Roel Paulissen

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Roel Paulissen
Roel Paulissen (cropped).JPG
Personal information
Full nameRoel Paulissen
Born (1976-04-27) 27 April 1976 (age 42)
Hasselt, Belgium
Height1.81 m (5 ft 11 12 in)
Weight65 kg (143 lb)
Team information
Current teamTorpado
DisciplineMountain biking
RoleRider
Rider typeCross-country
Professional team(s)
1996–1999American Eagle
2000–2001Team GT
2001Rainer Wurz-Sud Tirol
2001Lotto–Adecco
2002Lanabau-Rainer Wurz
2003–2004Siemens Mobile
2004–2006Jong Vlaanderen 2016
2007–2008Cannondale-Vredestein
2009–2010Cannondale Factory Racing
2013Torpado
Major wins
2005 and 2008 Absa Cape Epic

Roel Paulissen (born 27 April 1976 in Hasselt) is a Belgian professional mountain biker.[1] Throughout his sporting career since 1993, he has won more than ten Belgian national championship titles, mounted top-five finishes at both the European and World Cup series, and claimed a total of four medals, including two golds, in men's cross-country race at the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships. Paulissen also represented his nation Belgium in four editions of the Olympic Games (1996, 2000, 2004, and 2008), where he competed in men's mountain biking since it officially became an Olympic sport in 1996. By the start of the 2010 season, Paulissen had been overshadowed by a doping issue after he tested positive for clomiphene that sidelined and effectively ended his mountain biking career.[2] Having lifted a two-year suspension from doping in early 2013, Paulissen came out from his short retirement to join and race professionally for the Italian team Torpado.

Racing career[edit]

Early years[edit]

Born and raised in Hasselt, Paulissen discovered and started cycling at the age of sixteen, when he purchased his first ever mountain bike. He took part in numerous regional and local races across Belgium, and soon joined the Ghislain Cycles Club by the following year. In the summer of 1994, Paulissen surprisingly earned his first trophy under the junior category at the Belgian Championships. Because of his exquisite talent and prowess in the sport, Paulissen offered a spot to train and race professionally for the Dutch team called the American Eagle two years later.

International career[edit]

Paulissen officially made his international debut for Belgium at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, where he finished seventeenth in the inaugural men's cross-country race with a time of 2:33:53.[3]

At the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Paulissen could not match his best possible ride from Atlanta with a nineteenth-place effort in the same program, posting an official time of 2:16:54.[4]

In 2001, Paulissen became an elite professional rider by officially signing an exclusive, two-year sponsorship contract with Italy's Rainer Wurz MTB Team, and then capped off his season by mounting four top-ten finishes at the UCI World Cup series.[5] With a sudden departure of his teammate and Olympic silver medalist Filip Meirhaeghe because of a doping issue, Paulissen continued to refurnish and penetrate Belgium's cycling success by earning his first World Cup triumph in Houffalize, and a prestigious bronze medal in men's cross-country race at the 2003 UCI World Championships in Lugano, Switzerland.[6] Strong results landed him a place on the Siemens Mobile-Cannondale pro cycling team, followed by his short stint with Belgium's Jong Vlaanderen 2016 at the start of the 2004 season.

While competing for his third Belgian squad at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Paulissen scored a career-high, fourth place in the men's cross-country race with a time of 2:18:10, finishing just off the podium by more than a minute.[7][8] In that same year, Paulissen managed to earn another triumph on the second stage of the UCI World Cup series in Houffalize, and eventually edged out his teammate Meirhaeghe to take home the overall silver medal in the final round of the circuit.[9] In 2005, Paulissen took a year off from mountain biking after he was suddenly stricken with rib injuries, fever, and acute bronchitis that prompted his decision to skip from the World Cup series and the Belgian Championships.[10]

In 2006, Paulissen left his team Jong Vlaanderen 2016 for health reasons and long absence to join the Netherlands' Cannondale-Vredestein.[11] He also capped his successful season by collecting the bronze medal in men's marathon race at the UCI World Championships in Oisans, France.[12] A year later, Paulissen continued to flourish his ample success in mountain biking by reclaiming the Belgian national championship title, and later adding a silver to his career hardware at the UCI World Championships in Verviers, trailing behind Switzerland's Christoph Sauser by more than five minutes.[13]

Paulissen won his first Absa Cape Epic in 2005 with team member Bart Brentjens. He then came back again in 2007 with new partner Jakob Fuglsang, placing 2nd place overall. The team then competed in the marathon stage race again in 2008, this time claiming 1st place after 2 stage wins.

