Posted by Editor on 06/20/00
(courtesy Allan Prazsky, Cycling BC)
BC Cup Road Racing Series
With the rather inauspicious (weather wise) debut of the 2000 BC Cup Road Racing Series behind us, we move onto the second event of the series, the Gary Lund Classic, an event that many racers regard as one of the most epic races on the calendar.
One of the only out and back courses on the BC calendar, the Gary Lund Classic follows the west coast of Vancouver Island, from the small coastal town of Sooke to the fishing village of Port Renfrew and back. A total of some 140km of wickedly twisting, undulating black top, with nary a flat section in the whole race.
Attacks came early, with Trek-Volkswagen's Tony Zarsadias slowly rolling off the front only to be joined by Ontario's JetFuel rider Jason Crookham. With the field seemingly content to let these two riders motor off into the distance, the two-up break made over 10 minutes on the pack.
Several anxious moments were shared as attacks were made on many of the steep hills going into Port Renfrew, only to be neutralized by the main pack, unwilling to let anyone else off the front.
Speeds crept close to 90km/h as riders followed single file down the long winding descent into Port Renfrew, only to be greeted by a sharp 180 degree turn and a steep hill climb back out of Port Renfrew.
Determined to reel in the two riders, now well up the road, a small break group of 6 attacked on the climb out of Port Renfrew, leaving the pack. Cresting the hill, the chasing peloton, shattered after the climb, had their game faces on. Slowly cranking up the pace, the main pack eventually reeled in the chase group. Immediately, Trek-Volkswagen strongman Svein Tuft attacked and solo'd off the front and out of site.
As the pack closed in on the finish, speeds increased exponentially. Clearly spent from his solo effort, Svein Tuft was sucked back into the chase group, and off in the distance, the two riders that broke away more than 100km ago, appeared. The sight of the two riders only stoked the speed of the chase pack, now in full attack mode, with riders in their drops and pulling through in fine pace-line fashion. Riders began to drop from the speeding peloton as they climbed each hill.
Cresting a hill perhaps 30 kilometers form the finish, the daring duo (Tony Zarsadias and Jason Crookham) were attacked and quickly dispatched to the back of the pack. Now it was anyone's race, attacks were hard and frequent.
A small break group of about 20 riders formed, and rolled away form the peloton, sprinting to the finish in what was perhaps Gary Lund's closest finish to date. A fine Victory went to Three Point Motor's Luca Segato and a hearty congratulations to Jason and Tony for being out by themselves for more than 100km!
A particularly strong women's field showed up at the start of the Gary Lund Classic this year. With the likes of Leslie Tomlinson, Melanie McQuad, Amber and Eron Chorney, Gina Grain and Charlene Waldner, it would have been easy to mistake the starting roster for a world class cross-country race.
Having to traverse the same heinous course as the Senior Men, the women's field quickly strung out, with attacks happening on seemingly every incline. A group of 6 riders, led by Trek-Volkswagen hardhitter, Sara Neil and PoloSport's Leslie Tomlinson broke away from the main group and never looked back. As the wind up come to the sprint finish, Sara Neil unleashed her power and made it two for two in the BC Cup followed closely by Leslie Tomlinson and Darnelle Moore.
A special note should be made about the weather. Sunny and warm. An oddity for a BC Cup event.
Next up, the Mount Tolmie Road Race for round 3 of the BC Cup Road Racing Series.
In what was a blessing in disguise, the organizer elected to forego the Stage Race format of the Bastion Square Festival this year, allowing many racers to rest their smoothly shaven legs and prepare for a tortuous 18 laps of Mount Tolmie.
A welcome return of the peninsula leg of the road race saw the Senior Men and Women complete approximately 80km of rolling terrain along Victoria and Sydney's picturesque suburbs before hitting the short Mt.Tolmie loops.
A strong field of over 100 Senior Men rolled out in the cool breeze of the morning, with a special guest appearance in the peloton, GT's Roland Green. A subdued pack allowed a group of 8 riders to break off the front, content to stay together while the rain started to fall.
Hitting the small Mt. Tolmie loops, the rain started falling ever harder, and the familiar BC Cup weather reared its ugly head once again, demoralizing riders as they fought off the cold and wind (Remember? It's a BC Cup) .
Well into the race, Roland Green decided he was going to win. Ramping up the speed, he left the main pack and started making inroads into the break group's time lead. Lap by lap, Roland took minutes out of the lead. Suddenly, after a show of sheer power, he was THE lead group, chased only by Trek-Volkswagen's Svein Tuft.
The women's field was again, filled with quality riders from both segments of the sport, featuring the likes of Lesley Tomlinson, Sara Neil, Christine Platt and emerging star, Giant-Powerbar's Marni Hambleton. As the field rolled (splashed!) along the peninsula leg, Marni Hambleton and Gina Grain broke away and mounted an intense effort to free themselves of the chasing pack. Through much of the peninsula's rolling hills, these two riders would time trail and build an impressive gap, only to be reeled in by the unrelenting Sara Neil and an anxious pack of riders. As the two break-away riders were swallowed by the group, a number of inconsequential counter attacks took place on each of the 6 final laps of Mt. Tolmie's steep inclines, allowing for a very exciting sprint finish that saw Giant-Powerbar rider Marni Hambleton outsprinting several riders to finish second to Sara Neil, who has tightened her BC Cup lead by winning all three BC Cup events to date.
|Men 1/2 Points Standings (Points issued 20 deep)|
|Name||Team||Event #1||Event #2||Event #3||Total Points|
|Luca Segato||Three Point Motors||10||3||13|
|Roland Green||GT Bicycles||11||11|
|Jason Crookham||Jett Fuel Coffee||6||5||11|
|Rod Hendersen||Peninsula Cycle||8||1||9|
|Scott Laliberte||Atomic Racing Club||8||8|
|Dan Macdonald||Basic Nutrition||7||1||8|
|Matt Barth||Peninsula Cycle||7||7|
|Cory Lange||Three Point Motors||1||6||7|
|Jamie Douglas||Rocky Mountain||5||5|
|Robert Cameron||Crystaal-Spin Doctors||4||4|
|Trevor Wurtele||Three Point Motors||1||*2||3|
|Jay Murray||Atomic Racing Club||1||1||2|
|Maurice Worsfold||Three Point Motors||1||1||2|
|Jaimie Douglas||Rocky Mountain||1||1|
|Basse Clements||Peninsula Cycles||1||1|
|Hugh Trenchard||Fairfield Cycling Club||1||1|
|Event #2 - *2 points denotes group finish at Gary Lund Classic|
|Open Women Points Standings (Points issued 10 deep)|
|Name||Team||Event #1||Event #2||Event #3||Total Points|
|Karen Timewell||Escape Velocity||6||1||4||11|
|Lisa Sweeney||Physical Culture||3||7||10|
|Melanie McQuaid||Rocky Mountain||7||7|
|Leslie Tomlinson||RLX Polosport||6||6|
|Christine Platt||Rocky Mountain||6||6|
|Shannon Baerg||Physical Culture||5||5|
|Linda Pellicano||Atomic Racing Club||5||5|
|Linda Robichaud||Basic Nutrition||4||4|
|Claire Townsend||Rocky Mountain||1||1|
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