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U23 Liege-Bastogne-Liege - 1.7.1

Belgium, May 1, 2001

2000 Results    Results    Past winners

Disaster Strikes

By Brice Jones, USA Espoir National Team representative
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Brice Jones
Photo: © Brice Jones

The U23 version of Liege-Bastogne-Liege is a very important race on the World Cup calendar for all espoir riders. And you don't really realize how important some of these guys think it is until the race starts with a 5k neutral zone. "Neutral" in these races just means the front guys aren't going that fast and it's easier for everyone else to move up! I mean I saw some things today that just amazed me! Guys passing each other in the ditch just to try and get to the front! It was just plain nuts!

So that's how the race starts off, and I'm thinking that I just want to attack in some sort of a group so I don't have to bother with the war of being at the front in the pack. So I make a move at 10k into the race with about 12 other guys and I'm thinking, "Thank God I am off the front; now I can relax!" Well, that didn't last all that long. We were caught about 5k down the road.

I was still at the front at this point in about 40th place or so. I noticed that I was surrounded by a couple teammates and that made me feel a lot better. We are now heading down this hill at 70k (42 miles) an hour when I hear the worst sound that you can hear when you are in the middle of a group of racers - brakes squealing and bikes sliding across the road!

Danny Pate and Walker Ferguson were in front of me, and they said that they at least tried to shoot for a gap to make it through the crash. I, on the other hand, just had to decide which guy I wanted to hit because I was going down. There was no doubt about it! I chose the softer looking guy in front of me and little to my left. I nailed him and just remember going over the bars and then sliding for about 20 meters after that, looking back and covering my face! Once I was on the ground, there was a wave of riders to flow over those of us who were already on the ground. A total of 50 riders went down in that crash.

So I get up off of the ground and look at the parts of my body that are throbbing to make sure that I am OK. I only have a bit of road rash on my knee and arm. I can feel that my butt hurts as well, and I notice chain ring marks on my shorts. Nothing's broke! I am OK to keep going! But wait - my bike is tangled up in some other guys bike! All across the road there is just massive carnage! Guys are moaning in the road and some guys even ended up on the other side of a barbed wire fence at the edge of the road. I was beginning to think that I was one of the lucky ones. Granted, I could have made it through the crash, but I could also be laying on the edge of the road with a broken sternum and unconscious like one guy.

Now it's Danny Pate, Jonathan Retseck, Walker Ferguson, and myself all back at the car trying to figure out what just happened! I would consider it a bad day when a team loses 70 percent of its riders in one crash at 20k into a race. Our Team Coach, Noel Dejonckheere, seemed to think the same thing.
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Walker Ferguson
Photo: © Brice Jones

We all packed in the car and headed off to the hospital where we would spend the next three hours. We get to the emergency room where nothing seems to be an emergency. Most of the doctors are off of work because of a holiday and have to be called in. And, there are 20 other riders waiting to be looked at. Danny and I didn't really need any help and we just needed someone to clean our own wounds. Walker got all cleaned up and had some X-rays and Jonathan had 5 stitches in his knee and was told that he wouldn't be able to ride for 15 days. Now were on our way back home feeling pretty wasted, not from riding, but from everything else.

Josh Thorton, Brad Bucambuso, and Nathan all made it through the crash. Josh said that he was at the very back of the pack and still had to lock up his breaks not to run into the guys in front of him. He also said that he had to run around the crash in the field next to us. Josh thinks that he got top 25 today and the other guys really had no clue. They said they were a ways back though. A Russian guy, Ruslan Gryshchenko, on an Italian team won and Tom Boonen got 2nd. Tom is a really nice Belgian guy who I always chat with in the races. You will see him riding with the US Postal Service later on this year. I am happy that he did well.

Sorry that I had to write so much about the crash, but that was the excitement that took up pretty much my whole day. Today we all experienced the part of cycling that no one likes, but at some point we all have to go through it.

*Brice is the current Under-23 U.S. National Champion. He and the rest of the U.S. Espoir team are living in Izegem, Belgium with Team Coach Noel Dejonckheere.

