Posted by Editor on 06/11/99
A Personal Report From Idaho
Sarah Ulmer of Team Elita is keeping a diary of the race. Team Manager David Cathcart sent us the following entry for yesterday's Stage 2 race.
Well, despite being only the second of thirteen stages, today's 94km race proved to be pretty aggressive......throw in a 50km hillclimb in for good measure, and you've got yourself an added challenge..... (as if enough kick-ass Euro and American team's weren't enough.....) Team Elita started today in 11th place in the caravan's peloton......Team tactics were discussed before the start, and included in this team talk, was the mention of a higher team GC after the stage - at least enough for our support staff to move up a few places in the caravan - apparently 11th on the grid didn't offer good enough viewing........so pole position was another goal for the day......
Anyway, the stage was pretty much 50 km uphill, then a slight downhill for 40km to the finish (nowhere near enough of a grade going down to compensate for the grovel up, I may add.....)......so from a track (usually) rider's perspective, she was a pretty tough grind......something directly related to body mass and gravity I think......has those hills affecting some of us more than others........
So as for those that were moving and shaking the bunch.......Jeannie Longo showed us all why she is who she is......breaking away from the peloton early on the climb, taking a few riders with her, but by the stage finish pumping one and a half minutes (on her own) into a bunch of about 15, who in turn pumped a good four minutes into our bunch of about 40....(where most of the Elita team finished the stage.....).......a decidedly impressive performance by the rider who not only is winning the 35 years and older category, but is now in the yellow jersey.........
Team Elita didn't quite gain enough team GC places to reach pole position, but we did move up two places to ninth........hopefully by the end of the tour, the guys in the van will be watching the racing in front row seats..(???!)
Cybil Diguistini, in the Elita team, has asserted herself as a top contender in the other end of the age-scale.........she's currently on the same time as two other Espoires, so that category will prove to be a race within the HP Women's Challenge.......
Tomorrow brings the infamous Galena mountain......(about half way into a 95km route)...another wee bonus for those of us who dread the ascending portions (generous ones too) of this tour........we finished today at 6500ft, and the top of Galena is about 8700ft.....so the altitude will give a little extra-for-experts, for those who don't find the 8km (is that all????).....hill (mountain).....enough of a challenge....... But despite the tough terrain and racing, you can't help but enjoy yourself in this tour......I'm sitting in cosy cottage in Stanley, ID......with a view of the sun setting on the snow-capped mountains, and a stream gushing it's way past my window........
Life's not too bad.........
Sarah Ulmer Team ELITA -- New Zealand
HP Classic Press Release
Jeannie Longo-Ciprelli Crushes Field To Win Second Stage And Take The Overall Lead Of The 1999 HP LaserJet WomenÃ¢â‚¬Å¡s Challenge
Idaho City, ID, June 10 Ã‹â€ FranceÃ¢â‚¬Å¡s Jeannie Longo-Ciprelli, the greatest woman cyclist in history, proved she is still one of the most dangerous riders in the world by blowing away the field to win the second stage of the 1999 HP LaserJet WomenÃ¢â‚¬Å¡s Challenge. Longo-Ciprelli (Ebly) pushed the pace on the ascent of the 6,800-foot Banner Summit, holding off several challengers, including defending champion Linda Jackson (Timex) and Mari Holden (HP Toner). Longo-Ciprelli soloed the remaining 26 miles to claim the stage, one minute, 37 seconds ahead of the 12-rider chase group. Lithuanian Diana Ziliute (HP Toner) took second, and teammate Mari Holden, of Colorado Springs, CO was third, the highest placing US rider.
"I was in a little pain this morning and thought I would just ride slowly early to see how I felt. When no one pushed the pace I decided to take responsibility,Ã¢â‚¬Â°" said Longo-Ciprelli. "I train in altitude so I feel really at ease in the mountains."
Update On Vancouver Trail Closures
(courtesy Chris Gagan, RaceFace)
FYI- for those of you who aren't local Vancouver riders - we've recently suffered a serious setback at the hands of the District of West Vancouver, with the closure of all trails on Cypress Mountain. Read on for more info- it's a sad day for the future of mountain biking on the fabled North Shore. The numbers are there - call the mayor!
As of last evening - June 9th - the structures on Roach Hit and Wild Cherry are still intact. No news received regarding Sex Boy, Hogans, Big I, Fleshy Wound or other Cypress trails
- Blind Skier, Reaper; Pre-Reaper and Coiler, as we knew them, have ceased to exist.
- The entrance stunt to Reaper - the long, continuous, downhill log has been bucked into three pieces and is no longer rideable.
- Ladder bridges on Blind Skier Coiler, Reaper and Pre-Reaper are all gone. This includes the high stunts on all trails down to the 1 foot high bridges crossing creeks mid-way down Coiler.
- The trails have not been signed as closed as yet.
