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2003 Road Worlds
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2002 Worlds

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Photo ©: Schaaf

2003 Road World Championships - CM

Hamilton, Canada, October 7-12, 2003

Main Page    Results    Start list    Live report

Day 1 - October 8: U23 Men Time Trial, 30.3 km

Fothen adds to Germany's gold haul

By Mark Zalewski in Hamilton

Marcus Fothen on top
Photo: © Sirotti
Click for larger image

German Marcus Fothen added to his country's success at the World Championships by winning the U23 Men's Time Trial in the afternoon over two laps of the testing 15 km Hamilton circuit. Fothen rode a scorching 38'35 for the 30.3 kilometres at an average speed of 47.11 km/h to beat Niels Scheuneman (Netherlands) by 19 seconds and last year's runner up Alexandr Bespalov (Russia) by 21 seconds.

Unlike some of the other U23 riders in the race, Fothen didn't have the pressure to perform to secure a professional contract for next year, as he recently signed with the German Gerolsteiner team. "It was definitely an advantage for me," said the German. "It's a liberation to know what your future is."

The wind picked up its pace in the afternoon, adding to the already challenging course. "[The wind] was a great factor," said Fothen. "In the middle of the climb, it came in front. And at the end of the climb the wind was very strong. [We] then turned left, and then the wind came from behind, and it was woooosh. The wind and the mountain - it was difficult today."

Second placed Niels Scheuneman echoed his competitor's comments. "Yeah, it was on top of the climb - wind on front. Between the houses it was a little bit easy, but once you came out it was hard. On the back of the course, we went left, and we had the wind from the back - and I could have used a tail behind - not a big enough gear!"

During much of the day, the lead times were being set by Viktor Rapinski, known to many Americans as Mr. Superweek, for his dominating performance in the July criterium series for the past two years. Faster still was Slovenian Jure Zrimsek (Slovenia), who finished in 39'21, a handful of seconds in front of Rapinski. But a surprisingly strong ride came from American Michael Creed, who crossed the line just two seconds off Zrimsek, pushing Rapinski to third.

Creed was himself later pushed down to sixth by the finish, and admitted that he had more in the tank at the end. "I felt good and just underestimated how hard I could push myself," he said. "This is the first time I've come to a world championship fit and wanting to race hard. I had the highest readings ever on my power meter, easily maintaining a 400 watt average, which was my goal. I came through the first lap 26 seconds down and just put it in the big ring halfway up the climb and took it out on myself."

Fothen in action
Photo: © Sirotti
Click for larger image

Already out on the course was the strong Dutch rider Niels Scheuneman. He quickly dominated the course, taking the top time, and pushing everyone else down. However, it was clear that the best riders were stacked in the final wave, as times came rolling in. Marcus Fothen, starting fifth-to-last, shattered Scheuneman's time by almost nineteen seconds - and only one other rider, Alexandr Bespalov, was close enough at the splits to catch the speedy German.

Fothen and the rest of the crowd watched on the giant TV monitors as the Russian headed back into downtown Hamilton, but Bespalov couldn't possibly make up enough time descending. As he turned the final corner, everyone already knew who the World Champion was, and the only question was wether Scheuneman would hold on to the silver medal. Bespalov sprinted hard for the line, but he just missed second place by a mere two seconds.

When asked about not bettering his second place from last year, Bespalov responded, "Last year I was quite alright, but I broke my hand before - that is why last year I was second. Today was difficult for me because I didn't like the race profile. I am happy with third place in this race."

Marcus Fothen summed up his race. "This year I was the oldest, and I had the best chance...to get a medal. And at the morning today, I had good feelings. It was a hard track and difficult to find rhythm about the course - the whole time, up and down. After the first [lap] I heard I had the best time, and it pushed me. All or nothing."

Australians disappointed

Australia's two riders were disappointed with their performances. Canberra's Rory Sutherland finished 17th and Perth rider Peter Dawson was 25th. "I couldn't seem to get going today," said Sutherland. "It was just one of those days where I had hoped for a better feeling but couldn't find it. The first lap over the top of the hill was a head wind and usually that's one of my strong points where I can push a bigger gear but today I just couldn't get it round. The course was hell; one of the worst I've done in a long time."

Dawson, a member of the team pursuit squad that smashed its own world record in Stuttgart earlier this year, has only recently recovered from a bout of bronchitis. "This is my first road worlds so I put my best foot forward out there today," said Dawson. What we achieved with the pursuit this year was amazing and to make the road team as well was just fantastic.

"I was really hoping for a top ten because in a tour three months ago against all the same guys I finished third. But the wind across the top of the course made it really tough for me so I'm a little disappointed."


