The first tones of the Swedish national anthem and down went the tears. With
wetter than wet eyes an overjoyed Susanne Ljungskog listen to the music, trying
to find a familiar face in the crowds on the stands opposite to the podium. On
the podium she is sided by two of the three attackers she caught, Swiss Nicole
Braendli and Spanish Joanna Somarriba. Braendli in the break thought she had
agood chance in win another medal, did not like it at all that the Swedish girl
caught them so close to so eagered chalkline.: "I recovered well after the
timetrial. Sure I am happy with this second silver medal and yes two times gold
would have been even more great. But when I saw Susanne join us I knew my
chances diminished. This course just is not one that I favour." A big and loud
smile enroles on the Swiss face after being asked what made her not win the
gold. "Strenght, pure strenght is what I did not have enough to beat Ljungskog.
I knew Somarriba is no sprinter either, just like me and I was confident I could
beat her." Somarriba too did not like to see Susanna join them. "Normally in a
sprint with four I am the one who finishes fourth. So now winning here this
bronze medal makes me very happy."
Ljungskog has to think hard, has to re-think, has to think over and over
again....and no she can not remember anymore what she already won this year. "I
finished second in the Tour de France, that I remember. There are more wins, but
right now I just can't remember them. I was having a good day. This course it is
not my course at all. But I had great legs, so I guess than it does not matter
if it suits you or not. You just win. In the last tour there was this very good
trio that went away, with Braendli, Somarriba and that Australian woman. In a
curve I felt Mirjam Melchers touched my rear wheel with hers and fell down. I
heard the crash and just took off. Caught the leaders at 800, no 500 or less
metres from the finishline. Started sprinting at 200 metres and beat them all.
What team I will be riding for next year, I still donīt know if I will stay with
Vlaanderen." And off she is to the next interview.
With loosing one medal yesterday, the Rabobank today won one. Finnish Jukka
Vastaranta is one of the appreciated forces in the Dutch juniorsteam. "Yes, this
is the first ever medal Finland wins at a World Championship cycling. The sprint
for me did not go very well, I went from the left side to the right. The
finishline just was a little bit to far away for me to win." Australian Nicolas
Sanderson climbed the podium when his teammate Ryan Sullivan on the finishline
was treated for the wounds he suffered. He was taken to the hospital in Hasselt
to let the big cuts between his eyes and near his mouth had to be stiched. He
also broke his nose, a correction by a specialist in the hospital was required.
Eventhough the fall looked worse, he did not break any bones and leaves the
hospital later today. Sanderson tells: "The collaboration in the escapeegroup
was no good. I knew I had to watch the Frenchy. In the end all turned out well
in a medal." Watching the way they competed you seem to forget how young some of
these riders are. A comment gets you straight away back with both age-feet on
the ground: "I allmost skipped all my time at school and just raced and raced
and trained for this event."
Coming from a real cycling family French Arnaud Gerard is the first to win
gold. "I know I am the first world champion that comes from the French region of
Brittany since Bernard Hinault. Right now I am still a student. No, I do not
realise yet I am a world champion too, I think that will come in a day or so.
There were a lot of crashes, often caused by tripping over the feet of the
barriers. That is why i rode my race as much in the front as I could do.
Sprinting is not my speciality though, I just gave everything. And in return now
I received the gold medal and the rainbow jersey. I turned eighteen at the sixth
of October, am racing for six years now. Joined a club with good and many
juniors some years ago. Why I started racing? Well, my family is all about
racing, my dad raced on a national level and I have a nephew who no is a
professional cyclist with Credit Agricole. His name is Cedric Herve." The man
from Oz feared and watched the Frenchy, a deja-vu which turned out plain hard
medal truth on the podium in Zolder.