March 19/99 9:20 am - Sheppard 10th in Sea Otter Opener
Posted by Editor on 03/19/99
Sheppard 10th at Sea Otter Prologue
(courtesy Chris Sheppard, Team Catera)
Chris Sheppard, in his own inimitable style, has sent us a report on the first stage of the Men's mountain bike race at the Sea Otter Classic (translations appear as needed...).
Arrrrrr, this be the captain updating you on fun and festivities in the maritime community of Monterey. Thar be many people here...errrr thar be many Euros here!
Today marked the first day of competition as the fastest riders in the world embarked on a four mile time trial. The loop saw 156 riders slog around a rain soaked course that was best defined as gumbo! To truly make the course more difficult than previous years, the organizers added some 200 extra feet of climbing and a final descent that included one double, and two single jumps on a greasy, 15% slope! Those daring enough to hurl their bodies over the massive double failed every time......it made for good spectating though!
Setting an early lead (and the eventual winner) was rising Dutch rider star Roel Paulissen. His time was four sec faster than Frischknecht, and eight over Hoydahl. After blowing up in the Cactus TT, I chose to start the race at an easy tempo, and crank it up over the last half. This technique worked well and I ended up 23 seconds down in tenth place......which means call to the line in the dirt criterium tomorrow...excellent Smithers, excellent! Behind me were the other Canucks...Rolli (Roland Green) 11th, White Rasta (Seamus McGrath) 12th , Dr Dre (Andreas Hestler) 24th, Kabusher (Geoff Kabush) 30th, (Mathieu) Toulouse 50th, (Peter) Wedge 58th, (Neil) Grover 63rd.
**Thursday night was the unveiling of team Catera/Klein/DKNY to the media. Attending the dinner were editors from the fashion industry (Vogue, Shape, Gear, Glamour, and a few others), as well as the bicycle industry. We (the riders) uncloaked the freshly painted, metallic orange Catera to the theme song from Austin Powers.....to go with my suit, I wore black riser Fluvogs that had orange flames (hey I can't be converted that easily!). Ed. Note: I was invited (by receiving a package of...dirt, with the letters Z-I-G enclosed, plus an invite to test drive a Caddy while there). However, with trips to Napa (next week) and Taipei (two weeks after) coming up, I regretfully declined. Sigh.