July 18/09 6:15 am - Tour de White Rock: Stage 1
Posted by Editoress on 07/18/09
New Zealand’s Jazz Apple, Costa Rica’s Villalobos top podium at Tour de White Rock Hillclimb
Dotsie Bausch has done a lot of different kinds of racing over an 11-year cycling career that includes a pair of US National Championships on the track.
But the 36-year-old from Jazz Apple Cycling had never raced anything like the Hillclimb at the 30th annual Tour de White Rock.
Not that the new look fazed her at all.
Bausch blew everyone away her first time up the leg melting, lung burning 700-meter ascent from White Rock beach to the top Buena Vista Avenue, finishing in three minutes and 2.18 seconds -- more than 12 seconds ahead of the rest of the field. Her reward was a second trip up the 16 per cent grade climb, as the top-five riders went head to head to decide the podium. And again Bausch finished well ahead of everyone.
“What a unique environment,” Bausch said. “You would never do this anywhere else. I mean, go again? But what a cool thing to do -- really painful, but cool. From the very start that crowd took me all the way to the top. It was so inspiring. I felt like I was at the big Liberty Classic in Philly. That’s how loud these people were.”
Jazz Apple’s Marina Duvnjak, a 13-year pro from New Zealand who won the Tour de Delta Road Race on Sunday, finished a distant second.
“It makes you sick trying to follow her,” Duvnjak said of her teammate, shaking her head when told Bausch never got out of the saddle.
Like Bausch, Duvnjak said she’d never done a race like the Hillclimb.
“That is just cruel,” said Duvnjak. “But I do sort of like it because you really do find out just exactly how hard you can push yourself.”
Heather Kay (ERTC/Revolution) of Sherwood Park, Alberta finished third, finally making the podium after finishing fifth her first two attempts –- the first time because she didn’t get called to the start line for the head-to-head race two years ago, and the second after cramping last year.
“This year I was on my rollers and they called the top-5 and I wasn’t in the top five so I was on my rollers kind of cursing because my husband said if I was top-5 I would get to drink tonight, have a beer,” she said with a smile. “And then all of a sudden the race was going to start and they called my number and I carried a whole water bottle up. It’s hard, especially with no warning. I just went as hard as I could both tines.”
Gillian Carleton of Kelowna’s Total Restoration Cycling finished fourth, while Amy Herlinveaux of Vancouver’s Trek Red Truck team was fifth in head-to-head racing after posting the second-fastest time originally. None could catch Bausch, who said her pursuit experience paid off.
“I’m pretty much retired and just mentoring this team but this is probably the one thing I can do really well without giving it much training,” said Bausch. “It’s just knowing your body and knowing exactly what you can do, when you can do it, how long you can do, what stretch you need to stand or sit, what energy you are using through the ride, what to do before. It’s kind of like racing the track, the pursuit, except uphill.”
Not that she was sure she’d enough left for the second time up.
“I had no idea,” Bausch said. “I thought I was going to die the first time, but you’re pretty sure everyone else feels the same because they had to do it too.”
In the men’s race, Steven Villalobos, a Costa Rican riding for Kitsilano-based Specialized Dizzy Cycles, was also the first up in both heats, though his margin of victory wasn’t quite a big as Bausch’s. With the sun settling majestically over Semiahmoo Bay in the background, Villalobos blazed up the first time in one minute and 36.67 seconds, just two and a half seconds ahead of the field. He enjoyed a similar margin of victory the second time up, finishing safely ahead of a tight pack.
Unlike Bausch, Villalobos said he’s done races like this in past.
Villalobos said through a translator he’s a three-time National champion in mountain biking in his native Costa Rica, and is in town for training before his season starts in South America. His team manager, also from Costa Rica, works at Dizzy Cycles in Kitsilano and organized the trip.
“It’s the offseason in Costa Rica so I come here to get prepared for later on,” said Villalobos, adding he’ll be in the area for six weeks of training.
Nic Hamilton (Trek Red Truck) finished second, with Christian Devries (Total Restoration) right on his back wheel in third, and Scott Stewart (Team Waste Management) less than a bike length behind in fourth. Hamilton, a Calgary native in his third year of cycling after switching form football and moving to Victoria, said the big, loud crowd made the second time up a lot more tolerable after going all out the first time.
“You can’t take that risk (of pacing yourself,” Hamilton, who is in his first year with Trek Red Truck, said of his first ascent. “I didn’t really know how I’d do second time round. I gave it a real hard go the first time and second time just tried to follow the moves and stay sheltered a bit. But it was really cool when you get that sensation of the crowd narrowing the road because there are so many people yelling for you, it’s amazing.”
Devries was happy to be on the podium after finishing fourth last year.
“To have to go up that hill a second time and not get on the podium is very painful, so this is good,” said Devries. “It’s a bit of torture. You’ve got to kind of be a masochist, but it was a good race.”
Andrew Pinfold (Ouch Pro Cycling), who won the Tour de Delta Road Race Sunday, was fifth in the head-to-head, but clearly saving himself for the chance to repeat as Maximum Collision Criterium champion Saturday.
After the Maximum Collision Criterium Saturday, the 30th Tour de White Rock – the final event in the 10-day, six-race BC Superweek – continues with the Peace Arch News Road Race on Sunday. That will be followed by a celebration of 30 years of the Tour de White Rock and it’s key roll in creating Canadian Olympic cyclists, including live music, a special appearance by the Vancouver 2010 Mascots, and a chance to meet Olympic Athletes, including Tour de White Rock racers Zach Bell and Erinne Willock, as well as Olympic medal winners Janice Birch (synchronized swimming) and Lynn Kanuka (Track and Field).
Report by Kevin Woodley
1 Dotsie Bausch (Jazz Apple Cycling)
2 Marina Duvnjak (Jazz Apple Cycling)
3 Heather Kay (ERTC/Revolution)
4 Gillian Carleton (Total Restoration Cycling)
5 Amy Herlinveaux (Trek Red Truck)
1 Steven Villalobos (Specialized Dizzy Cycles)
2 Nic Hamilton (Trek Red Truck)
3 Christian Devries (Total Restoration)
4 Scott Stewart (Team Waste Management)
5 Andrew Pinfold (Ouch Pro Cycling)
Full results not available at this time