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July 23/01 12:08 pm - Canada Cup XC #4, Canmore 24 Hr, Road Nats Preview, Jr Track


Posted by Editor on 07/23/01
 

Canada Cup XC #4 - Canada Olympic Park, Calgary Alberta
By Greg Flaaten

A brief but substantial downpour at the start of the Elite events made for difficult early conditions at today's Canada Cup Cross Country #4 in Calgary.

In the Elite Men's field, Eric Tourville (PQ Oryx Procycle) and Mathieu Toulouse (PQ Ford/Devinci) led the pack into the first of 6 laps over the rolling and wide open 42.6 K Canada Olympic Park course. Tourville established a gap of 30 seconds over Toulouse by the beginning of the second lap but as the course dried, Toulouse reeled Tourville in and the two rode together off the front until well into the final lap.

"Eric has better technical skill," noted Toulouse, which allowed Tourville to get out front early. When Toulouse made up the time on Tourville at the mid point of the second lap, the two locked themselves in battle until the final minutes of the race.

Julian Hine (ON Gears Racing) caught and passed Ricky Federau (BC Rocky Mountain Bicycles) on the second lap and soloed in to capture the third podium position. Hine had closed to within 30 seconds of the lead pair but was never a threat to the Quebecers who set a torid pace for themselves. Federau was eventually overtaken by Bill Hurley (PQ Oryx Procycle) on the final lap and had to settle for fifth. Chad Miles (BC Roach), the current Canada Cup points leader, flatted on the first lap and later withdrew.

Out front and with only minutes remaining in the race both Toulouse and Tourville encountered problems while crossing a mud bog. "Mat almost bailed on it," explained Tourville. "I had to go around and I lost time." A lapped rider then made physical contact with Tourville from behind and the situation gave Toulouse an opportunity to establish a small gap. "I attacked when I saw him in trouble," noted Toulouse who held on for the victory only seconds ahead of Tourville.

The win for Toulouse guarantees him a start at the Worlds. Tourville, who could have clinched the same honour with a win today, still has some work to do.

In the Elite Women's race, this was an opportunity to see Marie Helene Premont (PQ Oryx Procycle) and Kiara Bisaro (BC Trek Canada) go head to head after their 13th and 20th place finishes at the Grouse World Cup two weeks ago. Premont has already locked up the overall Canada Cup series and Bisaro seems intent on making a statement after having missed two early Canada Cups (and eight weeks of training) due to a crash related punctured kidney.

Premont and Bisaro went straight to the front at the beginning of their 5 lap 35.5 K race but the slick conditions and a bad tire selection for Premont gave Bisaro an easy opportunity to run away with the win. Premont fell several times during that opening lap and by the time the girls came through the start area to begin the second lap Premont had fallen to 10th place some five minutes down on the leader. Ann Yew (AB Trek) trailed one minute and twenty seconds behind Bisaro and Claire Townsend (BC Oryx) was a further minute down.

Townsend worked her way ahead of Yew on the third lap but the two continued to lose time to Bisaro. Meanwhile, Premont found her form and charged back on the drying course. She and caught and passed Yew by the beginning of the final lap but there was still over a minute between her and the second place Townsend. Premont dug in and powered her way past Townsend on the final lap but Bisaro's lead was so impressive that she had to settle for a well-deserved second place.

Bisaro credits today's success to conditions that favour her technical riding abilities. "I feel like I had a technical advantage∑I like it when it's wet," explained Bisaro. Her facial expression throughout the race made it look as though she was thoroughly enjoying herself out front en route to a very impressive victory.

For the 23 year old Premont, her notable finish at Grouse confirmed that she is capable of becoming a top International athlete. "I know I can finish in the top fifteen, each year I make a progression." Allez Marie!

In the Jr. Expert Men's field, a two man race raged on for most of the day. Jeremy Trudel (PQ LaVie Sportive) and Adam Coates (SK Cycledelia/Bike Doctor) put the hammer down early. Will Routley (BC Rocky Mountain Bicycles) was in the hunt until the later stages of the race but somehow fell out of contention. Trudel held a small lead into the fourth of five laps (35.5 K) but was overtaken by Coates, who was top Canadian (2nd) at the Grouse World Cup Junior Men's race, late in the race. Trudel held on for second place as Lazarsky faded to finish third.


