January 21/03 8:52 am - Tour Down Under, Red Bull Ride
Posted by Editor on 01/21/03
Red Bull Ride January 19-24 Snowy Mountains, NSW, Australia
Courtesy Red Bull
Junior World Downhill Champion Sam Hill of Australia has won the 2003 Red Bull Ride ahead of countrymen John Waddell and Nathan Rennie. Cedric Gracia (France finished 7th). 2002 World Cup champion Steve Peat (GBR) withdrew due to injury, as did American Shaums March after a huge crash.
Previously sent Day One release:
Australian Grant Allen was the only competitor to attempt the daunting 8.5 metre (28 foot) drop on the practice day of the 2003 Red Bull Ride. Recognised across the globe for his fearless jumping and blasÃ© approach to huge drops, Allen completed his landing flawlessly. Today's effort was a solid endorsement of Allen's reputation in the mountain biking Mecca of North America, and complemented his performance at the 2002 Red Bull Ride, where he was the first to attempt that course's 20ft vertical drop.
In intermittently smoky conditions 27 invited competitors from nine countries became the first riders to take on the toughest mountain bike course ever created. Half a dozen bikes were broken and Darren Barresloth suffered a suspected broken wrist in an eventful day leading up to competition day.
The new course consists of 13 man-made and natural stunt sections strung over a kilometre of steep and rocky trail, where competitors from nine countries will be judged on technique, control, fluidity and overall impression. The difficulty of the line they take down the mountain is also vital; Allen's giant drop is the largest of four possible drops making up section five of the course.
This is an invitation only event. Prize money is 15,000.
11 judges will score riders on technique, control, fluidity and overall impression. No timing is involved, and no "soft options, as riders either take on a choice of difficult technical lines through a section, or ride around an obstacle completely (aka the "chicken" line).
Ben Cory (Australia)
Danny Mills (Australia)
Dave McLaughlin (Australia)
Grant Allen (Australia)
Jared Rando (Australia)
John Waddell (Australia)
Justin Havukainen (Australia)
Nathan Rennie (Australia)
Sam Hill (Australia)
Sean McCarroll (Australia)
Shane Wode (Australia)
Steve Marsh (Australia)
Clinton Williams (New Zealand)
Robbie Bourdon (Canada)
Darren Berrecloth (Canada)
David Watson (Canada)
Gareth Dyer (Canada)
Richie Schley (Canada)
Thomas Vanderham (Canada)
Tyler Klassen (Canada)
Shaums March (USA)
Kyle Strait (USA)
Cedric Gracia (France)
Steve Peat (UK)
Stijn Deferm (Belgium)
Timo Pritzel (Germany)
Tetsuhiro Hanyu (Japan)
Cooke Takes Jacob's Creek Lead
Victorian Baden Cooke, 24, (FDJeux.com) will wear the Jacob's Creek leader's yellow jersey into stage two of the 2003 Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under after a controversial finish to the opening stage of the event in Adelaide's East End.
Sydney's Graeme Brown, 23, (Ceramiche Panaria - Fiordo) crossed the line in first place but Queensland's Robbie McEwen, 30, (Lotto-Domo) immediately lodged a protest with the race officials.
After viewing the video replay the Chief Commissaire ruled that Brown had deviated from his lane in the final sprint endangering other riders. He was relegated to 94th (last) place, had 30 seconds added to his race time, was fined 200 Swiss Francs and will start tomorrow on minus eight (-8) points in the SA Lotteries Sprint Competition.
Cooke, who had crossed the line in second place in the frantic bunch sprint for opening honours, was awarded the win with McEwen second and Italian Luca Paolini, 26, (Quick Step - Davitamon) third.
"Certainly I think Graeme (Brown) has a track record for doing this sort of thing - (he) came round the corner and in the middle of the road looked right, looked left and then saw McEwen coming along the left and took him straight to the barrier," said Cooke after the stage. "It's certainly irregular but it didn't affect me."
"I had a clear run but Robbie was certainly justified in making the complaint," Cooke said.
McEwen was visibly agitated immediately following the stage but later refused to comment on Brown.
"The officials did their job as far as the sprint is concerned and it is now the correct result," said McEwen. "I would have liked to have won but I had my run impeded."
"I feel I would have won," he added.
Meantime Brown was philosophical about the decision.
"I can beat him tomorrow and the next day and the next day so it doesn't matter," Brown said. "I think he rode stupid because there was less than one metre on the left and more than twenty on the right."
South Australian Premier Mike Rann fired the starting gun to launch the 94 world class cyclists on their 25 laps of the 2km circuit before an estimated 55,000 people.
"I was in Woodhead International Race Director's car and South Australian, interstate and international fans were jam packed around the course, cheering on riders in what was a very competitive stage," said the Premier. "As we saw in the rush to the finish line, no one was giving an inch."
The riders covered the 50 kilometres at an average 48 kilometres an hour. Italian Fabio Sacchi (Saeco) launched an attack five laps into the race and was joined by six other riders including multiple World Cup Race winner Andrea Tafi (Team CSC), Australians Matt Wilson (FDJeux.com) and Nick Gates (Lotto-Domo), reigning Irish champion, Mark Scanlon (AG2R Prevoyance) and Spaniards Igor Astarloa (Saeco) and Alvaro Gonzalez de Galdeano (ONCE-Eroski). The lead group of seven set a cracking pace as they battled for the points in the SA Lotteries intermediate sprints after laps 10 and 20. But as the laps counted down the main field closed in. With each lap the leaders margin decreased and with one lap to go they held only a nine second advantage as the peloton stormed after them.
In the final lap they were reeled in setting up a spectacular and exciting mass sprint finish.
"It was aggression all the way to the line and a fantastic spectacle to launch the 5th anniversary Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under," he said. "I'm sure that SA crowds will be out in force again for Stage 2 and the rest of the Tour as they've fallen in love with this great race."
Stage 2 begins at 11.00am Wednesday at the Jacob's Creek Visitors Centre in the Barossa Valley, an hour north of Adelaide.
Stage 1 - Adelaide circuit race 50 km
1 Baden Cooke (Aus) FDJeux.com 1:02:20
2 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Lotto Domo
3 Luca Paolini (Ita) Quickstep-Davitamon
4 Julian DeanÂ (NZL) CSC
5 Joaquin Rodriguez (Esp) ONCE Eroski
6 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Credit Agricole
7 Dirk Reichl (Ger) Telekom
8 Brett Aitken (Aus) UniSA
9 Mark Renshaw (Aus) United Water
10 Stefano Zanini (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport all s.t.
Jacob's Creek General Classification - Baden Cooke (Aus) FDJeux.com
SA Lotteries Sprint Classification - Matthew Wilson (Aus) FDJeux.com
Laubman & Pank King of the Mountains - Cadel Evans (Aus) Telekom
Share the Road Best Young Rider - Dirk Reichl (Ger) Telekom
Century 21 Most Aggressive Rider - Andrea Tafi (Ita) Team CSC
Monroe Leading Team - United Water