August 26/97 18:45 pm - More Tour News, ITT Response, Tour of Holland
Posted by Editor on 08/26/97
More Tour Coverage from Linda Jackson
Stage 12, Parts A & B, Sunday August 24th, 1997
Everyone has seen or heard about the last day in the men's Tour de France. This year's telecast showed the riders riding alongside their team cars, sipping champagne and toasting each other. The ride to Champs Elysees is "piano,piano", for the most part until various teams start to prepare for a last attempt at a stage win.
The finish to the women's tour this year was the polar opposite. We had two stages to race, both with mountain top finishes. The morningâ€šs stage was scheduled for an 8:45 a.m. "depart-fictifâ€° and would take us from Nice to Valdeblore La Colmaine (77.4 km). The afternoon's stage, from Puget-Theniers to Valberg (47.5 km) was scheduled for a 2 p.m. start. In between stages, we had to eat and drive over an hour in an escorted convoy to Puget-Theniers.
Nice to Valdeblore
This stage had a Category 3 GPM at the 18 km mark, followed by a long gradual climb up to Valdeblore, a Category 2 climb. Rasa Polikiviciute went for the GPM at la Cote de Chateauneuf, and in doing so, shattered the peleton to a front group of about 30 riders. Alison Sydor was having a great ride, as well as another Canadian riding for a mixed team, Lizanne Bussieres. There were several attacks, most notably by the Australians, and the Americans. Our group of 30 was still together at the feed zone around the 45 km mark. This is where my day headed rapidly downhill. I took a musette with two bidons in it, and managed to swing it right into my front wheel. KABOOM, over the front of the bike I went, landing on my head, shoulder and chest.
Kim Langton and our soigneur, Raymond, got me back on the bike pretty quickly, and Alison and Lizanne paced me back to the peleton. In another amazing display of pack etiquette, the peleton had sat up and waited for me to catch back on. When I arrived, Zabirova gave me something to eat, Luperini, Cappellotto and the Twins all checked to make sure I was okay, and Valentina Polkhanova gave me a stern lecture!
As we approached the ascent to Valeblore with about 10 km to go, Lynn Nixon (AUS) attacked, followed by Alessandra Cappellotto (Sanson) and Zulfia Zabirova (Dream Team). Lynn Nixon came back on the climb, but Cappellotto and Zabirova rapidly gained a 1 minute lead as the G.C. riders all watched one another. Once they got over a minute, Luperini started to put the hammer down, but stopped when the gap came down to 12 seconds. Zabirova won the stage, with Cappelotto 18 seconds back. Meanwhile, Luperini's pressure had reduced our group to eight riders: Luperni, Heeb, myself, the twins, Boubnenkova, Polkhanova and Lenka Ilavska (SWA). I attacked just past the 1km to go sign, in an effort to make up the 35 seconds I needed to move into 2nd overall. Barbarba Heeb and Rasa Polikiviciute jumped up to me and the three of us finished in that order. While I didn't gain any time on Barbara, I did gain 7 seconds on the 4th place G.C. rider, Valentina Polkhanova, a gap that seemed inconsequential at the time, but later proved to be invaluable.
(1) Zulfia Zabirova 2:44:24
(2) A. Cappellotto + 18"
(3) Heeb + 1:08
(4) R. Polikiviciute s.t.
(5) Jackson + 1:11
(6) Luperini + 1:14
(7) J. Polikiviciute + 1:18
(8) V. Polkhanova s.t.
(9) Boubnenkova + 1:28
(10) Ilavska + 1:36
General Classification after Stage 12 (a)
(2) Heeb + 2:40
(3) Jackson + 3:18
(4) Polkhanova + 5:01
(5) A. Cappellotto + 5:41
(6) J. Polikiviciute + 5:49
(7) R. Polikiviciute + 7:11
(8) Boubnenkova + 12:44
(9) Eicher-Vouets + 16:29
(10) Ilavska + 16:58
Stage 12(b) Puget-Valberg
We finished the first stage at approximately 11:45 a.m. We sat down to eat lunch at 12:30, and had to leave at 1 for the convoy to the next stage. We arrived at 2:20 p.m., 20 minutes behind the original departure time. I'm not sure how, but the race actually started at 2:30. Out of 120 starters at the beginning of the Tour, 90 went on to the final stage. The stage climbed gradually for the first 37 km, then climbed about 900 meters in the last 10 km.
The race got underway with a lot of long faces. Lunch had been rushed and not exactly nutritous, chicken and "haricots vertes". We started off at a mellow pace, with everyone talking about keeping the stage easy. There is always someone that wants to race, however, and Kathy Watt (AUS) attacked 7 km into the race and Roberta Bonanomi (Sanson) went with her. The two were quickly out of sight. Roberta must have radioed to her teammates that she was in trouble, because every Sanson rider went to the front and worked. At around 20 km Bonanomi came back to the group, and Watt pushed through to gain a 2:30 advantage over the field.
