June 17/02 7:30 am - Beauce Stage 1 Report (mid-stage)
Posted by Editor on 06/17/02
Beauce Pre-stage Report
Kris Westwood has just called in an update as the GP Cycliste de Beauce has begun with a two-up sprint in Quebec City. Halfway through the start list, Jaromir Friede (WÃ¼stenrot - ZVVZ) has the fatstest time of 24.3 seconds, followed by Charles Dionne (7UP Nutra Fig) with 24.46 seconds. Gord Fraser (Mercury) is currently 7th.
The weather is cold (about 10C) and a light drizzle is falling - not the best conditions. The riders race head to head, in pairs, along a 300 metre strip of Rue St-Jean, finishing under one of the gates to the old city. Kris reports that there is a good crowd (partially since the route is lined with restaurants and bars...). The 'real' race will start tomorrow with the first road stage, which is also the men's Commonwealth Games Trial. The stage, from Levis on the outskirts of Quebec City to Sainte Marie is 153 kilometres.
- Mroz has not shown up. No word, nothing. They were at Philly last weekend, but no word or sign of them since. There is some speculation that they accepted transportation money from GP de Beauce to get to Philly and have now skipped back to Europe.
- Navigators had some problems at the USA-Canada border when their two fast men - Vassili Davidenko and Oleg Grishkine - had visa troubles and could not come into canada. It is not expected to be a serious problem, and they should be up in time for the road stage tomorrow. The organizers have agreed to let them start, with the times of the slowest rider tonight.
Kris also spoke with Gord Fraser and Mark Walters.
Fraser - "Obviously, I want to win tomorrow, but I want to do that always. It would be nice to get it (Commonwealth Games selection) out of the way (by winning). Hopefully, some of the other Canadians, like Charles' team will help us keep the bunch together for a sprint."
(Note: Thurlow Rogers, director sportif for Mercury, said that they would be working to help Fraser get the selection, but that "we do have other goals here as well." In other words, they will work for Gord, but not completely ignore other possibilities to put a rider in the leader's jersey)
Walters - "I'm qualified (for Commonwealths), so my main objective is filling in carding criteria. I'm carrying some good form from last week, so we will see how it goes."