Posted by Editor on 04/28/02
Twilight Criterium - Athens, Georgia
April 27. 2002
Mercury's Gord Fraser took home the Charter Athen's Twilight Criterium in front of 30,000 spectators. The annual event draws people from nearby U of Georgia and is the biggest criterium in the US. The energy level given off by the screaming fans is unlike any race. With big primes nearly every lap the pace never slacks off.
Mercury used textbook race tactics and the much feared Mercury train had the race in complete control with 5 laps to go.
Earlier it looked like a group of riders was going to lap the field. Mercury had Henk Vogels joined by John Lieswyn, David McCook and Andy Crater. But Prime Alliance saw this virtually last week at Roswell and took up the chase. Mercury was happy to reshuffle and no other serious breaks went away. With a field sprint looming, Mercury took control and delivered Fraser to the line.
1. Gord Fraser Mercury
2. David McCook Prime Alliance
3. Jonas Carney Prime Alliance
1. Ina Teutenberg Saturn
2. Tina Mayolo-Pic Diet Rite
Canadian Dave Irving also sent in a report:
Oh Canada, We stand on Guard for thee.
That's all that could be heard as Gordo Fraser saluted the finishline crowd, as 45 thousand fans and UGA college grads lined the 1 km downtown crit course. Gord recognized the Crazy Canucks (drinking beers in the VIP section) with a double chest pump prop salute. Electrifying.
An early break of 4 including Henk Vogels, John Liesywn, Dave McCook and Andy Crater looked solid until Prime Alliance chased them back from a 30 second lead. Mercury executed another perfect lead for a another famous Flash Gordon sprint. Very impressive to watch and the Canadians on the finish line were loud and proud!
Marc Cousineau: "Man, was that Gord, its too dark, Twilight my ass, its 11:00 pm!!!"
On the Fat Tire side, Canadians took 4 out of the top 5 in the morning dirt TT. Chris Sheppard won, Dave Irving 3rd, James Vantoever 4th and Julian Hine 5th. In the Fat Tire crit moments before the Gord Fraser Show, Gears Racing's Julian Hine spent the majority of the race alone enjoying the college girl's cheers until 3 to go when the field closed in. Irving sprinted for 3rd, Vantoever, Sheppard, Cousineau and Hine were all in the top ten. The XC is tomorrow, where the Canadians are amped for a top 5 sweep.
This whole event is one of a kind , a bizarre mix of a college town embracing one of the continent's best races for a night of great racing.
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