The Worlds: A Fan Speaks

News & Results

10/13/2003| 0 comments
by David Cohen

The Worlds: A Fan Speaks

Paul Psathas scanned the grandstands in front of
Hamilton
?s City Hall and wasn?t impressed.  Certainly

Paul Psathas scanned the grandstands in front of <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /?>
Hamilton
?s City Hall and wasn?t impressed.   Certainly, many seats were still empty and the Elite Men?s race was underway. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /?>

 

Neither was Psathas overly impressed with the race field.

 

?No Lance, no Ullrich, no Tyler Hamilton ?the list goes on,? Psathas who described himself as a recreational rider in his town of
Olean,N.Y., which is near
Buffalo
(about 45 km from
Hamilton
).

 

Psathas said the famous no-shows made for the empty stands.

 

?I blame Jean-Marie Leblanc (Tour de France Director),? Psathas went on. ?By not allowing the Lion King (Mario Cipollini) to race in the Tour he devalued this race.?

 

Psathas is obviously a Cipo fan ? he was wearing a black-and-white striped hat.   (Cipollini, of course, won last year?s Worlds Elite Men?s race in
Zolder, Belgium.)

 

David Millar of
Great Britain
, winner of the Elite Men?s Time Trial on Thursday, seemed to imply in his post-race comments that the problem with the Worlds was its late-season date.   He said the entire professional cycling calendar needed a ?big rethink? because racing from February to October was just too much for the riders.

 

Millar stated that he would have liked to have had Ullrich and Armstrong in the time trial.

 

It?s interesting to speculate what this Worlds in
Hamilton
would have been like, in terms of racing and in spectator interest, if more of the very top riders had shown up.   Certainly both men?s elite races would have taken on an entirely different aspect.    The dramatic Armstrong-Ullrich rivalry in last summer?s Tour would have been played out again in
Hamilton
.   Now it will have to wait for next year?s Tour.

 

The course seemed well designed for both Armstrong and Ullrich ? two great all-rounders.   And if Tyler Hamilton had been thrown into the mix ? another American whose Tour performance was both amazing and courageous ? all the better.   (Imagine a headline:  
Hamilton
wins in
Hamilton
!)

 

Paul Psathas would have had something to cheer about.   But on Sunday, he couldn?t hide his disappointment.   ?I love cycling,? he said.   ?I wouldn?t miss this no matter who is in this race.   But it could have been better.?

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