September 5/03 4:24 am - Junior Men XC Preview
Posted by Editor on 09/5/03
Junior Men Preview
It is less than 1 hour before the start of the Junior Men's cross-country. The weather is excellent, currently about 17 degrees Celcius, but likely to get quite a bit warmer since it is sunny and clear. The Juniors are doing 6 laps of the 6.2 kilometre circuit, revised up from 5 yesterday, so it should be a long race.
There are 84 riders on the start list, including 6 Canadians. The Canadians are Max Plaxton, Jamie Lamb, Andrew Erb, Bradley Fairall, Chris Thorpe and Jean-Sebastien Perron. Max Plaxton is, of course, Canada's top hope. Plaxton was among the leaders last year at the Worlds when he suffered a puncture (sidewall slice) that put him out of the race. He said after the Team Relay that he was feeling very strong and that he thought he had a "good chance".
Other strong riders that we expect to see at the front include Jaroslav Kulhavy (Czech Republic), who is the European Champion (and just signed with Siemens-Cannondale), Nino Schurter, the Swiss Champion and Rene Tann (Germany), who a Germany journalist says is stronger than the German Champion - Florian Ackermann.
in other news, Americans Adam Craig and Todd Wells are both out of the Worlds, despite appeals by the U.S. team. Riders ranked in the top-100 in UCI rankings at the end of the previous season, are required to submit the results of an exhaustive series of medical tests to the UCI in the spring and summer.
According to a U.S. team representative, they received word August 26th that the required paperwork had not been submitted for the summer test. After a last minute scramble, everything was done and handed in when the athletes arrived in Lugano.
"That's great" said the UCI, "but we never got the spring test results...." Everyone is pointing fingers at each other, but it boils down to the fact that it is the responsibility of the trade team and athlete. Unfortunately, Giant-Pearl Izumi (Craig's team) and Mongoose-Hyundai (Wells' team) are not UCI registered, so they may not have received word (there is a bit of a pissing contest going on between the UCI and some of the teams that decided not to register this year).
Bottom line: both athletes are out before they get to race because of paperwork, which is never a good thing.