World Wide Cycling
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Here you can find reports of the Vredestein-Gazelle Team, from the Netherlands, that has participated in the Tour de China 2000. There are results, interviews and stories from the riders. Coming soon pictures of the Tour de China 2000.
The Tour de China is a major cycling event in Asia. There will be teams from Kazachstan, Japan, Mongolia, Macao, HongKong, Tapei and of course from China. Chinese National Television will cover the race. For the Team that World Wide Cycling will send, the following riders have been selected;
Nathan Dahlberg (New Zealand): This very strong rider (with Tour de France experience will try to win the General Classification. Last year he was 7th in the overall GC.
Joost Legtenberg: Last year 2nd in the overall topcompetition ranking in the Netherlands. Also a rider for the GC.
Dennis Hammink: This is the sprinter of the Team, he will try to win a stage if it comes to a sprint. He is also one of the favourites for the spint classment.
Remko Kramer: An all-rounder, he will help the classment riders and can pull the sprint for Hammink.
Anno Pedersen: Another all-rounder, very strong in long stages, he might have a surprise in the last stage of 211 km.
Roger van der Borgh: Last weeks three podium placings but no victorie, maybe in China.......
Reports from China:
De Dutch riders of the Vredestein-Gazelle Team;
Left to right; Roger van der Borgh, Joost Legtenberg, Remko Kramer, Anno Pedersen en dennis Hammink.(Photo: Edwin Achterberg)
The Vredestein-Gazelle Team has arrived in Beijing, China. The flight was
o.k.and on the airport the Organization Committee of the Tour de China was
waiting to welcome us. First there was a problem to get our bicycles
through customs, but showing some important looking faxes convinced the
officials that there was no problem.
After putting our bicycles together, we trained for 4 hours through the city
of Beijing. We made a little criterium race in the Tianamin, the famous square
in the middle of Beijing, with just 5 participants. Nathan Dahlberg will arrive in two
Today we trained for 6 hours, went out of town and tested our legs on the
hills northwest of Beijing. Most of the guys look strong and are in
top-shape so we look forward to the start of the Tour de China. We make sure we
are out riding a lot, so that we are tired in the evenening and everybody sleeps
well. The intensity of the training is low, we start training shorter and more
intensive towards the race. This turned out the best way for us to get used to
the time difference (6 hours), when we have only few days before the race. This
may not be the mainstream theory though...
Dennis Hammink: "The traffic is a total chaos; cars, busses, riksja's, pedestrians and of course thousands of bicycles, everything going criss-cross. And we slalom around everything, because we are faster then the other traffic. On the main roads we can catch the draft from cars and busses. Perfect training for the speed."
Training in the mountains northwest from Beijing, Dennis Hammink (left) together with Anno Pedersen.(Photo: Remko Kramer)
Anno Pedersen: "Beijing is a huge city. We need over 1,5 hour by bicycle only to get out of the city. But after that it is great training in the mountains, good roads and almost no traffic."
Joost Legtenberg: "During a training, still in the city we saw a beautiful arch with big sculptures and we stopped to make a photo. Immediatly three security men showed up who sent us away. Later we found out that this was the working place of the president of China."
We're in the middle of the organised chaos of leaving for the opening ceremony. This will be a gigantic event on the Tiananmen Square. The organisation expacts a lot of people watching, they have 1500 policement to close the roads!! There will be a demonstration race, which does not count for the Tour, but we want to win the first cycling event on Tiananmen Square!!
Remko Kramer: "Before the caravan with busses for the riders, trucks and teamcars left the hotel everything looked like a complete chaos. But after leaving it turned out to be perfectly organized. The 2nd ringroad and the main road to the Tiananmen were completely empty, normally there are traffic jams on these roads. All traffic was shut down for the Tour de China. At that moment you get great respect for the organization of this event."
Atmosphere in the team is perfect and motivation strong. Nathan had a cold, but feels good again, 6 hours on the bike yesterday.
The openingceremonie on the Tiananmen was overwhelming, thousands of people by the side of the roads and also thousands of policemen to shut down the roads and clear the inner ring of Beijing (!).
