March 19/00 10:03 am - Sea Otter XC Story
Posted by Editor on 03/19/00
Canadians Top North American Men at Sea Otter
Bas Van Doren (Be-One) served notice that he will be the man to beat next weekend in Napa, at the first World Cup of the season, but Canadian riders put on an incredible display, with 3 men in the top-10 for today's stage, and 4 in the top-10 overall standings for the weekend. Ontario's Chrissy Redden (Gary Fisher-Saab) didn't do so bad herself - 4th yesterday, 7th today and 7th overall in the women's category.
Van Doren led the men's race from start to finish, to take back the lead he lost yesterday to Michael Rasmussen (Haro-Lee Dungarees). The chase group containing Roel Paulissen (Team GT), Rasmussen, Bart Brentjens (Subaru-Specialized), and Canadians Roland Green (Team GT) and Ryder Hesjedal (Gary Fisher/Saab) disintegrated on the second (of two) laps, with Brentjens coming in solo for second, followed by Green and Hesjedal, and a surprising Geoff Kabush (Kona Factory), who made a last lap surge.
Van Doren took the overall victory, followed by Brentjens, Rasmussen, Green and Thomas Frischknecht (Team Ritchey). Ryder Hesjedal took 6th, Chris Sheppard (Haro-Lee Dungarees) 8th, and Kabush 10th.
In the women's race, it was a little different, with three riders going away - race leader Laurence Leboucher (Team GT), her team mate Alison Dunlap and world champion Margarita Fullana (Subaru-Specialized). The trio stayed together until the end, with Leboucher content to hang back and let her team mate Dunlap outsprint Fullana for the stage victory. Australia's Mary Grigson (Gary Fisher-Saab) did join the frontrunners for a short while, but then dropped off to finish alone in fourth, when the speed got cranked up in the last couple of kilometres. The big surprise was the (relatively) poor showing of Alison Sydor (Volvo-Cannondale). There were no apparent mechanical problems, she ended up riding a regular hardtail, with a normal suspension fork (not the Lefty single strut she had been using earlier in the weekend) - just chalk it up to an off day resulting in a (for her) distant 10th place, which is where she finished in the overall standings.
Official results to follow.