Posted by Editor on 03/4/98
Redlands Report by Ed Schum
A rather uneventful day in Redlands.
The organizers, in an effort to find new and more exciting stages, came up with a loser. A 200 m, slightly downhill sprint prologue in downtown Redlands. When it was all done there were a whole two (yes 2) seconds separating first place from 195th place.
The time of everyone's first run counts for GCS. The top 16 of the men and top 8 of the women went on to a head to head 'shoot out' for the stage win and placing. Few spectators and hardly any of the racers were left when the winners were finally determined on this cool evening. The women's winner was Nicole Reinsert of Team Shaklee. Canada's premier mountain biker, Alison Sydor, who had the 4th best time in the qualifying run failed to show up for the start of the quarter finals. Sydor is in a 6-way tie for 5th place on General Classification.
The winner of the men's competition was Johnnie Bairos of the Sunshine team of Germany easily beating Derek Bouchard-Hall of Shaklee. The only Canadian making it to the final 16 was Yannick Cojan of Montreal. Yannick had some kind of a mishap (likely pulled out of the pedal) and ended up limping into the finish of his quarter final run. He is in 3rd place on G.C.
The real racing will start today (Wednesday) on the tight course of the Highland circuit race. It will be interesting to see the 200 riders of the men's field negogiating the narrow sharp downhill turns at speeds of over 80 k/h. Overall the field in both the women's and men's races is very strong. It was surprising to see Mexico's Raul Alcala who announced his retirement three years ago at the start today. Another veteran coming out of retirement is Roy Knickman of the Mercury team. Roy spent the three years since his retirement coaching the U.S. Juniors. Strong teams on the men's side should be U.S. Postal Service, Saturn (unfortunately without Canadian veteran Brian Walton) OilMe, Navigators and Shaklee (with Eric Wohlberg). Other Canadian men entered in the event are Andreas Hestler, Keith Stark (both Volvo Cannondale), Mark Walters, Lucas Curran (both Team Jeep/Brielle Cyclery), Tim Hadfield, Paul Rego (both Kissena Cycling Team), Roland Green (Healthsouth/Mrs.T's) and Gord Fraser with Team Mercury.
On the women's side Canada has extremely strong representation. Team Elita with Kim Langton, Annie Gariepy, Melanie Dorion, Sophie St. Jacques and Cybil Diguistini may well be in the running for overall G.C. Clara Hughes, riding for Saturn, has shown very good early season form and should be a serious contender here. Former World Champion and Olympic Silver Medal winner Allison Sydor rides for her Volvo/Cannondale team, and probably our greatest roadie at the present time, Linda Jackson, will likely have the full support of her Saeco/Timex team. Other Canadian female entries are: Mandy Poitras, Karen Timewell (Escape Velocity), Trish Sinclair (Kona),Leah Goldstein (Soliton), Kirsten Kotval (Atomic), Stacy Spencer ( Giant), and Chrissy Redden and Melanie McQuade (both Spice).
The Canadian national team, originally scheduled to participate in this event, did not show. Through the grapevine I heard that the team's appearance here was cancelled less than a week ago due to the fact that a couple of the riders 'were not going well' right now. That left several others, who had turned down offers from other teams (to ride Redlands) out in the cold. Some of these riders are not very happy about this situation.
Bud Light Street Sprints, March 3
1. JOHNNY BAIROS (SUNSHINE GERMANY), Redlands, Calif.
2. Derek Bouchard-Hall (Shaklee), Menlo Park, Calif.
3. Adam Payne (Cox Atlanta Velo), Conifer, Colo.
4. Armin Rahm (L.A. Wings), South Pasadena, Calif.
5. Greg Walker (Vegas Cycling), San Diego, Calif.
1. Walker, 13.721 secs
2. Bouchard-Hall, 13.752
3. Yannick Cojan (Chrysler-Plymouth), Montreal, Quebec, Canada, 14.004
4. Brian Bosch (American Business Forms), Fresno, Calif., 14.009
5. Payne, 14.027
1. NICOLE REINHART (SHAKLEE), Portland, Ore.
2. Bettina Younge (unattached), Boulder, Colo.
3. Nicole Freedman (Shaklee), Palo Alto, Calif.
4. Aleka Skouras (Ralphs-Klein), Los Altos, Calif.
5. Alison Sydor (Volvo-Cannondale), N.Vancouver, B.C., Canada
1. Reinhart, 14.759 secs
2. Freedman, 14.951
3. Sydor, 15.257
4. Skouras, 15.269
5. Alison Sydor 15.257 (6 way tie)
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