Events

Another Green day

Roland Green on Sunday did what only one other male mountain biker has done since 1990 – win the world championships back to back. Whether or not he can three-peat to match Henrik Djernis’ record will have to wait another year. For now, the Canadian is going to soak up his victory, at least as soon as he can wash off all the mud. "That’s the best race I ever had. The race conditions were so hard. After awhile it turned into a running race," said Green, after winning 19 seconds ahead of Belgian Filip Meirhaeghe. "I couldn’t feel my legs in the last lap there was so much adrenaline. I

By Andrew Hood

Green

Green

Photo: Andrew Hood

Roland Green on Sunday did what only one other male mountain biker has done since 1990 – win the world championships back to back.

Whether or not he can three-peat to match Henrik Djernis’ record will have to wait another year. For now, the Canadian is going to soak up his victory, at least as soon as he can wash off all the mud.

“That’s the best race I ever had. The race conditions were so hard. After awhile it turned into a running race,” said Green, after winning 19 seconds ahead of Belgian Filip Meirhaeghe. “I couldn’t feel my legs in the last lap there was so much adrenaline. I couldn’t feel any pain. I’m so happy.”

Heavy rain turned the steep, technical Kaprun course into a muddy mess and riders were forced to walk up many of the steep descents and climbs.

Green pulled away from a dogged chase set by Meirhaeghe, who hung around Green like a pesky cold until the final lap. Perennial favorite Thomas Frischknecht won his record sixth cross-country world championship medal after hanging on to finish third.

Frischknecht set a blistering pace on the first of five laps under heavy rainfall. Only Green, Meirhaeghe and Seamus McGrath of Canada could follow.

A junior cyclo-cross gold medalist, Frischknecht thought that he might finally get the chance to win the rainbow jersey outright. His 1996 jersey was awarded to him after French rider Jerome Chiotti admitted to taking doping products.

“I was trying to go out hard. I realized midway through the race that Rollie and Filip were stronger, then I just had to pace myself,” said Frischknecht after finishing third at 1:45 back to bring his career individual world championship medal haul to six. “When I woke up this morning I was excited because I thought I might finally get that damn jersey. But I am not disappointed at all.”

Meirhaeghe’s second-place is his best world’s result after finishing third twice in 1998 and 1999, respectively. The Belgian was the only rider to stay within eye-shot of Green, who gave a Lance Armstrong-esque shot over his left shoulder before disappearing into the woods for good.

“During the whole race, Roland was a little stronger than me on the uphill,” Meirhaeghe said. “On the second lap I felt like my power was going away and I was losing a little on the uphill. On the last lap I caught him on the uphill, but I felt like I had to let go so I wouldn’t lose second place.”

Riders were moving up and down in the leading trio’s wake. 1997 world champion Hubert Pallhubert finished an impressive seventh place in his world’s swansong. German Lado Fumic climbed late in the race to finish fourth at 6:10 back and Thomas Kalberer of Switzerland was fifth.

Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski was the top American at 28th at 19:39 back and Todd Wells was 31st at 20:19 back.

