Legends Encountered

News & Results

10/10/2003| 0 comments
by David Cohen

Legends Encountered

There's a surge of legends in Hamilton these days.

Take a walk along the sidelines of the current worlds in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /?>
Hamilton
and you?re liable to encounter a legend.  For example,
Denmark
?s Bjarne Riis. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /?>

 

Ideally bald but still racing-form slim, Riis is here as an observer. Asked for his opinions on the Elite men?s road race on Sunday, he mentioned (not surprisingly)
Italy
?s Paolo Bettini and
Spain
?s Oscar Freire as favourites.

 

The winner of the 1996 Tour de France and now head honcho of the CSC racing team, Riis said it was indeed unfortunate that American Tyler
Hamilton
, CSC?s star, could not make it to
Hamilton
.  He agreed that ?
Hamilton
wins in
Hamilton
? would have made a great headline.

 

Riis was interviewed before the Elite Men?s time trial.  How would it come out? ?David Millar,? was his short, emphatic answer.

 

-0-

Where did Italian racing legend Francesco Moser ride his last race? Answer: right here in
Hamilton
.  Yes, it was in 1988 in a special race organized by local cycling enthusiast and bike shop owner Gary Scattalon.   Scattalon and Moser were encountered as David Millar was presented with the gold medal for his win in the Elite Men?s Time Trial.

 

Moser, 1977 winner of the Worlds road race at
San Cristobal
in
Venezuela
, said
Hamilton
would reap benefits from hosting the Worlds. ?It is very good for the city,?  he said, adding that businesses would benefit.  Like Riis, he retains his trim racing figure.  ?Ah, but you need to be more than skinny; you need power,? he said when it was suggested that he could get on a bike and compete.

 

-0-

A third legend encountered: Bernard Thevenet, winner of the Tour de France in 1975.  Thevenet was seen in the Worlds press centre.  Doing his best to understand a reporter?s lousy French, Thevenet opined that the course was going to make Sunday?s Elite Men?s road race a toss-up. He said that the up-and-down nature of the course is going to make for a lot of escapes and thus will erode the effectiveness of team strategies.

 

He, too, looks in fine shape.

Your comments
Your comments
sign up or login to post a comment