Posted by Editoress on 06/27/99
8:25 am: Women's race is about to start
The weather is perfect! Sunny skies, not much wind and not hot YET...!
All of the who's who of Canadian womens racing is there (with the exception of the mountain bikers who are at Big Bear for the World Cup).
9:20 am: 2 laps into the race
The women will race 115 km (9laps) on this relatively flat course. After 2 laps there is NOTHING going on.
With no climb to break the pack up it will eventually become a team tactical race, with Saturn and Elita having the most representation.
9:40 am: Elita starting to create some action
3 laps into the race, Team Elita is starting to generate some action. Annie Gariepy has gone off the front and has 15 seconds on the "watchful" pack. The speed of the pack has accelerated too, with speeds reaching as high as 80km an hour on some of the "downhills"
Rob has commandeered himself a motorcycle for the day, so he should have a great view of the racing.
9:50 am: Clara Hughes takes a flyer off of the front
At the 27 km mark, Clara Hughes (Saturn), launched an attack of of the front of the pack, caught Gariepy and flew past her to put some serious distance between herself and the pack.
10:05 pm: 3 riders chasing Hughes
It looks like Hughes attack has indeed shaken up the pack. Three riders , Anne Samplonious, Erin Carter and an Elita rider (Gariepy?), have launched a chase that has split the pack. The 3 have come within 40 seconds of Hughes: who is really moving (they are clocking her at 80km and hour on some of the downhill sections).
The pack, that is now reduced to about 15 riders, is chasing the three.
10:20pm: Lap 5 - Clara Hughes has over 2 minutes on the pack
With Clara off the front, it has become a cat and mouse situation in the pack. Elita is launching repeated attacks off of the front of the pack, which is now 16 riders. Linda Jackson is forced to chase down each one of these attacks, on her own. If any of these attacks looks to be really serious, then Lyne Bessette comes up to counter any chance for success.
Sue Palmer did not start todays race and is watching from the sidelines.
10:45 pm: Lap 6 - Clara Hughes has over 4:15 on the pack
Lyne Bessette is testing the pack, by launching small attacks off of the front. Nothing serious yet, but the pack will have to be very vigilante.
Clara is riding with her hands on the top of the bars looking very comfortable.
11:50 pm: Last Lap
By lap 7, Hughes had increased her lead to 6 minutes. The pack was all together, waiting for SOMEONE to make a move.
Now, with 1 lap to go, Hughes has 10 minutes on the pack. When the pack went through the start/finish Anne Samplonious launched an attack and Lyne Bessette was glued to her wheel. The rest of the race will be for 2nd place.
12:30pm: Clara Hughes is National Champion
Clara Hughes is the 1999 Road Womens Champion. Having ridden away from the pack in lap three, she never looked back. "I just concentrated on spinning, being smooth and eating and drinking enough".
The real race was for 2nd place, which came down to a sprint. Anne Samplonious started the lead out, but was caught by Lynne Bessette, who then launched an attack and took Sandy Espeseth with her.
Linda Jackson, who was taken down in a crash during the last lap, rode in well behind the pack.
1. Clara Hughes
2. Lynne Bessette
3. Sandy Espeseth
1:35 pm: Mens Race has started
118 men started todays 179 km (14 laps) race.
In lap 2, Alex LavallÃƒÂ© (the 1998 Espoire Champion) has gone off and has a 45 second lead on the pack.
Women Top 5
1. Clara Hughes (Saturn) 3:13:29
2. Lynne Bessette (Saturn) at 10:42
3. Sandy Espeseth s.t.
4. Annie Gariepy (Elita) s.t.
5. Leigh Hobson s.t.
1:58 PM: Lap 4
At the beginning of Lap 4, Lavalle has been joined by 5 riders (? Bergeron, Sean Kelly, Pascal Choquette (Degree Radio Energie), Ray Dugan (Saeco) and Guillaume Belzile QC Espoirs de Laval-Naya and this group now has 1 minute on the pack.
