World Cycling Championships, Switzerland

Men's ITT

Men, Elite, Intermediate times, (40,4 km):

                                13,5 km 26,8 km 32,9 km
                                ------- ------  ------
 1. Alex Zulle (Sch)            18.44   31.53   40.20
 2. Chris Boardman (Gbr)        18.59   32.07   40.47
 3. Tony Rominger (Sch)         19.09   32.35   41.02

 4. Daniele Nardello (Ita)      19.10   32.43   41.20
 5. Andrea Peron (Ita)          19.18   32.59   41.52
 6. Uwe Peschel (Ger)           19.12   32.39   41.45
 7. Juan Carlos Dominguez (Spa) 19.18   33.12   42.08
 8. Abraham Olano (Spa)         19.25   32.57   41.59
 9. Viatcheslav Ekimov (Rus)    19.42   33.25   42.31
10. Neil Stephens (Aus)                 33.30   42.08
11. Michael Andersson (Swe)     19.29   33.18   42.25
12. Michael Rich (Ger)          20.28           43.41

Men's 40.4km time-trial world championship:

 1. Alex Zulle (Swi) 		       48:13
 2. Chris Boardman (Gbr) 		0.39 
 3. Tony Rominger (Swi) 		0.41 
 4. Daniele Nardello (Ita) 		1:01
 5. Andrea Peron (Ita) 			1:34 
 6. Uwe Peschel (Ger) 			1:36 
 7. Juan Carlos Dominguez (Spa) 	1:52 
 8. Abraham Olano (Spa) 		1:55 
 9. Viatcheslav Ekimov (Rus) 		2:22 
10. Neil Stephens (Aus) 		2:34 
11. Michael Andersson (Swe) 		s.t. 
12. Michael Rich (Ger) 			3:34 
13. Thomas Brozyna (Pol) 		3:36 
14. Michael Blaudzun (Den) 		3:43 
15. Christophe Moreau (Fra) 		3:52 
16. Marc Streeel (Bel) 			4:04 
17. Christophe Bassons (Fra) 		4:23 
18. Walter Bonca (Slo) 			4:30 
19. Dariusz Baranowski (Pol) 		4:32 
20. Jan Karlsson (Swe) 			4:35 
21. Erik Dekker (Ned) 			4:52 
22. Bert Roesems (Bel) 			5:13 
23. Tyler Hamilton (USA) 		5:16 
24. Chris Newton (Gbr) 			5:26 
25. Frantisek Trkal (Cze) 		5:35 
26. Robert Pintaric (Slo) 		5:44 
27. Eric Wohlberg (Can) 		s.t. 
28. Andrei Mizourov (Kaz) 		6:00 
29. Rauslan Ivanov (Mol) 		6:19 
30. Jan Valach (Svk) 			6:41
31. Alexei Sivakov (Rus) 		6:49 
32. Emilio Carricondo (Arg) 		7:41 
33. Miroslav Liptak (Svk) 		7:43 
34. Lubos Lom (Cze) 			8:29 
35. Ruben Pegorin (Arg) 		9:32 
36. Mikos Rnjakovic (Yug) 		9:38 
37. Kahka Okidadze (Geo) 	       10:27 
38. Besnik Musaji (Alb) 	       10:44 
39. Ardian Uka (Alb) 		       13:46 
40. Christian Kouyoumdjian (Lib)       14:30 

Did not start: Joona Laukka (Fin) 

Race Report

Switzerland's Alex Zuelle crowned his Vuelta d'Espana victory with his first world title on a rain-slicked course on Thursday.

He beat Britain's Chris Boardman by 39 seconds, clocking 48 minutes 13 seconds in the 40.4 kms time-trial championship, with another Swiss, Tony Rominger, third, 41 seconds slower than his compatriot.

Zuelle was always in control and around nine kms from the finish overtook Russian Vyacheslav Ekimov who had started two minutes before him.

He was 15 seconds faster than pre-race favourite Boardman after 13.5 kms and increased it to 46 seconds at 26.8 kms, although Boardman later clawed back a few seconds in conditions he had feared.

The Briton had crashed out of the 1995 Tour de France on wet roads, breaking a wrist and ankle, and had said this week: ``If it rains on Thursday it will be my worst nightmare.''

Abraham Olano, with silver medals from time-trials at last year's world championships and at the Atlanta Olympics, was never in the hunt.

The Spanish rider finished eighth, one minute 55 seconds slower than Zuelle, who two weeks ago scored a long overdue major triumph in the Vuelta.

Bespectacled Zuelle said: ``It was not a matter of whether I could see because of the weather. It was the rain which made the descent very dangerous, and I went as slowly as I dared.