I was in trouble from the beginning of the race. I don't know if it was the pain-killers and anti-inflam's, the crash, or a combination, but my legs felt like wood. On the long gradual climb, I was suffering trying to stay at the front. I turned around to see who was left and there were at least 30, maybe 40 riders. A bad sign, for sure. The climb got steeper with about 9 km to go and Luperini started flying up the hill. Heeb and Polkhanva were right on her wheel, and I was struggling to keep in contact. I fell off with about 5 km to go. This was not good. I had decided halfway through this stage that I had better concentrate on maintaining my third position overall, that meant
not letting Polkhanva go anywhere. And all I could do was watch her ride away from me.
I struggled on the climb, and soon Alessandra Cappellotto passed me. To add insult to injury, I had a T.V. camera beside me for a while, capturing one of the worst climbs of my life. The first person I saw when I finally finished was our soigneur, Raymond. Heeb had won the stage, Luperini was 2nd and Polkhanova 3rd. He and I waited anxiously to see if I kept third in G.C. I tried to convince myself that it didn't matter, after all, what's the difference between 3rd & 4th? .
I headed for the van, still unsure of G.C. All of a sudden Valentina's husband approached me and shook my hand. He congratulated me, and told me that I had kept 3rd. By 7 seconds, the exact amount of time that I had gained in the mornings stage!
As I stood on the podium with the Canadian flag raised behind me I realized how much it did mean to me. My teammates had worked so hard, and sacrificed so much to help get me on the podium. Our goal had been to win, but after this brutal last day, I was as proud as I could be to be standing on that podium with the bronze medal.
So, a last thank-you to all of my teammates for their wonderful support. Kim Langton, who was my "Bonanomi", taking me everywhere I needed to go; Alison Sydor for her calmness, savvy, wheel change and leadout; Anne "El-Capitain" Samplonius, for her guidance down some hairy descents and her awesome chase of a dangerous break with the Twins, Annie Gariepy, Leigh Hobson and Lizanne Bussieres for their willingness to help in whatever way they could. Thanks!!!!!!!!
(2) Luperini + 4"
(3) Polkhanova + 12"
(4) Watt + 48"
(5) A. Cappellotto + 1:08
(6) Jackson + 1:48
(7) Boubnenkova + 2:09
(8) R. Polikiviciute + 2:11
(9) J. Polikiviciute + 3:05
(10) Gerassimova(RUS) + 3:13
(2) Heeb + 2:36
(3) Jackson + 5:02
(4) Polkhanova + 5:09
(5) A. Cappellotts + 6:45
(6) J. Polikiviciute + 8:50
(7) R. Polikiviciute + 9:18
(8) Boubnenkova + 14:49
(9) Eicher-Vouets + 19:42
(10) Ilavska + 20:07
Australia won the Combativity award as a team. They were always attacking, and rode a really good race.
Points Jersey: Heeb
Sprint Jersey: A. Cappellotto
Response to ITT Records (from Val Davidge)
The UCI abolished all road records 3 years ago and had them removed from the rule books. The only records that are now recognized by the UCI (and hence, the CCA and all other SGB's in the world) are on the track. This has nothing whatsoever to do with measured courses etc. etc. but rather is an effort to encourage TT's to be held on a variety of different terrains where the winner is the best time on the day. Don't forget the UCI is not the RTTC!, and even they are having some thoughts on their regulation out and back courses; taking a look at courses that present more technical and bike handling challenges such as are seen the major tours these days.
It is still possible to keep times but they are registered to the CCA as Å’Best Time Ever Recorded' instead of records - maybe a play on words, but that is what the UCI wants. The provinces are charged with sending in any new times prior to the CCA's AGM. They then become ratified and are accepted and documented as such.
The CCA keeps within the UCI rule changes and policy changes wherever they fit into our system for the sake of consistency. They do not make unilateral changes on such issues as this. These decisions are also considered by a volunteer, educated committee - not an ivory tower.
When this new rule came about, the OCA was anxious to increase interest in timetrialling and the recording of best times. This was how the Personal Best 15km Time Trial came about. Last year it was held for the first time, most successfully, on the unopened #407. This year, it will be in Ottawa on September 28th.
Tour of Holland
Stage 1, Tilburg to Alkmaar - 199.7 km
1. Endrio Leoni (Italy) Aki-Safi 4:53:57
2. Jeroen Blijlevens (Netherlands) TVM
3. Jan Svorada (Czech Republic) Mapei
4. Michel Cornelisse (Netherlands) Foreldorado
5. Geert van Bondt (Belgium) Vlaanderen
6. Johan Verstrepen (Belgium) Vlaanderen
7. Michael van der Wolf (Netherlands) Foreldorado
8. Cristiano Colleoni (Italy) Polti
9. Ivan Quaranta (Italy) Polti
10. Jamo van Frachem (Belgium) Vlaanderen all s.t.
GC (includes time bonuses)
1. Jeroen Blijlevens (Ned) TVM 4:53:45
2. Endrio Leoni (Italy) Aki-Safi at 0:02
3. Jan Svorada (Czech Republic) Mapei 0:08
4. Francesco Arazzi (Italy) Brescialat 0:09
5. Sven Teutenberg (Germany) US Postal 0:10
6. Michel Cornelisse (Ned) Foreldorado
7. Geert van Bondt (Belgium) Vlaanderen
8. Johan Verstrepen (Belgium) Vlaanderen
9. Michael van der Wolf (Ned) Foreldorado all s.t.
10. Cristiano Colleoni (Italy) Polti 0:12