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Track - Six Days of Nouméa, New Caledonia
 
By Fabio
Date: 11/29/2002
Track - Six Days of Nouméa, New Caledonia
 
While track cycling is taking a break in the Old Continent, just to resume after the Christmas, and with the next six-day races on European soil coming at the beginning of 2003, a few specialists have moved to the exotic sceneries of Australasia, more precisely to New Caledonia, the French "Territoire d'outre-mer" ("Oversea Territory") that, about one month after the end of the Road Cycling Tour of the country, makes headlines again, now thanks to the "6 Jours de Nouméa", the six-day event taking place from November 29-December 4 in the capital city. With an excellent field of participants, including some of the best European track cycling figures, to start from reigining champion Jean-Michel Tessier.

Last year the French-Caledonian rider was succesfully (for the second time) paired with France's Robert Sassone, while his partner in this edition is italian veteran Adriano Baffi, the 40-year-old track legend who chose the Nouméa contest as the last race of his career, perhaps hoping to seal it d with a sensational win, similar to the one he got in Grenoble not earlier than a month ago, when he beat no other guys than Sassone and Tessier.

The Italo-Caledonian pair is expected to face stiff opposition, mainly from the current Madison World Champions, France's Jérôme Neuville and Franck Perque, two strong contenders certainly able to match the defending champion and his teammate. But you'd better not write off Germany's Stefan Steinweg and Eric Weispfenning, multiple winners of such events on European ground, as well as 2000 Madison World Champions. Another German aiming for a top spot is Karsten Lange, a last-minute replacement to "Dortmund Six" champion Andreas Kappes (injured), and partnered by Italian youngster (not new to international six-day races anyway) Devid Gerbelli. Japanese Shinichi Fukushima plus several young local riders and a few New Zealanders complete the team entry list.

Besides the main competition, other ones are set to take place in Nouméa's "Magenta" Velodrome. To start from a 4-man Sprinters Race, featuring two english-speakers and as many french competitors. And not average competitors, but former World Champions Arnaud Tournant and Florian Rousseau, who will be challenged by Justin Grace of New Zealand and Australia's Greg McFarlane. Other Oceanian stars of track cycling will not join the party instead, as the amount of money they asked to take part in the competition reportedly was a bit too much for the organizers.

In the Women contest New Zealand's Liz Williams will be up against France's Cathy Moncassin and four local riders, while the very young guns are set to compete in the "Mini Six-Days", also featuring two "mixed", multi-gender teams, as ladies Cathy Moncassin and Cindy Baroni will be joining their male colleagues to set up two quite unsual pairs.


SIX DAYS OF NOUMEA - DAY 1: No surprises in the first day of racing, with hot favourites Adriano Baffi (Italy) and Jean-Michel Tessier (New Caledonia) immediately moving to the top spot, with an excellent 39-point score, 16 more than runner-ups (and most dangerous challengers according to predictions too) Perque and Neuville of France. As expected Germany's Steinweg and Weispfenning took the remaining podium place, one lap down on GC, while the rest of the field, led by New Caledonia's Cédric Agez and Frédéric Fayaz, lost two or more laps to the leaders in the opening day. Bad news for kiwis, who weren't exactly off to a flying start.

Six Jours de Nouméa Province Sud - OPT
Overall Standings after Day 1

1. TESSIER Jean-Michel (N.CAL) - BAFFI Adriano (ITA) - 39 points

2. PERQUE Franck - NEUVILLE Jérôme (FRA) - 23 points

at 1 lap

3. STEINWEG Stefan - WEISPFENNIG Eric (GER) - 32 points

at 2 laps

4. AGEZ Cédric - FAYARD Frédéric (N.CAL) - 35 points

5. HONORE Yohan (N.CAL) - FUKUSHIMA Shinichi (JAP) - 8 points

6. BOUSQUET Jerry - GOYETCHE Jean-Charles (N.CAL) - 7 points

7. FONDERE Thierry (N.CAL) - MERCIRIS Fabien (FRA) - 5 points

8. NAGLE Nicolas (N.CAL) - GENAUZEAU Benoît (FRA) - 3 points

9. LANGE Karsten (GER) - GARBELLI Devid (ITA) - 2 points

10. BOUFENECHE Alan (N.CAL) - CHARLOT Damien (FRA) - 0 points

at 5 laps

11. MARLIER Nicolas - SITSPARTRIC Steven - 2 points

at 6 laps

12. ROY Bryan - CURRY Adam - 0 points

13. AUBREY Kevin DAWSON Timothy - 0 points

at 11 laps

14. HOOGENBERG Ryan POWELL Benoît - 0 points


Six Days of Nouméa: 2001 - Final Standings:

1. Jean-Michel Tessier - Robert Sassone (FRA) - 175 points

at 11 laps

2. Steeve Clavier - Nicolas Nagle (N.CAL) - 70 points

at 12 laps

3. Gareth Atkins - Nathan Clark (AUS) - 124 points

4. Julien Tejada - Mike Michel-Villaz (FRA) - 118 points

at 13 laps

5. Jérôme Bonnace - Jacky Durand (FRA) - 24 points

at 14 laps

6. Mark Renshaw - Darren Young (AUS) - 103 points

7. Cedric Agez - Frederic Fayard (N.CAL) - 68 points

at 15 laps

8. Shinichi Fukushima (JAP) -Tedric Jeulin (N.CAL) - 68 points

9. Matthew Randall - Shane Melrose (NZL) - 28 points

at 20 laps

10. Yaroslav Popovych - Volodymyr Bileka (UKR) - 28 points

at 21 laps

11. Franck Perque - Nicholls (FRA) - 3 points

at 24 laps

12. Alan Boufeneche - Lanceur (N.CAL) - 8 points

at 28 laps

13. Yohan Honore - Martial Devillers (N.CAL) - 1 point


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SIX DAYS OF AMSTERDAM (Holland):
* Six days; history relived (Final Standings)

MEMORIAL NOEL FORE' (Belgium - November 11, 2002):
* Elite Race - Full Results

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