Canadian Cyclist


May 23/99 1:38 am - Poley Mountain Canada Cup #1

Posted by Editoress on 05/23/99

Reports from Poley

The Men's race has just started under sunny skies, 18 degree temperature, no wind and clouds of blackflies. On the line were Eric Tourville, Geoff Kabush, Adam Walker (defending Canada Cup winner), Peter Wedge, Neil Grover, and Josh Hall to name just a few of the total of 55 starters for the race. Peter Wedge immediately shot to the front to begin the first of 5 laps (there is no start loop). Each lap is 6.5 km in length and consists of 3 km of climbing at the beginning of the laps and 3.5 km of descending at the end. There is a mixture of singletrack and wide open grassy areas for passing. Much of the singletrack on the climb is very slippery and may mean a lot of dismounts and running.

Seamus McGrath will be taking a break from racing until at least next weekend. He sufferd a bad cut to his leg requiring stiches during a crash at the Plymouth World Cup last weekend.

10:50am: The womens race started minutes behind the men. There were 15 women on the start line, including Melanie McQuaid, Leslie Greene, Marie-Helene Premont and yesterdays DH winner Sylvie Allen. The women will do 4 laps.

11:10am: Lap one is behind them! The riders have just completed their first lap and the leader of the men's race is George Visser. 12 seconds back is Peter Wedge. At 1:06 is Eric Tourville and Chris Blanchard, then Chad Miles at 1:20, Neil Grover and Geoff Kabush at 1:45. The damp ground seems to be adding to the effort required to complete a lap and the riders are well strung out as they completethe first of 5 laps.

The womens race started with Marie-Helen Premont going to the front with Melanie McQuaid on her wheel. At the end of lap one Marie-Helen has stayed in the lead, but Sylvie Allen has moved in the the 2nd place position at 8 seconds back, with Melanie McQuad sitting in 3rd at 30 seconds behind the leader.

11:45am: Lap 3 has begun! At the top of the climb on lap 2, Peter Wedge caught George Visser and they have stayed together throught the start finish to complete lap 2 and begin the climb for lap 3. Eric Tourville holds frimly onto 3rd at 1:30 back of the 2 leaders. Chad Miles, Chris Blanchard and a mystery rider (not on the start list) are riding together at 2:14. Then it is Neil Grover and Geoff Kabush at 2:25.

At the end of lap one Marie-Helen has opened up her lead on Sylvie Allen who has settled comfortably into 2nd place and is 45 seconds back, with Melanie McQuad sitting in 3rd at 2:00 behind the leaders.

12:05pm: Lap 4! This is a tough course and it is showing everyone that the east can indeed host a high level event. Visser and Wedge hold firmly onto a joint lead as they head into lap 4. Eric Tourville is still in 3rd at 2:00 back, but the Mystery rider has moved to within 20 seconds of him. Geoff Kabush has moved up to join Chad Miles and they are 2:55 back of the two leaders, then it is Grover and Blancher at 3:30 with Josh Hall well behind them.

12:25pm: Final lap for Men and Women As the women started their last lap Marie-Helen Promont has a firm hold on 1st place with 1:45 over Sylvie Allen in 2nd. Melanie McQuaid is still 3rd, but has lost over 2 minutes on this lap as she is 4:00 behind the leader.

Just after the women came through finish, Peter Wedge roared through to start his final lap. He had dropped Visser and put nearly 40 seconds between them, and was showing no sign of letting up. Tourville is still 3rd at 2:30 and our mystery rider is no longer a mystery - he is Jean-Francois Robert (he had a #plate change on the line and forgot to tell anyone) holding onto 4th at 3:45. There is a group of 4 nipping at his heels though. Kabush, Miles and Grover are just 25 secons behind Robert and Chris Blanchard is closing on them. Could be interesting if they can keep the pace.

The Expert Men's race is also going on at the same time. There is a rider who is making a real impression. He is Ricky Federov from BC riding for Rocky Mountain and he is, in the words of our editor, "killing the field". He is starting to reel in the Elite men's field. We will have to keep an eye on this guy.

12:45pm: Federov wins Junior Expert Cellphone connection is a bit bad at times, so I missed that Federov is a JUNIOR Expert rider. He is a second year Junior who was 3rd at the nationals last year, won 2 BC cups in 1998 and placed 32nd at the 1998 Worlds.

Junior Expert Men
1. Ricky Federov (BC) Rocky Mountain
2. Stephane Sanschagrin (QC) Trek/VW
3. Emmanual Beauchemin (QC)
4. David Harris (NF)

George Cobham and Eric Cseff have been providing colourful(Rob's words - I guess you have to be there) commentary through the racing today, and it has been getting progressively MORE colourful as the day draws to a close.

1:25pm: Wedge and Promont take Canada Cup #1

Peter Wedge wins in his home province in front of a cheering crowd. In the final lap Wedge put nearly a minute between himself and Visser. Wedge said he knew from the start that "Visser was going to be strong, and there was no way I was going to let him (Visser) get away ..... "He was killing me on the singletrack" said Wedge. Vissers response was that he had to, "I tried to catch up on the downhill, but Peter was just so strong on the climb". Eric Tourville took 3rd and was reasonably happy. "I'm a heavier rider, and I had a tough ride on the wet ground."

Marie-Helen Premont takes the womens race that she led from the beginning. "I knew I was going well, but I was not sure how strong Melanie (McQuaid) would be."

Elite Men

1. Peter Wedge (NB) Kona-Mapei 2:11.21
2. George Visser (QC) at 1:30
3. Eric Tourville (QC) Oryx 1:42
4. Jean-Francois Robert (QC)
5. Neil Grover (BC) Rocky Mountain
6. Geoff Kabush (BC)
7. Chad Miles
8 .Chris Blancher (AB)
9. Josh Hall (ON)
10. Ryan Dey (ON)

Elite Women

1. Marie-Helen Promont (QC)
2. Sylvie Allen(BC) Giant
3. Melanie McQuaid (BC) Rocky Mountain
4. Claire Townsend
5. Leslie Greene
6. Annie Hamel


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