The amazing openingceremony on the Tiananmen Square. (Photo: Remko Kramer)
Dennis Hammink: "What an openingceremonie; thausands of schoolkids, people with flags and musicgroups. The VIP's behind tables in front of a huge building. Lots of fotographers and some camera teams were walking around. Later we saw ourselves in the news and in sportprograms. The next day I was on a picture on the frontpage of the newspaper!"
Opneningrace and 1st stage
Roger van der Borgh wins the first Cycling event on Tiananmen Square. In the demonstration race he surprises everybody, by attacking together with Legtenberg, in the last corner. Joost becomes 2nd.
The start of the openingrace of the Tour de China 2000 on the Tiananmen Square. Thousands of spectators saw Roger van der Borgh win this race. In the distance you can see the Forbidden City. (photo: Edwin Achterberg)
Roger van der Borgh: "After the openingceremonie everybody took part in a openingrace. One lap around Tiananmen, without warming-up, that is no problem for me. The chinese went from the gun, we were going over 50 kph all the time. In the last turn I went with Joost Legtenberg to the outside, the road is 8 lanes wide, Nobody caught us before the line. Great to become the winner of the first cycling race on the Tiananmen."
After the opening of the event we were transported to Changping. The ringroad and Badaling Expressway were closed for all other traffic, thousands of policemen controlled the traffic.
Criterium: vd Borgh superstrong again attacking and controlling. Legtenberg wins the point-sprints. With 35 km to go, Dahlberg attacks with Lavrenko (Kaz). Vredestein-Gazelle controls the field and by the finish of the race Lavrenko and Dahlberg gained 1.01 minute. Lavrenko wins the stage (decided by photo-finish)
Dennis crashed, but did a good race, became 6th, Joost 7th.
Dennis Hammink: "For the pointsprint I did a lead out for Joost and sprinted and won points myself as well. So I really went deep, I looked around to check the peloton and hit the rearwheel of the rider in front of me. I crashed going 50 kph, my but was rasped, but the race goes on. So I went back on my bicycle and caught back on."
Remko Kramer: "With 3 k to go a Kazach attacked. Roger had to go maximal to catch him back. After that he took the lead, but we had one less to pull the sprint. Then we were surprised on the left side by a fast group coming through."
Nathan Dahlberg on the podium after his 2nd placing in the criterium. Lots of spectators come to see the price-ceremony. (Photo: Remko Kramer)
Results 1st stage:
1. Lavrenko (Kaz); 2. Dahlberg (Vredestein-Gazelle); 3. Kuzenebov (Kaz) op 1.01; 4. Ulzii Orshiki (Mong); 5. Zhu Zhengong (Chin) 6. Hammink (Vredestein-Gazelle); 7. Legtenberg (Vredestein-Gazelle); 8. Jargalshaikan (Mon); 9. Chihshin (Chin); 10. Chester (Hong Kong)
Today it became obvious that the Kazach team is incredibly strong. Not only the winner of the first stage is a superstrong, the winner of last year’s Tour de China, Vadim Kravchenko, also found his good shape again. We tried to attack them all stage long to get their team tired.
Anno Pedersen: "On the first mostly flat part of the races I felt weak and had no power. However as soon as we started climbing I felt good again. At the last kilometers I tried to hold the Kazachs, but they were going super and I had to let them go. Climbing up the mountain they are stronger we have to admit."
but on the top of Xie Shi Mountain, the Kazach-guys were still the strongest.
Results 2nd stage:
1. Kravchenko (Kaz); 2. Xiao Yezhan (Chin) 0:12; 3. Lavrenenko(Kaz) 0:17; 4. Kuzenegsov (Kaz) 0:29; 5. Ulzii Orshikhi (Mon) 0:29; 6. Joost Legtenberg (Vredestein-Gazelle) 0:32; 7. Teteryuk (Kaz) 0:41; 8. Anno Pedersen (Vredestein-Gazelle) 0:44; 9 Nathan Dahlberg (Vredestein-Gazelle) 0:44; 10. Wang Guozhang (Chin) 1:06.
