Diary 2000

Giro d'Italia Femminile

Giro d'Italia Femminile
Italy, June 25-July 9, 2000
Stage 5 - July 1: Motta di Livenza-Treviso, 109.6 km
The Giro starts here
Today's stage includes 3 GPMs over a 110km course. The GC favorites will most likely strut their stuff today and my guess is that Leontien won't be wearing pink lipstick tomorrow. The first part of the course was 12km downhill and I was already in difficulty. Couldn't breathe and pedal at the same time whcih is really a bummer at the begining of a race. I worked my arse back into the group and chatted with Scrymo (awesome ozie time trialer) a bit ....felt better as we started to climb, new feeling for me, and hung right in there over the first GPM...I was too far back however to tell you who won it.

French National Titles

Friday July 21: After managing to sqeeze 2 suitcases, 3 boxes, 2 bags, 4 wheels, and 3 frames into my Peugeot 306 off I went back to France...in search of some national titles. Track championships were to start on July 24 with my events starting the 25th. Seeing as last year's nationals were new to me after 2 years off and I only got 2nd and 3rd...this year they were supposed to confirm my victories at the World Championships in Berlin last October. They were also my last Olympic selection races. I expected the competition to be hot as both young junior world pursuit champion Vanderkerkove and Longo had anounced to the press that they intended on going to the Olympics in the pursuit and points race.

Olympic Games

Entry 1 - August 15: Leadup
This is my typical week leading up to the Games...Wednesday morning, a 50km spin with two elite riders who live nearby. At the moment, I've opted to train and race with the men in Brittany because there are a lot of races and racers in the region...so I started last Saturday with regional level men after having spent 4 weeks on the track. The first races with them went well so I rode the next races with the national level men.
Wednsday evening we raced up and down the same avenue on a 1.6 km stretch with a 180 at each end. Great training for my pursuit starts. There were over 100 at the start and it went off fast. Hung in the front for the first 10 laps and then slid toward the back. Awesome workout! Thursday was more of the same - finished in the bunch and Friday we showed up as they were saying "on your marks..."

End of year Bash with Laurent Jalabert (and friends)

November 22
For a few years now, Laurent Jalabert's fanclub has organised an end of the year bash so all of the riders can get together and the public can meet up with them as well. We hardly see each other during the season since our races rarely coincide, so itis nice to catch up with each other at the end of the year. We usually start the festivities on Saturday mid-morning with lunch followed by a 50 to 60 km ride with whoever wants to come along.

Leadup to the World Road Titles

October 10
This has been one of those days that I'm sure every bike rider has lived and or survived at some point in their lives. Had a high fever on Friday so took the day off, and my doctor put me under a horses dose of clamoxyl, an antibiotic which has had me glued to my bed every morning, although it could be jetlag as well.
In any case I finally got my arse in gear around 9 and only because the driver of the moto I'm supposed to ride behind wanted to know if I'd be riding in the morning or the afternoon. I told him the afternoon as I couldnt see myself hopping into my chammies straight away.

Criterium International Féminin de Lachine

Montreal, Canada, May 30, 2000

Marion Clignet wins all the sprints Photo: © Claude Perreault

Tuesday morning we went for a little spin on the formula one course in Montreal where I might add there was a bit of preparation on hand for the race to be held next week. After the f1 course we found ourselves on a long dirt road. The girls slowed down a bit so I tried to show Bonnanomi that it was just like riding the paves in europe. I went faster and faster a bit surprised that my legs had recovered from Sunday. All of a sudden I found myself in a bit of a ditch at 40kph and the wheel hit the side of a gutter and I saw the sky, some bushes, the sky again, the girls behind me and THUD! right on my head and hip...good thing I have extra padding in both places.

Moscow Track World Cup

Moscow, Russia, May 19-21, 2000

Got in to Moscow late Thursday. It was strange landing because I was expecting to see some pretty desolate landscape and to my surprise there were pine trees everywhere! Seemed like we were landing in the northwest of the US. We recovered our umpteen, bikes, bags, wheels, etc. and headed on out to the track. 333 meters, seemed huge after the 250 meters I had seen last in Berlin last October. I was looking forward to checking it out, as well as my new pursuit bike, made by Look, a bit smaller than last year and a tad lighter as well.

Vuelta Ciclista Navarra Feminas

Navarra, Spain, April 21-23, 2000

Stage 1 - April 21: Noain-Tudela 127 km

Stage one of Navarra was 127 kilometres with, if I remember correctly, 3 climbs. On climb one, Longo went to the front hoping to string things out a bit. Ziliute immediately took her wheel while myself, Tatiana Stiajkina, and Vera Hohlfeld set her up for the GPM. The climb was fairly smooth, awesome roads -wide, no potholes to speak of!

The second climb was fairly uneventful - Ziliute took the points easily and then we began approaching the finish. At five km things were getting a bit frantic, the front of the pack was like a slalom. the Norwegians had a good team and were working hard for Monica Valen. Zita Urbonite was at the front with Hohlfield and Stiajkina powering away for Ziliute. I managed to weasel in with 3km to go to try and help out as well as slide in 5th I think.


La Primavera Rosa Report

March 18
A large field of 138 riders lined up for the second round of the women's World Cup, La Primavera Rosa in Varazze, Italy. Most of the European teams were there, and for many it was their first serious race of the year.
There was bad luck for Lucie Ruscakova (Cze) and Bridget Evans (Aus, Master Team Carpe Diem) who crashed after only two kilometres, forcing them to retire. The first hour of the race is quite fast, at 39.4 km/h, with the Dutch doing the driving, with no-one allowed to escape.
After 96 kilometers, the Cipressa climb sees Finland's Pia Sunstedt lead Daniela Veronesi (Smr, Alfa Lum) and Lithuanian Edita Pucinskaite (Acca Due O - Lorena Camicie) over the top. However they can't maintain their advantage for long and were reeled in on the descent.
The bunch remained intact until the start of the Poggio, which saw attacks by Mirjam Melchers (Ned) and Pia Sunstedt again. They manage a 10 second gap by the top, but are caught with 2 kilometers to go.

Marion Clignet's Back - A self portrait

Marion Clignet: 3000m pursuit 1999 World's, Berlin

I went from a silver medal in the 1996 Olympics to a world title plus world record in the 3km pursuit. But from there it was downhill with a blood test showing that I carry a gene called HLA-B27, making one suseptible to inflammatory arthritis.

It started in the winter after the Games (end of 1996) - my lower back was hit first. I had an operation in March whereby needles are inserted into your back and then electricity is run through the needles in order to numb your pain receptors. Loads of fun followed by ten days of lounging around and lots of electrostimulation to at least keep my muscles awake. Shortly after (at the end of March 1997), I joined my team in Italy to race the Giro de Pordenone, a three day stage race.

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