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6th Journalists' World Championships - CM
San Marino, September 11, 2005
Over 50 & Women
De Groot defends; Lazzaro too strong for Bosnik
2004 Over 50 World Champion Peter de Groot (Freelance) successfully defended his green jersey that he won a year ago in Veronello. De Groot attacked his two remaining rivals on the last climb with 1.3 km to go to open up an unassailable lead on the descent, soloing home ahead of perennial podium finisher Eugenio Capodacqua (La Repubblica) and Toni Fabrizio Frigeri (L'Incontro). De Groot said that although last year was a surprise, he was even happier at winning this year because of the toughness of the course, which had been a shock to him when he rode it yesterday.
The Over 50s race was run in conjunction with the women's race over six laps of the demanding 6.6 km San Marino circuit. After a minute's silence for Lampre press officer Fernando Cortinovis, who passed away recently, the race got under way in cool conditions. The field of 15 was quickly whittled down to six on the first lap, with De Groot, Capodacqua, Frigeri, and Falcucci, along with both female competitors (Ilenia Lazzaro and Lucija Bosnik) making the cut. The course was hard enough to cause a small selection by halfway, when Bosnik and Falcucci were dropped, leaving three Over 50s and one woman to fight it out for the placings.
De Groot played his cards smartly and waited until the foot very last climb before the start/finish to launch a strong attack. Over the steep 400 metres that followed, De Groot put daylight between himself and Capodacqua, who in turn gapped Frigeri. De Groot knew he had it in the bag at the top, and flew down the descent to take a comfortable victory.
Lazzaro claimed the women's title with an even bigger margin over Lucija Bosnik, who had to settle for second for the second year in a row after a hard fought race. Once the gap was created at halfway, Lazzaro kept the pace up in her group of four to ensure Bosnik stayed behind, and that was more than enough for her to be unthreatened on the final lap.
Under 50 & Consultants
Rossi surprises; Cassani succeeds Moser
Italians featured heavily on the podium of the Under 50s race for the second year in a row, with Carlo Alberto Rossi (Corriere di Como) scoring a surprise victory over last year's podium finishers Jeff Jones (Cyclingnews.com) and Valerio Riparbelli (Freelance). The race was reduced to just five riders on the final lap, but only Rossi was able to respond to Jones' attack on the last climb, before beating the Australian in the sprint.
The surprise was that Rossi had almost never seen the front during the whole race, and looked the weakest of the group after being dropped numerous times on the climbs. But each time, he was able to come back, and had more left in his legs than either Riparbelli, Bart de Schampeleire (Wieler Revue) 4th), or Robert Kuehnen (Freelance, 5th) to bridge the gap that counted at the end.
The Under 50s race also featured Italian ex-professional Davide Cassani, now commentator with RAI Sport. But as an ex-pro, Cassani was in the Consultants class, and as the only rider there, he was guaranteed of a jersey like Francesco Moser last year. But Cassani still showed he could turn the legs over and very comfortably finished with the second group in 9th place.
The young 'uns had to race over nine laps of the circuit for a total of just under 60 km. The conditions were perfect with very little wind and temperatures in the mid-20s, despite forecasts of rain. With each lap featuring three climbs (3 km total), two of which were quite steep, and a descent that was quite technical in parts, it wasn't expected to be a fast race. Indeed, the average speed of 33 km/h at the end was significantly slower than last year's 41+ km/h in Veronello, but all riders agreed it was a much harder race.
As with the Over 50s, the field was already whittled down from 30 to 15 after the first lap, with Bart de Schampeleire, Robert Kuehnen, Frederic Iehl (Le Cycle) doing much of the early pace setting. The group stayed together for four laps before De Schampeleire, Jones, and Riparbelli stirred things up on the fifth lap and reduced the group to 11, then 10, then 9 with three laps to go.
On the third last lap, more attacks from Jones and De Schampeleire in particular got the group down to four, with Riparbelli and the undroppable diesel Kuehnen making it. But then, Carlo Alberto Rossi materialised from nowhere to make it five. Afterwards, Noordhollands Dagblad's Mark Koghee, who was chasing with Rossi at the time, said that he just took off and suddenly was with the leaders. Still, none of the others in the front group gave him a second thought.
In the next two laps, Jones and De Schampeleire tried several times to get away together, without success. The five were still together on the last lap when both riders attacked on the descent, creating a small gap that Jones capitalised on at the foot of the second last climb. But it wasn't enough to stop the others coming back one by one at the top. The pace slowed, and everyone tried to recover as best they could on the descent back towards the start/finish before the final short, but decisive climb.
