2002 Road World Championships - CM
Hasselt-Zolder, Belgium, October 8-13, 2002
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Day 1 - October 8: U23 (Espoir) Men Time trial, 33.7km
Complete Live Report
Last arrival expected at: 16h19
Interval between the bike riders: 1min 30
Welcome to the second event of the 2002 World Road Championships, the U23 men's
33km time trial. The first rider off will be Viktor Shestakov (Kazakstan), while
Sebastien Rosseler (Belgium) will wrap things up.
All of the TT courses follow more or less direct routes between the same two
points, with the start in the town square at Hasselt, and the finish on the
former Grand Prix motor racing circuit at Zolder.
The weather has cleared up a little and the morning mist has burned off. The
sun is out and the temperature is up to 13-14 degrees. Riders will have a tail-cross
wind all the way.
The first riders have begun their efforts. The first time check comes at the
17km mark, the second at 20km. Starting now is Norway's Christopher D. Myhre,
the seventh rider to start.
Jean-Francois Laroche of Canada is on the road, followed by New Zealand's Heath
Blackgrove. Conditions on the road are looking good.
Nine riders in this time trial competed in last year's World's, but in the junior
category. Israel's Fein Oded has left the start house, followed by 21 year old
Kimmo Kananen of Finland, who is just now beginning his effort. The starting
styles among the U23 men vary quite a bit. Some smooth and in the saddle from
the start, others looking more like sprinters in getting their bikes up to speed.
Dermot Nally, the first Irishman has left the gate. His compatriot Mark Scanlon,
former junior world road champion, starts his TT at 14:52. Three riders later,
Mark Fitzgerald represents the first American to go.
Meanwhile, the first rider to start, Viktor Shestakov, has crossed the first
time check at 21:59.08.
Ioannis Tamouridis from Greece has just started his ride. More riders are crossing
the first time check, and Andres Rodriguez (Colombia) has passed with the best
time ahead of Shestakov and Muradjan Khalmuratov (Uzb).
Jean-François Laroche of Canada has passed through the first time check in 21:47,
7" ahead of the Colombian Rodriguez. Next to start is Brian Vandborg of
Just after Laroche set the best split time, Jure Zrimsek (Slo) came through
a second and a half faster. Next to begin is Jeremy Yates of New Zealand. Laroche
has just passed through the second time check at 20km, with the best time at
Viktor Shestakov, first rider off, has come in to the finish with a time of
Mark Scanlon (Ireland) has left the start house. At the first time check it's
Spaniard Alberto Contador Velasco with the best time, ahead of Jure Zrimsek.
just took the best time at the finish, less than a second ahead of Viktor Shestakov.
Rodriguez is in third, 4" back.
Michael Creed of the U.S. is reportedly riding a single speed time trial bike.
Mark Scanlon, on the road ahead of Creed, has signed with the French Ag2R squad,
where he has been riding as a stagiaire. Commentator's note: the guys from Ireland
are sporting some pretty cool skinsuits.
Two riders have come in with good times. First it was New Zealand's Blackgrove
setting the best finishing time with 42:00.37. Moments later, this time was
smashed by Jure Zrimsek, who's setting the time to beat with 40:54.90.
Poland's Piotr Mazur has left the start house, sporting arm warmers and leg
warmers. A bit more bundled up than the rest. Mazur has done some racing in
the U.S., including some time in the colors of the Kissena cycling club in New
Ireland's Dermot Nally has crossed the finish line in 41:50, good enough for
second place but a fair distance back from current leader Jure Zrimsek.
With an advantage of 2", Spain's Alberto Contador Velasco has set the best
time. The new marker is 40:52.82. Volodymyr Starchyk has just started for the
Ukraine. There are 13 riders left to start.
Another Spaniard, Francisco Gutierrez, has set a new best intermediate time
(17km), fractions of a second better than his teammate Contador.
Mark Fitzgerald (USA) is in for third place so far, with a time os 41:45.
The riders starting now are those who competed last year, and/or those who are
considered the favorites. Michael Creed (USA) is passing through the first intermediate
check in 6th place, 44" behind the leader. Marcus Fothen has just begun
his ride for Germany, seven riders to go.
Mark Scanlon is in 2nd place at the first intermediate check.
Alexandr Bespalov (Russia) has begun his ride with a fast start. Bespalov claimed
the silver medal in the European championships, and could be a favorite for
today's time trial. Following Bespalov out of the start house is Aussie Rory
Christopher Kern, silver medal in the French time trial championships, has started
his ride. Kern rides for the Vendee-U club in France, and is France's main contender
for today's event.
Niels Scheuneman of the Netherlands has left the gate. Third in last year's
junior World's time trial, and second in the road race, Scheuneman is one to
watch. No changes lately in the top performers, and it's still Alberto Contador
Velasco with the winning time.
Now there's a change. Spain's Francisco Gutierrez has taken the best time ahead
of his teammate Contador Velasco, by a small margin. Sébastien Rosseler is the
final rider to start, and the Belgian is a heavy favorite after his second place
in the U23 Grand Prix des Nations time trial last month.
Another new best time, this time it's Alexandr Arekeev of Russia, some 20"
faster than Gutierrez.
Mark Scanlon has just come across the line in 40:44.77, good enough for third
place for the moment. Arekeev's leading time is in excess of 49km/h.
Arekeev's Russian teammate Bespalov has passed through the first time check
in 20:29, the fastest intermediate check (21" ahead of Arekeev's time).
Piotr Mazur (Poland) has come across the line in 4th place in a time of 40:48.
So far it's looking like a day for the Russians, with Arekeev holding the fastest
time at the finish, and Bespalov tearing it up out on the course.
Take note: Tomas Vaitkus has pushed Bespalov's intermediate time into second
place, crossing the first check in 20:13.10. Vaitkus was the winner of last
month's U23 GP des Nations, and is looking today to have kept his good form.
Gregor Gazvoda (Slovenia) has crossed the finish line in second place.
Vaitkus is looking very smooth out on the course after setting the best time
at the 17km mark. All of the riders have passed through the first check. Following
Vaitkus at the first check are Bespalov and Arekeev.
Belgium's Kevin De Weert has crossed the line in 40:56, only 11th place with
ten riders left to finish. Behind, Vaitkus has picked up a few seconds between
the first and second time checks, which are only 3km apart.
BBenoït Vaugrenard of France has finished in 6th place, pushing Poland's Mazur
Moments later, Portugal's Sergio Paulinho has set a new best time at 40:09.77.
His average speed was roughly 49.6km/h. Behind Paulinho are Marcus Fothen (Germany)
and Arekeev. Fothen just crossed the line. Here comes Bespalov!
Bespalov has kept up his effort and claimed the best time at 39:22.50. This
time might stick until Vaitkus comes in. The Lithuanian Vaitkus has about 5km
left to ride, and has been picking up time all along the course.
Christophe Kern has come across in 40:31, a provisional 6th place for France.
Four riders have yet to finish. Vaitkus is about to catch Jonas Olsson of Sweden.
He's done it and immediately gets out of the saddle to keep it going.
Holland's Scheuneman just finished with a time of 40:29.90, 5th place... until
Tomas Vaitkus has done the deed, so it seems, finishing in 38:40.80 to become
World Champion. In second is Bespalov (39:22.50), third place is Sergio Paulinho
of Portugal. The last person to challenge for silver or bronze is Sébastien
Rosseler of Belgium, who has yet to finish.
Rosseler only managed 7th place at the line, so the podium looks like this:
1. Tomas Vaitkus (Lithuania)
2. Alexandr Bespalov (Russia)
3. Sergio Paulinho (Portugal)
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