2:10pm: The breakaway group is getting bigger
The pack is going to have to wake up. The breakaway group has just been joined by 4 more riders (Czeslaw Lukaszewicz, Sam Thibideault, Rodney Henderson, and Luca Segato). Czeslaw has the ability to make this break work and they have already increased the lead to 1:15.
2:25 pm:Group Bridging
There is a group of 6 riders (Eric Wohlberg (Shaklee) and Matt Anand (Saturn) are in it) that has split from the front of the pack and are with in within 35 seconds of catching the breakaway group. The breakaway lead group now has 1:25 on the pack.
3:25 pm: Larger Break group
In lap 6, Wohlberg and Anand's group crept closer to the lead break group, and Brian Walton (Saturn) set out on his own to chase down the leaders.
Lap 7, the half way point of the race and the breakaway group was caught by both the Wohlberg/Anand group and by Walton. This brought the number of riders in this group to 15.
Part way through the lap, the pack has splintered. Peter Wedge, Dominique Perras and Michael Barry bridged up to the leaders. Mark Walters and Gord Fraser are at 1:20 back, attempting to bridge.
3:45pm: Lap 8 - Lots of Action
Frazer left a tiring Walters behind and joined the lead group, just in time for a huge surge off the front by Saturn. Walton and Anand led a small group away, splitting the group and leaving Fraser behind with Barry to watch over him. Saturn does not want the powerful sprinter in the lead group and it is obvious that this split was initiated by them to drop Fraser. Peter Wedge was also left behind, but is making a lone effort to bridge.
4:20pm: Lap 10 and the Action Continues
In lap 9 the groups got back together again a rider at a time. Fraser being one of the last riders on. Just as he joined, Anand launched an attack off of the front, taking with him Beauchamps, Lukaszewicz, and Lyman. The chase group was then split again, into 2 groups. A group containing Walton, Wohlberg, and another group behind it containing Fraser, Wedge. Fraser and Wedge then bridged up to the chase group.
End of Lap 10
Michael Barry, dropped earlier, has come up and joined the chase group. With 2 Saturn riders in the group (Walton & Barry) they can now launch attacks that must be countered by other riders, thus weakening them for later. This group is now 1 minute down on the leaders.
Meanwhile, in the lead group, Lukaszewicz is waging his own war, launching attacks, attempting to drop the other 3.
Through the feed zone on lap 11, Michael Barry attacked taking with him Peter Wedge and LavallÃƒÂ©. Eric Wohlberg and Brian Walton are together, 30 seconds back.
5:00 pm: Lap 12
Barry, Wedge and LavallÃƒÂ© have caught the 4 leaders. As soon as the 7 were all together .... the 2 Saturn riders started launching attacks.
Walton and Wohlberg are 1:30 behind.
5:25pm: Last Lap
We missed a Lap!!! (Rob has been on the back of a motorcycle too long today) The riders are now in the last lap. Just past the feed zone for the final time, Matt Anand and Sylvain Beauchamps got away. Barry, Wedge, LavallÃƒÂ© and Lyman took up the chase.
With just 8km to go, Anand has dropped Beauchamps and is heading out alone. Barry, Wedge and LavallÃƒÂ© have dropped Lyman and are chasing.
5:40pm: And the winner is.....Czeslaw Lukaszewicz!
Well .... in all the excitement of the attacks and counter attacks that have been happening over the last 3 laps. Everyone had been watching Saturn. Czeslaw Lukaszewicz used this to his advantage to sneak away off the front,.....
This all happened on the second last lap when the neutral feed ended. Czeslaw was in the lead group and the Saturn car was feeding its riders. Czeslaw asked for water and they refused. Czeslaw got mad and went hard, dropping the other riders. Anyone following behind the leaders was not aware of this. (especially the motorcycles as they were not on radio). Boy, are our faces red!
1. Czeslaw Lukaszewicz
2. Matt Anand
3. Sylvain Beauchamps
4. Peter Wedge
5. Michael Barry
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