New Zealand's Greg Henderson recovered from an early crash and raced past a field that included six Olympians to win the 62.5-mile New York City Cycling Championship yesterday.

"Anything can happen in a crash. It all depends on how you land," Henderson said. "The first thing we saw today was the rain, and you're two weeks out from the Olympics so you don't want to crash. And what happens? Thirty kilometers into the race, I crash.

"It's an instant body kick: 'Am I okay? Am I okay? Please, not my knee, not my knee.' "

Henderson's knee was fine, but Colby Pearce, a member of the U.S. cycling team heading to Athens later this month, had a bigger scare. His crash midway through the race forced him to leave the course with his left arm in a sling, though officials said the deep bruise on his left wrist shouldn't affect his Olympic status.

Canada's Gordon Fraser, a Health Net/Maxxis teammate of Henderson and a member of Canada's Olympic team, finished second and Cuba's Ivan Dominguez, the 2002 winner, was third. Defending champion Marty Nothstein, the Olympic sprint gold medalist in 2000, finished 20th.

Fred Rodriguez's eighth-place finish earned him enough points to take the lead for the US Pro Tour, which continues Sept. 12 with the T-Mobile International in San Francisco.

After a morning thunderstorm soaked the 1.2-mile circuit course near Wall Street in Lower Manhattan, several cyclists went down in the first third of the race, including Chris Horner, whose nasty spill in the first few laps left him tangled in his own and another bicycle. Horner got back in the race and finished 10th.

U.S. Dethroned in Rowing

Italy won three gold medals at the World Rowing Championships in Banyoles, Spain, including a victory over the defending champion United States in the coxed four.

Italy also dominated the men's coxed pairs and lightweight quadruple sculls. Germany claimed the men's and women's lightweight single sculls, and France won the men's lightweight eight and the women's coxless four.

In the coxed four, Italy surged from the back of the field to overtake Canada and the United States, finishing in 6 minutes 11.53 seconds. Canada was second in 6:11.55, and the U.S. team third in 6:11.97.

Germany's Nina Gaesler beat Bulgaria's Viktoriya Dimitrova, the 2002 winner, and Ireland's Sinead Jennings, the 2001 champ, in the women's lightweight single sculls.

In the lightweight single sculls, Germany's Peter Ording remained unbeaten this season with a win over defending world champ Stefano Basalini of Italy.

In the lightweight coxless pairs, Denmark's Bo Helleberg and Mads Andersen dominated their final.

In Bulgaria: 'Not Guilty'

Bulgaria's top sports official was not implicated in a scandal involving the 2012 host city bidding process, his spokesman said yesterday.

Atanas Karaivanov said Ivan Slavkov, a member of the International Olympic Committee since 1987, "is not guilty and the involvement of his name in this affair is a provocation."

Slavkov could not be reached to comment.

On Thursday, the IOC asked its ethics commission to investigate "alleged inappropriate conduct within the Olympic movement linked with the bid process." The allegations are to be aired Wednesday on the British Broadcasting Corporation news program "Panorama."

New York, Paris, London, Madrid and Moscow are vying for the 2012 Games. The IOC will select the host city in July 2005.