Events

Italy’s Zugno takes first gold in Zolder

Tears of joy opened the 2002 road cycling world championships Tuesday as Italian Anna Zugno won the gold medal in the junior women's individual time trial. Starting in the penultimate position in a field of 41 starters, Zugno covered the flat 11.2-km course from Hasselt to Zolder in 15 minutes, 54.21 seconds (42.255 kph) to edge compatriot Tatiana Guderzo by 6.54 seconds. German rider Claudia Hecht finished third at 7.21 seconds slower. Zugno burst into tears after realizing she came across the line with the fastest time. The emotions didn't stop there as she hugged and cried her way

By Andrew Hood

Viva Italia: Zugno led a one-two punch for Italy's junior women

Viva Italia: Zugno led a one-two punch for Italy’s junior women

Photo: Graham Watson

Tears of joy opened the 2002 road cycling world championships Tuesday as Italian Anna Zugno won the gold medal in the junior women’s individual time trial.

Starting in the penultimate position in a field of 41 starters, Zugno covered the flat 11.2-km course from Hasselt to Zolder in 15 minutes, 54.21 seconds (42.255 kph) to edge compatriot Tatiana Guderzo by 6.54 seconds. German rider Claudia Hecht finished third at 7.21 seconds slower.

Zugno burst into tears after realizing she came across the line with the fastest time. The emotions didn’t stop there as she hugged and cried her way through the medals ceremony.

Hecht was fastest at the time split at Stokrooieweg, but faded over the final kilometers against the stronger Italians.

The time trial was the first of 10 races featured in the 2002 world championships, which conclude Sunday in Zolder with the elite men’s road race. Belgium’s notoriously foul weather remained benign as partly sunny skies and cool temperatures prevailed.

The opening competition of the 2002 worlds also boded well for the Americans. Larssyn Staley and Magen Long both finished in the top-15.

Staley, 17, nearly passed her “1:30” rider coming into the finishing straight on the Zolder course. She posted a strong ride to finish in 16:14.19 for sixth-position for the top American placing.

Long, racing in her last season as a junior, came across the line in 16:45.81, good enough for 12th. Long, an all-rounder who competed in the world mountain bike championships in Kaprun in both the downhill and cross-country events, will also race the road race Friday.

Several of the inexperienced riders were having difficulty with a tight, right-hand turn coming out of Hasselt. China’s Fu Shimei and Mexico’s Monica Haydee Huerta Barron were among the victims there. Otherwise, the flat course provided few technical challenges.

Junior women’s Time trial (11.2km)
1. Anna Zugno (Ita), 15min 54.21sec
2. Tatiana Guderzo (Ita), at 6.54secs
3. Claudia Hecht (Ger), 7.21
4. Luise Keller (Ger), 18.33
5. Christa Pirard (Ned), 18.67
6. Larssyn Staley (USA), 19.98
7. Sally Cowman (Aus), 21.63
8. Grace Verbeke (Bel), 24.60
9. Miranda Vierling (Ned), 36.29
10. Petra Bublova (Cze), 41.35
11. Alexis Rhodes 44.59
12. Magen Long (USA), 51.60
13. Isabelle Hoffman (Lux), 51.91
14. Paulina Fiuk (Pol), 53.24
15. Tatsiana Sharakova (Blr), 54.13

Results

Junior women’s Time trial (11.2km)

1. Anna Zugno (Ita), 15min 54.21sec

2. Tatiana Guderzo (Ita), at 6.54secs

3. Claudia Hecht (Ger), 7.21

4. Luise Keller (Ger), 18.33

5. Christa Pirard (Ned), 18.67

6. Larssyn Staley (USA), 19.98

7. Sally Cowman (Aus), 21.63

8. Grace Verbeke (Bel), 24.60

9. Miranda Vierling (Ned), 36.29

10. Petra Bublova (Cze), 41.35

11. Alexis Rhodes 44.59

12. Magen Long (USA), 51.60

13. Isabelle Hoffman (Lux), 51.91

14. Paulina Fiuk (Pol), 53.24

15. Tatsiana Sharakova (Blr), 54.13