September 20/99 5:16 am - Hokkaido, Letter From Italy, Vuelta, USPro Tour
Posted by Editor on 09/20/99
Tour de Hokkaido, Japan
(courtesy Kris Westwood)
Charles Dionne pulled out all the stops today to not only win the fifth and final stage of the Tour de Hokkaido, but also to take the points classification by a large margin. This ended a week of frustration for the young sprinter, caused in part by a lingering knee problem from a crash two weeks before.
After five days of beautiful weather, we woke up to low skies and persistent rain this morning. Today's stage was held at the traditional location in Manumakai Park in Sapporo, just outside the speed skating stadium built for the 1972 winter Olympics. The course is a very difficult, sinuous 4.2 km loop with several awkward corners and some short but taxing climbs. The rain made the circuit treacherous, but this gave our criterium-hardened riders an advantage.
The overall general classification was so tight that it was anybody's guess who would chase after the time bonuses in the intermediate sprints. The points classification was also very close, and to add to the unpredictable factors, the stage itself was to be run as a points race: the stage winner would be the one who collected the most points in the 12 sprints every two laps, but the times at the finish would only count for the general classification. What's more, the points in the intermediate sprints counted towards the overall points classification. So, quite a headache for the riders, and for the managers who had to keep track of all this from the side of the road.
In the event, Charles made the race a no-brainer by placing in every single sprint except the last one, dominating the race head and shoulders above everyone else. He was able to set his sprints up through a tight left-right-left section 200 metres from the finish, and was seldom beaten to the line. Behind, the race shattered, underlining the importance of position on such a hard course. Rob Baillie and then Bruno Langlois both found themselves the wrong side of gaps and dropped back. Martin St-Laurent rode an excellent race and gave Charles all the help he could, and finished in the pack.
In the last eight laps Ciaran Power of the Irish team slipped off the front and crossed the line a minute ahead of the pack, but Charles' stage win was safe, as was his win in the points standings. The overall general classification should not have changed, though we have yet to receive the official results. I will put them in the final report. Now it's time to celebrate Charles' victory! - Kris Westwood
Report From Italy
(courtesy Paul Kelly)
Back racing now after a 1 weekend layoff (there was no racing within reasonable driving distance. It actually made a nice break- I went camping). On Saturday we went to Osimo, near Ancona for the 12th. Torpheo Rigoberto Lamonica. Last year I finished 4th at this UCI 1/12 National calendar event, and this year? 4th again. Giorgio Feliziani of the SC Granatelli team took the win, over his pace vehicle of a teammate, Julio Perez. On the first of 7 passes over the 5km climb to Osimo, Perez went to the front and brought the pack of 163 starters down to a fitter 20. The second time over, the Mexican went to the front again, with Feliziani on his wheel, and the group became 4: Perez, Feliziani, myself (SC REDA), and Andrei Minackine (Russian National Team). The third time over, the Russian was promptly left in Perez' dust, and then I was shed 500m from the top. The two Granatelli riders took a one minute lead on the remainder of that lap, and I waited for the Russian to help in chasing (though it only helped to limit our losses in the remaining laps). On the climb to the finish, Perez graciously offered Feliziani the win. I wasn't so lucky: When Minackine jumped and took 50meters at 1 km to go, I couldn't close the gap, and finished 4th, 20 seconds down (3 minutes back of Feliziani), by the line. The 132 km event was won in 3 hrs 10 minutes at an average speed of 42.9km/hr, and only 17 riders finished.
At the Giro Dell' Emilia Dilletanti on Sunday, the protagonists from Saturday played second fiddle to their "Passiste", or flat-finish specialty teammates. Attrition on the windy and rolling course brought 100 starters down to 30 finishers in the end, and a series of attacks at 30km to go led a group of 13 men away from the remainder of the group. Lithuanian Sergej Kruschevskj ( VC SINTOFARM VIGORPLANT) won in a solo move at 1km to go, followed by his teammate Christian Sambi, and Eddy Serri (SC Montugranaro) took 3rd.
Ciao for now,
Vuelta a Espana
Stage 15 - La Seniato Valencia 193.4 km
1. Vjatcheslav Ekimov (Rus) Amica/Almeria 4.31:44.
2. Frankie Andreu (USA) US Postal
3. Paolo Bettini (Ita) Mapei
4. Eddy Mazzoleni (Ita) Saeco
5. Pascal Herve (Fra) Festina
6. Cristian Moreni (Ita) Liquigas
7. Mariano Piccoli (Ita) Lampre
8. Igor Flores (Esp) Euskaltel all s.t.
9. Antonio Tauler (Esp) Kelme at 0:09
10. M.A. Martin Perdiguero (Esp) ONCE 12:46
1. Jan Ullrich (Ger) Telekom 64.03:21
2. Igor de Galdeano (Esp) Vitalicio at 0:49
3. Roberto Heras (Esp) Kelme 2:35
4. Jose Maria Jimenez (Esp) Banesto 3:35
5. Pavel Tonkov (Rus) Mapei 3:45
6. Jose Luis Rubiera (Esp) 4:23
7. Manuel Beltran (Esp) 5:05
8. Angel Casero (Esp) 6:19
9. Leonardo Piepoli (Ita) 8:00
10. Ivan Parra (Col) 8:08
BMC Software Tour of Houston, USA
Final event in the Saturn USPro Tour
Men, 144 Km:
1 CARNEY Jonas SHAKLEE 3:03:28
2 LITTLEHALES Todd NAVIGATORS
3 VENTURA Robbie SATURN
4 LILLYWHITE Chris LINDA MCCARTNEY
5 PETERS John MERCURY
14 BARRY Michael SATURN
16 WALTERS Mark NAVIGATORS
26 WALTON Brian SATURN
28 WOHLBERG Eric SHAKLEE all s.t.
1 DEMET-BARRY Dede SATURN 1:04:02
2 VAN GILDER Laura INDEPENDENTS TEA at 0:01
3 REINHART Nicole SATURN
4 WENZEL Kendra TIMEX
5 MAYOLO Tina COX ATLANTA VELO all s.t.
|1||Eddy Gragus||Ikon Lexus||473|
|4||Harm Jansen||Smart Talk||349|
|80||Andrew Randell||Jet Fuel-Vita Soy||10|
|81||Giueseppe Guiliano||Jet Fuel-Vita Soy||10|
|10||Tina Mayolo||Celestial Seasonings||206|
|44||Sandra Kolb||Pacific Velo||43|
|49||Sue Palmer Komar||Janes Cosmetics||35|
|60||Alison Sydor||Volvo Cannondale||27|
|63||Anne Samplonius||Team Intersports||26|
|99||Sophie St Jacques||Elita||11|
|114||Sophie Radecki||RNH Racing||5|