1. Lavrenenko (Kaz); 2. Nathan Dahlberg op 0.35 (Vredestein-Gazelle); 3. Kravchenko op 0.48 (Kaz); 7. Legtenberg op 1.21; 9. Pedersen op 1.42; 19 Hammink op 3.39; 21. Kramer op 4:33; 35. Van der Borgh op 10:50
Roger van der Borgh exhausted after the climb of Xiezishi mountain teamleader Edwin Achterberg helps him to the bus. (Photo: Remko Kramer)
Kazach team has been working all day to catch a Chinese guy that got away by the beginning of the race. We waited, hoping that we could beat them on the climb to the Chines Wall, th e finish of the race. We hoped that our sprinter, Hammink would make it to the top, where we could launch him for the sprint. Nathan wanted to ‘take it easy’ and save himself for attacking the Kazachstans in the final stage, tomorrow. Joost had problems with his stomach, he still felt bad during the race, but made it to the finish.
Joost Legtenberg: "Last Night I was realy sick, vommitting and diarrhia. So I was very weak this morning. I took toilet-paper along and just before and even during the race I had to stop. Luckily it was a quiet stage and I made it to the finish. Hopefully I will be o.k. tomorrow."
The podium of the third stage, Nathan Dahlberg opens his bottle of champagne. On the mountain in the background you can see the Great Wall. (Photo: Remko Kramer)
Results 3rd stage:
1. Kravchenko; 2. Lavrenenko ( 0.02); 3. Nathan Dahlberg ( 0.04); 4. Dennis Hammink (z.t.); 5. Kuzenegsov (Kaz)(z.t.); 6. Xiao Yechen (Chin)(z.t.); 7. Ulzii Orshikhi (Mon)( 0:08); 8. Anno Pedersen (z.t.); 9. Huang Yonggang (Chin)(z.t.); 10. Meng Quanjun (Chin)(z.t.);14. Joost Legtenberg ( 0:18) 26. Remko Kramer ( 0:32); 40. Roger van der Borgh ( 0:59)
General classification: 1. Lavrenenko 2. Dahlberg ( 0:39) 3. Kravchenko ( 0:42)
Points Classification: 1. Lavrenenko; 2. Kravchenko; 3. Dahlberg
Team Classification: 1. Kazachstan; 2. Vredestein-Gazelle 3. Chinese National
A camerateam of a Japanese sports channel has been following us all day, so that we also will have a lot of publicity in Japan (they are making a documentary about this race), in addition to the 2 hours on national TV in China!!
Anno Pedersen: "Because of the nomination of Beijing to host the 2008 Olympics they started a special tv-channel. On this channel they show sports 24 hour a day. Every evening we could watch our race on television."
Despite the fact that everybody starts noticing that the food is not like home (small stomach problems), the atmosphere is still good and we all hope for Dahlberg to go crazy tomorrow. One thing is for sure, our Kazach friends will have a hard day, tomorrow!!!
Dennis Hammink (number 42) and Nathan Dahlberg (number 41) relax before the stage and watch a Chinese dancegroup. (Photo: Remko Kramer)
Last (4th) stage
In the last stage of the Tour de China, Nathan Dahlberg lost his second place in the GC. He had bad luck in this 211 km stage, with a lot of climbing, a number of times from sea-level to 800 meters. As promised below, it became a though day, but Dahlberg flatted on a crucial moment and had to do with a third place overall.
Because we were still in the running for different prizes, we had to play it clever on the last day. Remko and Roger would attack in the first, flat, 80 kilometers, to make sure that the Kazachs had to work from the beginning. Roger attacked from the gun, started pushing the 12 within 500 meters and went up the ‘false flat’ with 50 km/hour. Later in the race, he did get over 5 minutes, together with a Mongol rider and the Kazach team had to work.
Roger van der Borgh: "Today it was my job to exhaust the Kazachs before the mountains. I did what I could. First they were using lots of energy to react on my attacks. When they had enough of that I could get away with a Mongolian rider. We gained over 5 minutes, the Kazachs had to work to catch us back. When they caught me I was done."
