Posted by Editor on 04/9/03
This report made possible through the sponsorship of Evolution by Oryx
Redwood City Circuit
The 2003 edition of the Sea Otter Classic got underway today with a road stage in Redwood City, south of San Francisco, and Genevieve Jeanson (Rona-Esker) captured the first stage of the women's race, leading a sweep that saw Canadian riders take four of the top five positions. Meanwhile, the men's race was neutralized after concerns about rider safety.
Jeanson was part of a small lead group of 12 riders that broke away from the 70 rider field halfway through the 64 kilometre stage. In the final 100 metres of the stage Jeanson, known more for her climbing prowess than her sprinting capabilities, swept by American Dede Demet-Barry (T-Mobile) and Lyne Bessette (Saturn) to take the win, and the overall leader's jersey. Canadians Sandy Espeseth (Victory Brewing/Amoroso's) and Nicole Demars (Victory Brewing/Amoroso's) finished fourth and fifth respectively.
"When it is a sprint with not a big bunch I can pull a trick sometimes. Today I just followed, and watched to see what the other teams would do. Entering the last corner Lyne (Bessette) was leading but went really wide, so Dede (Demet-Barry) came by her and I was following Dede. I went to the front at the end, but I was not sure that I would be able to maintain it to the line."
"It was good." said Bessette "It was nice that it was so close and that nothing is really set yet for the GC (alluding to Jeanson's 13 plus minute domination of Redlands last week)."
The stage started in downtown Redwood City and headed out 2 kilometres to a 15 kilometre loop through a residential area, with the women doing 4 laps and the men scheduled for six before heading back in to the finish. The tight and twisty circuit was dominated by a switchback climb, but riders could not focus on racing due to the large number of vehicles on the course. The organizers attempted to use a rolling enclosure, but once riders fell outside of the protective "bubble", they were expected to obey all traffic laws (including stopping at stop signs, etc.), but still make the time cutoff! In addition, riders sometimes came around corners to find stopped or parked vehicles on the road in front of them.
The women did manage to complete their race, but the men's event was a different story, and was eventually neutralized. Prior to the race, Gord Fraser (Health Net) and others discussed the situation and decided to do a two lap 'parade', with racing in the final kilometres. That changed as the stage began:
"We all started a dialogue" explained Fraser. "Before the race the issue was riders outside of the security bubble. That issue was addressed with having riders reporting to the final commissaire if they fell off, and they would be given a pro-rated time."
"Once we started, as riders we felt that if we stayed together, more riders could finish, so we decided on 4 laps neutralized riding. But some of the local teams - Ofoto, Webcor and us - wanted to get more racing for our sponsors. We stopped (at the start of lap 3) to have a "short" discussion, but everyone wanted a say so it took a while."
"Finally everyone agreed on two more laps (for a total of four), and then one rider from each team would go into a front group and race the last couple of miles. The organizers agreed that there would be no time gaps, no time bonuses." Fraser's teammate Mike Sayers took the abbreviated sprint.
"It could have been tragic - we just saw a rider die in Tucson. I think we averted a potentially dangerous situation."
Michael Barry (US Postal) echoed Fraser "It was pretty disappointing, but everybody is safe at the end of the day."
Race organizer Rick Sutton came over to talk to Gord Fraser and immediately stated "I believe your actions were justified, we made a mistake - we pushed it (the race location) too hard and went over the edge."
Racing continues tomorrow morning (west coast, early afternoon Eastern) with time trials for both the road and mountain bike events.
