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World Road Championships: Preview of Sunday's Race
By Manny Samaniego
Date: 10/12/2002
World Road Championships: Preview of Sunday's Race

Belgian Weather

Just 24 hours before the much anticipated Men's Road Race, the weather took a turn for the worst and cause havoc amongst the Women's Race (Women's Road Race Report). If such conditions continue over Zolder, the predictions of many, that the race will not finish in a sprint, will more than likely come true.

The beneficiaries from bad weather will be the local team. Such conditions will improve the chances of the Belgian squad, who is hoping for a break to get away, with one or more of them included.

The Big Three

However, the race is expected to be dictated by the Big Three, Germany, Italy and Spain, each one with the best finishers in the business. And although everyone agrees Cipollini is the man to beat, we first not forget that, in order for the Squadra to win its first rainbow jersey in 10 years, the entire team will have to rally as a unit, putting all efforts behind one rider, something that has cost them dearly in the past. And the latest reports floating around Zolder is that once again, the team may be breaking into sections, with Cipollini taking part of the squad for full support, Bettini seemingly willing to follow the Belgians in their long break theory and Bortolami and Di Luca racing their own race. If this is true, the Italian Legion have signed their death sentence.

Germany has brought a squad that is totally behind their world number one, Erik Zabel. No hesitation as to whom their efforts will be put behind, and it is up to Zabel to find a way, in case the race comes to a final sprint, to find the way to beat the likes of Robbie McEwen, Oscar Freire and Mario Cipollini.

Just like the Germans, Spain has a sole leader and unlike the Italians, they have proved to work perfectly as a unit. First in 1995, up high in the mountains of Duitama, Colombia, when Indurain sacrificed his own chances of victory, so teammate, Abraham Olano could stay away and give the Spaniards, their first road world champion. And then last year, team director, Francisco Antequera, told his riders to forget about any personal ambitions, they were there to support Oscar Freire. A second rainbow jersey in two consecutive years proved that Freire deserves all the support of his team, coach and country.

The Outsiders

The Aussies come to Zolder with a well rounded squad. Prepare to go both on the attack, or wait for the sprint, Australia will probably keep an eye on things, sending a man or two if an interesting break develops, but keeping enough firepower behind to take McEwen up to the last 250m, where he will have to fend for himself.

DP's Predictions, Clash of Titans

Website Guru Vaughn Trevi has all his marbles on the Lion of Flanders, and just like the rest of the Belgian squad, is hoping for bad weather to help in their effort to give Museew another world title. Fantasy Game creator Fabio will be biting his nails, praying that the Azzurra will not make a mess out of things and ruin the best chance they have had. He will get some nasty emails from this side of the Atlantic on Monday if his home team doesn't deliver.

Jaime Nichols' emotional favorite is Fast Freddy, of course. Barring that, she would also enjoy a Super Mario win, however if it's a breakaway she looks to one of the Belgians, Van Petegem or Museuuw, or the Australian sprinter O'Grady (now that's flexible). We're betting that Anita van Crey will be yelling for Bobbie Traksel while Celine Tytgadt will cheer on her Belgians in Zolder tomorrow. Yours truly will be betting on the Conquistadores to show the rest of the World, how championships are won.

Complete List

1. Oscar Freire
2. Igor Astarloa
3. Joseba Beloki
4. Rafael Diaz Justo
5. José Vicente Garcia
6. José Enrique Gutierrez
7. Pedro Horrillo
8. Pablo Lastras
9. Luis Perez
10. Mikel Pradera
11. Oscar Sevilla
12. Antonio Tauler
13. Haimar Zubeldia

14. Paolo Bettini
15. Gianluca Bortolami
16. Davide Bramati
17. Mario Cipollini
18. Danilo Di Luca
19. Giovanni Lombardi
20. Daniele Nardello
21. Alessandro Petacchi
22. Fabio Sacchi
23. Luca Scinto
24. Mario Scirea
25. Matteo Tosatto

26. Andrej Hauptman
27. Zoran Klemencic
28. Uros Murn
29. Gorazd Stangelj

31. Jan Boven
32. Steven de Jongh
33. Servais Knaven
34. Jans Koerts
35. Karsten Kroon
36. Bram Schmitz
37. Bobbie Traksel
38. Stefan van Dijk
39. Max van Heeswijk
40. Aart Vierhouten
41. Bart Voskamp

42. Rolf Aldag
43. Bert Grabsch
44. Danilo Hondo
45. Matthias Kessler
46. Andreas Klier
47. Sebastian Lang
48. Olaf Pollack
49. Jan Schaffrath
50. Raphael Schweda
51. Sven Teutenberg
52. Jens Voigt
53. Erik Zabel