Results

MOUNTAIN BIKE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS; KAPRUN, AUSTRIA; AUGUST 29-SEPTEMBER 1; CROSS COUNTRY; MEN; 1. Roland GREEN, CAN, 2:19:02.00;
2. Filip MEIRHAEGHE, BEL, 2:19:21.00;
3. Thomas FRISCHKNECHT, SUI, 2:20:47.00;
4. Lado FUMIC, GER, 2:25:12.00;
5. Thomas KALBERER, SUI, 2:25:35.00;
6. Roel PAULISSEN, BEL, 2:27:29.00;
7. Hubert PALLHUBER, ITA, 2:27:38.00;
8. Seamus MCGRATH, CAN, 2:27:45.00;
9. Marek GALINSKI, POL, 2:27:47.00;
10. Christophe DUPOUEY, FRA, 2:28:56.00;
11. Bas VAN DOOREN, NED, 2:29:27.00;
12. Jose Antonio HERMIDA RAMOS, ESP, 2:29:58.00;
13. Marco BUI, ITA, 2:30:45.00;
14. Silvio BUNDI, SUI, 2:31:06.00;
15. Kashi LEUCHS, NZL, 2:31:18.00;
16. Carsten BRESSER, GER, 2:32:24.00;
17. Geoff KABUSH, CAN, 2:32:53.00;
18. Antonio ORTIZ BARRANCO, ESP, 2:32:58.00;
19. Martino FRUET, ITA, 2:33:26.00;
20. Cedric RAVANEL, FRA, 2:33:45.00;
21. Jean Christophe PERAUD, FRA, 2:34:09.00;
22. Spesny MILAN, CZE, 2:34:21.00;
23. Nick CRAIG, GBR, 2:34:29.00;
24. Johann PALLHUBER, ITA, 2:35:47.00;
25. Chris SHEPPARD, CAN, 2:35:58.00;
26. Marcin KARCZYNSKI, POL, 2:36:28.00;
27. Korinek RADIM, CZE, 2:36:42.00;
28. Jeremy HORGAN-KOBELSKI, USA, 2:38:41.00;
29. Siegfried BAUER, AUT, 2:38:55.00;
30. Massimo DE BERTOLIS, ITA, 2:39:05.00;
31. Todd WELLS, USA, 2:39:21.00;
32. Josh FLEMING, AUS, 2:39:39.00;
33. Maarten TJALLINGII, NED, 2:39:39.00;
34. Lubos KONDIS, SVK, 2:39:46.00;
35. Marti GISPERT LABARTA, ESP, 2:39:47.00;
36. Andreas KUGLER, SUI, 2:40:27.00;
37. Elsnic PAVEL, CZE, 2:41:18.00;
38. Peter WEDGE, CAN, 2:41:21.00;
39. Bas PETERS, NED, 2:41:21.00;
40. Jimmy TIELENS, BEL, 2:41:33.00;
41. Erwin BAKKER, NED, 2:42:03.00;
42. Bart BRENTJENS, NED, 2:42:06.00;
43. Mathieu TOULOUSE, CAN, 2:42:11.00;
44. Ludovic DUBAU, FRA, 2:42:12.00;
45. Andreas DILGER, GER, 2:42:29.00;
46. Paul ROWNEY, AUS, 2:42:53.00;
47. Travis BROWN, USA, 2:43:10.00;
48. Craig GORDON, AUS, 2:44:00.00;
49. Takanori YAMAGUCHI, JPN, 2:44:35.00;
50. Salvador BARRIGA VIDALES, MEX, 2:44:52.00;
51. Gasper RAK, SLO, 2:45:14.00;
52. Karl PLATT, GER, 2:45:25.00;
53. Barrie CLARKE, GBR, 2:45:41.00;
54. Robin SEYMOUR, IRL, 2:46:10.00;
55. Szilard BURUCZKI, HUN, 2:47:56.00;
56. CARL DECKER, USA, 2:48:00.00;
57. Magnus PALMBERG, SWE, 2:48:43.00;
58. Thorsten MARX, GER, 2:49:09.00;
59. Zak TOOGOOD, GBR, 2:49:39.00;
60. Joerg SCHEIDERBAUER, AUT, 2:50:31.00;
61. Thomas BONNE, DEN, 2:50:58.00;
62. Andreas HESTLER, CAN, 2:54:06.00;
63. Bill HURLEY, CAN, -1Lap;
64. Mark LEIS, AUS, -1Lap;
65. Vitaliy TSURKAN, UKR, -1Lap;
66. Lenart NOC, SLO, -1Lap;
67. Oprea OVIDIU TUDOR, ROU, -1Lap;
68. Kenji TAKEYA, JPN, -1Lap;
69. CARL SWENSON, USA, -1Lap;
70. Perren DELACOUR, AUS, -1Lap;
71. Zsolt VINCZEFFY, HUN, -1Lap;
72. Tim VINCENT, NZL, -1Lap;
73. Mannie HEYMANS, NAM, -1Lap;
74. Cristobal SILVA IBACETA, CHI, -1Lap;
75. Tim HEEMSKERK, NED, -1Lap;
76. Victor TROHIN, RUS, -1Lap;
77. Raita SUZUKI, JPN, -2Laps;
78. Borut RUDOLF, SLO, -2Laps;
79. Hrvoje POPOVIC, CRO, -2Laps;
80. John MASON, IRL, -2Laps;
81. Emmanouil KOTOULAS, GRE, -2Laps;
82. Marcos SCHLER, BRA, -2Laps;
83. Javier Ernesto MACIAS, ARG, -2Laps;
84. Jeroen SWART, RSA, -2Laps;
85. Doron AMITZ, ISR, -2Laps;
86. Novak EDUARD, ROU, -2Laps;
. Christoph SAUSER, SUI, DNF;
. Thomas HOCHSTRASSER, SUI, DNF;
. Stephan SAHM, GER, DNF;
. Ziranda MADRIGAL ALVAREZ, MEX, DNF;
. Christian POULSEN, DEN, DNF;
. Alejandro DIAZ DE LA PENA, ESP, DNF;
. Thomas DIETSCH, FRA, DNF;
. Miguel MARTINEZ, FRA, DNF;
. Robert KIRCHER, AUT, DNF;
. Philip TAVELL, SWE, DNF;
. Roman RAMETSTEINER, AUT, DNF;
. Mariusz KOWAL, POL, DNF;
. Jose Antonio MARQUEZ G., ESP, DNF;
. Gregor MIKLIC, SLO, DNF;
. Peter PRESSLAUER, AUT, DNF;
. Rune HOYDAHL, NOR, DNF;
. Oli BECKINGSALE, GBR, DNF;
. Haakon AUSTAD, NOR, DNF;
. Jader ZOLI, ITA, DNF;
. Luca BRAMATI, ITA, DNF;
. Sigvard KUKK, EST, DNF;
. Stuart HOULTHAM, NZL, DNF;
. Dolezal TOMAS, CZE, DNF;
. Milan BARENYI, SVK, DNF;
. Armando ZACARIAS G., MEX, DNF;
. Kostas SUMELIDIS, GRE, DNF;
. Normunds ZVIEDRIS, LAT, DNF;
. Kresimir KETTE, CRO, DNF;
. Martin KRALER, AUT, DNS;
. Esteban TOLEDO RENFTER, CHI, DNS