1. Geneviève Jeanson (Can) Rona-Esker 1:51:22
2. Dede Barry (USA) Team T-Mobile USA
3. Lyne Bessette (Can) Saturn Cycling Team
4. Sandy Espeseth (Can) Victory Brewing/Amoroso's
5. Nicole Demars (Can) Victory Brewing/Amoroso's
6. Amber Neben (USA) Team T-Mobile USA
7. Christine Thorburn (USA) Red 5. Racing
8. Kristin Armstrong (USA) Team T-Mobile USA
9. Karen Bockel (Ger) Rona-Esker
10. Kimberly Bruckner (USA) Team T-Mobile USA
11. Susan Palmer-Komar (Can) Genesis-Scuba
12. Leah Goldstein (Isl) Victory Brewing/Amoroso's
13. Kim Anderson (USA) Team T-Mobile USA all s.t.
14. Manon Jutras (Can) Saturn Cycling Team at 0:08
15. Magali Lefloch (Fra) Rona-Esker 3:58
16. Charm Breon (USA) Veloclips 6:26
17. Michellie Jones (USA) Total Trainer 7:03
18. Emma Rickards (Aus) Goldys 7:06
19. Candice Blickem (USA) Genesis-Scuba 7:14
20. Dotsie Cowden (USA) Team T-Mobile USA 7:30
21. Iona Wynter (Jam) Genesis-Scuba
22. Gina Hall (USA) Euroduds
23. Jane Despas (USA) Euroduds all s.t.
24. Elizabeth Begosh (USA) Velobella 11:29
25. April Henderson (USA) Total Trainer
26. Beth Leasure (USA) Veloclips
27. Cynthia Mommson (USA) Euroduds
28. Jennifer Stevens (USA) Red 5. Racing
29. Melissa Holt (NZl) Rona-Esker
30. Amy Moore (Can) Saturn Cycling Team
31. Maatje Benassi (Ned) Intermountain Cycling
32. Jenny Eyerman (USA) Red 5. Racing
33. Brooke Ourada (USA) Goldys
34. Erin Kassoy (USA) Basis
35. Megan Elliott (USA) Saturn Cycling Team
36. Vanessa Guyton (NZl) Velobella
37. Melissa Sanborn (USA) Intermountain Cycling
38. Laura Van Gilder (USA) Saturn Cycling Team
39. Catherine Marsal (Fra) Rona-Esker
40. Ina Teutenberg (Ger) Saturn Cycling Team all s.t.
41. Cathy Bearce (USA) Total Trainer 13:46
42. Michelle Beltran (USA) Red 5. Racing
43. Kristin Drumm (USA) Euroduds
44. Larssyn Staley (USA) Genesis-Scuba
45. Liza Rachetto (USA) Intermountain Cycling
46. Sima Trapp (USA) Goldys
47. Lauren Franges (USA) Victory Brewing/Amoroso's
48. Judy Hay (USA) Velobella
49. Helene Drumm (USA) Basis
50. Kele Hulser (USA) Veloclips
51. Suzanne Macht (Can) Goldys
52. Julia Hawley (Ber) Basis
53. Sarah Konrad (USA) Basis
54. Troy Watson (USA) Goldys
55. Christy Kopasz (USA) Intermountain Cycling
56. Heidi Stamm (USA) Intermountain Cycling
57. Mary Kneeland (USA) Intermountain Cycling
58. Emily Kachorek (USA) Red 5. Racing
59. Catherine Powers (USA) Total Trainer
60. Lisa Hunt (USA) Euroduds
61. Julia Bradley (Can) Veloclips
62. Cynthia Carroll (USA) Goldys
63. Gina Grain (Can) Victory Brewing/Amoroso's
64. Sophie St Jacques (Can) Victory Brewing/Amoroso's
65. Jody Kosinski (USA) Genesis-Scuba all s.t.
66. Grace Fleury (USA) Genesis-Scuba 19:03
67. Nicole Freedman (USA) Basis 22:17
68. Cory Irimes (USA) Velobella 23:16
69. Natalie Scott (USA) Veloclips 23:50
Outside Time Limit: Galina Asipenko (Blr) Euroduds 39:07
DNF Naomi Gollogly (USA) Total Trainer
DNF Sarah Foulkes (USA) Total Trainer
DNF Erika Schwarz (USA) Red 5. Racing
DNS Kate Maher (USA) Basis
1. Geneviève Jeanson (Can) Rona-Esker
2. Dede Barry (USA) Team T-Mobile USA at 0:08
3. Lyne Bessette (Can) Saturn Cycling Team
1. Team T-Mobile USA 5:34:06
2. Victory Brewing/Amoroso's s.t.
3. Rona-Esker 3:58
4. Saturn Cycling Team 11:37
5. Genesis-Scuba 14:44
6. Red 5. Racing 22:58
7. Euroduds 26:29
8. Veloclips 31:41
9. Total Trainer 32:18
10. Goldys 32:21
11. Velobella 36:44
12. Intermountain Cycling
13. Basis 39:01
Men (results nullified)
1. Mike Sayers (USA) Health Net
2. Matt Dubberley (USA) Sierra Nevada-Clifbar
3. Miguel Meza (Mex) Schroeder Iron
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