Tuesday, February 15, 2005
82 Skaters Online
European Championships
   Italy Padova, IT
   Wednesday, July 30, 2003

The French champion took the title of the points race with Mogema's new M155 RR 100mm
"Sensationnel!" Arnaud Gicquel (France, Helvetia Patria Rollerblade), proved
once again that a great champion is eternal. He won with class the 5km
points race yesterday on the long road circuit of Prato della Valle (650m a
lap). The other races were dominated by the Italian selection, which made
the show for a conquest and numerous public.

64390: it is perhaps a world record. The mens points race was very, very
fast on this Wednesday! But it is not a surprise. Firstly, the road circuit
of Padua is fast... Also, the athletes are faster by themselves: Arnaud
Gicquel, for instance, took the opportunity of these EC to race with 100mm
Mogema frames (the first time in a traditional race). The Italians skaters
leaded the actions in the beginning of the race, but Gicquel managed to keep
some important points. Three Swiss skaters opened a convincing gap 1,5km
before the arrival: they were on to obtain a podium but were finally too
short... Arnaud Gicquel crossed the line in first position. The ultimate
work of his titles construction.

In the womens race, Simona di Eugenio and Alessandra Susmeli (Italia) won
the major part of the intermediary sprints. The 5km was skated under a very
fast speed too. Sandra Gomez (Spain) finished in first position and gained
points enough to be in silver on the podium, right after di Eugenio and
before Susmeli.

Gregory Duggento is definitively the king of the sprint. The Italian scored
16"739 at the 200m race, one second ahead from his compatriot Luca
Saggiorato. The young Matthias Schwierz (Germany, Rollerblade Germany) took
a promising third position whereas Belgium Wouter Hebbrecht (Rollerblade
World) finished four. Pascal Briand (France), one of the fastest athletes in
the world, was injured during his start and will not be able to defend his
chances in these championships anymore.

It was very close in the womens 200m sprint race. But Valentina Belloni
(Italia) won her second title in that exercise after the tracks one, in
19"682. Erika Zanetti (Italia) was beaten by Jana Gegener (Germany) for
0"014 second: a dust!

Vincent Esnault.

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