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7th World Press Cycling Championships - CM
Deutschlandsberg, Austria, September 9-10, 2006
Day 2 of competition in Deutschlandsberg saw the road races for four categories held over a picturesque 35 km circuit, with the Under 35s and Under 50s doing approximately two laps, and the Over 50s and Women doing one lap. Although hilly in places, the circuit wasn't as challenging as last year's tough, technical loop in San Marino. The hardest climb came at 15 km to go, and was 600m long averaging around 8%, while there was a flatter but longer climb near the start of the circuit. There were around 70 starters across all four categories, with the two youngest divisions starting separately, but the Women and Over 50s starting together.
Under 35s race
The races started with a minute's silence to remember the young Italian journalist Valerio Riparbelli, who had finished second and third in the Under 50s category in 2004 and 2005, but was tragically killed by a car while out training in May this year.
The Under 35 men's race had a modest sized field of 19, which meant that the whole race was a mixture of hard attacking or riding at tourist pace. After finishing third and second in the two previous editions, Jeff Jones (Cyclingnews.com) was the one to watch, but there were also the two strong Belgian time trialists Dieter Roman and Frederik Backelandt, Dutchmen Kasimir Den Hertog and Mark Koghee (Noordhollands Dagblad), Slovenians Miroslav Cveticanin and Bostjan Svete, and a four member British/German contingent from ProCycling.
After less than 10 km, Jones and Backelandt lifted the pace near the top of the first climb to try and reduce the group's size. That succeeded to an extent, but the pace slowed when the flat section between Stainz and Mettersdorf was reached halfway through the lap and some of the dropped riders returned, despite the efforts of Backelandt, Svete and Roman to keep the pace going. On the short, steep climb it was Backelandt who set a hard pace before Jones tried to get a gap over the top. That had the effect of reducing the lead group to 12, with Kasimir Den Hertog, Tobias Krug (Tour) and a few others trying to go clear on the run back to Deutschlandsberg, before Jones got away alone for several kilometres. That prompted the Belgians to combine their strengths again and the Australian was brought to heel before the start of the second lap.
Lap two saw a truce called with Slovenian Bostjan Svete doing most of the tempo making with the Germans. An interesting scenario occurred just before the second climb when a train was actually stopped for the riders, who had to cross the tracks at the base of the short, sharp ascent. Then the predictable attacks started, with Dieter Roman powering at the start of the climb before Jones, Backelandt, Den Hertog and Cveticanin trying to create a smaller selection over the top. It was not to be, as the climb was too short and Svete helped to chase the group down.
10 km to go and there was not much in the way of climbing left. The group was still 11 riders strong and several were considering their chances in a sprint. Being a complete strijkijzer*, Jones continued to try to get a smaller breakaway going. Svete chased down his first attack, then Tobias Krug countered. But on the last little climb in the course with 8 km left, Jones put in a stronger attack. That created a small gap, but the Dutch riders were able to pull him back with 5 km left.
Belgian Frederik Backelandt, who had been riding strongly all day, was the next to go with 4 km left, hoping that the rest would be tired enough to help him create the winning gap. At the same time, disaster almost struck for the Slovenian Cveticanin when he locked it up around a corner and went into the bushes on the side of the road. He didn't crash, but had to restart and chase, and did well to finish third in the end.
At 3 km left, the bunch had started to work to bring back Backelandt, when Jones and Den Hertog jumped across the gap. As soon as it was closed, Jones played the final card and attacked with just over 2 km remaining to finally distance the group and cross the finish line alone. Four seconds later, Den Hertog won the sprint for second ahead of Cveticanin, and the podium was decided for another year.
The other three races all finished in group sprints. The Dutch had a strong day with Edwin Driessen getting revenge over TT winner Harry Weiland in the 35-49 class, with Julian Bray again finishing third. In the Over 50s, Dutch freelancer Peter De Groot proved he is a man for any terrain by taking his third world press title in a row, beating Normanno Bartoli (Italy) and Rik Lintermans (Belgium) in his group sprint. Three women also finished in the same group, with Austrian Brigitte Krebs taking her second title of the weekend ahead of Italians Ilenia Lazzaro and Samantha Profumo.
