World Inline Cup Basel
Special Report— Basel, SWISaturday, May 03, 2003
Ang�le Vaudan Wins her First Grand Prix of the Season in the City of Basel
The Rollerblade Men Took the Podium, but not First Place
Story by Vincent Esnault, Team Rollerblade France
The city of Basel, Switzerland, welcomed the third stop of the World Inline Cup 2003. After 30 km of a technical inter-city race, Rollerblade World managed to come back on the front ground of the skating scene with Ang�le Vaudan and the men�s team.
After two marathons in the women�s category, Adelia Marra (Fila International) has shown that she is a very serious competitor this year. She was still the favourite for the 30 km in Basel. The circuit was a 5 km loop in the middle of the city, around the Rhine. It was quite technical but also physical and finally very fast. The numerous curves and the two main up hills appeared like obstacles and were indeed selective for the entire women�s pack. Quickly, they were reduced to just twenty. The Salomon and Roces team went many times ahead in order to lead and prevent a massive sprint. But Verducci�s Theresa Cliff and the Fila girls managed to stay attentive. The Rollerblade team accomplished very hard work to place Ang�le in good position for the final sprint. She was the most efficient to take the win in a sprint because Silvia was racing with the handicap of her fall in Seoul and Laura stayed in Italy to participate at the national championships. And, Ang�le did it! In a long but sustained acceleration, she imposed herself right before Adelia Marra, on the Mittelbr�cke bridge of Basel. Silvia took a good fourth place and Ashley finished a little bit behind. Tanya Dobbin and Fr�nzi Stampfli came on in the little peloton just ahead of the mass arrival and showed their capacities on the international level too.
The men�s course was very fast but forty skaters participated at the final sprint. The Rollerblade, Salomon and SportXX teams sustained a high tempo all the way long in order to control it. During the five laps of the program, no one could escape, except Mika�l Lannezval (Doby) and Roger Schneider (VW SportXX), three kilometres before the arrival. Schneider gave it up and Lannezval unfortunately fell because of a motorcycle in the last two kilometres. At that moment, it was Massimiliano Presti (Salomon) who engaged the acceleration, with the entire team of Rollerblade following him. The boys engaged their tactics with perfect timing. Wouter, Kalon and Shane did substantial work and managed to stay in front of the pack even if it was Jorge in the best position for taking the win. Then, at the very last moment, Pascal Briand (Salomon) came back out of nowhere and passed them all on the line. Finally, Jorge finished second, Kalon third, Wouter fourth, Arnaud � wearing the Helvetia Patria team uniform � took fifth and Shane sixth. A good shot for a Grand Prix race! Fabien, after providing long and patient team work, finished on his own.
Though the general rankings are not much altered, the Rollerblade team has come back at an important moment. With Jorge and Ang�le, and the other skaters in the top ten, they are now sure to play a good part for the rest of the season. Till the end of May, Rollerblade will show it at Rennes and Bern!
©RRN and www.RaceReports.net