Images by Fotoreporter Sirotti

Images by Robert Naish/www.bikecrazie.com


1 Marcus Fothen (Germany)              38.35.29 (47.11 km/h)
2 Niels Scheuneman (Netherlands)        0.18.99
3 Alexandr Bespalov (Russia)            0.21.28
4 Thomas Lövkvist (Sweden)              0.30.32
5 Jure Zrimsek (Slovenia)               0.45.59
6 Michael Creed (USA)                   0.47.56
7 Viktor Rapinski (Belarus)             0.48.50
8 Brian Vandborg (Denmark)              1.00.92
9 Thomas Dekker (Netherlands)           1.02.27
10 Petter Renäng (Sweden)               1.14.23
11 Damien Monier (France)               1.17.20
12 Vladimir Gusev (Russia)              1.22.46
13 Gregor Gazvoda (Slovenia)            1.26.92
14 Emilien Benoit Berges (France)       1.31.35
15 Piotr Mazur (Poland)                 1.32.48
16 Jussi Veikkanen (Finland)            1.37.28
17 Rory Sutherland (Australia)          1.37.49
18 Oleksandr Kvachuk (Ukraine)          1.37.52
19 Matej Jurco (Slovakia)               1.52.71
20 Rafael Infantino Abreu (Colombia)    2.03.43
21 Olegs Melehs (Latvia)                2.12.73
22 Andreas Schillinger (Germany)        2.23.76
23 Hernani Broco (Portugal)             2.23.89
24 Tiziano Dall'antonia (Italy)         2.31.70
25 Peter Dawson (Australia)             2.33.22
26 Ella Rigotto (Italy)                 2.33.60
27 Tom Southam (Great Britain)          2.45.24
28 Tim Duggan (USA)                     2.51.69
29 Nicholas Roche (Ireland)             2.54.85
30 Olivier Kaisen (Belgium)             2.57.05
31 Tarmo Raudsepp (Estonia)             3.00.20
32 Carlos Nozal Vega (Spain)            3.11.00
33 Juan Jose Cobo Acebo (Spain)         3.19.39
34 Aldis Abolins (Latvia)               3.26.83
35 Alexandru Sabalin (Moldavia)         3.33.41
36 Andres Rodriguez Diaz (Colombia)     3.38.37
37 Andreas Molandsveen (Norway)         3.47.17
38 Daryl Impey (South Africa)           3.48.29
39 Muradjan Khalmuratov (Uzbekistan)    3.54.48
40 Blazej Janiaczyk (Poland)            3.57.23
41 Dominique Rollin (Canada)            4.38.56
42 Chris Isaac (Canada)                 4.39.79
43 Áron Kovalóczy (Hungary)             4.47.94
44 Juozas Martynaitis (Lithuania)       5.44.66
DNS Andrei Marin (Romania)                     
8.2 km
1 Thomas Lövkvist (Sweden)             10.36.97
2 Alexandr Bespalov (Russia)            0.00.35
3 Marcus Fothen (Germany)               0.03.99
4 Viktor Rapinski (Belarus)             0.04.09
5 Niels Scheuneman (Netherlands)        0.07.09
6 Piotr Mazur (Poland)                  0.07.24
7 Brian Vandborg (Denmark)              0.08.48
8 Jure Zrimsek (Slovenia)               0.08.62
9 Thomas Dekker (Netherlands)           0.12.72
10 Rafael Infantino Abreu (Colombia)    0.13.29
11 Emilien Benoit Berges (France)       0.14.28
12 Michael Creed (USA)                  0.14.36
13 Vladimir Gusev (Russia)              0.14.80
14 Damien Monier (France)               0.17.47
15 Oleksandr Kvachuk (Ukraine)          0.17.60
16 Petter Renäng (Sweden)               0.19.91
17 Gregor Gazvoda (Slovenia)            0.21.02
18 Matej Jurco (Slovakia)               0.21.30
19 Jussi Veikkanen (Finland)            0.26.55
20 Olegs Melehs (Latvia)                0.29.93
21 Hernani Broco (Portugal)             0.32.48
22 Ella Rigotto (Italy)                 0.35.37
23 Rory Sutherland (Australia)          0.36.29
24 Tom Southam (Great Britain)          0.37.28
25 Andreas Schillinger (Germany)        0.37.79
26 Carlos Nozal Vega (Spain)            0.42.12
27 Nicholas Roche (Ireland)             0.44.04
28 Juan Jose Cobo Acebo (Spain)         0.44.82
29 Tim Duggan (USA)                     0.45.38
30 Tiziano Dall'antonia (Italy)         0.47.09
31 Alexandru Sabalin (Moldavia)         0.47.61
32 Peter Dawson (Australia)             0.47.95
33 Tarmo Raudsepp (Estonia)             0.50.91
34 Aldis Abolins (Latvia)               0.51.61
35 Olivier Kaisen (Belgium)             0.53.45
36 Andreas Molandsveen (Norway)         0.53.82
37 Daryl Impey (South Africa)           1.00.21
38 Muradjan Khalmuratov (Uzbekistan)    1.03.53
39 Dominique Rollin (Canada)            1.06.51
40 Andres Rodriguez Diaz (Colombia)     1.09.99
41 Chris Isaac (Canada)                 1.14.05
42 Áron Kovalóczy (Hungary)             1.20.30
43 Juozas Martynaitis (Lithuania)       1.31.11
