April 24/99 1:34 am - Report from Spanish World Cup-Women's Race
Posted by Editor on 04/24/99
Women's World Cup XC#3 Report
Chris and Chrissy Redden (Ritchey-Yahoo!) have just filled us in on today's women's cross-country World Cup race in Spain. We have no official results yet - and neither do they. The organization is apparently not particularly, shall we say, efficient...
Anyways, Chrissy reports that the course (which is 45 minutes north of Madrid, in the mountains) is very hard. After doing a 1.2 kilometre start loop, the riders headed out onto the first of 4 laps of the 7.8 kilometre circuit. The course begans with a very technical and steep 3.5 kilometre climb - so steep in places that all riders were forced to get off a run. They then went into a rolling fast section, grassy section, before descending to the finish. The descent was also very technical - narrow and full of loose gravel and rocks; which only got worse as the race proceeded. The weather conditions were clear and sunny, around 22 degrees Celcius. Given the altitude, Chris said that many riders were sporting sunburns by the end of the day!
In the first lap Alison Sydor and Gunn-Rita Dahle gapped chasers Paola Pezzo, Margarita Fullana and Alison Dunlap, with Dahle leading Sydor on the descent before crashing (unconfirmed reports say she suffered chest injuries). Pezzo and Fullana moved up to join Sydor at the front on the second lap, while Dahle dropped back to Dunlap. Fullana made her race winning move on the third lap, with Dahle rejoining Sydor in the chase, and Pezzo falling off the pace, but still ahead of Dunlap. This set the finishing order.
Chrissy reports: "It was a tough start, and the climb really spaced out everybody. I think a lot of riders, including me, were really feeling the effects of the travel from Australia. I knew right from the start that my legs were running on empty today. I tried to keep a positive attitude, though, and push through."
Since there are no official results yet, we only have approximations of where the rest of the Canadians finished, and what the World Cup standings are. Melanie Dorion (Ford-Devinci) was the third Canadian rider, in the mid-20s, followed by Lesley Tomlinson about 10 places back, and then Melanie McQuaid (Rocky Mountain) a further 10 places behind. Alison Sydor continues to lead the World Cup, followed by Dahle, then Dunlap. Chrissy retains 4th place, 15 points ahead of Mary Grigson of Australia.