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Chrono des Nations, 1.1
France, October 15, 2006
Belohvosciks' best days aren't over
By Jean-François Quénet in Les Herbiers
At 30, Raivis Belohvosciks isn't finished. He might have spent four years in a series of small teams (Marlux, Chocolade Jacques and Universal Caffe), but he landed in Nantes with a smile on his face on Saturday because he had just signed a two-year contract with Saunier Duval the day before. His former directeur sportif at Lampre, Pietro Algeri, hasn't forgotten the gentleman and father of three from Latvia, who rode superbly on several occasions, including a second place behind Lance Armstrong at the GP des Nations in 2000.
There's no more GP des Nations. For the first time, the Chrono des Herbiers has become the Chrono des Nations, on the usual course of the event held in Vendée, where the heart of French cycling beats strongly due to the local existence of the Bouygues Telecom team. Its Directeur Sportif, Jean-René Bernaudeau, was the patron of the race this year. He can be happy with his Dutch rookie, Stef Clement, who managed to get an excellent fifth place, and also Thomas Voeckler, who isn't a time trial specialist, but managed to beat a few of them, finishing 10th at an average speed close to 46km/h. Not bad, the day after riding the Tour of Lombardy.
The Italian classic was still in the legs of some of the riders. 15th in Como the day before, Vladimir Gusev didn't make the podium in Les Herbiers this year after finishing second and third in the two previous editions, but Belohvosciks, Brian Vandborg and lesser known champion of Finland, Matti Helminen, had prepared specifically for the French event.
"I'm delighted to win this race," a happy Belohvosciks said. "I've come here many times, I love the course here. It's very well organised and I really like the people who welcome me here regularly." Last year, the Latvian rider travelled the whole day before and waited for nine hours for a lift in from Paris airport. He came fourth the next day, but decided that he would organise himself in a better way next year. He did. Two hours before the start, he asked for a heavier lenticular back wheel and found a Corima. "That made me gain 30 seconds," he said before the arrival of Vandborg, who rode only 27 seconds slower than him.
Helminen is the true surprise. The new Chrono des Nations has succeeded in its challenge of attracting riders from many different nationalities (20 with the men and women elite races combined). Northern Europe has made the best of it with Latvia, Denmark and Finland claming the spots on the podium.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Jean-Francois Quenet
Images by Thomas Campana
Elite men - 48 km 1 Raivis Beohvosciks (Lat) Universal Caffe 1.00.02 (48.114km/h) 2 Brian Vandborg (Den) CSC 0.27 3 Matti Helminen (Fin) Profel 1.51 4 Vladimir Gusev (Rus) Discovery Chanel 2.01 5 Stef Clement (Ned) Bouygues Telecom 2.06 6 Yuriy Krivtsov (Ukr) Ag2r 2.36 7 Aivaras Baranauskas (Lit) Agritubel 2.38 8 Nicolas Fritsch (Fra) Saunier Duval 9 Manuel Quinziato (Ita) Liquigas 2.41 10 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Bouygues Telecom 2.47 11 Gustav Larsson (Swe) Française des Jeux 3.01 12 Bradley McGee (Aus) Française des Jeux 3.09 13 David Le Lay (Fra) Bretagne-Jean Floc'h 3.16 14 Florian Morizot (Fra) Auber 93 4.13 15 Olivier Kaisen (Bel) Davitamon-Lotto 4.18 16 Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Milram 4.22 17 Matej Jurco (Slo) Milram 4.25 18 Jérémy Roy (Fra) Française des Jeux 4.55 19 Pedro Horrillo (Fra) Rabobank 5.04 20 Christophe Kern (Fra) Bouygues Telecom 5.08 21 Ondrej Sosenka (Cze) Acqua e Sapone 5.13 22 Matija Kvasina (Cro) Perutnina Ptuj 5.34 23 Sébastien Duret (Fra) Bretagne-Jean Floc'h 5.54 24 Mathieu Drujon (Fra) Auber 93 6.14
Elite women - 20.5 km 1 Priska Doppmann (Swi) Univega 29.16 (42.075km/h) 2 Zulfia Zabirova (Kaz) Bigla 0.07 3 Marina Jaunatre (Fra) Vienne Futuroscope 0.41 4 Sarah Düster (Ger) Univega 0.47 5 Kathy Watt (Aus) Lotto Belisol Ladiesteam 1.19 6 Jeannie Longo (Fra) Paris CO 1.21 7 Pascale Schnider (Swi) Univega 1.24 8 Cathy Moncassin-Prime (Fra) Venerque VS 2.22 9 Florence Girardet (Fra) GSC Blagnac 2.27 10 Pippa Handley (Gbr) Edinburgh Road Club 2.59
U23 - 38.4 km 1 Dominique Cornu (Bel) Belgian national team 48.29 (47.514km/h) 2 Yoann Offredo (Fra) US Créteil 1.36 3 Stéphane Rossetto (Fra) US Créteil 2.04 4 Paul Poux (Fra) Top 16 2.15 5 Damien Gaudin (Fra) Vendée U 2.36 6 Alexandre Roux (Fra) US Créteil 2.45 7 Mark Jamieson (Aus) CC Etupes 3.01 8 Jean-Eudes Demaret (Fra) AC Besançon 3.05 9 Romain Sdrigotti (Fra) U Nantes-Atlantique 3.38 10 Nicolas Baldo (Fra) Le Cheylard 3.43
Juniors - 20.5 km 1 Tony Gallopin (Fra) VC Etampes 27.03 (45.502km/h) 2 Etienne Pieret (Fra) US Ste-Austreberthe 0.23 3 Yann Moritz (Fra) Limousin 0.58 4 David Piva (Bel) Sprint 2000 Charleroi 1.22 5 Jérôme Cousin (Fra) US Pontchâteau 1.24 6 Mathieu Bernaudeau (Fra) VCP La Châtaigneraie 1.36 7 Sylvain Greiner (Fra) VC Hanau 1.41 8 Clément Sinqsous (Fra) Vienne Agritubel 1.56 9 Yannick Ricordel (Fra) Revel SC 2.00 10 Aurélien Corbin (Fra) VC Conlie 2.01
Men 2005 1 Ondrej Sosenka (Cze) Acqua e Sapone 2 Michael Rogers (Aus) Quick Step 3 Vladimir Gusev (Rus) CSC 2004 1 Bert Roesems (Bel) Relax Bodysol 2 Vladimir Gussev (Rus) Team CSC 3 Sebastian Lang (Ger) Gerolsteiner 2003 1 Michael Rich (Ger) Gerolsteiner 2 Bert Roesems (Bel) Palmans-Collstrop 3 Uwe Peschel (Ger) Gerolsteiner 2002 1 Michael Rich (Ger) Gerolsteiner 2 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Mapei-Quick Step Espoirs 3 Bert Roesems (Bel) Palmans-Collstrop 2001 1 Jean Nuttli (Swi) Phonak Hearing Systems 2 Laszlo Bodrogi (Hun) Mapei-Quick Step 3 Sergey Gontchar (Ukr) Liquigas-Pata 2000 1 Jean Nuttli (Swi) Phonak 2 Sergey Gontchar (Ukr) Liquigas 3 Laszlo Bodrogi (Hun) Mapei-Quick Step 1999 1 Sergey Gontchar (Ukr) 2 Gilles Maignan (Fra) 3 Christophe Moreau (Fra) 1998 1 Sergey Gontchar (Ukr) 2 Gilles Maignan (Fra) 3 Francisque Teyssier (Fra) 1997 1 Sergey Gontchar (Ukr) 2 Tony Rominger (Swi) 3 Francoise Teyssier (Fra) 1996 1 Chris Boardman (GB) 2 Laurent Brochard (Fra) 3 Neil Stephens (Aus) 1995 Pascal Lance (Fra) 1994 Pascal Lance (Fra) 1993 Chris Boardman (GBr) 1992 Arturas Kasputis (Ltu) 1991 Jan Karlsson (Swe) 1990 Jan Karlsson (Swe) 1989 Marco Jeletich (Ned) Women 2004 Edwige Pitel (Fra) VC La Pomme-Marseille 2002 Zoulfia Zabirova (Rus) Usci Chirio 2001 Edwige Pitel (Fra) AVC Aix 2000 Jeannie Longo (Fra) 1999 Zoulfia Zabirova (Rus) 1998 Zoulfia Zabirova (Rus) Past winners by Mario Stiehl, www.world-of-cycling.com