``This title is very important because it has boosted my morale and confidence for the future. After the Vuelta this has to be my biggest victory.''

With Spain's Olympic champion Miguel Indurain not defending his title on Thursday, Boardman, was seen as the biggest threat to a home triumph.

He came to Lugano with the world 4,000 metres pursuit title, the world hour record and an Olympic time trial bronze, but also keen to erase memories of a bad Tour de France.

``There was no way I could have beaten Alex,'' said Boardman. ``If the course had been flat and it had been sunny I might have scraped in, but each rider has a period in his season when he is at a peak, and Alex is having his now.''

With Rominger reaching the first time check 25 seconds slower than Zuelle the battle for gold appeared to rest between Zuelle and Boardman.

Later, however, the Briton had to drive hard in the finishing straight to hang on to the silver by two seconds from Rominger whose world hour record he had smashed last month.

More on Zulle

Alex Zuelle is no longer the fall-guy among leading bike riders.

For the bespectacled Swiss, who has had to pick himself up physically and mentally from spills, the last two weeks have been the biggest pick-me-up of his racing career.

On Thursday, he crowned the victory of his life in last month's Vuelta d'Espana with the world time-trial title.

The new Zuelle, described by his father as ``still a boy at 27,'' had arrived.

That he did it in his homeland was special -- laying to rest the image of the potential star who always fell at crucial moments in races.

``People said it was because I was short-sighted and I wore spectacles. That's not so. It is my nervousness and bad luck each time. Then I lose control of the situation,'' said Zuelle.

It was in defeat that Zuelle found the path to success. When the 1995 Tour de France reached Paris the realisation hit home that he had finished second to the mighty Miguel Indurain.

It also struck a vein of confidence and for 1996 Zuelle had a mission -- to win the Tour. At the summit of the Cormet de Roselend mountain he was within reach of the yellow jersey of Tour leader, but the jinx was still around.

He said: ``I was removing my rain jacket with both hands when my front wheel hit another wheel, and I crashed. Earlier I had tangled with another rider. I am convinced those incidents cost me the Tour.

``I tried to forget the falls and bad luck, and I did not lose my self-control, but my legs could not respond to a further challenge, so I set my sights on the Vuelta.''

That objective was fuelled by the belief that his crash the day before the final time-trial robbed him of success in the 1993 Vuelta.

So when Vuelta time arrived this autumn, Zuelle was ready for victory. Then on Thursday in Lugano, it took plenty of confidence to race at 50 kph on rain-slippery descents.

For once, Zuelle had more than enough. Boardmand Chris Boardman lived his worst nightmare on Thursday.

Looking out the window of his hotel room the Briton received a rude awakening the morning of the men's individual time-trial at the world cycling championships -- rain.

``I opened the curtains and screamed ``no way,' said Boardman. ``I couldn't believe it. I had heard three weather reports and they all said it would be nice.''

Instead it was day just like the one 14 months ago when Boardman crashed out of the prologue at the Tour de France shattering his left ankle and breaking a wrist.

Now fully recovered physically, Boardman still carries around the mental scars from his accident, while the screws holding his ankle together serve as a constant reminder.

Racing in a steady downpour around the hilly 40.4 km layout, made all the more treacherous in places by a slick covering of fallen leaves, Boardman produced an heroic effort finishing second behind Swiss Alex Zuelle.

``I was certainly aware of the rain,'' admitted Boardman, world champion in 1994. ``Whether I like it or not I was certainly scarred by my last experience. I can't deny that it scared me. To win any race you have to stay on your bike.''

The lingering effects of Boardman's fall were evident as he gingerly made his way down the second of two dangerous descents.

Before the accident that would have been the place where he would win races but this time it was where he lost a world title.

``I use to attack people in the descent in the rain and now I'm struggling to stay with them,'' said Boardman, bronze medallist in the Olympic time trial behind the Spanish duo Miguel Indurain and Abraham Olano.

``I had an abysmal descent, I was just so slow.

``You tend to start looking down instead of where you're going. I made a small mistake at high speed and it's robbed me of all my confidence.''

He added: ``Maybe when I get the screws out I'll stop thinking so much about it.''

The championships mark the end of a busy year for the Briton.

Recovering from his injury, Boardman began the season slowly finishing a disappointing 39th in the Tour de France.

Since then he has enjoyed superb form having reclaimed the world 4,000 metres pursuit track crown and the world hour record before arriving at the championships.

``I haven't stopped right from the start on February 7,'' Boardman said. ``But today's the end of the season for me.''