March 28/99 3:20 am - Men Getting Ready at Napa
Posted by Editor on 03/28/99
Perfect Conditions for the Men
We are approximately 45 minutes from the start of the Menâ€šs World Cup race here in Napa, California. The field is very strong, with only 2 of the top 30 riders missing. Among the favourites in attendance - Cadel Evans, Miguel Martinez, Rune Hoydahl, Thomas Frischknecht... Hoydahl is a rider to watch, given his past strong performances here - first last year and second the year before. Last night, during a press conference, the Norwegian rider agreed that the course suited him: â€žAlong climb and a long descent - it is perfect for me.â€°
The weather couldnâ€št be better - sunny, clear, and already approaching 20 degrees C. The course has dried up even more than yesterday, so the race should be very fast. Yesterday the women beat their estimated race time by about 10 minutes, so the menâ€šs race should be about 2:15 to 2:20 for 6 laps of the 8 kilometre course (plus a 1 kilometre start loop).
The Canadian contingent includes the following riders:
Chris Sheppard (Catera)
Andreas Hestler (Polo Sport)
Seamus McGrath (Haro)
Neil Grover (GM-Rocky Mountain)
Roland Green (GT)
Peter Wedge (Mapei-Kona)
Geoff Kabush (Kona Factory)
Mathieu Toulouse (Ford Devinci)
Ruedi Schnyder (Deep Cove)
George Visser (Xenacom)
Matt Decore (Mountain Spirit)
Adam Walker (GM-Rocky Mountain)
Eric Tourville (Oryx)
Ryder Hesjedal (Fisher Saab)
Unfortunately, only Chris Sheppard has a good starting position, which is critical in a race that is going to be this fast.
Our next report will be after the riders start, and then every lap.