March 28/99 10:25 am - Napa World Cup coverage
Posted by Editoress on 03/28/99
4:10pm EST - Mens race starts
The men have just completed the 1 km strting loop and the riders have set a blistering pace. As they head out onto the main course the leaders are: Jerome Chiotti, Pavel Tcherkassov, Gregory Vollet, Michael Rasmussen, Miguel Martinez and Thomas Frischknecht
4:30 pm EST - The pace is still fast at the end of lap 1
End of the first lap
There is a group of 15 who are setting the pace. In this group is Christophe Sauser (Volvo/Cannondale), Michael Rasmussen, Bas Van Dooren (BE-ONE), Jerome Chiotti (GT), Cadel Evans (Volvo/Cannondale), Tinker Juarez (Volvo/Cannondale), just to mention a few. The pace is still extremely fast so it is hard to pick out all of the riders.
NOTE: Thomas Frischknecht (Ritchey/YAHOO!) dropped out on the first climb. He said he started throwing up part way up the climb
4:45 pm EST - Chiotti still in the lead half way through lap 2
At the top of the climb lap 2 Chiotti still in the lead
Jerome Chiotti (GT) has a 20 second lead on a group of 4 riders , Martinez, Van Doore, Hoydahl and Evans. Then there is another gap of 10 seconds and it is Jan Ostergaard (IKOCOR),. Then a steady stream of riders.
Chris Sheppard is the first Canadian and is 25th about 1:15 back.
Canadian riders have been entertaining the crowd with some spectacular endos at the stream crossing
Hubert Pallhuber (DiamondBack) has dropped out with a broken rear derailleur.
5:00 pm EST - Martinez has taken over the lead
Martinez has taken over the lead from Chiotti as the riders go through the start finish to begin lap 3
The pace set by the group of 15 has put nearly 2 minutes between them and the main field. The 15 are now settling into a good race pace. Martinez has put 18 seconds between himself and Chiotti. Then it is Van Dooren, Evans, Hoydahl and Dupuis.
5:15pm EST - Martinez extends his lead
Part way up the climb Martinez has extended his lead over a small chase group. He now has 26 seconds on Evans who is leading the chase. The Van Dooren, Chiotti and a new member of the group seems to be Dario Cioni (Mapei/Kona)
Seamus McGrath has overtaken Chris Sheppard and has moved into 19th position 2 minutes back of the leaders. Sheppard is in 23rd at 2:25.
At the top of the climb Evans and Chiotti have closed the gap on Martinez to 20 seconds. Van Dooren and Cioni have dropped to 37 seconds. McGrath and Sheppard maintain their positions, but Sheppard has lost more time on the leaders.
5:25 pm EST - Lap 4 begins and Martinez again extends his lead
As the riders complete lap 3 Martinez has again extended his lead over Evans and Chiotti. He now has 35 seconds on the hard chasing pair. Behind Evans and Chiotti, the riders are well strung out with about 10 to 15 feet between them in this order VanDooren, Filip Meirhaeghe, Cioni, Vollet, Dupuis and Hoydahl
5:40 pm EST - Over the top of the climb on lap 4 Martinez turns up the heat
At the top of the climb Martinez has increased his lead over Evans to 50 seconds. Behind Evans is Vollet at 58 seconds who has overtaken Chiotti now at 1 minute. Juarez is looking strong in 10th and is the first N. American. Seamus McGrath has moved up to 16th (3:15 behind the leaders) and appears to be having a great time. He is getting a lot of crowd support and his huge grin tells everyone he is enjoying the attention. Chris Sheppard is sitting in 25th, but seems to be struggling.
5:50 pm EST - Start of lap 5 Evans has started to reel in Martinez
Through the start/finish Evans had closed the gap to 35 seconds Vollez was just behind him at 40.
then in order: Chiotti, Hoydahl, VanDooren, Cioni, Jose Ramos Hermida, Tinker, Christophe Sauser, Ludovic Dubau,Andres Brenes, Jan Ostergaard, Dominique Arnould and McGrath.
As they started the climb, Evans had taken even more time out of Martinez' lead - it is now down to 24 seconds. Then Vollet at 41 sec.. Chiotti at 50 and Bas Van Dooren at 1:21
6:05 pm EST - Martinez still in the lead, Evans eases off chase
Martinez has increased his lead marginally as they go into the final lap He has back up to 30 seconds over Evans. Then it is Vollet at 45 seconds, Chiotti at 1:04, Hoydahl, VanDooren, Sauser, Tcherkassov. Lennie Kristensen, had a flat back in lap 3, but has made his way back up to the top 10
McGrath has moved up to 14th and Sheppard to 23rd.6:30 pm EST - Martinez wins World Cup #1
Miguel Martinez (FRA) FULLDX, really stepped on it and put nearly a minute between himself and Evans (AUS) Volvo/Cannondale in the last half lap of today's race. Gregory Vollet, (FRA) Bianchi took third.
Official results as they become available.7:00 pm EST - McGrath top North American
Seamus McGrath (Haro) finished 14th today, and was the top North American. Tinker Juarez who had been ahead of him for most of the race, flatted in the last lap and Seamus passed him. Unofficially Chris Sheppard (Catera) finished 21st and Andreas Hestler (PoloSport) 33rd.
Martinez was asked if he was worried about Evans at any point in the race "I was worried for one lap only, but I was feeling strong today"
Evans, when asked if he thought that he could have caught Martinez said " Towards the end of the race I was still feeling good, but he (Martinez) kept upping the pace. In the last lap I realized there was no way I was going to catch him".
Rune Hoydahl, the pre-race favourite and last years winner here, crashed in the second lap, bending his rear derailleur and damaging his shifter. He had to run many of the uphill sections because he was unable to shift into lower gears. "To bad, I was feeling good today".
The Canadian opinion of the course was a unanimous AWESOME! "We need more courses like this" someone said.
We are still awaiting official results.