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Here Come the Worlds! The British Squad
 
By Podofdonny
Date: 10/2/2003
Here Come the Worlds! The British Squad
 

Britain for the Worlds

Please visit the official site here.

Please visit the British Cycling Federation site here.

British Team for the Worlds

A small but strong squad

A small squad, but one that is packed full of golden potential!

In both male and female categories the team selectors have been able to choose Britain's strongest squad for years. David Millar and Nicole Cooke are the stars of the small squads which are packed full of talent and potential.

Surprisingly, very few fans would disagree with the discretionary selections and most British fans are happy that the strongest riders are being sent to represent their country and have high hopes for medals.

The BCF comment - “Please note that a discretionary selection is based on a rider's ability to perform a team role, their experience at this level, their current form, and their suitability for the course.”

Today we look at the mens road race team; while full listings for the other teams are also included, they will be profiled tomorrow.

Elite Men Road Race, Sunday 12th October - 260km

Roger Hammond: National Champion, Automatic selection

David Millar: Most UCI points, Automatic selection

Max Sciandri, Discretionary selection

Charly Wegelius, Discretionary selection

The reserves who are all non-travelling are Mark Lovatt, Jamie Burrow, Julian Winn and Jeremy Hunt.

Comment

A great blend of experience and talent from a four man team. Roger Hammond has had a great season finishing in the top twenty of Paris Roubaix, winning the British Road race championship with an epic solo ride and then continuing to get good results including a stage and overall of the International UNIQA Classic 2003.

David Millar burst onto the racing scene as a raw talent when he won the TT prologue of the Tour de l'Avenir, aged just 20 years old. Since then, in spite of considerable success, there is still the feeling that Millar has not quite lived up to his considerable talent. However, he rode a mature Vuelta (getting a great road victory when he realised that Nozal was not to be denied in the TT events) and will come out of the Vuelta in great shape for the Worlds.

Copyright Unipublic.

Max Sciandri will ride his last pro race at the event. The man from Derby turned pro way back in 1989, and if his palmares are not full of victories it is because at times he lacked that “killer touch.” Nevertheless he will become a Directeur Sportif next season, leaving behind a saddlebag full of memories for his fans - his bronze in the Olympic road race Atlanta, his Leeds Classic victory in 1996, and more significantly maybe, the heart-stopping moment the following season when Ferrigato “stole” Max’s win.

Always good for a telling quote (“you finish the Tour either in great shape or completely knackered,”  “I don’t mind being beaten - but by Bjarne Riis! that is too much!”) Max has got himself in fighting shape in the Tour of Portugal and Italian one day races and will no doubt be Captain on the road. Always one of the most stylish and elegent riders in the peloton, the Daily Peloton wish him every success for the coming years.


Sciandri in Azione! Paris-Roubaix

Charly Wegelius, like Max has spent much of his pro career in Italy. Earlier this season Ian Melvin had a great chat with Charlie - here’s how it went -

By Ian Melvin

There are some riders who stand out in the bunch and then there are those that just go about their business in a very unassuming manner. British Pro Charly Wegelius is the latter. He knows his place in the bunch and gets on and does his job - protecting his team leader in the mountains, first of all for the all-conquering Mapei-Quickstep team and now at DeNardi-Colpack. But it wasn't always like this for the likeable Wegelius.

As an amateur, Charly scored some big results including 3rd in the U23 Liege-Bastogne-Liege and 2nd in the European U23 Time Trial Championship. Now in his fourth season in the pro peloton, Charly has shown some glimpses that there may yet be more to come and that this quiet, unassuming rider may well one day stand out once again.

I recently caught up with Charly to talk about this year's Giro d'Italia and his life as a pro.


Photo courtesy Charly Wegelius

IM: You've just completed your second three-week tour, the Giro d'Italia. How was it and how did it compare to your first experience of last year's Vuelta?

CW: I went into the Vuelta blind, and felt very intimidated by the idea of racing three weeks. Coming into the Giro I knew that if I stayed healthy, going the distance wouldn't be a problem. That gave me more confidence to give it some stick on the stages that suited me.

IM: We saw flashes of some very good form including stage 7 where you finished ahead of Marco Pantani. Did you find it hard to race knowing you had this form but that due to team orders you couldn't show it?

