2003 Road World Championships - CM
Hamilton, Canada, October 7-12, 2003
Complete Live Report
Commentary by Chris Henry, with additional reporting by Mark Zalewski
Time conversion guide: GMT = CEST - 2 hrs, AEST = CEST + 8 hrs, EDT = CEST
- 6 hrs, PDT = CEST - 9 hrs
Start time: 12:20 EDT
Last arrival expected at: 16:00 EDT
Welcome to the World Championships in Hamilton and Cyclingnews' live coverage of the U23 Men's time trial. The weather is beautiful here in Hamilton, 55 F and sunny, with only a slight wind. The U23 time trial will use Hamilton's short course, covering two laps for a total distance of 30.8 kilometres.
The early riders are underway and Tim Duggan (USA) is out on the scenic drive of the course.
Cyclingnews spoke with Karen Amundson (USA) after her ride of the TT course, and she echoed a few concerns about the road surface conditions. In fact she had to put her foot down in the last turn to avoid hitting photographers after she ran over a manhole cover.
As the race gets fully underway, Carlos Nozal of Spain is past the 15km time check with the 4th best time of 20.07. Olegs Melehs (Latvia) leads the way at the intermediate check with a time of 19.57, slightly better than American Tim Duggan.
Most riders are tackling the Niagara Escarpment out of the saddle.
The time gaps are starting to open by the finish, and the early best time goes to Jure Zrimsek of Slovenia with a ride of 39'20. His closest competitor for the moment is Áron Kovalóczy of Hungary, nearly a minute and a half behind.
The time trial today is run in four waves, three of 11 riders and a final wave with twelve men. Riders are going off in 1:30 intervals throughout the day, and the heavy favourites are stacked in the final two waves. Wearing number one is Thomas Dekker of the Netherlands, whose closest challengers, men like Alexandr Bespalov, Rory Sutherland, and Marcus Fothen, will be just ahead of him on the road.
Jure Zrimsek's times are holding up at the intermediate checks and the finish as the last riders of the second wave are out on the course.
Belarussian rider Viktar Rapinski has just gone through the 23km mark with the fastest time after passing Ireland's Nicolas Roche, who started 1 minute and a half before him.
Norway's Andreas Molandsveen has just come into the finish in 9th place.
A new provision podium place, as Mtej Jurco (Slovakia) comes in for a provisional third place at the finish.
South Africa's Daryl Impey starts the third wave, right on schedule.
Rapinski wasn't quite able to top Zrimsek's time at the finish, and comes in for second place.
Tom Southam takes the start now for Great Britain, getting up to speed with a big starting gear. Next up after Southam is one of today's outsiders, Michael Creed of the United States.
Denmark's Brian Vandborg is confirming his role as a challenger, setting the second best time at the 8km time check, behind Rapinski.
Meanwhile, Australia's Peter Dawson is battling his way up the escarpment, looking to be struggling a bit with the climb.
The last of the third wave, Russian Vladimir Gusev, is on the road.
Dutchman Niels Scheuneman has rounded the corner at the top of the climb and is now looking to get himself up to top speed.
Canada's Dominique Rollin will start the fourth and final wave in about half an hour.
UCI President Hein Verbruggen commented on the complaints about road conditions for the time trial, clearly not too concerned about the dissatisfaction of some riders.
“Any complaints about the course have not reached us, from riders or team managers," he said. "But again, perhaps when a rider sees the course, and it isn’t what he expected it to be, he might start making excuses.”
Scheuneman is looking very smooth and may well challenge for a podium position. Aussie Peter Dawson looks to be finding his rhythm as well and is up among the leaders.
Michael Creed has just finished a fantastic ride, but has fallen just 2 seconds short of the best time. He's pushed Rapinski into third place for the moment, and Denmark's Vandborg is in fourth.
The fourth and final wave has just started with Canadian hopeful Dominique Rollin searching for glory on home soil.
Scheuneman comes home now after a storming ride and takes the best time of 38.54.28.
Canadian Rollin is powering along the course. He's riding in a position which puts him very far forward on his machine with his aero bars angled down sharply.
The new challenger to Scheuneman looks to be Sweden's Thomas Lövkvist, who next year will turn professional in the colors of FDJeux.com.
Australian Rory Sutherland is out on the course, with only two riders to follow him. Sutherland was a favorite for the title in Zolder last year but suffered a puncture and saw his hopes dashed. This year the powerful Aussie will be hoping to have some better luck on his side.
A demi-local rider is a bit farther up the road. Poland's Piotr Mazur has dual citizenship and lives in Canada. Mazur has been a consistent performer in the amateur ranks in Canada and the United States.
Despite the hilly circuit, most riders today are using traditional time trial bike setups, with aero bars and a rear disc wheel.
Rory Sutherland is off the pace, coming through the first time check well behind. The same is true for Thomas Dekker, the last rider to start, who crosses the first check in only 10th place.
Mazur comes in to the finish with a solid time of 19'24, good for 6th place at the moment. Niels Scheuneman continues to hold onto the lead, but he'll have to worry about Lövkvist.
After one lap of the course, it's Marcus Fothen who's set the fastest time, and it's held up against last year's 2nd place finisher Bespalov. Thomas Dekker is still off the best pace, and the primary candidates look like Lovkvist, Scheuneman, and Fothen.
Lövkvist has come through but has lost some of his advantage. He can only muster second place (provisional) behind Scheuneman. That leaves Fothen as the best candidate to upset the Dutchman. Fothen has gone through the 23km mark in the fastest time.
Canada's Rollin has come through in a modest ride that puts him in 30th place for the moment. Meanwhile behind Marcus Fothen is out of the saddle and powering out of a corner looking for every bit of speed he can force from his legs.
Three kilometres from the finish, Fothen has caught Piotr Mazur, who started 1'30 ahead. His team director comes up behind to shout some words of encouragement, knowing the victory is within reach.
Marcus Fothen looks to have done it for Germany and comes home in 38'35, the best time of the day. He's upset Scheuneman, and the riders behind him on the course do not look capable of challenging.
Bespalov, despite a somewhat slow start, is actually not too far behind Fothen's time at the third time check. He was six seconds behind Fothen, putting him one second ahead of Scheuneman.
Bespalov comes home and claims the bronze medal, losing his slender advantage on Scheuneman in the closing kilometres. Two podium appearances in two years, but he's slipped a step and been outrun by less than ten seconds.
So Marcus Fothen has won the U23 time trial, taking the gold medal and the rainbow jersey ahead of Niels Scheuneman (Netherlands) and Alexandr Bespalov (Russia).
Fothen has given Germany the double on the opening day of competition following Bianca Knopfle's victory in the Junior Women's time trial earlier today.
Finish, 30.8 km
1 Marcus Fothen (Ger) 38.35 (47.118 km/h)
2 Niels Scheuneman (Netherlands) 0.19
3 Alexandr Bespalov (Rus) 0.21
Intermediate check, 23km
1 Marcus Fothen (Ger) 30.24
2 Alexandr Bespalov (Rus) 0.06
3 Niels Scheuneman (Netherlands) 0.07
Intermediate check, 15 km
1 Marcus Fothen (Ger) 19.02
2 Thomas Lovkvist (Sweden) 0.04
3 Niels Scheuneman (Netherlands) 0.05
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