January 22/03 9:08 am - Tour Down Under, Timex Multi-Sport Team Launched
Posted by Editoress on 01/22/03
Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under - Australia
Italian Fabio Sacchi (Saeco) today signalled he is in top form and on track in his bid to claim honours when he rode to victory in today's second stage of the 2003 Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under. In the process he claimed the overall race lead and the lead in the SA Lotteries Sprint classification.
Sacchi crossed the line in 3hr29min16sec, 14 seconds clear of 2002 Tour de France sprint winner and world ranked number four, Robbie McEwen (Lotto - Domo) with Frenchman Cedric Herve (Credit Agricole) close behind in third.
"I had a great day," said Sacchi. "But it's only the second day and you have to bear that in mind."
It's the third consecutive year that the 28 year old has found himself in the Jacob's Creek leader's jersey after the second stage of the event. In 2001 he claimed the stage win and wore the jersey for one day before it was wrested from his shoulders by eventual Tour winner and local hero Stuart O'Grady (Credit Agricole) Last year Sacchi placed second on Stage 2 to claim the race lead but on the penultimate stage he conceded the jersey to Australian Michael Rogers (Quick Step - Davitamon) who claimed the overall crown.
This year Sacchi arrived in Adelaide two weeks early determined to reach peak form ahead of the race and today his advance preparation paid off. But he admits the race is far from decided.
"There are a lot of tough riders out there and you've got to live the race day by day," he said. "I will try my best, count on my friends (team mates) and see if I can take out the win."
The 94 strong international field rode out of Jacob's Creek at a fairly sedate pace which prompted UniSA local rider Russell Van Hout to launch a solo attack less than 30 kilometres from the start.
Van Hout established a significant lead which at one stage had him almost nine minutes ahead of the rest of the field. The 26 year old cleaned up the maximum points in the two SA Lotteries intermediate sprints of the day at Mt Pleasant (45km) and Eden Valley (62km) and managed to hold off his to be first over Mengler Hill which gave him the overall lead in the Laubman & Pank King of the Mountains.
Forty kilometres from the finish Van Hout's solo journey ended when a chasing trio joined him and 20 kilometres later eight more cyclists, including the eventual placegetters, set up a lead group of twelve.
Overnight race leader Baden Cooke, (Aus - FDJeux.com) missed the break and along with Stuart O'Grady (Aus - Credit Agricole) was left to chase down the leaders in a bid to minimise the damage.
Five kilometres from home six riders remained in the leading group and pundits were predicting a McEwen win.
But Sacchi, fearing he would have no answer for McEwen's blistering sprint, broke away in the final kilometre to set himself up for a clear victory.
"I have a lot of respect for Robbie and he worked hard throughout the whole day," said Sacchi. "I can't thank him enough (but I knew) he would be the number one rider in a the sprint finish."
McEwen, who was awarded second place on the opening stage in Adelaide's East End after a controversial finish in which first across the line, Graeme Brown (Ceramiche Panaria - Fiordo) was relegated to last in the field for dangerous riding, acknowledged that today Sacchi was also in good form.
"I cramped on the climb into Kapunda and that's where Sacchi launched his attack," said McEwen. "He was just too strong today and maybe it was the nerves creeping up for the finish but I just started to cramp really badly and as I was trying to have a bit of a stretch he took off."
"No-one could match that," McEwen added. "He's (Sacchi) too strong."
Sacchi now holds an overall lead of 16 seconds to McEwen with Herve third, 18 seconds behind the leader.
The 140 kilometre stage from Jacob's Creek to Kapunda rode through the in the Barossa Valle winegrowing region, north of Adelaide, and an estimated 80,000 fans turned out to enjoy the spectacle of world class cycling.
"We had a number of event firsts today," said Belinda Dewhirst, General Manager, Australian Major Events. "It was the first time a stage started from a location instead of a town (Jacob's Creek Visitor's Centre) which proved hugely succesful with a lot of people taking the chance to come down and meet the cyclists."
"We also launched a key initiative to give cycling enthusiasts the chance to experience the route firsthand with the inaugural Breakaway Tour which saw 620 international, interstate and local cyclists ride off two and a half hours before the professionals," said Ms Dewhirst. "People of all ages and fitness levels joined in for a day of great cycling fun through one of our most famous and picturesque regions."
"After their ride they joined the thousands who turned out in Kapunda to welcome the Tour to town for the first time," she said. "The enthusiasm of the Kapunda community also saw them take out today's Best Dressed Town prize."
Stage 3, a 164km ride from Glenelg to Hahndorf, will begin at 11.00am tomorrow. The riders will travel from Glenelg through the City centre and out to Main North Rd under race neutral conditions. The flag to start the race will drop outside the Adelaide SuperDrome at 11.44am.
