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The biggest road show to hit Sydney
By Jeff Jones, online editor
They're here at last. Over the next two days, 57 of the world's best women, and 155 of the world's best men will contest the biggest one day road races of the year, and the competition is going to be hot. Not as hot as the weather, which has turned cloudy overnight, with a hint of rain and temperatures around 18 degrees.
Still, there were many enthusiastic Sydneysiders out along the scenic Eastern Suburbs course today as most of the riders took the opportunity to give the course the once over. From 10:00 am, the entire course was closed to traffic and there were plenty of folks lining the route to cheer on the riders, even if they didn't know Marco Pantani from Jaan Kirsipuu. For most Australians, the next few days will be the last time they ever get to see cyclists of this quality, and of course cyclingnews.com took the opportunity to snap some pics and generally cruise around.
The women's race starts at 10:00 am from Driver Avenue outside Fox Studios, and will be held over seven laps of the 17.1 kilometre course for a total of 119.7 kilometres. Most of the women were going over every inch of the climb today: some were with their teams, others were doing it solo. Later, some of the riders hopped onto their time trial bikes in order to get some practice for Saturday.
The defending Olympic champion, Jeannie Longo-Ciprelli (France) was not spotted with her other two teammates, Cathy Marsal and Magali le Floc'h, but this was not an unusual occurrence. The Australians, the Canadians and the Americans were training separately, but the British, Lithuanians, Norwegians, Swiss, Ukrainians were as one. Finland's Pia Sundstedt is her country's sole representative, but is still considered a chance given her results this year.
With the small size of the teams, it is likely to be an aggressive race and a break of 'lesser' names could possibly steal the show from Ziliute, Wilson, Longo, Kupfernagel, Melchers, Van Moorsel. Perhaps this will be the case, but the course appears to be selective enough for this not to matter.
The men's race will be somewhat different, with the 155 starters likely to keep the pace up in order to thin out the field. However, 239.4 kilometres is more than long enough for an early break to gain a few minutes, and some exposure for themselves in front of the TV cameras of the world.
The start list is topped by the Swiss who are the effective defending champions. Although 1996 winner, Pascal Richard just missed out on selection, Camenzind, Dufaux, Gianetti, Zberg and Zulle should be able to mount a reasonable title defence. Australia is next on the list, with hopes resting on Stuart O'Grady and Henk Vogels, with Scott McGrory and Matt White riding in support and Robbie McEwen there for a bunch finish.
Belgium had a potential team of stars, but injuries and sickness forced several riders out of the team. Still, Peter van Petegem, Nico Mattan and Axel Merckx may be able to put something together. Canada have sprinting star, Gord Fraser along with Eric Wohlberg as a reasonable chance, although Wohlberg is likely to aim for the TT. The Danes have two Sorensons on their list (Nicki and Rolf) to go with Frank Hoj, Lars Michaelsen and Michael Sandstod.
France and Germany have brought solid lineups: Virenque, Brochard, Jalabert, Moreau, and Cappelle all pulling on the pale blue, red and white team strip of the French. Jan Ullrich and Erik Zabel will have Andreas Kloeden and Rolf Aldag as support, with Jens Voigt a good chance for an early break. Britain have brought in MTB'er Nick Craig and track rider, Rob Hayles to their squad, which will have Max Sciandri as its leader.
The Italians are all here, although not as one today. Marco Pantani and Danilo di Luca were seen training separately, while Paolo Bettini, Michele Bartoli and Francesco Casagrande rode around together. They have one of the strongest lineups in this road race, although they have weighted their team towards climbers. The Dutch have entered Erik Dekker, Leon Van Bon, Tristan Hoffman, Max Van Heeswijk and Koos Moerenhout. Most of these are capable of top finishes.
Poland will rely on Zbigniew Spruch and Piotr Wadecki for the road race, with Piotr Przydzial to ride the TT. Russia have a powerful and experienced team with Viacheslav Ekimov, Serguei Ivanov, Dmitri Konychev, Evgueni Petrov and Pavel Tonkov as their five. Spain as well have an excellent prospect with Oscar Freire Gomez and the rest of their team, Santos Gonzalez, Juan Carlos Dominguez, Miguel Angel Martin Perdiguero and Abraham Olano not to be overlooked.