2008 season[edit]

Paulissen started his 2008 season by defending the men's cross-country race title at the Belgian Championships and by taking part in the Roc d'Azur MTB Marathon tournament, where he registered two more triumphs in the process.[14] In July, Paulissen grabbed his first major success in men's marathon race at the UCI World Championships in Villabassa under a more controversial decision. With only 70 meters left to go, Paulissen held off a sprint duel match against Switzerland's Christoph Sauser for a spectacular finish, until they suddenly made contact with their handlebars and arms near the barrier and then both crashed. Being the first man up after hitting the tarmac hard, Paulissen reluctantly carried his broken bike towards the finish, while his rival Sauser remounted his lead to cross the line first, but ended his campaign with a protest. After the race, the UCI officials decided that Sauser was relegated to second place for riding "dangerously" in the sprint and instead Paulissen was declared the World champion with a time of 4:46:56. Following his controversial triumph, Paulissen admitted, "I am very happy with this success. Unfortunately, this great race in the area where I live ended this way, but I think the jury was right."[15]

Twelve years after his official Olympic debut, Paulissen qualified for his fourth Belgian squad, as a 32-year-old and a cycling team captain, in the men's cross-country race at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing by receiving one of the nation's three available berths for his team from the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), based on his top-ten performance at the World Cup series, World Championships, and Mountain Biking World Series.[16] He successfully completed a 4.8-km sturdy, treacherous cross-country course with a nineteenth-place effort in 2:03:30, radically shortening his chances to climb the Olympic podium on his fourth bid.[17][18][19]

Post-Olympics[edit]

Paulissen started the 2009 season by claiming his tenth Belgian national championship title, and by signing an exclusive, two-year sponsorship contract with Germany's Cannondale Factory Racing pro team.[20] He also defended his men's marathon race title and rainbow jersey at the UCI World Championships in Graz, Austria with a time of 4:34:46, edging out the home nation's Alban Lakata on another tight, sprinted duel match by fifty-one seconds.[21]

On 16 July 2010 Paulissen had been overshadowed by a doping issue after he tested positive for a banned hormone substance clomiphene, mainly used to avert infertility problems. Breaching the team's clear anti-doping policies, Cannondale Factory Racing team had decided to end its sponsorship with Paulissen and consequently drop him off the roster. Moreover, he ordered a two-year suspension from the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) for failing the doping test, missing a chance to defend his Belgian national championship title and pursue for his fifth Olympic bid. With an immediate effect from an issue, Paulissen shortly and suddenly ended his sporting career.[2][22]

Having lifted a two-year doping suspension in November 2012, Paulissen announced his official comeback from a short retirement to join and ride for Italy's Torpado Surfing Shop Team at the start of the 2013 season.[23]

Career achievements[edit]

