Posted by Editoress on 07/5/02
Grouse Mountain World Cup Update
by Mike Badyk
This report made possible by Snowcovers and Rocky Mountain.
We should have crossed our toes and our fingers with respect to the weather. Starting around dawn, the entire Vancouver area was hit by very heavy rain as an approaching high pressure system made itself felt. There is a race course somewhere in the photo . The view from the Media Centre is sheets of grey with swirls of mist through the trees. It is quite damp and chilly, which has kept most of the racers off of the mountain. There are sunny breaks down below, but the top of the mountain is completely socked in by the clouds. It was a rather precient move on the part of the promoters to include a rain poncho in the event kit courtesy of event sponsor Lever 2000 soap.
I spoke to one of the women racers, but I didn't get here name because she was soaked to the skin and was hustling off to get warm. "Muddy, slippery, wet and steep. There's plenty of opportunity to go over the bars if you chose to take them. It can only get better because it can't get much worse."
The good news is that there is a very positive weather forecast starting this evening. The high pressure system is going to blow out the cloud and bring sunshine. The folks who are working on the race course say that they need 2 days of sun to make the trail perfect. That bodes well for the men, but the women may have a wet track for their race on Saturday afternoon.
The number of laps have been tentatively approved, with 8 laps (40km) for the men and 7 laps (35km) for the women. Registration is quite strong with well over 90 men signed up so far, more than for last year's event here. One of those men competing int the World Cup cross country will be noted downhiller Cedric Gracia (Volvo-Cannondale). He has phenomenal skills on the descents, but we'll have to see how he handles the climbs. One way or another he is sure to add some colour to the race with his "exuberant" personality. Also on site is Gary Fisher, who will be leading a ride on Friday afternoon.
The only negative comments heard are from the amateur riders. A lift pass isn't included in their race entry fee so if they want to practice and race it will cost them a fair bit. (Actually, once they register and pick-up their race packages, their event pass gives them free gondola rides for the weekend - editoress)
We are all hoping that tomorrow will be a better day for the weather. The riders are anxious to train and the rain has certainly caused so problems with the expo area. In the meantime the event kit includes a rain poncho, a bar of soap and a condom. That's sounds like a recipe for entertainment if I ever heard one.
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