Posted by Editor on 02/28/01
We spoke with Alison Sydor by telephone from the Trek-VW training camp in California, where it is "cold, much colder than I expected for California. We got hail on our ride today!" Ostensibly our conversation was about the Grouse World Cup, however, it drifted over into other areas.
Alison called the idea of having a World Cup in Vancouver, on the North Shore, "a big opportunity to draw from a city that has probably more mountain bikers than any other major city. For me it was a big disappointment when Whistler fell through; I was down for quite a while. Now, on a personal scale, this is as big as the Olympics; maybe even more so. If someone had asked me where I would have liked my dream race, it would have been on the North Shore."
Beyond the personal, Alison also sees Grouse as a huge opportunity for the sport. "We (mountain biking) need to draw a big audience, not just the hardcore. We need somewhere where we can showcase the sport in front of fans. We need this exposure."
Sydor pointed to the involvement of her fellow members in The Shore Group (a consulting group that she, Lesley Tomlinson, Andreas Hestler Elladee Brown and Andrew Shandro set up) as another aspect of the Grouse bid that will make it unique.
"We have so much local expertise here. Lesley has been the key person in making a relationship with Grouse, and getting (The Shore Group) involved with helping Grouse develop their facility. Andrew (Shandro) has also already started to work on the downhill course and the Dual (he will be designing both). I would like to give my 2 cents worth on making a World Cup course, but I have my racing obligations, so it will depend on my schedule a lot. The most important thing that I can do is a great ride in front of the fans."
Finally, we touched on Sydor's new team. "It has been a big change, after so many years at Volvo-Cannondale, but I was actually excited to be coming to training camp, which isn't always the case, and is a good sign. First impressions are important, and I got a good feeling here, it clicked right away."
Alison will start her season at Redlands, then Sea Otter and finally the opening World Cup at Napa. At Redlands (a road stage race) she will race on a composite team with Chrissy Redden and Clare Hall-Patch.
Napa, Calif. - The Olympic champions Miguel Martinez of France and Paola Pezzo of Italy are getting ready for the opening round of the world's major race series, the Tissot-UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, at Domaine Chandon on 6-8 April. And for the first time in world cup racing since 1993, all Elite riders will be positioned on the starting grid according to the results of a timed lap around the 4 mile (6.4km) World Cup circuit. These timed ride-offs will commence with the Elite Women, starting at 1.30 pm on Saturday (April 7th).
The time trial format of qualifying has proven popular in motor racing over the decades, and it replaces a method that has been used in mountain biking for several years. Formerly the starting position of the rider on the grid was determined by International Cycling Union (UCI) ranking, which aggregates virtually every result obtained over a 12-month period. Whereas the old gridding system favoured the consistent performer, the new time trial format indicates which riders have great form for this particular weekend. Significant also, is the indication of the extent to which the course suits a rider's strengths. In addition, for up-and-coming riders, the time trial is a great way to display their talent in an objective test set aside from the pressure of the big day.
Canadian Cyclist will be providing live, lap-by-lap coverage throughout the weekend as in past years, starting with the time trials.
Tour of Valencia, Spain
Stage 1 - Port. Sagunto 170 km
1 Michael Boogerd (Ned) Rabobank 4:09:32
2 Fabian Jeker (Sui) Maia-MSS
3 Leonardo Piepoli (Ita) iBanesto.com
4 Alex Zulle (Sui) Team Coast all s.t.
5 Aitor Gonzalez (Esp) Kelme-Costa Blanca at 0:07
6 David Etxebarria (Esp) Euskaltel-Euskadi
7 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step
8 Angel Edo (Esp) Maia-MSS
9 Oscar Camenzind (Sui) Lampre-Daikin
10 Erik Dekker (Ned) Rabobank
14 Vjatceslav Ekimov (Rus) US Postal Service
26 Christian Vandevelde (USA) US Postal Service all s.t.
49 Erik Zabel (Ger) Team Telekom 3:42
67 George Hincapie (USA) US Postal Service
68 Abraham Olano (Esp) ONCE
81 Stephane Barthe (Fra) US Postal Service
93 Cedric Vasseur (Fra) US Postal Service
103 Steffen Kjaergaard (Nor) US Postal Service
112 Jose Luis Rubiera (Esp) US Postal Service all s.t.
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