REASONS WEST VANCOUVER IS OUT TO LUNCH:
excerpted From North Shore News, November 19, 1997, page 17; Andrew McCredie, "Being Prepared and Responsible"
1995 - 1996 B.C. Search and Rescue Statistics (source Provincial Emergency Programme)
Top Ten Categories Requiring Searches Required Search/Rescue (broken by category into Injured/Dead/Not Found)
1. Hikers 360
2. Walk Aways/Rest Homes 127
3. Boaters 121
4. Snowmobilers 81
5. Hunters 71
6. Kayakers 68
7. Off Road M.V.A. 50
8. Skiers/Snowboarders 48
9. Cyclists 26
10. Mushroom Pickers 22
Many of you know by now that, some time on June 8, 1999, the District of West Vancouver (or "DWV") began the process of deactivating mountain-biking trails in the municipal district of West Vancouver. The targeted trails comprise approximately 20 to 25% of the existing trails in the North Shore of Vancouver.
DWV did so, in the words of Bill McCuaig, a functionary of DWV Parks (604-925-7143) because the trails were on public land and constituted a "public hazard". The following represents a commentary on why DWV's position is untenable.
The North Shore News article above represents data from 1995 - 1996. Further anecdotal data from North Shore Search and Rescue reveals that more recent statistics display that cyclists are a relatively low-risk group.
That's right folks, as a risk category, we are right in there with mushroom pickers!!
Surprised? You shouldn't be - you know by experience, cyclists are group with fairly good judgment. It requires a fair amount of commitment, dedication and personal risk-tolerance for a person in today's aseptic, cautious, conservative society to actually buy a bicycle, pedal to a trailhead and ride off-road on a trail. Contrast this with the average Grouse Grinder trooping up the trail
Most people who take this momentous step - of actually riding their bikes off-road - have a fair idea of how much personal risk they can handle. This is especially true of the terrain in the North Shore, where riders have built and maintained trails on ground that is invariably steep and have incorporated man-made and natural obstacles (or "stunts") in such trails. These stunts enable trail users to bypass environmentally sensitive areas but also add to the challenge of trails - invariably, for every stunt, there is a ride-around.
Anyone who rides on North Shore trails and on stunts knows that such man-made and natural stunts are readily apparent and easily avoided. This is why the District of West Vancouver's actions in destroying all the man-made stunts in trails to be so bewildering, misinformed and just plain wrong!
1. Why single out man-made stunts over natural stunts?
The trails are still there - just the man-made stunts are gone. What makes a 10 foot rock face any less dangerous than a ladder bridge made of cedar leading to a vertical 4 foot drop? It is not difficult to see the inherent risk (and challenge) inherent in riding such stunts, to assess ones skills and then make the informed decision whether or not to ride such stunt or alternatively, to walk around?
Does DWV believe it is a better judge of what is acceptable and unacceptable risk than the individual rider?
2. Why take out man-made stunts that were so obviously targeted at alleviating environmental concerns?
One example of stunts removed were the 1 foot high bridges, 2 foot wide bridges crossing creeks mid-way down Coiler. If this is the level of danger that DWV considers "unacceptable" than their vision of "unacceptable risk" is very different than mine, and many other mountainbikers.
Does DWV believe that the level of "unacceptable risk" is that low?
3. Why single out mountainbiking?
I back-country ski, hike and mountaineer. There are many snowmobilers who have absolutely NO avalanche hazard awareness. Many snowboarders who, time and time again, stumble off down creeks. Many hikers who go into the woods, TOTALLY unprepared, whether in the Grouse Grind, BCMC trail or otherwise. As the statistics show, mountainbikers are a relatively safe bunch, much more so than hikers, for example.
Yet, I do not see DWV clamouring to close down hiking trails. I do not see DWV closing down bridges which will allow hikers to reach potentially dangerous terrain. I do not see them switchbacking the roads down from the Taylor Way exit from the Upper Levels to Marine Drive because the road is too steep for dumptrucks.
AGAIN PLEASE NOTE - this is the action of the District of West Vancouver. The District of North Vancouver, GVRD and BC Parks have NOTHING to do with this. To my knowledge, they neither knew of nor condoned West Vancouver's actions.
604-925-7000; is the number of District of West Vancouver - you may leave comments in the Mayor's voice mail. The functionaries responsible for implementing the dismantling the trails are Kevin Pike 604-925-7206 and Bill McCuaig 604-925-7143.
Lee Lau, June 10, 1999
on Behalf of the North Shore Mountain Biking Association See http://www.nsmba.bc.ca for further updates.
Canada Cup Canmore
Entry Forms for the Canada Cup #4 in Canmore July 11-12 are now available on the website http://www.thebikeshop.com/cancup4
Forms will also be available this weekend at the Canada Cup in Quebec.
Cyclepath Triple Threat (BC Cup XC#2, DH#1), Kelowna (4 - 6, June)
A rather late race report, oh well...
Race report: http://mypage.direct.ca/r/rhsu/index.html
Race results: http://www.stat-timing.com/resvm.html
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