It was there that Jones played what he hoped was the trump card, taking De Groot's advice and attacking just before the base of the climb to gain a big advantage over the rest. It was almost enough: Riparbelli, De Schampeleire and Kuehnen were all gapped, but Rossi flew up and caught Jones at the U-turn at the top. The descent was fast enough to hit 70 km/h in a tuck, but the final 300 metres to the line was uphill. Jones had to lead out from the front, and wound it up again at 200 metres out, but Rossi had the faster legs once more, and passed the Cyclingnews rider in the last 30 metres to claim a surprising, but smartly ridden victory. Riparbelli came down the hill next for third, followed by De Schampeleire and Kuehnen.
Notes: Thanks to Roberto Ronchi and the San Marino Cycling Federation for organising the championships, which included a welcome meal in La Fratta, one of San Marino's top restaurants (in more than one sense of the word), and the most challenging course ever used for the Journo World's. Next year, it will be in Deutschlandsberg in Austria, the home of the World Masters Championships.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Fotoreporter Sirotti
Images by Robert Hajdinjak
Images by Jeff Jones/Cyclingnews.com
Images by Robert Kuehnen
Women - 39 km 1 Ilenia Lazzaro (Ita) Uff Stampa Nike 1.14.00 (31.622 km/h) 2 Lucija Bosnik (Slo) Finance 2.35 Over 50 - 39 km 1 Peter De Groot (Ned) Freelance 1.14.00 (31.622 km/h) 2 Eugenio Capodacqua (Ita) La Repubblica 0.16 3 Toni Fabrizio Frigeri (Ita) L'Incontro 0.25 4 Falcucci (Ita) Il Messaggero 3.20 5 Casadio (Ita) Il Resto del Carlino 5.00 6 Nino Villa (Ita) Sabato Sera 5.05 7 Giuliano Dolfini (Ita) La Stampa 8 Coutelis (Fra) Pif Gadget 5.15 9 Roberto Ronchi (Ita) Motosprint Under 50 - km 58.5 1 Carlo Alberto Rossi (Ita) Corriere di Como 1.47.00 (32.804 km/h) 2 Jeff Jones (Aus) Cyclingnews.com 3 Valerio Riparbelli (Ita) Il Tirreno 4 Bart De Schampheleire (Bel) Wieler Revue 0.12 5 Robert Kuehnen (Ger) Tour Magazine 0.26 6 Eros Maccioni (Ita) Il Giornale di Vicenza 2.05 7 Mark Koghee (Ned) Noordhollands Dagblad 8 Frederic Iehl (Fra) CE Cycle 9 Davide Cassani (Ita) Rai 10 Maurizio Marogna (Ita) L'altro Giornale 7.05 11 Giorgio Del Fabbro (Ita) Il Friuli 12 Conti (Ita) La Voce di Romagna 13 Svete (Slo) Bicikel 14 Bartoli (Ita) Sabato Sera 1 lap behind 15 Andrea Mandusia (Ita) Sky TV 16 Primoz Kalisnik (Slo) Polet Magazine 17 Giovanni Fantozzi (Ita) Il Resto del Carlino 18 Stane Petavs (Slo) Finance 19 Tobias Krug (Ger) Tour Magazine 20 Santachiara (Ita) La Gazzetta di Reggio 21 Karel Beckmans (Ned) Noordhollands Dagblad 22 Mattioli (Ita) La Gazzetta di Foligno 23 Franco Pavan (Ita) Il Gazzettino 24 Temolo (Ita) Espansione Consultants (ex-pros) - 58.5 km 1 Davide Cassani (Ita) Rai 1.49.05 (32.18 km/h)
Under 50 2004 Andrea Agostini (Ita) Ufficio Stampa Fassa Bortolo 2003 Andrea Agostini (Ita) La Voce di Romagna Under 45 2002 Menno Grootjans (Ned) Fiets 2001 Harry Ruiterkamp (Ned) Infostrada 2000 Franck Chopin (Fra) La Bretagne Cycliste Over 50 2004 Peter De Groot (Ned) Freelance 2003 Michel Queruel (Fra) L'Usine Nouvelle Over 45 2002 Rik Lintermans (Bel) 2001 Eugenio Capodacqua (Ita) 2000 Eugenio Capodacqua (Ita) Women 2004 Samantha Profumo (Ita) La Valsesia 2003 Aurélie Crouvisier (Fra) Audiovisuel
Consultants (ex-pros) 2004 Francesco Moser (Ita)