Jersey Wearers for Stage 3
Jacob's Creek General Classification - Fabio Sacchi (Ita) Saeco
SA Lotteries Sprint Classification - Matthew Wilson (Aus) FDJeux.com (Please note Sacchi leads on points)
Laubman & Pank King of the Mountains - Russell Van Hout (Aus) UniSA
Share the Road Best Young Rider - Gene Bates (Aus) UniSA
Century 21 Most Aggressive Rider - Lennie Kristensen (Den) Team CSC
Monroe Leading Team - AG2R - Prevoyance
Stage 2 - Jacob's Creek Visitor Centre - Kapunda 140km
1 Fabio Sacchi (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport 3:29:16
2 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Lotto Domo at0:14
3 Cedric Herve (Fra) Credit Agricole
4 Andy Flickinger (Fra) Ag2R
5 Lennie KristensenÂ (Den) CSC
6 Mikel Astarloza (Esp) Ag2R all s.t.
7 Brad McGee (Aus) FDJeux.com 0:23
8 Gene Bates (Aus) UniSA
9 Daniele Nardello (Ita) Telekom
10 Xavier Florencio (Esp) ONCE Eroski all s.t.
1 Fabio Sacchi (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport 4:31:30
2 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Lotto Domo at 0:16
3 Cedric Herve (Fra) Credit Agricole 0:18
4 Andy Flickinger (Fra) Ag2R 0:20
5 Mikel Astarloza (Esp) Ag2R
6 Lennie KristensenÂ (Den) CSC both s.t.
7 Russell Van Hout (Aus) UniSA 0:23
8 Daniele Nardello (Ita) Telekom 0:28
9 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Credit Agricole 0:29
10 Angel Vicioso (Esp) ONCE Eroski s.t.
New Timex Multi-Sport Team Launched
Courtesy Team Sports Inc.
In an effort to speak to the athletes and enthusiasts of a range of endurance and adventure activities, the Connecticut based Timex Corporation is pleased to announce the Timex Multi Sport Team. Incorporating Ironman, ITU distance and off-road triathletes as well as adventure racers, competitive mountain bikers and surfers, the Timex Multi-Sport Team will have a presence at hundreds of events across the globe.
Timex has been a sponsor of the prestigious Ironman Triathlon for many of the events nearly twenty-five years. The development of a team of triathletes and participants in other sports is a natural evolution which will support not only Timex's Ironman brand, but the company's advanced products such as its Heart Rate Monitors, Speed + Distance System and Bodylink. The surfing component of the team is intended to raise awareness of the Timex Reef Gear line of watches.
Combining efforts with the North American wide Timex Tour, the Timex team will combine on-site event presence with clinics for the general public, a demo program, "Spin to Win" giveaways and the opportunity to meet the team. The newly formed team and tour combo will make its debut in early April at Ralph's Half Ironman in Oceanside, CA.
Working in conjunction with Timex is Tennessee based Quintana Roo. The Timex road triathletes will compete on QR's Typhoon, Zero Gravity and Caliente models. The adventure and Xterra athletes will compete on the new fully suspended Tomac Revolver. QR bikes offered to the athletes come in their choice of titanium or aluminum. Bicycles in all disciplines will be equipped with Spinergy wheels and Michelin tires. All athletes will also compete in QR wetsuits. Pat Hus, VP of Sales and Marketing for American Bicycle Group also believes in the combined efforts of a team and event presence. "By supporting athletes at all levels in various sporting arenas, as well as offering a unique opportunity for anyone to try a competition quality QR bike at events, we will activate our investment in the sport. I think the educational clinics and demo portion at events and in store at QR retailers highlight our desire to maximize what our program can offer to all enthusiasts."
The Timex team truck will tour the North American Ironman and half Ironman circuit, supporting their athletes in the many arenas addressed by the team. All participants and spectators are invited to stop by the Timex Interactive Area and test ride a Spinergy equipped Caliente or Zero Gravity. Timex heart rate monitors and the new Speed + Distance System will also be available to try out.
With over twenty athletes on the team, the roster features top pros, age group competitors and avid amateurs. Triathletes on the team include world-class competitors such as Chris Legh, Andrea Fisher, Jamie Cleveland, Heather Gollnick, Ken Souza and Matt Clark. Other renowned athletes include Xterra racers Conrad Snover and Anke Erlank and surfer Wayne Kelly. While all team members will compete in Louis Garneau clothing and on QR bikes equipped with Spinergy wheels and Michelin tires, the athletes are encouraged to also work with personal sponsors to meet their individual needs.
Team Sports, Inc in Waukesha, WI will manage and operate the team on a day-to-day basis. Max Ralph and John Sessa as Road Manager and Technical Director, respectively, will support all athletes on the team as professionals while at the same time supporting and enriching the community of multi-sport by featuring clinics on training and bike care. The season will begin with team camp in the end of March in Oceanside, CA.
Luis Alvarez (MEX)
Matt Clark (Aus)
Jamie Cleveland (CAN)
Marie Danais (CAN)
Anke Erlank (RSA)
Andrea Fisher (USA)
Heather Gollnick (USA)
Dave Harju (CAN)
Heather Haviland (USA)
Tim Hola (USA)
Wayne Kelly (USA)
Chris Legh (CAN)
Glenn Rawlinson (USA)
Lara Shaw (USA)
Kenny Souza (USA)
Conrad Snover (USA)
Kevin Watassek (USA)
Uwe Widmann (GER)