July 16/00 9:23 am - Whistler International Classic: Dirt Crit Story
Posted by Editoress on 07/16/00
Sydor and Green Regain Lead in Third Stage of Whistler International Classic
Courtesy Jane MacCarthy, Whistler Summer Session Press Service
WHISTLER, B.C. (Canada)---Canada's top mountain bikers blasted through the field during stage three of the Whistler International Classic, heading into the final day Sunday.
After losing her way during Saturday morning's technical time trial, causing a drop from first to sixth overall after two stages, Olympic silver medallist Alison Sydor riding for team Volvo-Cannondale, more than made up for the deficit during the Dirt Criterium.
Taking an early lead and making full use of her dual suspension bike, Sydor from North Vancouver, B.C. had more than a minute over Trish Sinclair (Marin/Oakley/Manitol) of Victoria, B.C. and North Vancouver, B.C.'s Amber Chorney (Ford/Devinci) after three laps. Repeating her performance at Friday's Fat Tire Criterium, which was raced on pavement, Sydor lapped the field.
"I had a deficit to get over from this morning, so I wanted to go hard and see how much time I could make up," said Sydor.
"Tomorrow's going to be hard, but I'm looking forward to it. I really enjoyed this course, especially the descending section. I'm not used to all this BC riding!"
After 35 minutes plus one lap, Sydor had nearly two minutes over the racers behind her and she finished at forty-one minutes, six seconds; second place, though, was a fight. Chorney, the leader coming into this stage and last year's overall winner, and Sinclair had less than 30 one-hundredths of a second between them, with Sinclair taking second at 43:19.30.
Chorney, overcoming a minor spill early in the race, still managed to keep one wheel in front of Sydor in the overall standings. Going into the final stage, a grueling cross country race, Chorney will be wearing the yellow leader's jersey with a three minute lead, followed by Sydor in second and sister, Eron Chorney.
While Victoria's Carter Hovey got an early jump to lead for the first lap of the men's pro-elite event, Whistler's Chad Miles (Corsa Cycle) took over for the next three laps before losing the front spot to Victoria's Roland Green (GT Bicycles). Green then proceeded to blow away the field to win the 45 minute, plus one lap race in a time of forty-nine minutes, fifty-three seconds. Victoria's Andreas Hestler (Ford/Devinci) was second in 50:59.18 and Miles, who was last year's overall winner, in third with a time of 51:10.16. Canadian National Cross Country Champion Eric Tourville of Ste-Foy, QuÃ©bec was fourth.
Today's win, combined with a win in the Fat Tire moves Green ahead in the combined stage results.
Green, who used his speed in the steep climbing sections, had high praise for Miles who had been wearing the yellow jersey after winning the morning's technical time trial. "I was really impressed with Chad's riding. He started and finished really strong."
Racing against such a strong field Miles proved to be an advantage for Miles. "After the first two laps I saw Roland pedal the 'hike-a-bike' section so I thought I would try the same in the next lap which paid off as I picked up almost 10 seconds each time." Miles managed to save enough for the second to last lap in which he made his move to overtake Chris Sheppard of Kamloops, B.C., but it was not enough of a push to catch Andreas Hestler.
The roles may be reversed for todays cross-country race as Green will be riding the course without taking a pre-lap. "Apparently the course is quite gnarlyâ€¹really steep climbing with some pretty technical descending so I'm going to ride it blind and follow a local like Chad for the first lap to see the line."