CW: Waiting for Honchar at Terminillo was hard to do, because I was faced with the chance of doing one of the best rides of my life, but it would have meant taking big responsibilities for the whole race. I think that Sergio's 8th place overall more than justifies the tactics the team chose. I am paid to help Sergio in the hills, and that is exactly what I did, and without my fall it would have meant a good overall placing for me in any case.

IM: Can we hope to one day see you in the Tour?

CW: I certainly hope so, but there is time enough for that. I have plenty to be getting on with in the meantime.

IM: Do your harbour dreams of one day leading a team in a major stage race, or after four years do you think you're finding your niche within the peloton?

CW: Dreaming is healthy, but being unrealistic is not. Being a leader brings big responsibilities and demands a strong character, and even stronger legs.

IM: You spent your first three seasons as a pro with Mapei-Quickstep. That must have been some experience for a British neo-pro? How does life at DeNardi-Colpak compare?

CW: Nothing can compare to Mapei, but De Nardi is a good place for me. It is a small team, but is based on the ex-Polti team, so is as well organised as any bigger team. My racing program has been very well thought out so far, with no trips to Belgium or Northern France to get in the way of doing what I am good at.

IM: Before signing for Mapei you spent a year riding for the Great Britain World Class Performance Plan. Despite all the money being ploughed into its development, all the success appears to be on the track. The only notable new British Pro of late is Julian Winn (Fakta) who also showed well in the Giro. Are the Brits simply not good enough or is it just going to take more time to come through?

CW: British people have two legs and a heart just like anybody else, and with some hard work and sacrifices they too can make it, as Julian has shown this year. Unfortunately, as long as the only way to make it as a pro is to move abroad at 17 and kill yourself in Europe, then the amount of people willing to give it a shot will be limited to those really desperate to make it. The level of races in this country at the moment cannot prepare people to race as a pro, so riders turning pro will always be limited.

IM: How does actually being a pro compare to what you thought it would be like back in your amateur days?

CW: When I was 14 I went to see the Kellogg's Tour at Roesdale Chimney (Note - a 25% monster of a climb in England), and it looked like pretty hard work. I was right.

IM: If it all had to end tomorrow, could you walk away satisfied or has Charly Wegelius still got some unfinished business to take care of?

CW: Every year I inch a little further along, and the Giro this year made me realise that perhaps I can go a little better than I once thought. I don't know how much more I can do, only time will tell, but I have 5 or 6 more years left so I have to make the most of it.

Thanks for taking the time to speak to the Daily Peloton, Charly. Good luck for the rest of your season.


Will Britain once again have a cycling road champion? Image courtesy Brian Townsley.

The British Squad

Elite Men Road Race, Sunday 12th October - 260km

Roger Hammond: National Champion, Automatic selection
David Millar: Most UCI points, Automatic selection
Max Sciandri, Discretionary selection
Charly Wegelius, Discretionary selection

Elite Men Time Trial, Thursday 9th October - 41km

David Millar
Bradley Wiggins

Elite Women Road Race, Saturday 11th October - 124km

Nicole Cooke: National Champion, automatic selection
Rachel Heal: Second UCI points - automatic selection
Frances Newstead: Third UCI points - automatic selection
Charlotte Goldsmith: Discretionary selection

Elite Women Time Trial, Wednesday 8th October - 20km

Frances Newstead
Wendy Houvenhagel

Under 23 Road Race, Friday 10th October - 173km

Kieran Page: National Champion - automatic selection
Tom Southam: Highest placed Under 23 Elite National RR - automatic selection
Graham Briggs: Discretionary selection
James Flanagan: Discretionary selection
Note: No reserves have been selected.

Under 23 Time Trial, Tuesday 7th October - 30km

Graham Briggs: Automatic selection -Nat Champion.
Tom Southam: Following time trial result in Brandenberg Tour
No reserve selected.

Junior Men Road Race, Saturday 11th October -  124km

Matt Brammeier
Geraint Thomas
Daniel Martin
RESERVE: Bruce Edgar

Junior Men Time Trial, Wednesday 8th October - 20km

Matt Brammeier

Don’t miss Part 2 tomorrow!

 
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