1996
1st MaillotBélgica.PNG Belgian MTB Championships (Cross-country, U23), Belgium
17th Olympic Games (Cross-country), Atlanta, Georgia, (USA)
1998
2nd, silver medalist(s) European Championships (Cross-country, U23), Belgium
3rd, bronze medalist(s) UCI World Championships (Cross-country, U23), Switzerland
1999
1st MaillotBélgica.PNG Belgian MTB Championships (Cross-country, U23), Belgium
4th UCI World Championships (Cross-country, U23), Sweden
2000
1st MaillotBélgica.PNG Belgian MTB Championships (Cross-country), Belgium
3rd, bronze medalist(s) European Championships (Cross-country), Netherlands
19th Olympic Games (Cross-country), Sydney, (AUS)
2001
2nd Belgian MTB Championships (Cross-country), Belgium
3rd, bronze medalist(s) UCI World Cup (Cross-country), Kaprun (AUT)
2002
1st MaillotBélgica.PNG Belgian MTB Championships (Cross-country), Belgium
2nd, silver medalist(s) UCI World Cup (Cross-country), Houffalize (BEL)
3rd, bronze medalist(s) European Championships (Cross-country), Lausanne (SUI)
3rd, bronze medalist(s) UCI World Cup (Cross-country), Madrid (ESP)
2003
1st MaillotBélgica.PNG Belgian MTB Championships (Cross-country), Belgium
1st Jersey yellow.svg Overall, Grouse Mountain Bike, Canada
3rd, bronze medalist(s) UCI World Championships (Cross-country), Lugano (SUI)
2004
2nd Belgian MTB Championships (Cross-country), Belgium
2nd, silver medalist(s) Overall, UCI World Cup (Cross-country)
1st, gold medalist(s) Stage 2, Houffalize (BEL) & Stage 3, Livigno (ITA)
2nd, silver medalist(s) Stage 1, Madrid (ESP)
3rd Alpago Trophy, Chies d'Alpago (ITA)
4th Olympic Games (Cross-country), Athens, (GRE)
2005
1st Cape Epic, Cape Town (RSA)
1st Jersey yellow.svg Overall, Roc d'Azur (Marathon), France
2nd, silver medalist(s) Stage 1, UCI World Cup (Cross-country), Spa Francorchamps (BEL)
2nd, silver medalist(s) Stage 6, UCI World Cup (Cross-country), Santa Catarina (BRA)
2006
1st Stage 2, Sunshine Cup, Cyprus
3rd Belgian MTB Championships (Cross-country), Bastogne (BEL)
3rd, bronze medalist(s) UCI World Championships (Marathon), Oisans (FRA)
4th Stage 1, UCI World Cup (Cross-country), Curaçao (AHO)
5th Stage 2, UCI World Cup (Cross-country), Madrid (ESP)
5th Stage 3, UCI World Cup (Cross-country), Spa Francorchamps (BEL)
2007
1st MaillotBélgica.PNG Belgian MTB Championships (Cross-country), Belgium
1st MaillotBélgica.PNG Belgian MTB Championships (Marathon), Eijsden (NED)
1st Jersey yellow.svg Overall, Afxentia Stage Race, Cyprus
2nd Stage 1 & 3
3rd Stage 2
2nd Overall Absa Cape Epic (Marathon)
2nd, silver medalist(s) UCI World Championships (Marathon), Verviers (BEL)
4th Overall, UCI World Cup (Cross-country)
3rd, bronze medalist(s) Stage 3, Champéry (SUI)
4th Stage 4, Houffalize (BEL)
5th Stage 2, Maribor (SLO)
2008
1st MaillotBélgica.PNG Belgian MTB Championships (Cross-country), Malmédy (BEL)
1st Roc d'Azur (Cross-country & marathon), France
1st Jersey polkadot.svg Mountain, Sunshine Cup, Voroklini (CYP)
1st, gold medalist(s) Jersey rainbow.svg UCI World Championships (Marathon), Villabassa (ITA)
1st Stage 1, Afxentia Stage Race, Cyprus
1st Jersey yellow.svg Overall Absa Cape Epic (Marathon)
2nd Stage 3, Afxentia Stage Race, Cyprus
7th UCI World Championships (Cross-country), Val di Sole (ITA)
7th Stage 8, UCI World Cup (Cross-country), Canberra (AUS)
8th Stage 1, UCI World Cup (Cross-country), Houffalize (BEL)
12th Stage 4, UCI World Cup (Cross-country), Vallnord (AND)
19th Olympic Games (Cross-country), Beijing (CHN)
22nd Stage 5, UCI World Cup (Cross-country), Fort William (GBR)
2009
1st MaillotBélgica.PNG Belgian MTB Championships (Cross-country), Belgium
1st, gold medalist(s) Jersey rainbow.svg UCI World Championships (Marathon), Graz (AUT)
2010
1st Stage 3, Belgacom Grand Prix, Verviers (BEL)
6th Stage 4, Belgacom Grand Prix, Averbode (BEL)
12th Stage 3, UCI World Cup (Cross-country), Offenburg (GER)
14th Stage 2, UCI World Cup (Cross-country), Houffalize (BEL)
2013
2nd Belgian MTB Championships (Marathon), Belgium
12th Roc d'Azur (Marathon), France
19th UCI World Championships (Marathon), Kirchberg (AUT)
2017
1st MaillotBélgica.PNG Belgian MTB Championships (Marathon), Belgium

References[edit]

