Elite Men's Road Race
Sunday, October 15, 2000, 10:30
The local time in Plouay is
Plouay: Circuit Jean Yves-Perron, 268.9 km (19 laps)
By Tim Maloney, cyclingnews.com correspondent
As the cold wet fall breezes blow across the Brittany coastline and up the Scorff River valley to Plouay, you remember one reason why the World Championships shouldn't be in October - lousy weather! With last year in Verona the exception, every World's since '96 has been hit with bad weather, and Sunday's 268.9 km Championship should be impacted by the cool temps and steady rain reminiscent of March.
Many riders have told cyclingnews.com that "I'm tired from the long season," and the news of the last week is more about who won't ride (Ullrich, Armstrong), who's gone home (Olano, Kloden, Zabel) or who's sick (Jalabert, Verbrugghe). And with the Sydney Olympics just a few weeks past, many riders are struggling to get up for Sunday's Championship. But still and all, it is the World Championships, the most prestigious one day race on the cycling calendar and some riders will be out to make the tough but not selective circuit de Jean Yves Perron a real world championship, no matter who is racing.
Even Italian champion Michele Bartoli of Italy, who won the GP Ouest France on the same circuit last 30 July points to Belgian Andre Tchmil as his favorite. Tchmil and his solid national squad usually like the cold, rain and generally beastly conditions predicted for Sunday. '99 World Cup champ Tchmil has made it clear from the start of the season that the Plouay worlds was his principle objective. After Tchmil's great runner-up ride in Paris-Nice last weekend, he is clearly in form, motivated and will be a danger man all day long for the world title.
Bartoli will certainly be a major threat to capture his first World Championhips. The powerful Squadra Azzura will be looking to correct their recent Olympic setback and if leader Bartoli falters, there are other excellent Italians like World #1 Francesco Casagrande, dark-horse Davide Rebellin and Bartoli's Mapei lieutenant Paolo Bettini waiting in the wings.
'99 World Champ Oscar Freire of Spain will certainly seek to hang on to his pretty rainbow strip again. And the speedy Spaniard is in shape, with a recent wins in Spain and Italy. But Freire may find it difficult to become the 6th rider in cycling history who retains his jersey, as without Olano, his Spanish team is simply not very strong.
Certainly the home team France and their leader Laurent Jalabert will be motivated for a major effort, but Jaja was a DNS in Thursday's TT due to intestinal problems and it's hard to say how he might ride on Sunday. Perhaps Jaja will have legendary legs as he's been training hard for his home country World's, but perhaps the in-form '97 World Champ Laurent "Le Broche" Brochard will make return to the World's podium for France, who have been shut out so far at this year's World's. And watch out for JC Robin; 3rd in Verona last year and the Breton "regional" who will relish the conditions and the home advantage.
Rolf Sorensen of Denmark was stopped at the Sydney Olympics by a mechanical just as the winning move went away. He's in form and looking to bring a Rainbow jersey to his new team Memory Card. Team Denmark has ridden well at the World's the last few years under the direction of DS Jurgen Marcussen the last few years and perhaps it's time for them to come up with something.
Michael Boogerd of Netherlands is a bit of a mystery; will the real Boogerd show up on Sunday? Or the one who hasn't be able to get out of his own way for the majority of the last two seasons? Poland has the talented Piotr Wadecki looking to make his mark before he moves to Domo next season, but some insiders have told cyclingnews that another man to watch Sunday is Romans Vainsteins of Latvia, who's been preparing very hard for Plouay. He's fast and can climb and is a real dangerman in bad conditions.
Chann McRae of the USA is another real sleeper; a surprising 5th in last year in Verona, McRae is coming off an excellent 2nd place in the recent Tour of Hessen race in Germany.
Cyclingnews will follow the Elite Men's World Championship live from start to finish. Stay tuned to our coverage from 1030 CET.