Elite Men

Mathieu Toulouse (PQ Ford Devinci)
Eric Tourville (PQ Oryx Procycle)
Julian Hine (ON Gears Racing)
Bill Hurley (PQ Oryx Procycle)
Ricky Federau (BC Rocky Mountain Bicycles)

Elite Women

Kiara Bisaro (BC Trek Canada)
Marie-Helene Premont (PQ Oryx Procycle)
Claire Townsend (BC Oryx)
Linda Robichaud (BC Ford/Devinci)
Wendy Simms (BC Steed Cycles)

Jr. Expert Men

Adam Coates (SK Cycledelia/Bike Doctor)
Jeremy Trudel (PQ LaVie Sportive)
Martin Lazarsky (ON Independent)


Motorola 24 Hours of Adrenalin Hits Kananaskis Country

The crowds were out for the sixth annual Motorola 24 Hours of Adrenalin as over 1300 participants and 5000 spectators gathered for the grand kick off to the largest mountain biking festival in Western Canada.

A light rain fell an hour before the race however 20 minutes before the start the sky opened and the sun began to shine. The Merrell LeMans Start consisted of one teammate from the 300 teams ran a 600 metre course before jumping on their bike and heading out onto the course for the 2km Prologue lap.

Mark Gangl from team # 423, Pedalhead Dirt Diggers won the men's Merrell LeMans Start and Jill McDermid from team #109, Pedalhead Dirt Divas was the women's winner. Robin McKeever of team #446, Ten Guys No Brains won the Prologue lap and was the first person to complete the first lap in 48 minutes. The fastest lap went Drew McKenzie from the Pedalhead team #214.

Teams competed in one of many categories; PROLAB Solo Category, 4 person, 5 person co-ed, 5 person all-female, 5 person open-age, and Corporate (6-10) person teams. The objective is to complete the most laps of the 17.2km course in the 24-hour period of time. The mountains were lit up as the sun went down and 1300 plus riders rode through night.

Crowds were entertained with the Motorola 24 Seconds of Adrenaline Gear Grab, Nissan's contest to win a Xterra and off-road test-drive program. Trials rider Rob Healy entertained large crowds throughout the entire event and the children's ride, 24 Minutes of Adrenalin was hosted by Powerplay.

Other programs on-site were the Best Pit/Costume Contest and the Best Helmet Contest. Over 20 teams put together creations that ranged from a M.A.S.H. Unit, to Mermaids and Fisherman, however the Lost Rapidos in Space who dressed as aliens and robots won the Best Pit/Costume Contest. Lyle Bilski created a mountain biking scene with trees, grass and a toy mountain bike on his helmet to win the Best Helmet contest.

In the Prolab Solo Category, defending 2000 winners Ryan Draper of Canmore and Monica Nelson of Kelowna showed a strong performance and took home another victory. The grand prize for their efforts was provided by Prolab Nutrition and consisted of flight and entry fee ($1200 approx. value) into the World Solo 24 Hours of Adrenalin Championships and a chance to compete for $20,000 US Cash Purse. The top 5 men and top three female soloists also qualified. In the women's field Chloe Gendron of Regina placed third and Martha Handford of Calgary placed second. In the men's field Derek Orr of Cochrane came fifth, Rob Grant of Calgary came fourth, Pat Dodge of Calgary came third and Pat Doyle of Calgary came second.

Other notables was the strong performance by the many Pedalhead bicycle shop teams that took home a first place finish in the 5 person all-female category and a first in the corporate (6-10 person) team category. For lap times and results visit www.24hoursofadrenalin.com and click on 2001 Canmore Nordic Centre race results.


Preview of Tim Hortons National Road Championships
Courtesy CCA

The 2001 Tim Hortons Canadian Road Cycling Championships will be held from July 25th to the 29th in Dieppe, New Brunswick. The nationals and the construction of the new Cycling Development Centre in Dieppe are part of a major initiative to bring strong cycling events and infrastructure to this part of New Brunswick.

Luc Bujold, event director of the nationals and one of the main instigators of the Centre, talks passionately about the community of Dieppe: "The reaction of the people of Dieppe to both the nationals and the Centre has been amazing, as a result we have plenty of volunteers." The Development Centre is focused around a new, international-standard velodrome, which will be officially opened during the road nationals. According to Bujold, "the track is 99% ready, we have 25 new track bikes, and lots of people have already inquired about activities."

The Tim Hortons national championships consist of five days of racing. Besides the traditional elite, espoir and junior events, there are masters categories, tandem events for blind athletes and hand cycling. The results of the elite, espoir and junior events will be considered in selecting the national team to the World Championships in Lisbon, Portugal, while the tandem results will be used to pick the athletes for the European Open Championships in Switzerland.

