Germany Wins Double Gold as World Championships Begin

News & Results

10/8/2003| 0 comments
by David Cohen

Germany Wins Double Gold as World Championships Begin

The Netherlands also had a big day, notching three places on the podium in two races.

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Germany
scored an impressive double win Tuesday as racing began at the 2003 Hamilton World Cycling Championships.   The
Netherlands
also had a big day, notching three places on the podium in the two races. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /?>

 

Under a cobalt blue sky and a warming sun, Bianca Kn?pfle and Marcus Fothen each won a gold medal   and donned rainbow jerseys in the Women?s Juniors Time Trial and the Men?s Under 23 Time Trial respectively.

 

Knopfle, a pert 18-year-old blond from the southern German town of
Donaneschingen
, bested a field of 34 with a time of 22:17.08 in the 15km time trial (one lap of the short time trial course).   Her average speed was 40.388 km.   Runner-up, at 0:16.52, was Loes Markerink and Iris Slappendel came third at 0:30.93.   Both are part of the
Netherlands
national team.

 

Fothen, a rising star in German cycling, dominated his competition with a time of 38:35.29, for an average speed of 47.118 km per hour over two laps of the short time trial course. Niels Scheuneman of the
Netherlands
took silver at 0:18.99 behind the winner.   Alexandr Bespalov of
Russia
notched third place at 0:21.28.

 

Knopfle was overcome on the podium as the German national anthem was played.   She said later, ?I can?t imagine that I won the medal ? it?s incredible, I don?t know what to say.?   She said that Tuesday?s time trial was only her fourth or fifth time trial ever.

 

Fothen credited his win to the fact that he had already signed a professional contract.   ?It?s good to know what the future holds,? he said.   He had seventh and fifth-place finishes at the previous two World Championships in the Men?s Under 23 time trial.

 

?I had a good feeling when I woke up this morning,? he said.   ?It?s a hard [course) ? very hard to find a rhythm with all the ups and downs.   But I decided -- today it was all or nothing.?

 

Conditions for Tuesday?s racing were near perfect.   After a chilly morning, the temperature climbed to near 20C by mid-afternoon.   Fothen and Scheuneman said there was a head wind at the top of the course?s climb up the Niagara Escarpment from

Queen Street

to

Beckett Drive

.  But once the riders got to the top of the hill they were pushed by a tail wind.

 

The short and long time trial courses and the road racing courses all take riders up and down the Niagara Escarpment, a ridge that rises over 200 metres and travels through
Hamilton
on an east-west axis.   It is by far the city?s most prominent natural feature and plays a large role in the design of the courses for the World Championships.   Riders and commentators have attested to the toughness of all three courses, and that those riders who succeed in
Hamilton
will have to be ?all-rounders.?

 

Here?s what?s in store for the rest of the week at the 2003 World Championships:

 

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