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Mexican flavour in Belgium
By Anita van Crey
Date: 10/12/2002
Mexican flavour in Belgium
Eight o'clock in the morning, a freezing 4 degrees celsius. The women juniors are preparing for their race. Amongst them one junior girl from Mexico, who goes by the beautifull name of Monica Haydee Huerta Baron. She looks a bit lost with her southen america looks, trying to keep warm to do the race the best she can. Where other teams brought big busses and campers for their riders, she sits in the back of a car. Though the smile never leaves her face. Helmet on, extra jacket and to finish it off glasses. And off she is, rding a bit, doing some warm up, riding up and down the road and than finally go to the sign in. The women have to sign in and than are not allowed to go back to either their boxes or busses or warmer regions. They just have to stay in a blocked area. Obviously this was not known before by the mere part of them, so they all have to be inventive to find a way to stay warm. Where half brought their hometrainrollers to the area and ride for a while on those, the other half rides round and round and around and around in a bigger circle, diameter about 5 meters. An international merry-go-round. The sun seems to be frozen in the wind, the girlies have difficulties to stay warm. After a while they are calld to the startingline, amongst them Monica. Six laps the women have to ride, three to many for Monica. The first three ones she stays bravely in the last wheels, but after a while she has to let the bunch go. She though shows some real character in staying in the race, find some companions to ride with and completes the race with a gap of 5.57" at the 54th. place. The next days she shows up in the boxes cheering on her colleagues in the other races. A brave girl with a real teamspirit.


Anotther girl with fighting spirit reaches out for the gold medal succesfully. Dutch hope Susanne de Goede from Zoeterwoude tries to explain to a German journalist at the pressconference where exactly that townm is situated. She sees the woman does not understand her, pronounce the name Zoetermeer again, with a lot of emphasises on the r's as she is used to in her local slang... The face of the journalist gets more questiomarked by the minute. Helping her out Susanne explains it is near Leiden ikn the province of Zuid-Holland. On her race she comments: "I knew I had a good chance on a medal, I know I have a good sprint. With one go the bunch had not much speed so I had time to recover from the efforts I made on the last climb. With just about 250 metres to go I lost contact with my pedal, but got all things back in order quit fast. Loes Markerink started off the sprint in just an ideal way. She and Miranda Vierling had attacked all day, that way we really controlled the race. Yes, it was really difficult to stay calm in the bunch during the race, working towards the sprint. I am one who attacks and attacks in a race. The wind made the race more difficult, I too had to chase some escapees. We race so little internationaly it is really hard to know the competition, who is good and who is better in a sprint. So far I did do well this season, it is my 32nd victory today. What did I win? Well some national tittles on both track and road, timetrail and teampursuit.


"Where is my teammate?" Claudia Stumpf in sprint looked around where her teammate was to pull the sprint for her. But there was no other German rider in sight. And so she decided to just go on and ended up winning the silver medal. "I was not feeling good at all during the race, so I though I better worked to get Christine Heiny in good position. Heiny was a little bit more behind the silver medallist to be thought and ended up at the 27th place. Number three and bronze Monika Holler admitts Susanne de Goede: "In the last part of the race the bunch did not have that much speed. So I could very well save my strenght for the sprint. I know I am a pretty good finisher. When the medallist were allready clean washed climbing the podium, Monica finished her 76,8 kilomteres in this World Championships, leaving six other girls behind and four non finishers who not even reached as far.


All medallists at the men U23 admitted in the pressconference they did not see the big crash happen, did not notice it at all during their sprinting. Dekker just noticed being all in one line and then all out off the blue "that Italian rider being rocketed from about place eight and winning." That Italian rider and new World Champion Francesco Cicchi told he himself was very happy with all the work his landsman Antonio Bucciero did in the attack on the climb. "The attackers were caught just in time to let the bunch prepare well for the sprint. One German rider appeared on my side, I found myself closed in. So I changed to the other side of the street at 200 metres aproxiamately. This is my tenth win this season, amongst them two stages in the Baby Giro d'Italia. I won in February and I still can winn in October. So yes, maybe I can change the way cycling nowadays and perform well all season.This race was a very nervous one. I myself stayed in the middle of the bunch to spare myself for the sprint. it was really a hard job to stay calm. Off course now I wanna be a professional, just waiting for an offer to be made. I want to become a rider like Zabel, really like the way he is riding. He for sure is an inspiration for me; I just love the way he sees and feels a race. It feel great to be the second one from Tuscany to win a medal on this World Championships and coming from the same region Mario Cipollini does I can only hope to do as well as he does. I for certain would be happy with only half off his amount of wins. "

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