The competitions begin with the individual time trials. The course, which Bujold describes as "rolling, with some tough hills and little opportunity for recovery", should favour a complete rider. There are several favorites for elite women's event, though last year's winner won't be there: Clara Hughes is concentrating on her second career as a speed-skater. 2000 runner-up Geneviève Jeanson (Lachine QC) has put in some stunning performances this year: she won the Montreal World Cup (by the biggest margin ever seen in a World Cup event) and almost every other race she has entered. However, fellow Quebecer Lyne Bessette (Knowlton) has also scored several significant wins this season, including a win in Fitchburg one month ago ahead of Jeanson. Other podium contenders include former Worlds medalist Anne Samplonius (Mississauga ON) and last year's third place finisher Leah Goldstein from Vancouver.

Judging by past form, the elite men's race should be all about Eric Wohlberg (Levack ON). Eric has won the national title each of the last five years. He has had a very solid 2001 season so far, so there is little reason to doubt that he will extend his streak to six victories. Last year's podium finishers Andrew Randell (Toronto) and Min Van Velzen (Vancouver) will be ready to take over if Wohlberg falters.

In the espoir (under age 23) category Charles Dionne (Quebec) will be looking to shine in his last year in that age group. Look for local rider Julie Belanger, riding with the junior women, who has been tipped for a strong performance.

The road races, held partly on the same roads as the time trials, should be very tactical due to the typically strong winds in the area. The biggest difficulty facing the riders is a three-kilometer climb of about five percent.

The women's race should be very different from last year, when the nationals were dominated by the Olympic Team selection process. This year the favorites, such as Bessette and Jeanson, will be racing for the win. However, with these two top riders likely to be watching each other, the race could play into the hands of an unexpected winner, and there are plenty of strong riders who will be ready to seize any available opportunity. Last year's winner Sandy Espeseth (Victoria) will surely be in the running, and there are a dozen other potential winners. What is certain is that the race will be suspenseful.

Czeslaw Lukaszewicz (Montreal) will be looking to take home a fifth national champion's jersey in the men's event. However, despite the absence of last year's silver and bronze medalists (Gord Fraser is not attending and Brian Walton has retired), there is enough competition to make another win very hard to get. Along with time trial favorite Wohlberg, there are professional riders like Mike Barry (Toronto), Dominique Perras (Brossard QC) and Mark Walters (Blackstock ON) who will all have their own designs on the title. New Brunswicker Peter Wedge (Fredericton) is also sure to be a factor.

The final events of the championships are the criteriums, run in a points race format: points awarded to the top finishers in the intermediate and final sprints are used to determine the winner. In the past some of the top riders avoided the criterium because of the risk of crashing, but because the crits are on the last day of the championship this year some of the stars may show up. However, this type of event favors an opportunistic rider so there could be some surprising names on the podium.

According to Bujold, there are more than 300 athletes already registered for the nationals. "Our target was 300 to 350, which we felt was realistic given the geographical location", he commented. "We are already very happy with the entries so far, so we can consider the championship to be a success from the start!"


Junior Track Worlds Report
Courtesy National Coach/Manager Kurt Innes

Hello to everyone in Canada!

We made it here late last night , after a 11 hour trek south from Montreal down to Trexlertown, Pennsylvania.

The team took their first ride on the velodrome this morning. After 10 days in the world class facility near Montreal ( Bromont), coming back to a concrete 333 meter track was not "as cool as Bromont" said Cam MacKinnon!! The track is very smooth for a concrete facility, and the organization looks to have their stuff together and will be ready to start the show on Wednesday morning.

We are training tomorrow evening, after the arrival of Cameron Evans from Abitibi. Once Cam arrives our team will be complete with 5 athletes along with Sylvain (mechanic) and myself rounding out the number to 7 Canucks to take on the rest of the world !

TO send messages to our Canadian Junior Track Team , please send to kurtinnes@aol.com and I will pass the words on to our team.

Thanks,

Kurt Innes


Happy Birthday To...

Cameron MacKinnon , representing Canada for the first time at the Junior World Track Championships this year, turned 17 yrs old today ! Happy Birthday Cam, from Nick, Ryan, Laura, Sylvain and Kurt . . .We will celebrate in style (as much style we can down here in T-town) at the Olive Garden restaurant !!

Courtesy Kurt Innes

 


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