Sweden have stuck with four in the road race (Backstedt, Lafis, Rittsel, and Magnusson) saving their time trialist Michael Andersson for Saturday. Andersson was seen doing several laps of the course on his TT bike, and looks lean and keen to replicate his silver medal performance in the World's last year.
One rider out to stop him is American Lance Armstrong, however Armstrong will ride both the road race and the TT. The US team of Armstrong, Antonio Cruz, Fred Rodriguez, Tyler Hamilton and George Hincapie looked quite relaxed as they perambulated the course today.
The racing over the next two days promises to be the best cycling ever seen in Sydney. Reserve your spot at the coffee shop of choice and don't miss a thing.
Men Women 1 Oscar Camenzind (Swi) 1 Jeannie Longo-Ciprelli (Fra) 2 Laurent Dufaux (Swi) 2 Catherine Marsal (Fra) 3 Mauro Gianetti (Swi) 3 Magali Le Floc'h (Fra) 4 Markus Zberg (Swi) 4 Juanita Feldhahn (Aus) 5 Alex Zuelle (Swi) 5 Tracey Gaudry (Aus) 6 Robbie McEwen (Aus) 6 Anna Wilson (Aus) 7 Scott McGrory (Aus) 7 Cindy Pieters (Bel) 8 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) 8 Vanja Vonckx (Bel) 9 Henk Vogels (Aus) 9 Heidi Van De Vijver (Bel) 10 Matt White (Aus) 10 Claudia Saintagne (Bra) 11 Matthias Buxhofer (Aut) 11 Janildes Silva (Bra) 12 Gerrit Glomser (Aut) 12 Lyne Bessette (Can) 14 Rene Haselbacher (Aut) 14 Clara Hughes (Can) 15 Thomas Muehlbacher (Aut) 15 Genevieve Jeanson (Can) 16 Peter Wrolich (Aut) 16 Yi Chen Chiung (Tpe) 17 Nico Mattan (Bel) 17 Yoanka Gonzalez (Cub) 18 Axel Merckx (Bel) 18 Dania Perez (Cub) 19 Rik Verbrugghe (Bel) 19 Pia Sundstedt (Fin) 20 Marc Wauters (Bel) 20 Hanka Kupfernagel (Ger) 21 Peter Van Peteghem (Bel) 21 Petra Rossner (Ger) 22 Murilo Fischer (Bra) 22 Ina Yoko Teutenberg (Ger) 23 Gordon Fraser (Can) 23 Ceris Gilfillan (GBr) 24 Czeslaw Lukaszewicz (Can) 24 Yvonne Mcgregor (GBr) 25 Brian Walton (Can) 25 Sara Symington (GBr) 26 Eric Wohlberg (Can) 26 Deirdre Murphy (Irl) 27 Jose Medina (Chi) 27 Roberta Bonanomi (Ita) 28 Luis Sepulveda (Chi) 28 Valeria Cappellotto (Ita) 29 Santiago Botero (Col) 29 Alessandra Cappellotto (Ita) 30 Jhon Fredy Garcia (Col) 30 Miho Oki (Jpn) 31 Fredy Gonzalez (Col) 31 Rasa Polikeviciute (Ltu) 32 Ruber Marin (Col) 32 Edita Pucinskaite (Ltu) 33 Victor Hugo Pena (Col) 33 Diana Ziliute (Ltu) 34 Pedro Pablo Perez (Cub) 34 Chantal Beltman (Ned) 35 Radim Korinek (Cze) 35 Mirjam Melchers (Ned) 36 Tomas Konecny (Cze) 36 Leontien Zijlaard (Ned) 37 Pavel Padrnos (Cze) 37 Jacinta Coleman (NZl) 38 Jan Svorada (Cze) 38 Susy Pryde (NZl) 39 Frank Hoj (Den) 39 Roz Reekie-May (NZl) 40 Lars Michaelsen (Den) 40 Ingunn Bollerud (Nor) 41 Michael Sandstod (Den) 41 Solrun Flataas (Nor) 42 Nicki Sorensen (Den) 42 Monica Valen (Nor) 43 Rolf Sorensen (Den) 43 Svetlana Boubnenkova (Rus) 44 Mahmoud Abbas (Egy) 44 Olga Slioussareva (Rus) 45 Mohamed Abdel Fattan (Egy) 45 Zoulfia Zabirova (Rus) 46 Mohamed Kholafy (Egy) 46 Bianca Jane Netzler (Sam) 47 Amr El Nady (Egy) 47 Fatima Blazquez Lozano (Spa) 48 Lauri Aus (Est) 48 Mercedes Cagigas Amed (Spa) 49 Jaan Kirsipuu (Est) 49 Joane Somarriba Arrola (Spa) 50 Innar Mandoja (Est) 50 Nicole Braendli (Swi) 51 Erki Putsep (Est) 51 Priska Doppmann (Swi) 52 Janek Tombak (Est) 52 Yvonne Schnorf (Swi) 53 Laurent Brochard (Fra) 53 Valentyna Karpenko (Ukr) 54 Laurent Jalabert (Fra) 54 Oksana Saprykina (Ukr) 55 Christophe Capelle (Fra) 55 Tetyana Stiajkina (Ukr) 56 Christophe Moreau (Fra) 56 Nicole Freedman (USA) 57 Richard Virenque (Fra) 57 Mari Holden (USA) 58 Rolf Aldag (Ger) 58 Karen Kurreck (USA) 59 Andreas Kloeden (Ger) 60 Jan Ullrich (Ger) 61 Jens Voigt (Ger) 62 Erik Zabel (Ger) 63 Rob Hayles (GBr) 64 Jeremy Hunt (GBr) 65 Nick Craig (GBr) 66 Maximilian Sciandri (GBr) 67 John Tanner (GBr) 68 Jazy Fernandez Garcia (Gum) 69 Oscar Pineda Mendez (Gua) 70 David McCann (Irl) 71 Ciaran Power (Irl) 72 Hossein Askari (Iri) 73 Ahad Kazemi Sarai (Iri) 74 Michele Bartoli (Ita) 75 Paolo Bettini (Ita) 76 Francesco Casagrande (Ita) 77 Marco Pantani (Ita) 78 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) 79 Yoshiyuki Abe (Jpn) 80 Andrei Kivilev (Kaz) 81 Alexandr Shefer (Kaz) 82 Andrei Teteriouk (Kaz) 83 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) 84 Sergey Yakovlev (Kaz) 85 Evgeny Wacker (Kgz) 86 Raivis Belohvosciks (Lat) 87 Andris Nauduzs (Lat) 88 Dainis Ozols (Lat) 89 Arvis Piziks (Lat) 90 Andris Reiss (Lat) 91 Arturas Kasputis (Ltu) 92 Remigijus Lupeikis (Ltu) 93 Raimondas Rumsas (Ltu) 94 Saulius Sarkauskas (Ltu) 95 Erik Dekker (Ned) 96 Tristan Hoffman (Ned) 97 Koos Moerenhout (Ned) 98 Leon Van Bon (Ned) 99 Max Van Heeswijk (Ned) 100 Julian Dean (NZl) 101 Scott Guyton (NZl) 102 Chris Jenner (NZl) 103 Glen Mitchell (NZl) 104 Kurt Asle Arvesen (Nor) 105 Svein Gaute Holestoel (Nor) 106 Thor Hushovd (Nor) 107 Bjoernar Vestoel (Nor) 108 Piotr Chmielewski (Pol) 109 Zbigniew Piatek (Pol) 110 Piotr Przydzial (Pol) 111 Zbigniew Spruch (Pol) 112 Piotr Wadecki (Pol) 113 Jose Azevedo (Por) 114 Bruno Castanheira (Por) 115 Vitor Gamito (Por) 116 Orlando Rodrigues (Por) 117 Viacheslav Ekimov (Rus) 118 Serguei Ivanov (Rus) 119 Dmitri Konychev (Rus) 120 Evgueni Petrov (Rus) 121 Pavel Tonkov (Rus) 122 Romas Bronis (Svk) 123 Milan Dvorscik (Svk) 124 Robert Nagy (Svk) 125 Martin Riska (Svk) 126 Andrej Hauptman (Slo) 127 Martin Hvastija (Slo) 128 Uros Murn (Slo) 129 Tadej Valjavec (Slo) 130 David George (RSA) 131 Robert Owen Hunter (RSA) 132 Juan Carlos Dominguez (Spa) 133 Santos Gonzalez Capilla (Spa) 134 Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa) 135 Miguel Angel Martin Perdiguero (Spa) 136 Abraham Olano (Spa) 138 Magnus Baeckstedt (Swe) 139 Michel Lafis (Swe) 140 Glenn Magnusson (Swe) 141 Martin Rittsel (Swe) 142 Volodymyr Duma (Ukr) 143 Olexandr Fedenko (Ukr) 144 Volodimir Gustov (Ukr) 145 Serhiy Honchar (Ukr) 146 Serguei Outschakov (Ukr) 147 Lance Armstrong (USA) 148 Antonio Cruz (USA) 149 Tyler Hamilton (USA) 150 George Hincapie (USA) 151 Fred Rodriguez (USA) 152 Gregorio Bare (Uru) 153 Manuel Enrique Guevara (Ven) 154 Carlos Alberto Maya (Ven) 155 Alexis Omar Mendez (Ven) 156 Omar Enrique Pumar (Ven)
Men Women 1996 Atlanta: 1996 Atlanta: 1. Pascal Richard (Swi) 1. Jeannie Longo-Ciprelli (Fra) 2. Rolf Sorensen (Den) 2. Imelda Chiappa (Ita) 3. Max Sciandri (GBr) 3. Clara Hughes (Can) 1992 Barcelona: 1992 Barcelona: 1. Fabio Casartelli (Ita) 1. Kathryn Watt (Aus) 2. Erik Dekker (Ned) 2. Jeannie Longo-Ciprelli (Fra) 3. Dainis Ozols (Lat) 3. Monique Knol (Ned) 1988 Seoul: 1988 Seoul: 82 Km 1. Olaf Ludwig (DDR) 1. Monique Knol (Ned) 2. Bernd Grone (BDR) 2. Jutta Niehaus (BDR) 3. Christian Henn (BDR) 3. Laima Zilporite (URS) 1984 Los Angeles: 1984 Los Angeles: 79.2 Km 1. Alexei Grewal (USA) 1. Connie Carpenter-Phinney (USA) 2. Steve Bauer (Can) 2. Rebecca Twigg (USA) 3. Dag Otto Lauritzen (Nor) 3. Sandra Schumacher (BDR) 1980 Moscow: 1. Sergei Sukhoruchenkov (URS) 2. Czeslaw Lang (Pol) 3. Yuri Barinov (URS) 1976 Montreal: 1. Bernt Johansson (Swe) 2. Giuseppe Martinelli (Ita) 3. Mieczyslaw Nowicki (Pol) 1972 Munich: 1. Hennie Kuiper (Ned) 2. Keven Clyde Sefton (Aus) 3. Bruce Biddle (NZl) 1968 Mexico City: 1. Pierfranco Vianelli (Ita) 2. Leif Mortensen (Den) 3. Gosta Petterson (Swe) 1964 Tokyo: 1. Mario Zanin (Ita) 2. Kjell Akerstrom Rodian (Den) 3. Walter Godefroot (Bel) 1960 Rome: 1. Viktor Kapitonov (URS) 2. Livio Trape (Ita) 3. Willy van der Berghen (Bel) 1956 Melbourne: 1. Ercole Baldini (Ita) 2. Arnaud Geyre (Fra) 3. Alan Jackson (GBr) 1952 Helsinki: 1. Andre Noyelle (Bel) 2. Robert Grondelaers (Bel) 3. Edi Ziegler (BDR) 1948 London: 1. Jose Beyaert (Fra) 2. Gerardus Petrus Voorting (Ned) 3. Lode Wouters (Bel) 1936 Berlin: 1. Robert Charpentier (Fra) 2. Guy Lapebie (Fra) 3. Ernst Nievergelt (Swi) 1932 Los Angeles: 1. Attilio Pavesi (Ita) 2. Gugliemo Segato (Ita) 3. Bernhard Britz (Swe) 1928 Amsterdam: 1. Hanry Hansen (Den) 2. Frank Southall (GBr) 3. Gosta Carlsson (Swe) 1924 Paris: 1. Armand Blanchonnet (Fra) 2. Henri Hoenvenaers (Bel) 3. Rene Hamel (Fra) 1920 Antwerp: 1. Harry Stenqvist (Swe) 2. Henry Kaltenbrun (RSA) 3. Fernand Canteloube (Fra) 1912 Stockholm: 1. Rudolph "Okey" Lewis (RSA) 2. Frederick Grubb (GBr) 3. Carl Schutte (USA) 1906 Athens: 1. Fernand Vast (Fra) 2. Maurice Bardonneau (Fra) 3. Edmond Luguet (Fra)