Twice as Nice: Rogers Wins World Championship Time Trial
This morning, Michael Rogers (Australia) received his 2003 World Championship Time Trial gold medal and rainbow jersey from UCI chief Hein Verbruggen.
This morning, Michael Rogers (Australia) received his 2003 World Championship Time Trial gold medal and rainbow jersey from UCI chief Hein Verbruggen. This afternoon, the Australian, who received the gold after 2003 ?winner? David Millar admitted using EPO, successfully defended his championship. Rogers laid down the law at the 46.75-km time trial in Verona, Italy, drawing away for the win after trailing at the first checkpoint. Michael Rich (Germany), who received his 2003 bronze medal at the same ceremony at which Rogers got his gold (German Uwe Peschel was awarded the 2003 silver), took the silver medal at 1:12, while Alexander Vinokourov (Kazakhstan) grabbed the bronze at 1:25.
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Przemyslaw Niemec (Poland) set the early standard. Niemec rode a 1:00:29, which remained the time to beat until Marzio Bruseghin (Italy) posted a 59:07. American time trial champion David Zabriskie pipped the Italian with a 59:06, and Erik Gustav Larsson (Sweden) bettered Zabriskie?s time by 0:02.
Vinokourov led the field at the 6.3-km checkpoint, but he lost 0:43 to Rogers and was second at 27.1-km. He continued losing ground to Rich and to Rogers and finished third. On the other hand, Rich was not one of the 10 fastest riders at 6.3 km, but he fought his way to within 0:15 of Vinokourov at 27.1 km. In the last 19 km, the German powered past Vinokourov for the silver medal.
That leaves Rogers. At 6.3 km, the Australian was sixth fastest at 0:12. He built up steam, however, and forged a 31-second lead over Vinokourov at 27.1 km. Rogers continued driving away from Rich, winning the race easily.
Rogers said that being awarded the gold medal after Millar?s admission had taken some of the luster off of his 2003 gold. He added that he had looked forward to today?s race after finishing fourth at the Olympic time trial in Athens. ?Since the Olympics,? Rogers said. ?there haven?t been five minutes when I haven?t thought about this race.? The Australian had the following to say about being awarded the 2003 gold as opposed to winning the 2004 gold on the road: ?I?ve always said from the beginning, it?s more satisfying to win fair and square. I wanted to win straight up today.? That he did!
Many of the riders who faced off in today?s time trial will meet again in Sunday?s elite road race. Who will win? Check in at http://www.roadcycling.com/ and find out!