July 8/01 5:43 am - Grouse Mountain World Cup Women's Story and Reports
Posted by Editoress on 07/8/01
Grouse Mountain World Cup #4
July 8, Vancouver, BC
It was a bittersweet day for North Vancouver's Alison Sydor on Sunday, at the World Cup mountain bike race held minutes from her home on Grouse Mountain. Well over 10,000 spectators came to the top of the mountain to cheer on her and fellow North Vancouverite Lesley Tomlinson, but an off-day let Barb Blatter of Switzerland take the victory. Ontario's Chrissy Redden salvaged Canadian pride with a strong last lap surge to take second place.
"I obviously was hoping for a better ride, but I just didn't feel 100% today. I had to settle into a pace I could manage. I went out beyond my capability early in the race, and had to cut it back to what I could maintain." Sydor finished 7th overall.
The women covered 7 laps of a 4.7 kilometre loop around the top of the Grouse ski resort, overlooking the city of Vancouver and English Bay. Italian Annabella Stropparo was the early leader, until she ran into mechanical difficulties. on the third lap. At that time world cup overall leader Blatter moved into the front position and never looked back.
Blatter had a slow start to the race, partially because of 9 hours of jetlag. "For me the early part of the race was very difficult because I only arrived a few days ago. But, I started to feel better as the race went on, and by the final laps I was good."
Meanwhile, Chrissy Redden was making her own battle up through the field, moving up from 6th on the first lap to third on the third lap, behind her Australian team mate Mary Grigson, and then second on the final lap, after her team mate punctured.
"It was a really good day. The course was really rough, but my bike worked great. I was really fast in the single track. I tried to be really aggressive but safe. I tried to be calm and not get a flat. Grigson had second place locked up, but she had a flat on the last climb with 1.5 km to go, so my strategy was a good one.
It was an awesome course, the best Iâ€šve seen this year. Itâ€šs always nice to race on Canadian soil, especially having a Tim Hortonâ€šs coffee in the morning! The short course format was really great. There were spectators everywhere. They were just yelling and yelling as I went by. It was amazing."
Blatter - I always tried to ride my own speed today. The pace was very fast at first and I had to be patient. I just waited for the first 2 laps. Stropparo had a tech problem so I attacked. I didnâ€št want to have to catch her in the the last lap. She was very strong.
Redden - It was a really good day. The course was really rough, but the Sugar (Gary Fisher) worked great. I was really fast in the single track. I tried to be really aggressive (Redden apologized to Dunlap in the finish for one â€žaggressive passâ€°) but safe. I tried to be calm and not get a flat. Gregson had second place locked up, but she had a flat on the last climb with 1.5 km to go, so my strategy was a good one.
It was an awesome course, the best Iâ€šve seen this year. Itâ€šs always nice to race on Canadian soil, especially having a Tim Hortonâ€šs coffee in the morning! The short course format was really great. There were spectators everywhere. They were just yelling and yelling as I went by. It was amazing.
Dunlap - It was so warm out there. With all of the climbing it was very hot. I didnâ€št feel good the first couple of laps, but I was doing the downhill sections really well. The I-drive really helped. The course was great. It was so spectator friendly. There were people all over the mountain.
Results when available. There seems to have been some problem, so results are not yet official.
Lap 6 start
Sydor was caught by Dunlap at the end of lap 5.
Lap 5 start
Blatter, Grigson at 37 seconds, Redden at 41 seconds, Alexander at 58 seconds. Then it is Susan Haywood at 1:36 and Sydor at 1:50
Lap 3, half way
Stopparo has a 36 second lead on Blatter. Redden has moved into 3rd at 1:03 back. Then it is Alexander at 1:09. Then Grigson and Sydor are at 1:32 and 1:50 .
Lap 2 End
Blatter at 0:10
Trish Sinclair 15th.
"Tougest course of the year", according to Fat Tire Photos, Mark Dawson.