based Vini Caldirola team will lose a lot of names next year: Francesco and Filippo Casagrande, Romans Vainsteins, Roberto Conti, Massimo Donati, Sandro Giacomelli, Mauro Gianetti, Marco Milesi, Guido Trentin, Matthew White and Mauro Zanetti.

Managed by Davide Boifava and directed by Guido Bontempi, they are aiming at the following transfers/neo-pros: Kurt Asle Arvesen, Paolo Bossoni, Diego Ferrari, Nicola Minali, Peter Luttenberger, Gabriele Balducci, Guisseppe Di Grande, Nicola Miceli, Dmitri Gainitdinov and Sylvester Szmyd.

Courtesy of Velomania/other sources