44 Blazej Janiaczyk (Poland)            1.45.37
15.4 km
1 Marcus Fothen (Germany)              19.02.04
2 Thomas Lövkvist (Sweden)              0.04.02
3 Niels Scheuneman (Netherlands)        0.05.32
4 Alexandr Bespalov (Russia)            0.05.51
5 Viktor Rapinski (Belarus)             0.07.50
6 Jure Zrimsek (Slovenia)               0.17.70
7 Brian Vandborg (Denmark)              0.20.01
8 Piotr Mazur (Poland)                  0.21.99
9 Damien Monier (France)                0.23.59
10 Emilien Benoit Berges (France)       0.24.01
11 Petter Renäng (Sweden)               0.24.81
12 Thomas Dekker (Netherlands)          0.26.08
13 Vladimir Gusev (Russia)              0.27.07
14 Michael Creed (USA)                  0.31.61
15 Gregor Gazvoda (Slovenia)            0.31.93
16 Rafael Infantino Abreu (Colombia)    0.34.39
17 Oleksandr Kvachuk (Ukraine)          0.34.51
18 Matej Jurco (Slovakia)               0.39.31
19 Jussi Veikkanen (Finland)            0.42.83
20 Rory Sutherland (Australia)          0.52.71
21 Olegs Melehs (Latvia)                0.55.07
22 Hernani Broco (Portugal)             0.56.59
23 Ella Rigotto (Italy)                 0.58.67
24 Andreas Schillinger (Germany)        1.00.40
25 Carlos Nozal Vega (Spain)            1.09.25
26 Tom Southam (Great Britain)          1.09.41
27 Peter Dawson (Australia)             1.10.42
28 Tim Duggan (USA)                     1.13.72
29 Tiziano Dall'antonia (Italy)         1.14.74
30 Olivier Kaisen (Belgium)             1.16.15
31 Nicholas Roche (Ireland)             1.17.51
32 Aldis Abolins (Latvia)               1.18.72
33 Juan Jose Cobo Acebo (Spain)         1.19.68
34 Alexandru Sabalin (Moldavia)         1.22.52
35 Tarmo Raudsepp (Estonia)             1.23.32
36 Andreas Molandsveen (Norway)         1.24.81
37 Daryl Impey (South Africa)           1.39.27
38 Andres Rodriguez Diaz (Colombia)     1.40.14
39 Muradjan Khalmuratov (Uzbekistan)    1.44.86
40 Dominique Rollin (Canada)            1.47.25
41 Chris Isaac (Canada)                 2.09.25
42 Áron Kovalóczy (Hungary)             2.09.94
43 Blazej Janiaczyk (Poland)            2.13.61
44 Juozas Martynaitis (Lithuania)       2.35.65
23 km
1 Marcus Fothen (Germany)              30.24.66
2 Alexandr Bespalov (Russia)            0.05.69
3 Niels Scheuneman (Netherlands)        0.07.07
4 Thomas Lövkvist (Sweden)              0.07.96
5 Viktor Rapinski (Belarus)             0.26.08
6 Michael Creed (USA)                   0.32.26
7 Jure Zrimsek (Slovenia)               0.33.28
8 Thomas Dekker (Netherlands)           0.39.13
9 Brian Vandborg (Denmark)              0.42.88
10 Petter Renäng (Sweden)               0.45.93
11 Damien Monier (France)               0.55.03
12 Vladimir Gusev (Russia)              0.56.10
13 Gregor Gazvoda (Slovenia)            0.59.36
14 Emilien Benoit Berges (France)       1.07.32
15 Piotr Mazur (Poland)                 1.09.15
16 Oleksandr Kvachuk (Ukraine)          1.09.66
17 Jussi Veikkanen (Finland)            1.10.72
18 Matej Jurco (Slovakia)               1.18.88
19 Rory Sutherland (Australia)          1.27.30
20 Rafael Infantino Abreu (Colombia)    1.30.68
21 Olegs Melehs (Latvia)                1.34.80
22 Hernani Broco (Portugal)             1.40.89
23 Andreas Schillinger (Germany)        1.50.62
24 Ella Rigotto (Italy)                 1.53.45
25 Peter Dawson (Australia)             1.56.52
26 Tiziano Dall'antonia (Italy)         1.58.07
27 Tim Duggan (USA)                     2.09.18
28 Nicholas Roche (Ireland)             2.09.62
29 Tom Southam (Great Britain)          2.10.57
30 Tarmo Raudsepp (Estonia)             2.14.64
31 Carlos Nozal Vega (Spain)            2.23.47
32 Olivier Kaisen (Belgium)             2.24.49
33 Alexandru Sabalin (Moldavia)         2.40.59
34 Aldis Abolins (Latvia)               2.45.92
35 Daryl Impey (South Africa)           2.47.31
36 Andres Rodriguez Diaz (Colombia)     2.55.51
37 Muradjan Khalmuratov (Uzbekistan)    2.57.18
38 Andreas Molandsveen (Norway)         3.04.62
39 Juan Jose Cobo Acebo (Spain)         3.08.29
40 Blazej Janiaczyk (Poland)            3.14.13
41 Chris Isaac (Canada)                 3.30.37
42 Dominique Rollin (Canada)            3.31.99
43 Áron Kovalóczy (Hungary)             3.47.38
44 Juozas Martynaitis (Lithuania)       4.25.94