|Cyclingnews TV News Tech Features Road MTB BMX Cyclo-cross Track Photos Fitness Letters Search Forum|
2002 Road World Championships - CM
Hasselt-Zolder, Belgium, October 8-13, 2002
Day 3 - October 10: Elite Men Time Trial, 40.4 km
Botero gives Colombia its first World Title
By Jeff Jones in Zolder
Santiago Botero has given Colombia its first ever World Championship on the road, winning the gold medal in the Elite Men's time trial. Botero, who beat Lance Armstrong in the first time trial in the Tour de France, finished 8 seconds in front of German Michael Rich, with Spain's Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano taking third at 17 seconds. Botero, who had his doubts during the Vuelta España whether he was going to ride the World's, got it right on the day, overcoming blustery conditions to finish in a time of 48.08.45, an average speed of 50.35 km/h. "This was a world championship and the competition was very strong," Botero commented after the finish. "This gold medal finishes a very good season."
Conditions today were no different to yesterday, sunny with a strong easterly wind blowing the riders along the Albertkanaal between Hasselt and Zolder, turning into head and crosswinds as they negotiated the remaining sections of the course. Many riders commented afterwards that it was a course for specialists - experience and technique were as valuable as sheer brute strength.
Botero has all of these qualities. The Colombian beat four time TDF champion Lance Armstrong twice in time trials this year, and a few months ago most would have had him as the outright favourite for the World's TT. However Botero caught the flu and suffered during the first half of the Vuelta España in September, being dropped on nearly every stage but bravely deciding to continue. In the final week of the Spanish stage race he came good again, winning a stage and finishing fourth in the final time trial in Madrid. With the World's TT coming 11 days after the finish of the Vuelta, his timing was perfect.
Today he was pushing a maximum gear of 55x11 on his Look KG386 time trial bike, and he measured his effort well on the course. After 20.05 km he was third at 12 seconds behind Rich and Gonzalez de Galdeano, while after 25.1 km he had pegged the gap back to 3 seconds. When he flew past the start/finish with 4 km to go he was leading Michael Rich by 1 second, which he increased to 8 seconds over the final circuit. He crossed the line having given it everything, and it was good enough to win. "The conditions were ideal for me: a flat circuit and with wind. It was perfect," said Botero.
Not so was Vuelta winner Aitor Gonzalez (Spa), who was clearly off his best form today. Gonzalez was well off the pace in 16th place after the 20 km time check, but rallied in the second half to move up to 7th at the end in a time of 49'12.48. In top form, Gonzalez might have won today, but he reached that three weeks ago and it was always going to be hard to maintain. "I'm a little disappointed not have had a better result," he explained. "Perhaps the efforts at the end of the Vuelta and the celebrations after have meant that things were not perfect. I'm very happy about Igor's medal, and especially Botero's victory, since he was an important part of my victory in the Vuelta a España."
The German TT engines Michael Rich and Uwe Peschel were also tipped to do well today, and both finished in the top five. Rich was the best, coming through in 48'16.68 to knock off the then best time of Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano. Only Botero was faster than Rich, with Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano finishing third on the podium.
Last rider to start was David Millar, a disappointed silver medalist last year but relatively happy today with his 6th place finish. Millar was run over by a team car during the Vuelta's Angliru stage, and abandoned the race in protest of the dangerous conditions. Since then he has had "four days on the bike", and thus was "quite surprised" with his finish today.
"I didn't feel great, my legs weren't spinning well," he said. "I expected in all honesty to be worse. I didn't save anything for the end though."
Millar decided to take a short cut over the gravel on the Villeneuve chicane with 2 km to go, which he admitted afterwards was because he couldn't see that it was gravel. However he was still 17 seconds off a medal so it certainly didn't cost him.
Images by Miwako Sasaki / Japanese Cycle Sports
Images by Roberto Bettini/www.bettiniphoto.com
Images by Cyclingnews.com/Jeff Jones
Images by Jeff Tse
Images by AFP
Images by Elmar Krings
1 Santiago Botero Echeverry (Col) 48.08.45 (50.352 km/h) 2 Michael Rich (Ger) 0.08.23 3 Igor Gonzalez De Galdeano (Spa) 0.17.15 4 Laszlo Bodrogi (Hun) 0.25.53 5 Uwe Peschel (Ger) 0.33.76 6 David Millar (GBr) 0.35.32 7 Aitor Gonzalez Jimenez (Spa) 1.04.03 8 Michael Rogers (Aus) 1.06.34 9 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) 1.07.81 10 Raivis Belohvosciks (Lat) 1.15.42 11 Bogdan Bondariew (Ukr) 1.16.11 12 Marc Wauters (Bel) 1.29.77 13 Bert Roesems (Bel) 1.29.90 14 Filippo Pozzato (Ita) 1.30.19 15 Viatcheslav Ekimov (Rus) 1.30.34 16 Christophe Moreau (Fra) 1.38.15 17 Evgeni Petrov (Rus) 1.40.22 18 Manuel Quinziato (Ita) 1.47.22 19 Eric Wohlberg (Can) 1.51.68 20 Roland Green (Can) 2.07.49 21 Marius Sabaliauskas (Ltu) 2.11.41 22 Steffen Kjaergaard (Nor) 2.11.76 23 Jean Nuttli (Swi) 2.11.98 24 Eugen Wacker (Kgz) 2.14.61 25 Servais Knaven (Ned) 2.17.81 26 Stuart Dangerfield (GBr) 2.17.89 27 Robert Hunter (RSA) 2.19.36 28 Martin Cotar (Cro) 2.19.93 29 Dylan Casey (USA) 2.23.76 30 Georg Totschnig (Aut) 2.25.07 31 José Azevedo (Por) 2.25.08 32 Yuriy Krivtsov (Ukr) 2.27.12 33 Dean Podgornik (Slo) 2.30.97 34 Victor Hugo Pena Grisales (Col) 2.32.43 35 Nathan O'Neill (Aus) 2.44.64 36 Ondrej Sosenka (Cze) 2.45.36 37 Chris Horner (USA) 2.52.67 38 Tomasz Brozyna (Pol) 2.53.91 39 Edgardo Simon (Arg) 2.59.46 40 Thor Hushovd (Nor) 3.01.50 41 Benoît Joachim (Lux) 3.05.46 42 Slawomir Kohut (Pol) 3.10.14 43 Igor Bonciucov (Mda) 3.10.73 44 Csaba Szekeres (Hun) 3.12.83 45 Pedro Miguel Lopes Goncalves (Por) 3.17.78 46 Andrey Mizourov (Kaz) 3.25.94 47 Marcus Ljungqvist (Swe) 3.53.02 48 Tiaan Kannemeyer (RSA) 3.57.18 49 Magnus Backstedt (Swe) 4.00.30 50 Jacky Durand (Fra) 4.02.42 51 Jan Valach (Svk) 4.05.49 52 Aliaksandr Kuchynski (Blr) 4.05.69 53 Christian Poos (Lux) 4.28.35 54 Paul Van Schalen (Ned) 4.31.20 55 David O'Loughlin (Irl) 4.58.88 56 Mannie Heymans (Nam) 6.39.67 57 Pavel Nevdakh (Kaz) 6.58.22