54. Tomasz Brozyna
55. Slawomir Kohut
56. Marcin Lewandowski
57. Zbigniev Piatek
58. Robert Radosz
59. Marek Rutkiewicz
60. Zbigniev Spruch
61. Piotr Wadecki

62. Pavel Brutt
63. Dmitri Gaynitdinov
64. Edouard Gritsoun
65. Serguei Ivanov
66. Vladimir Karpets
67. Alexandr Kolobnev
68. Dmitri Konychev
69. Alexei Markov
70. Guennadi Mikhailov
71. Evgeni Petrov
72. Dmitri Semov
73. Sergei Smetanine

Czech Republic:
74. Tomas Konecny
75. Pavel Padrnos
76. Ondrej Sosenka
77. Jan Svorada

78. Niki Aebersold
79. Rubens Bertogliati
80. Oscar Camenzind
81. Fabian Cancellara
82. Aurélien Clerc
83. Martin Elmiger
84. Mauro Gianetti
85. Rolf Huser
86. Alexandre Moos
87. Beat Zberg
88. Roger Beuchat
89. Alex Zülle

90. Serge Baguet
91. Tom Boonen
92. Ludovic Capelle
93. Ludo Dierckxsens
94. Nico Eeckhout
95. Kevin Hulsmans
96. Johan Museeuw
97. Jo Planckaert
98. Tom Steels
99. Jurgen Van Goolen
100. Peter Van Petegem
101. Marc Wauters

102. Pedro Miguel Lopes
103. Nuno Marta
104. Hugo Sabido
105. Rui Sousa

United States:
106. Dylan Casey
107. Antonio Cruz
108. Mariano Friedick
109. Ryan Guay
110. Chris Horner
111. Tim Johnson
112. Jeff Louder
113. Fred Rodriguez
114. Mike Sayers
115. Guido Trenti

116. Baden Cooke
117. Allan Davis
118. Nick Gates
119. Matthew Hayman
120. Robbie McEwen
121. Bradley McGee
122. Stuart O'Grady
123. Nathan O'Neill
124. Michael Rogers
125. Henk Vogels
126. Matthew White
127. Matthew Wilson

128. Mauricio Ardila
129. Santiago Botero
130. Victor Hugo Pena
131. Jairo Perez

132. Laurent Brochard
133. Jimmy Casper
134. Jacky Durand
135. Pierrick Fedrigo
136. Andy Flickinger
137. Laurent Jalabert
138. Nicolas Jalabert
139. Christophe Moreau
140. Franck Renier
141. Cédric Vasseur
142. Richard Virenque
143. Nicolas Vogondy

144. Benoît Joachim
145. Kim Kirchen

South Africa:
146. Robert Hunter
147. Tiaan Kannemeyer

148. Vladimir Duma
149. Yuri Mitlushenko
150. Ruslan Pidgornyy;
151. Yaroslav Popovych

Great Britain:
152. David Millar
153. Julian Winn

154. Stefan Adamsson
155. Marcus Ljungqvist

156. Bernhard Eisel
157. Gerrit Glomser
158. René Haselbacher
159. Harald Morscher
160. Christian Pfannenberger
161. Werner Riebenbauer
162. Georg Totschnig
163. Peter Wrolich

164. Aleksandr Kuschynski
165. Alexandre Usov

166. Vladimir Miholjevic

167. Mindaugas Goncaras
168. Saulius Ruskys
169. Marius Sabaliauskas
170. Vladimir Smirnov

171. Martin Garrido

172. Aleksandar Nikacevic

173. David O'Loughlin

New Zealand:
174. Julian Dean

175. Arvis Piziks
176. Romans Vainsteins

177. Kurt-Asle Arvesen
178. Thor Hushovd

179. Charles Dionne

180. Igor Pugaci

181. Laszlo Bodrogi
182. Balasz Rohtmer

183. Jaan Kirsipuu
184. Janek Tombak

185. Plamen Kolev

186. Lars Bak
187. Bekim Christensen
188. Frank Hoj
189. Allan Johansen
190. Lars Michaelsen
191. Jacob Piil Storm
192. Michael Skelde
193. Nicki Sörensen

194. Mikhail Andreyev
195. Andrey Kashechkin
196. Andrei Kivilev
197. Andrey Mizourov
198. Dmitriy Muravyev
199. Pavel Nevdakh
200. Alexandre Vinokourov
201. Serguei Yakovlev

World Championships Main Page

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Worlds Country Preview: Italy (Elite Men)

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