Results - 177 km

1 Ruslan Gryshchenko (Ukr) Vellutex                    4.27.00
2 Tom Boonen (Bel) Kortrijk Groeninge Spurters            0.09
3 Andrey Kashechkin (Kaz) Domo-Farm Frites
4 Jerôme Pineau (Fra) Vendee-U-Pays De La
5 Lorenzo Bernucci (Ita) Vellutex
6 Jens Renders (Bel) Dcm Cycling Team
7 Kristoffer Ingeby (Swe) Etupes Le Doubs
8 Davy Coenen (Bel) Kortrijk Groeninge Spurters
9 Wim Vanhuffel (Bel) Wieler Team Eycken
10 John Gadret (Fra) VC Roubaix
11 Johan Vansummeren (Bel) Eddy Merckx Boys
12 Kevin De Weert (Bel) Rabobank
13 Erik Lievens (Bel) Domo-Farm Frites                    0.41
14 Van Der Weiden (Ned) Wieler Team Eycken
15 Vincent Socquin (Fra) Super Sport 23 La Creuse         1.02
16 Alexandre Koslov (Blr) VC Roubaix
17 Benny De Schrooder (Bel) Go Pass-ABX
18 Anthony Geslin (Fra) Vendee-U-Pays De La
19 Sven Renders (Bel) Dcm Cycling Team
20 Steven Caethoven (Bel) Beveren 2000
21 Johan Coenen (Bel) Go Pass-ABX
22 Joshua Thornton (Usa) USA National Taem
23 Piet Rooijakkers (Ned) MGI Fietsen
24 Patrick Wirth (Sui) Seat Kona Hadimek
25 Yanto Barker (Gbr) VC Roubaix
26 Peter Schokkaert (Bel) Think Media Cycling
27 Raphaël Bastin (Bel) RC Pesant Club Liege
28 Cory Lange (Can) Equipe National
29 Jurgen Van Goolen (Bel) Domo-Farm Frites
30 Yoni Beauquis (Fra) Lyon Vaux En Velin
31 Eric Trokimo (Fra) Nogent Sur Oise
32 Jean Claude Lebeau (Bel) RC Pesant Club Liege
33 Tristan Valentin (Fra) Aubervilliers 93 Big Mat
34 Bart Dockx (Bel) Dcm Cycling Team
35 Coen De Jong (Ned) MGI Fietsen
36 Nick Nuyens (Bel) Domo-Farm Frites
37 Klaas De Gruyter (Bel) Eddy Merckx Boys
38 Maxime Armataffet (Fra) Etupes Le Doubs
39 Denis Lamberti (Fra) Lyon Vaux En Velin                2.47
40 Pim Goos (Ned) Wieler Team Eycken
41 Lucas Bodnar (Pol) Kortrijk Groeninge Spurters
42 Jimmy Engoulvent (Fra) Vendee-U-Pays De La             3.02
43 Florian Germain (Fra) Lyon Vaux En Velin
44 Robbie Mores (Bel) Beveren 2000
45 Frederick Pieters (Bel) Go Pass-ABX                    3.06
46 Nicolas Receveur (Fra) Etupes Le Doubs
47 Stefan Wijnands (Bel) Go Pass-ABX                      3.44
48 Jimmy Herman (Bel) RC Pesant Club Liege                3.49
49 Kurt Hovelynck (Bel) Think Media Cycling
50 Iwan Schrijver (Bel) MGI Fietsen
51 Jerôme Bouchet (Fra) UC Chateauroux
52 Guillaume Girout (Fra) Nogent Sur Oise
53 Laurent Mangel (Fra) Etupes Le Doubs
54 Sébastien Minard (Fra) Nogent Sur Oise
55 Cedric Deruyter (Fra) Ple Wasquehal
56 Brad Buccambuso (Usa) USA National Taem
57 Rodolphe Pradel (Fra) Super Sport 23 La Creuse
58 Stefan Sulser (Sui) Seat Kona Hadimek
59 Matthieu Geniez (Fra) Haute Garonne
60 Ronald Mutsaars (Ned) Rabobank
61 Cedric Riche (Fra) Efeg Douai
62 Nicolas Vayr (Fra) Lyon Vaux En Velin
63 Ben Thaens (Bel) Domo-Farm Frites
64 Rene Van Oord (Ned) MGI Fietsen                        3.52
65 Christophe Riblon (Fra) Nogent Sur Oise
66 Dominique Rollin (Can) Equipe National                 5.10
67 Mickaël Kirsch (Fra) Etupes Le Doubs
68 Gunther Coenen (Bel) Kortrijk Groeninge Spurters       6.54
69 David Romischer (Bel) Eddy Merckx Boys
70 Sebastien Rosseler (Bel) Domo-Farm Frites
71 Pieter Uyterhoeven (Bel) Dcm Cycling Team
72 Julien Guiborel (Fra) Aubervilliers 93 Big Mat
73 Gert Steegmans (Bel) Domo-Farm Frites                  7.01
74 Peter Van Agtmaal (Bel) Wieler Team Eycken            10.17
75 Leon Offringa (Ned) Lowik Meubelen-Tegeltoto
76 Stephane Cys (Fra) Ple Wasquehal
77 Joachim Karlik (Bel) RC Pesant Club Liege
78 Vincent Bonora (Fra) Lyon Vaux En Velin
79 Braulio Juanes (Esp) Seat Kona Hadimek
80 Gregory Sienowicz (Can) Equipe National
81 Johan Nordlund (Swe) Team Velodrom
82 Mathieu Paris (Fra) Nogent Sur Oise
83 Julien Laidoun (Fra) Etupes Le Doubs                  10.34
84 Raphaël Devienne (Fra) Ple Wasquehal
85 David Loosli (Sui) Seat Kona Hadimek
86 Sylvain Le Marchand (Fra) Super Sport 23 La Creuse

Interclub

1 Domo - Farm Frites Retie                                  45 pts
2 Kortrijk Groeninge Spurters                               51
3 VC Roubaix                                                51
4 DCM Cycling Team                                          59
5 Wieler Team Eycken                                        63
6 Vendee-U-Pays De La Loire                                 64
7 Go Pass-Abx Cycling Team                                  83
8 Etupes Le Doubs                                           91
9 RC Pesant Club Liegeois                                  107
10 MGI Fietsen                                             108
11 Lyon Vaux En Velin                                      112
12 Eddy Merckx Boys                                        117
13 Nogent Sur Oise                                         137
14 Super Sport 23 La Creuse                                158
15 Seat Kona Hadimek                                       161
16 Equipe National Canada                                  174
17 Pole Wasquehal                                          215

Past Winners

2000 Jurgen Van Goolen (Bel) Mapei-Latexco