Over 50s race
The race over one lap for the Over 50s was a very tactical race. Tactical, but with a rather grim character. In the kilometres preceding the hill near Bad Gams, the major part of the work was left to Thomas Schliemann (ProCycling) who had proved to be in a good shape by winning the TT on Saturday. Almost no-one else felt much like taking the lead of the group.
'Youngster' Rik Lintermans from Belgium, who was one of the favourites just as Schliemann, launched the first strong attack at the foot of the climb. Also on the hill just before Stainz he rode quite impressively, reducing the leading group to only nine. On the flat section on the way to Mettersdorf the tactical character of this race became quite obvious. The speed of the group slowed down even to 25 km/h. Only Schliemann felt responsible and dragged the watchful group to the 8% climb in Kraubath. On the steep part, Lintermans opened the throttle again and tried to get away, but at the top he just had created a small difference. Dutchy Arian Kuil closed the gap rather easily, the rest following steadily.
Heading for Gussendorf, the battle really started. One escape followed after the other: Karl Rupp from Germany, the Austrian Peter Fladerer, and especially Lintermans kept on attacking, but it was Eugenio Capodacqua who jumped repeatedly on his wheel. Probably the everlasting strong 60 year-old Italian remembered Lintermans’ impressive solo to victory in Zolder 2002. The Belgian, however, was not very pleased with this defensive style and got agitated.
Nevertheless, at this stage of the race it was clear that about all of the nine leaders gave themselves a chance to win. All efforts to escape were in vain, no one would work for another. This was going to end in a decisive group sprint.
But the tactical game was not over yet. Even at three hundred meters before the finish line the speed was only 30km/h, everyone was watching at and waiting for the others. At last, Arian Kuil accelerated and set the pace for a rather chaotic sprint. The Dutchman went on strong to about 150 metres so his compatriot Peter de Groot was launched perfectly. The former Over 50s champ from Verona and San Marino proved to be just a few centimetres faster than Normanno Bartoli and Rik Lintermans, and won his third title in a row.
Behind the backs of the first three finishers, the rest of the field swept from right to left over the road just to finish as close as possible. Inevitably, this risky conduct lead to a rather serious fall of Karl Rupp, who broke a bone in his hip. After the finish line, all the tactics were gone of course. What was left was the admirable but also amazing eagerness of these 50+ men to compete in this championship.
As usual, the podium ceremonies were held a couple of hours after the race, with the top eight from each class winning trophies, and official UCI rainbow jerseys, complete with the Association Internationale des Journalistes du Cyclisme (AIJC) logo, being awarded to all the winners with their respective flags being raised and national anthems being played. Next year, the event, which is always enjoyed by all, will remain in Austria and take place on the 2006 road world's circuit in Salzburg. The time trial will be shortened to just over 12 km, while the road race will be two or three laps of a 20.4 km circuit, depending on category.
The World Press Cycling Championship expanded this year with the addition of a 19.7 km time trial on Saturday and the splitting of the Under 50 category into Under 35 and 35-49 divisions. The time trial was held on a flat course in Stainz, just to the north of Deutschlandsberg, and the 56 starters tested themselves against the clock in superb weather conditions.
In the women's event, Austrian Brigitte Krebs, a former pro with Charly Lietzsport, took out the honours with a solid time of 27'57 (42.3 km/h) to beat Italy's Ilenia Lazzaro by 11 seconds and Slovenian Lucija Bosnik by 1'30. The women's field saw seven riders start - more than triple the numbers in the previous two years.
The Belgians were dominant in the prized Under 35 men's category, with Dieter Roman (AVS) a cut above the rest of the field with a very quick 25'35 (46.2 km/h). In second place, and impressive on a non-time trial bike, was Frederik Backelandt (Het Nieuwsblad), who lost 45 seconds to his compatriot. Third went to German Johannes Haidn (ProCycling) at 1'05.
