October 11/97 16:57 pm - Road Worlds Espoir and Elite Women
Posted by Editor on 10/11/97
Road World Championships, San Sebastian, Spain
Today Canadian men and women rode very strongly, but unfortunately fell victim to some bad luck, according to our correspondent Ed Schum.
In the Espoir Menâ€šs 162 kilometre race (12 laps), for riders under 23, Canada had two entrants - Mark Walters and Guilliame Belzile. Both rode very aggressively, staying at the front of the pack. Ed says that both were frequently listed in the top 15 for lap results, and one particularly difficult corner was called the Å’Canadian Cornerâ€š by other journalists, because Walters and Belzile were often first through it. The racing was extremely aggressive, with attacks occuring constantly. Belzile lost contact with the main group on lap 8, when they were doing 55 km/h on the flat: â€žI was cramping up so I had to slow down for a bitâ€°. With the speed of the race, this meant he never had a chance to rejoin, eventually finishing in 107th place, 7:11 down. Walters stayed at the front until the final climb of the last lap. The racing got very aggressive on this climb, with lots of jostling and shoving going on, and Walters said that he hesitated. This allowed a number of riders to get by, and he then got stuck behind some of the slower competitors. Losing contact with front group meant that he finished in 62nd position, 23 seconds down on the winner (Kurt-Asle Arvesen of Norway). Overall, both riders said that they were very pleased with their rides, and had no problems with the tempo of the race. This bodes well for Canadaâ€šs future in the Elite Menâ€šs category.
In the womenâ€šs race Canada had 2 strong contenders - Linda Jackson and Sue Palmer - plus an excellent supporting cast of Kim Langton, Annie Gariepy, Anne Samplonius and Leigh Hobson. The 8 lap, 108 kilometre race was somewhat negative, with all the top riders (Longo, Luperini, Jackson, Heeb, etc.) instantly marked whenever they looked like making a move. Jackson made a strong solo effort on the 6th lap climb, gaining some 13-15 seconds before being chased back down. What proved to be the winning break of 5 went clear one lap later. With the French and Italians represented in the break, those teams had no incentive to chase. Jackson told us that she and Hobson didnâ€št want to do all the work to pull back the break, leaving themselves exhausted, and apparently the Swiss and U.S. teams felt the same. The break reached a maximum of 40 seconds, before slowly starting to drift back, as the frontrunners started to set themselves up for the sprint. Jackson was near the front of the pack (only 10 seconds down), about 1.5 kilometres from the finish when she went down heavily, injuring her right knee (and abandoning). Hobson (29th) and Palmer (35th) finished with the pack, 13 seconds down.
Kim Langton abandoned in lap 4 after getting caught behind a crash in lap 2 on the steepest part of the climb that forced her to dismount. After chasing for two laps and getting nowhere she dropped out.
Mark Walters will be returning to his U.S. Jeep-Eagle squad for next season.
A bomb went off during the womenâ€šs race (presumably Basque terrorists), demolishing 7 vehicles and injuring 4 people. Ed says that it was so close that they could smell the gunpowder at the grandstand, and that machine gun-toting soldiers immediately came over to the press area to watch them all suspiciously.
Results (Espoir Men posted earlier)
1. Alessandra Cappellotto (Italy) 2:44:37
2. Elisabeth Tadich (Australia)
3. Catherine Marsal (France)
4. Jolanta Polikeviciute (Lithuania) all s.t.
5. Cindy Pieters (Belgium) at 0:02
6. Karol Bliss-Livingston (U.S.) 0:13
7. Hanka Kupfernagel (Germany)
8. Debby Mansveld (Netherlands)
9. Rikke Olsen (Denmark)
10. Simona Parente (Italy)
11. Zinaida Stagourskaia (Belarus)
12. Yvonne Brunen (Netherlands)
13. Elisabeth Chevanne (France)
14. Heidi Van de Vijver (Belgium)
15. Monica Valvik (Norway)
16. Susy Pryde (New Zealand)
17. Viola Mueller (Germany)
18. Svetlana Gigileva (Ukraine)
19. Lenka Ilavska (Slovakia)
20. Berta Fernandez (Spain) all s.t.
29. Leigh Hobson
35. Sue Palmer both at 0:13
still waiting for results for Annie Gariepy and Anne Samplonius