July 9/00 7:54 am - Men's Canmore Story
Posted by Editor on 07/9/00
Last weekend in Mont Ste Anne, Cadel Evans (Volvo-Cannondale) said "I'm back" with his win. This week in Canmore he confirmed it with another dominant performance. Bas van Dooren (Be-One) also gave notice that he is back after a month's layoff, with a strong second place, and Canada's Roland Green (GT) gave spectators much to cheer about with his bronze medal performance.
The race began very fast, and a group of 5 formed at the front - Evans, Miguel Martinez (Full Dynamix), van Dooren, last year's winner Thomas Frischknecht (Ritchey-Yahoo!) and Christoph Sauser (Volvo-Cannondale). "It started so fast", said Evans. "Bas (van Dooren) was driving it so hard, I was just following and hanging on."
After one lap the front had split up. Evans and van Dooren were off the front, Martinez had flatted and was battling his way back up from the high teens, and Frischknecht, Green and his GT team mate Roel Paulissen were chasing the front duo at 30 seconds. The front players were pretty much set for the race.
Evans and van Dooren would continue to pull away from their chasers, with the Australian dropping his Dutch companion on the third lap. "Cadel attacked on the steepest climb, and I could not keep his pace." said van Dooren. At almost the same spot the GT pair dropped Frischknecht to battle it out for third, with Green attacking a lap later to take sole possession of the bronze medal position. The top three was decided.
Behind, the race was just heating up. Martinez has endured two weeks of frustration. First his bike did not show up for Mont Ste Anne and he finished well back in 23rd on a borrowed Devinci that wasn't quite the right size. Then, his replacement bike didn't show up in Calgary until too late (at last report it was sitting in the UPS warehouse in Calgary). So, this week the world champion was on a Trek soft tail. And then a flat in the first lap...
Once he got going, there was no stopping 'Little Mig'. "It made me very angry, and that makes me ride stronger. It is very hard for me to ride so far back while wearing this (rainbow) jersey." Martinez stormed up through the field, leapfrogging from group to group as he moved back up. His astounding ride culminated in a sprint with Patrick Tolhoek (Be-One) for fourth, which he won.
- Ryder Hesjedal (Gary Fisher-Saab) had a strong ride, staying in the top-15 all day and finishing 16th in a sprint with Gregory Vollet (Bianchi Albacom). Chris Sheppard (Haro-Lee Dungarees) was 21st, ending his Olympic dreams (he needed top-16). So, the men's team will now be decided at the Nationals in two weeks, between Roland Green, Geoff Kabush (Kona) and Seamus McGrath (Haro-Lee Dungarees).
- McGrath skipped this event, opting to train at home for the Nationals.
- Martinez was very favourably impressed with the Trek FS bike. "It could be the evolution of the mountain bike. It was light, perfect. I will be asking my sponsor to make me one for next year."