The times were still good in the Under 50 class, with German Harry Weiland clocking a great 25'51 (45.7 km/h) to beat Dutch rider Edwin Driessen by 30 seconds and Briton Julian Bray by 56. Finally, the Over 50s saw another German victory with Thomas Schliemann (26'29) beating Belgian Rik Lintermans by half a minute and Austrian Otto Sibera by 35 seconds.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Robert Hajdinjak
Images by Kasimir den Hertog
Images by Peter Richardson
Images by Normanno Bartoli
Images by Ilenia Lazzaro
Images by Salvatore Apicella
Women - 37 km 1 Brigitte Krebs (Aut) 1.00.18 (36,8 km/h) 2 Ilenia Lazzaro (Ita) 3 Samantha Profumo (Ita) Chirio Forno d'Asolo 4 Nada Kozjek (Slo) 1.36 5 Lucija Bosnik (Slo) 2.44 6 Elvira Rottiers (Ger) 9.00 Men Under 35 - 67.5 km 1 Jeffrey Jones (Aus) Cyclingnews.com 1.45.58 (38,2 km/h) 2 Kasimir Den Hertog (Ned) Noordhollands Dagblad 0.04 3 Miroslav Cveticanin (Slo) 0.05 4 Mark Koghee (Ned) Noordhollands Dagblad 5 Christian Harth (Ger) ProCycling 6 Joscha Weber (Ger) 7 Bostjan Svete (Slo) 8 Dieter Roman (Bel) AVS 9 Frederik Backelandt (Bel) Het Nieuwsblad 0.09 10 Johannes Haidn (Ger) ProCycling 0.17 11 Emanuele Conti (Ita) 2.59 12 Tobias Krug (Ger) Tour 4.06 13 Robert Hajdinjak (Slo) 5.55 14 Roland Schlager (Aut) 15 Andreas Schiwy (Ger) 6.28 16 Ellis Bacon (GBr) ProCycling 7.27 17 Salvatore Apicella (Ita) 7.39 18 Dieter Steiner (Ger) ProCycling 7.59 19 Franz Spiegelfeld (Aut) 29.18 Men Under 50 - 67.5 km 1 Edwin Driessen (Ned) 1.47.08 (37,8 km/h) 2 Harry Weiland (Ger) 0.01 3 Julian Bray (GBr) 4 Maurizio Marogna (Ita) 5 Erwin Bak (Ned) 6 Frederic Iehl (Fra) Le Cycle 7 Robert Baumann (Slo) 8 Robert Kühnen (Ger) Tour 9 Philipp Hympendahl (Ger) 10 Stane Petavs (Slo) 11 Giorgio Del Fabro (Ita) 0.06 12 Dirk Dijkstra (Ned) 0.13 13 Ivano Santachiara (Ita) 1.28 14 Giovanni Fantozzi (Ita) 15 Andrea Manusia (Ita) 16 Robert Van Willigenburg (Ned) 17 Taufig Khalil (Ger) 3.22 18 Paul Robert Godfrey (GBr) ProCycling 3.28 19 Gio Lippens (Ned) 3.43 20 Sergey Kurdyukov (Rus) Eurosport 6.17 21 Karel Beckmans (Ned) 19.33 22 Geoffrey John Pizzorni (Ita) 23.07 23 Günter Klein (Ger) 48.06 DNF Markus Degen (Ger) Men Over 50 - 67.5 km 1 Peter De Groot (Ned) Freelance 1.00.18 (36,8 km/h) 2 Normanno Bartoli (Ita) Sabato Sera 3 Rik Lintermans (Bel) 4 Henricus Johannes Verdonschot (Ned) 5 Peter Fladerer (Aut) 6 Arian Kuil (Ned) 7 Thomas Schliemann (Ger) 8 Eugenio Capodacqua (Ita) La Republicca 9 Karl Rupp (Ger) 10 Yosyf Pazyak (Ukr) 1.33 11 Alexandre Coutelis (Fra) 1.34 12 Otto Sibera (Aut) 1.39 13 Roberto Ronchi (Ita) 3.58 14 Mario Flacco (Ita) 3.59 15 Walter Rottiers (Bel) 8.53 16 Alberto Paoli (Ita) 17 Stojan Zitko (Slo) 8.54 DNF Sergio Robutti (Ita)
