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July 31/00 11:29 am - Northumberland Challenge, Redden Report #2, Wendy's Classic


Posted by Editor on 07/31/00
 

Win a Set of Mavic Helium Wheels

The Eagle.ca Northumberland Challenge Stage race, August 5-7 in and around Cobourg, Ontario will be giving away a set of Mavic Helium Wheels at the end of this years event. The wheels have been donated by Bicycles Plus located in Oshawa, Ontario who have generously sponsored Cobourg Cycling Club events since 1990.

Riders who complete all five stages at this years event will be entered into a draw for the wheels. The draw and the awards presentation will take place at a post race lunch on Monday.

There will be another draw open to competitors and volunteers for a print of "Jobe's Lane" a painting by Brent Townsend. Most people probably already own a piece of Towsend's work as he created the Polar Bear design found on the Two Dollar coin.

The Challenge is open to Masters A, B, C, D, Senior 3 men and All Women's categories. Online registration through Canadian Cyclist closes August 3rd. Day Of registrations will be accepted at the event.

For more information: www.eagle.ca/cobourgcycle/nchallenge_2000.htm, cobourgcc@bikecrazie.com or call (905) 372-9502.


Redden Report - Day 2

Short Track Cross Country Course
Now in the second year of this exciting new race format, the course designers have succeeded in creating superb courses that allow for extremely fast, competitive, and spectator-friendly racing. Today was no exception. The race started on the pavement and quickly headed up a dirt road climb(dusty) before directing the riders into single file through a chicane and up a grassy/dusty slope for 100 meters where at the very top of the course, there was a 180-degree u-turn. The riders then negotiated a series of swooping, speedy corners (with lots of loose dirt and baseball-sized rocks) before jumping down a ramp leading onto the pavement. From there, the riders used their road-handling skills for the last few pavement corners before crossing over the finish line. Lap times ranged from about 1:30 for the men to 2:00 for the women.

This morning the Gary Fisher/SAAB team had a team breakfast meeting. First order of business: Eat the most amazing pancakes cooked by chefs Andy "Pancake" Bishop and Ryder "Grill Master" Hesjedal. They were full of spelt flour, blueberries and freshly picked raspberries. We then all went for our training rides (yeah, we do those), did a poster signing at the rig, then some world championship pool. Apparently....Andy kicked some major butt! Must have been the pancakes!

Women's Race
The day was hot. The day was dry. The course was good. Mary and I felt fast. We went hard. We dominated. Mary Grigson (Gary Fisher/SAAB) went hard off the start and lead down the first lap descent and through the finish area. Jimena Florit (RLX Polo Sport) was following in 2nd, myself (Chrissy Redden, Gary Fisher/SAAB) was following in 3rd, and Leslie Tomlinson (RLX Polo Sport) was 4th. The rest of the field was stringing out fast due to Mary's staggering pace. Going up the climb on the 2nd lap, I attacked (knowing that Mary would block and if this attack didn't go, then it would be up to Mary to attack and I would block). Jimena came with me and with the GF/SAAB - RLX Polo Sport combo working behind us, our break became successful. As Jimena and I worked together to increase our lead, our faithful teammates worked to maintain the gap, even though Ann Trombley and Audrey Augustin (both Koulias Zaard) were determined not to concede the win so easily. After 20 minutes of racing we had the "3 laps to go" bell. Now we were down to business. With a comfortable lead we could now focus on the win. And I think both of us were pretty focussed!

With 2 laps to go, Jimena caught me off guard taking a last chance sip of my Endurox and attacked me hard. I thought to myself "self, 2nd's not so bad" But, no, I couldn't let that happen. I responded, albeit slowly, to her attack and with one lap to go was reeling her in. At the top of the climb I had bridged the gap, took an inside line of a hairpin corner and stomped on the pedals. This race was mine! It was a good feeling to come across first and win my first ever short course cross country race. Jimena crossed the line right after in 2nd and Mary took the chase group for 3rd. The worst part was that I took over the leaders jersey from my teammate Mary. Mary consoled me by reminding me that its still in the family!!

Men's Race (by Andy Bishop)
Everyone anticipated an exciting race for today's Chevy Trucks Short Track Cross Country (STXC), and nobody came away disappointed-except for those few riders who flatted or crashed on the challenging course. Once again the race started fast up the big-ring climb with Gary Fisher/SAAB rider Ryder Hesjedal taking the immediate lead. Canadian Seamus McGrath (Team Haro) took over the lead for a few laps. Gary Fisher/SAAB teammate Pavel Tcherkassov, who was leading the overall series, and Ryder were together in the first five, both looking on fire. I (Andy Bishop) elected to carry the Outdoor Life Network Helmet camera for the race and at that point I was a few riders behind, capturing the action. Unfortunately, I came down the hill and saw Pavel coasting with a flat rear tire. Bummer! He certainly would have changed the outcome of today's race.

Canadian Chris Shephard (Team Haro) then attacked the group and took a tenuously small lead for a few laps, which he then expanded into a solid 20 second gap throughout the rest of the race. McGrath and Hesjedal broke away from the rest and then battled for the next two podium positions, though Shephard's teammate was not about to help Ryder close the gap. Two against one! Thus, Team Haro claimed the first two spots with Ryder in third place. Rounding out the top five: Canadian Andreas Hestler of the Ford/Devinci team and podium newcomer Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski of the Nantucket Nectars squad. Jeremy is also a full-time student and the current NCAA mountain bike champion.

Special note:
I had a perfect view of the last few laps of the women's race and I must add how impressed and proud I was of teammate Chrissy's gritty performance in today's STXC! Entering the last lap a few seconds in arrears, she latched on to Jimena-Florit's wheel just before the top of the climb. Not to be denied, she eked through the inside of the Polo-Sport rider just enough to get herself a slight advantage in the u-turn (what a classic move!) and accelerated down the hill to an arm-pumping victory!!

Make sure you check out the coverage on Outdoor Life Network for the action of the thrilling two days of racing (and check out my on-the-bike cinematography)!

Quotes of the day:
Reporter after the women's race: "So Mary, it seems that this is yours and Chrissy's event."Mary responding to Reporter: "Actually, all the events are ours."

"Look, my thumb hurts from the champagne bottle!"


Wendy's Classic - Ohio
(courtesy John Wordin and Dave Cathcart)

Final GC

Women
1. Karen Dunne (Elita)
2. Nicole Reinhart (Saturn)
3. Annie Gariepy (Elita)

Men
1. Gord Fraser (Mercury)
2. Henk Vogels (Mercury)
3. Chris Horner (Mercury)

 


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