  1. ^ Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill. "Roel Paulissen". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 27 October 2013.
  2. ^ a b "Cannondale Factory Racing drops Paulissen after positive test". Cyclingnews.com. 16 July 2010. Retrieved 27 October 2013.
  3. ^ "Atlanta 1996: Cycling (Mountain Biking) – Men's Cross-Country Race" (PDF). Atlanta 1996. LA84 Foundation. p. 191. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 May 2011. Retrieved 27 October 2013.
  4. ^ "Sydney 2000: Cycling (Mountain Biking) – Men's Cross-Country Race" (PDF). Sydney 2000. LA84 Foundation. p. 18. Retrieved 27 October 2013.
  5. ^ Sumner, Jason (18 January 2002). "Two more Schwinn-GT castoffs find work". Velo News. Retrieved 27 October 2013.
  6. ^ "Grouse Mountain: Dahle, Paulissen grab cross-country wins". Velo News. 13 July 2003. Retrieved 27 October 2013.
  7. ^ Jones, Jeff (11 August 2004). "Belgium: A small but quality delegation". Cyclingnews.com. Retrieved 27 October 2013.
  8. ^ "Cycling: Men's Cross-Country Race". Athens 2004. BBC Sport. 15 August 2004. Retrieved 31 January 2013.
  9. ^ "Dunlap second in MTB World Cup". USA Cycling. 1 June 2004. Retrieved 27 October 2013.
  10. ^ Backelandt, Frederik (30 July 2005). "Sven Nys strijdt met Roel Paulissen samen om Europese titel in Kluisbergen" [Sven Nys fights together with Roel Paulissen for the European title in Kluisbergen] (in Dutch). De Standaard. Retrieved 27 October 2013.
  11. ^ "Roel Paulissen voor 2 jaar naar Cannondale-Vredestein" [Roel Paulissen has signed for 2 years with Cannondale-Vredestein] (in Dutch). Het Nieuwsblad. 2 November 2006. Retrieved 27 October 2013.
  12. ^ "WK-brons voor mountainbikester Vink" [World Championships bronze for mountain biker Vink] (in Dutch). Trouw. 13 August 2006. Retrieved 27 October 2013.
  13. ^ "Roel Paulissen haalt zilver op WK marathon mountainbike" [Roel Paulissen takes silver at World Championships marathon mountain bike] (in Dutch). De Morgen. 12 August 2007. Retrieved 27 October 2013.
  14. ^ George, Sue (16 October 2008). "Paulissen doubles at Roc d'Azur". Cyclingnews.com. Retrieved 27 October 2013.
  15. ^ McElwaine, Dave (11 July 2008). "Sauser & Paulissen crash in controversial marathon worlds sprint finish". Windham, New York: Cyclingnews.com. Retrieved 27 October 2013.
  16. ^ "Sven Nys: "Parkoers is zware veldrit"" [Sven Nys: "Easy Course is a heavy cyclocross."] (in Dutch). Het Laatste Nieuws. 21 August 2008. Retrieved 27 October 2013.
  17. ^ "Men's Cross-Country Race". Beijing 2008. NBC Olympics. Archived from the original on 19 August 2012. Retrieved 21 December 2012.
  18. ^ ""Unbeatable" Absalon wins his second gold". Agence France-Presse. Velo News. 22 August 2008. Retrieved 24 October 2013.
  19. ^ "Mountain biking king wants nothing less than gold". Agence France-Presse. CNN-IBN. 21 August 2008. Retrieved 27 October 2013.
  20. ^ McElwaine, Dave (13 March 2009). "Paulissen leading 2009 Cannondale Factory Team". Cyclingnews.com. Retrieved 27 October 2013.
  21. ^ "Euros Rule Marathon Worlds". Velo News. 22 August 2008. Retrieved 24 October 2013.
  22. ^ "Mountainbiker Paulissen stopt na positieve dopingtest" [Mountain biker Paulissen quits after positive drug test] (in Dutch). Het Laatste Nieuws. 16 July 2010. Retrieved 27 October 2013.
  23. ^ "Roel Paulissen heeft nieuwe ploeg en mag volgende maand weer koersen" [Roel Paulissen has a new team and may return next month] (in Dutch). Het Laatste Nieuws. 30 October 2012. Retrieved 27 October 2013.

External links[edit]