1 Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa) 2 Manuel Beltran Martinez (Spa) 3 Francisco Javier Cerezo Perales (Spa) 4 Rafael Diaz Justo (Spa) 5 José Enrique Gutierrez Cataluna (Spa) 6 Eladio Jimenez Sanchez (Spa) 7 Roberto Laiseka Jaio (Spa) 8 Miguel Angel Martin Perdiguero (Spa) 9 Jon Odriozola Mugarza (Spa) 10 José Luis Rubiera Vigil (Spa) 11 Carlos Sastre Candil (Spa) 12 Haimar Zubeldia Aguirre (Spa) 13 Niki Aebersold (Swi) 14 Roger Beuchat (Swi) 15 Pierre Bourquenoud (Swi) 16 Oscar Camenzind (Swi) 17 Laurent Dufaux (Swi) 18 Mauro Gianetti (Swi) 19 Rolf Huser (Swi) 20 Fabian Jeker (Swi) 21 Daniel Schnider (Swi) 22 Marcel Strauss (Swi) 23 Beat Zberg (Swi) 24 Marcus Zberg (Swi) 25 Walter Beneteau (Fra) 26 Gilles Bouvard (Fra) 27 Laurent Brochard (Fra) 28 Frédéric Finot (Fra) 29 Frédéric Guesdon (Fra) 30 Patrice Halgand (Fra) 31 Stéphane Heulot (Fra) 32 Laurent Jalabert (Fra) 33 Christophe Mengin (Fra) 34 Christophe Moreau (Fra) 35 Jean Cyril Robin (Fra) 36 Richard Virenque (Fra) 37 Sergio Barbero (Ita) 38 Michele Bartoli (Ita) 39 Paolo Bettini (Ita) 40 Francesco Casagrande (Ita) 41 Mirko Celestino (Ita) 42 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) 43 Gianni Faresin (Ita) 44 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) 45 Davide Rebellin (Ita) 46 Luca Scinto (Ita) 47 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) 48 Denis Zanette (Ita) 49 Antonio Cruz (USA) 50 William Chann Mcrae (USA) 51 Danny Pate (USA) 52 Fred Rodriguez (USA) 53 Serge Baguet (Bel) 54 Dave Bruylandts (Bel) 55 Thierry Marichal (Bel) 56 Nico Mattan (Bel) 57 Axel Merckx (Bel) 58 Chris Peers (Bel) 59 Wilfried Peeters (Bel) 60 Andrei Tchmil (Bel) 61 Michel Van Haecke (Bel) 62 Peter Van Petegem (Bel) 63 Rik Verbrugghe (Bel) 64 Marc Wauters (Bel) 65 Rolf Aldag (Ger) 66 Bert Dietz (Ger) 67 Ralf Grabsch (Ger) 68 Kai Hundertmark (Ger) 69 Matthias Kessler (Ger) 70 Jörg Ludewig (Ger) 71 Grischa Niermann (Ger) 72 Jan Schaffrath (Ger) 73 Tobias Steinhauser (Ger) 74 Jens Voigt (Ger) 75 Artour Babaitsev (Rus) 76 Serguei Ivanov (Rus) 77 Oleg Joukov (Rus) 78 Dmitri Konyshev (Rus) 79 Serguei Lelekin (Rus) 80 Alexei Sivakov (Rus) 81 Serguei Smetanine (Rus) 82 Tayeb Braikia (Den) 83 Bo Hamburger (Den) 84 Frank Hoj (Den) 85 Allan Johansen (Den) 86 Danny Jonasson (Den) 87 Lars Michaelsen (Den) 88 Michael Steen Nielsen (Den) 89 Jacob Moe Rasmussen (Den) 90 Morten Sonne (Den) 91 Nicki Sorensen (Den) 92 Rolf Sorensen (Den) 93 Michael Boogerd (Ned) 94 Steven De Jongh (Ned) 95 Maarten Den Bakker (Ned) 96 Addy Engels (Ned) 97 Tristan Hoffman (Ned) 98 Jans Koerts (Ned) 99 Karsten Kroon (Ned) 100 Marc Lotz (Ned) 101 Matthé Pronk (Ned) 102 Leon Van Bon (Ned) 103 Max Van Heeswijk (Ned) 104 Aart Vierhouten (Ned) 105 Piotr Chmielewski (Pol) 106 Zbigniew Piatek (Pol) 107 Piotr Przydzial (Pol) 108 Robert Radosz (Pol) 109 Jaroslaw Ryszewski (Pol) 110 Zbigniew Spruch (Pol) 111 Kazimierz Stafiej (Pol) 112 Piotr Wadecki (Pol) 113 Raimondas Rumsas (Ltu) 114 Raivis Belohvosciks (Lat) 115 Arvis Piziks (Lat) 116 Romans Vainsteins (Lat) 117 Michael Andersson (Swe) 118 Niklas Axelsson (Swe) 119 Martin Johansson (Swe) 120 Marcus Ljungqvist (Swe) 121 Glenn Magnusson (Swe) 122 Andrej Hauptman (Slo) 123 Gorazd Stangelj (Slo) 124 Jaan Kirsipuu (Est) 125 Janek Tombak (Est) 126 Thor Hushovd (Nor) 127 Björnar Vestöl (Nor) 128 Vladimir Miholjevic (Cro) 129 Ruslan Ivanov (Mda) 130 Igor Pugaci (Mda) 131 Vladimir Duma (Ukr) 132 Serhiy Honchar (Ukr) 133 Ruslan Pidgornyy (Ukr) 134 Gerrit Glomser (Aut) 135 Harald Morscher (Aut) 136 Jochen Summer (Aut) 137 Gerhard Trampusch (Aut) 138 Milan Kadlec (Cze) 139 Lubomir Kejval (Cze) 140 Ondrej Sosenka (Cze) 141 Kam Po Wong (HKg) 142 Christian Poos (Lux) 143 Sergey Belousov (Kaz) 144 Dmitri Fofonov (Kaz) 145 Oleg Kozlitine (Kaz) 146 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) 147 Robert Hunter (RSA) 148 Christopher Jenner (NZl) 149 Gordon Mccauley (NZl) 150 Tom Leaper (Aus) 151 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) 152 Scott Sunderland (Aus) 153 Jay Sweet (Aus) 154 Michael Barry (Can) 155 Dominique Perras (Can) 156 Mark Lovatt (GBr) 157 Maximilian Sciandri (GBr) 158 Charles Wegelius (GBr)
What a great, classic road world's circuit; a tough, technical and unpredictable parcours that will crown worthy champions. Named after Jean-Yves Perron, the organizer of the Grand Prix de l'Ouest, it's a 14.150 km tour through the arriere-pays of Morbihan. The parcours heads southeast with a tailwind right away, up the fast first climb, a côte of 1.5km long and 6% average grade, with the last 300m to Le Harras steeper at 8% gradient. Here's where the attacks will start on Circuit Perron after 2.2 km. This is followed by a short descent, then another quick leg-sapping climb of 300m at 10%.
After a tight technical descent through Kerscoulic and Questenen to Poulhibet, the third and perhaps most crucial climb of Circuit Perron heads towards the finish in Plouay. With 3.5km to go, the final cote is a wide-open, windy 1.5km haul with an average gradient of 8%. When counter-moves get away on the second climb and the descent to Poulhibet, the chasers will feel empowered to bring them back up the final climb. Once the last climb is crested, there are 2.15 km to go on a fast, rolling tailwind section to the finish. Beware, the final 1 km is downhill for much of the way, with a tricky uphill finish that may be difficult to judge.