Women 1 Brigitte Krebs (Aut) 27.57 42,3 km/h) 2 Ilenia Lazzaro (Ita) 0.11 3 Lucija Bosnik (Slo) 1.30 4 Samantha Profumo (Ita) Chirio Forno d'Asolo 2.03 5 Nada Kozjek (Slo) 2.54 6 Elvira Rottiers (Ger) 5.39 7 Gabriele Reinstadler (Aut) 6.02 Men Under 35 1 Dieter Roman (Bel) AVS 25.35 (46,2 km/h) 2 Frederik Backelandt (Bel) Het Nieuwsblad 0.45 3 Johannes Haidn (Ger) ProCycling 1.05 4 Miroslav Cveticanin (Slo) 1.14 5 Bostjan Svete (Slo) 1.18 6 Mark Koghee (Ned) Noordhollands Dagblad 1.29 7 Christian Harth (Ger) 1.35 8 Robert Hajdinjak (Slo) 1.48 9 Kasimir Den Hertog (Ned) Noordhollands Dagblad 1.53 10 Joscha Weber (Ger) 2.41 11 Ellis Bacon (GBr) ProCycling 5.03 12 Dieter Steiner (Ger) ProCycling 5.07 13 Salvatore Apicella (Ita) 5.08 Men Under 50 1 Harry Weiland (Ger) 25.51 (45,7 km/h) 2 Edwin Driessen (Ned) 0.30 3 Julian Bray (GBr) 0.56 4 Maurizio Marogna (Ita) 0.58 5 Dirk Dijkstra (Ned) 1.19 6 Frederic Iehl (Fra) Le Cycle 1.35 7 Sergey Kurdyukov (Rus) Eurosport 1.56 8 Robert Baumann (Slo) 2.00 9 Robert Van Willigenburg (Ned) 2.09 10 Paul Robert Godfrey (GBr) 2.12 11 Primoz Kalisnik (Slo) Polet 2.16 12 Erwin Bak (Ned) 2.26 13 Gio Lippens (Ned) 2.32 14 Giovanni Fantozzi (Ita) 2.37 15 Philipp Hympendahl (Ger) 3.09 16 Andrea Manusia (Ita) 3.25 17 Stane Petavs (Slo) 3.35 18 Karel Beckmans (Ned) 4.43 19 Markus Degen (Ger) 4.51 20 Taufig Khalil (Ger) 4.57 21 Geoffrey John Pizzorni (Ita) 6.29 22 Günter Klein (Ger) 7.41 Men Over 50 1 Thomas Schliemann (Ger) ProCycling 26.29 (44,6 km/h) 2 Rik Lintermans (Bel) 0.30 3 Otto Sibera (Aut) 0.35 4 Eugenio Capodacqua (Ita) La Republicca 0.44 5 Peter Fladerer (Aut) 0.53 6 Karl Rupp (Ger) 1.01 7 Hans Unterguggenberger (Aut) 1.55 8 Alexandre Coutelis (Fra) 3.33 9 Mario Flacco (Swi) 3.59 10 Yosyf Pazyak (Ukr) 4.46 11 Stojan Zitko (Slo) 5.13 12 Roberto Ronchi (Ita) 5.31 13 Walter Rottiers (Bel) 7.29 14 Alberto Paoli (Ita) 7.31
(Road race only) Under 50 2005 Carlo Alberto Rossi (Ita) Corriere di Como 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 2005 Peter De Groot (Ned) Freelance 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 2005 Ilenia Lazzaro (Ita) Uff Stampa Nike 2004 Samantha Profumo (Ita) La Valsesia 2003 Aurélie Crouvisier (Fra) Audiovisuel Consultants (ex-pros) 2005 Davide Cassani (Ita) Rai 2004 Francesco Moser (Ita) Past winners by Mario Stiehl, www.world-of-cycling.com