Racing News > 2006 Seoul World Inline Cup

Smith, Presti Win Seoul World Inline Cup
Jessica Smith beats the Rollerblade women; Massimiliano Presti catches Botero
Robert "Just the Factoids" Burnson

Hyper's Jessica Smith was sitting in about eighth place with 300 meters to go in today's Seoul World Inline Cup in Korea when she made her move.

Without the help of teammates, she led out her own sprint, held off a late charge by the Rollerblade women and pushed her foot forward at the line for the win in the first World Cup race of the 2006 season.

"It feels really good," said Smith, 22, of Melvindale, Mich. "I haven't been able to skate much outdoors yet this year because of the weather. ... This really gives me confidence going into the season."

Presti Power

In the men's race, MMCmicro Salomon's Massimiliano Presti caught Rollerblade's Jorge Botero in the final meters for the win.

Presti, who has finished on top in the individual World Cup rankings for the past two years, described the marathon as fast with frequent breakaways.

Late in the race, the Italian was one of seven skaters who broke away from the main pack to take a decisive lead. Others in the breakaway included teammates Francesco Zangarini, Botero and Powerslide's Thomas Boucher.

Botero, who won the race last year, was in the lead going into the sprint. But the Colombian couldn't hold off the late charge by Presti, who passed him in the final 10 meters.

Zangarini finished third behind Botero.

Jessica's Win

Smith was the only member of the Hyper women's team to be sent to the race. (The only Hyper man was Dane Lewis, who was left behind by one of the breakaways.)

Teamwork often determines the winners in world-class marathons. But Smith, who won two World Cup stages (Zurich and Engadin) last year, managed a rare solo win.

She said a head wind in the early goings made for a fairly cohesive women's pack, despite a few breakaways.

With the finish line in sight, Smith was eight to ten skaters from the lead. A few of the strong Korean women were in front. The Rollerblade women were setting themselves up for the sprint.

"With about 300 meters to go, I led myself out for the sprint," Smith said. "I probably started a little early."

She got to the front of the pack and sprinted for the finish line. The Rollerblade team led out the sprint for Angele Vaudan. But Smith was able to hold her off and hawked at the line for the win.

Vaudan finished second; Rollerblade teammate Laura Lardani finished third.

The race was held on a 40 kilometer road course in Seoul's Yeouido Park. The weather was overcast and cool.

In all, 7000 skaters competed in the full and half marathons and 5K fitness event, said spokeswoman Gong Soyoung.

Related reading

• Go to Results

• Go to more Racing News.

Go to the Beginner's Guide to Outdoor Racing

(posted April 8, 2006)

Related reading

• Go to Seoul results.

• Go to Seoul photos.

• Go to more Racing News.

Go to the Beginner's Guide to Outdoor Racing


Copyright © 2006 by Robert Burnson

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