62nd Giro del Mendrisiotto - 1.7.1

Switzerland, March 17, 2002

Gryshchenko by a whisker

Ruslan Gryshchenko (Zoccorinese Vellutex), winner of the Under 23 bronze at the Lisbon worlds in 2001, has won the Giro del Mendrisiotto, the first round of the 2002 Under 23 World Cup. Gryshchenko beat team-mate Giairo Ermeti and Mairusz Wesiak (Daver Piaggio), escaping on the final climb of the Novazzano which the riders ascended eight times.

Australian-orientated report by Brian Stephens, AIS:

The AIS Cycling arrived back in Italy on Wednesday of last week and spent the rest of the week getting used to new bikes and clothing and getting over the trip before their first race on Sunday. The team includes Victorian riders David Pell, Simon Gerrans and Bruce McIntosh; South Australians Adrian Laidler and Gene Bates; Western Australian Daniel Mackey; and from New South Wales Ashley Humbert and David McPartland. We are joined again this year by New Zealand ex Junior World Champion Jeremy Yates who is with us by a special arrangement with Cycling New Zealand and funded by Mapei.

The team for yesterday's race was these guys minus Daniel Mackey who is almost over a throat infection -- but not quite -- and Gene Bates who will arrive in Europe in another week. The race was in Mendrisio, Switzerland, not far from Milan and was a round of the Under 23 World Cup. It was run over a pretty solid 16km lap to be completed 8 times. The aim of the team was use the race to settle back into European racing and get the feel of the big field and the new bikes.

The action hotted up at around the half way mark with a break of six riders that escaped, soon being joined by 22 including McIntosh, Laidler and Gerrans. This group was whittled down to 16 riders including our three when a group of three got clear with three laps remaining. McIntosh tried to cross on his own but was unable to bridge the gap and came back. The three stayed clear and the next group of around 60 fought out the rest of the places with our guys acquiting themselves pretty well for their first race. David Pell was 9th on his first ever European race.

Results, 134km

1 Ruslan Gryshchenko (Ukr) Zoccorinese Vellutex                3.12.00 (41.941km/h)
2 Giairo Ermeti (Ita) Palazzago Abi Isolants Zoccorinese          0.02
3 Mairusz Wesiak (Pol) Daver Piaggio
4 Mihkail Timochine (Rus) Palazzago Abi Isolants Zoccorinese      2.42
5 Mario Pafundi (Ita) Zoccorinese Vellutex                        3.17
6 Daniel Zych (Pol) Daver Piaggio
7 Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Vellutex Zoccorinese
8 Peter Mazur (Pol) Voile Club Mendrisio
9 David Pell (Aus) Nationale Australie
10 Blazej Janiaczyk (Pol) Daver Piaggio
11 David McPartland (Aus) AIS Mapei Aqua
17 Simon Gerrans (Aus) AIS Mapei Aqua
23 Jeremy Yates (NZl) AIS Mapei Aqua
28 Adrian Laidler (Aus) AIS Mapei Aqua
64 Bruce McIntosh (Aus) AIS Mapei Aqua
87 Ashley Humbert (Aus) AIS Mapei Aqua                            4.25
151 starters, 97 finishers