Joost, Dennis, Anno and finally Nathan had to finish the Kazach team. But it turned out to be different… The Kazachs were superstrong in the mountains (with spectacular views, for instance over the Chinese wall). Joost tried to attack, but he had no chance. After a points sprint on a 12 km climb, the Kazachstans attacked with three riders at once. Dahlberg had participated in the sprint and couldn’t react straight away. Four Vredestein-Gazelle riders were with him still and they started chasing the Kazachstans. When the difference went back to less than half a minute, everything seemed to be under control again, but that was the moment that Dahlberg flatted. When he came back, the difference was almost three minutes and Vredestein-Gazelle riders had to work like crazy to keep Dahlberg with the first three in the GC! It was a pity that the team had to hammer until the finish because Hammink had great legs today and Legtenberg recovered very well. Otherwise they could have tried for a stage result.
Nathan Dahlberg: "On the second big climb there was a points sprint half-way. I sprinted and won some points. We had a gap to the rest of the field, I saw 4 Kazachs around me. Three of them attacked and I could not go with them. With the other guys of the team we started chasing and then I flatted, that's cycling, anything can happen."
Results 4th stage:
1 Baigudinov (Kaz) 2 Kravchenko (Kaz)(z.t.); 3 Lavrenenko (Kaz) (z.t.);4 Ma
Yajue (Chin) (op 2:23);5 Kuzenegsov (Kaz)(z.t.); 6 Ulzii Orshikhi (Mon)(z.t.); 7 Legtenberg
8 Xiao Yechen (Chin)(z.t.); 9 Ma Dengsheng (Chin)(z.t.); 10 Zhu Zhengjue (Chin)(z.t.); 16 Dahlberg
Pedersen (Vredestein-Gazelle)(z.t.); 24 Hammink (Vredestein-Gazelle) (op 2:35) 33 v/d
Borgh (Vredestein-Gazelle) (op 36:09) Kramer (Vredestein-Gazelle) niet gefinisht
Points classification: 1 Kravchenko 2 Lavrenenko 3 Dahlberg
With the personel of the closing ceremony on the photo. (Photo: Anno Pedersen)
Roger van der Borgh: "Great closing ceremony of a great cycling race. After the race we can also have our fun. We drink a glas of beer and champagne and have a good time."
Remko Kramer: "After the race people get along very well. Then we talk and laugh with the Kazachs, the Chinese and the Mongols. Of course they brought Mongolian Wodka, but also Horsemilk, I have never drunk anything so disgusting."
After the event we stayed for a couple of days in Beijing. To recover from the hard race. The first days of the race were hot (around 30 degrees celsius) and very humid. Later it was cooler (around 25 degrees) with sunshine and a clear sky. From the city we could even see the mountains.
Remko Kramer: "China is a very impressive country with an interesting culture. Everything is so different from what we are used to. It is great to experience this country by bicycle."
We did some easy training and visited tourist sights, like the Forbidden city and the Tiantan park with the temple of heaven. On markets we bought souvenirs to bring home. We tasted the famous Beijing Duck in a restaurant. September 10th a part of the team flew back to Holland. The others will fly to Japan on the 13th to participate in the Tour de Hokkaido.
Het complete Vredestein-Gazelle Team op de Chinese Muur bij Mutiyanyu. vlnr: Nathan Dahlberg, Anno Pedersen, Ploegleider Edwin Achterberg, Roger van der borgh, Remko Kramer, Mechanicien Wilco Geerts, Dennis Hammink en Joost Legtenberg. (Foto: Mark Batt)
The 2000 Tour de China will be held in and around Beijing. The course is pretty hard because of the mountains. For example stage 3 that finishes at the Great Wall. The program of this race is as follows:
PROGRAM OF 2000 TOUR DE CHINA
Sep. 2nd Opening Ceremonie on Tiananmen Square
Opening race around Tiananmen Square
The Vredestein-Gazelle Team in the Tour de China 1999. (Photo: Sander Kleine)