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March 8/04 7:26 am - Espoirs in Europe, GP Feminin Update, Randell Report


Posted by Editor on 03/8/04
 

Prix IMTEC / Chasseneuil - Lussac, France

1. Michael Delage (Fra, Entente Sud Gascogne)
2. Evgeny Sokolov (Rus, Moscou City Sport)
3. Benoit Sinner (Fra, UC Chateauroux 36)
4. Julien Belgy (Fra, Cycle Poitevin)
5. Romain Chollet (Fra, Cycle Poitevin)

45 Chris Issac (Canada - Espoirs)
55 Bradley Fairall (Canada - Espoirs)
56 Brandon Crichton (Canada - Espoirs)
57 Christian Meier (Canada - Espoirs)



GP Feminin Update

Within the last two weeks the organizers of the 2003 Grand Prix Feminin International du Canada, and the Canadian Cycling Association have sent out conflicting press releases regarding the 2004 edition of the race. The 2003 organizers, from the Lac St Jean-Saguenay region in eastern Quebec, released a statement saying that they would not be presenting the event in 2004, due to the date proximity (August 4-8) with the Olympics and, therefore, the expected lack of interest from European teams, but that they would be back in 2005.

The CCA responded with an announcement that the event belonged to them, and that the former organizer did not speak on their behalf. They then issued a request for potential interested organizers to take over the 2004 event.

According to CCA Events Coordinator Brett Stewart "Their (2003 organizers) position is that the timing is too close to the Olympics, and that they wouldn't get the European teams. Our position is that it would have very little effect. The event is a CCA property, not the organizer's, so they can't make a unilateral decision to cancel the event. Traditionally, this race has not attracted many Europeans; mainly North American riders and teams. Last year was unique, with the proximity to the Worlds in Hamilton attracting more Europeans than usual."

Stewart suspects that it is the reduction in federal sponsorship funds which has had more of an impact than the Olympics. Currently, the ruling federal Liberal party is enduring a scandal regarding federal money funnelled into numerous Quebec-based sports and cultural events to promote federalism (against the Quebec separatist movement). The scandal is over who disbursed the funds, and whether it was done effectively and appropriately. Cycling events make up a small proportion of the activities involved, however, the investigation has had a chilling effect on all events in Quebec, including cycling ones.

"A lot of Quebec organizations relied on federal government support, which has dried up" said Stewart.

The CCA has been talking to various Quebec organizers, including Daniel Manibal (organizer of the Montreal Women's World Cup and Tour of Montreal), and Richard Deslandes (organizer of the Masters Mountain Bike Worlds), but with such a short time frame it will be difficult to put something together.


Andrew Randell Report: Jetfuel In Victoria

by Andrew Randell

For the last week of February, reading week at Ryerson University, I headed out to the West coast for a week in Victoria. Initially I had wanted to head south to San Jose but ticket pricing had a small influence on my decision and so it was BC or bust. Not that BC was really a poor second choice. For one I had never been there, and it's always great to go somewhere new, and secondly I had a couple of friends to go and see: my team-mate Matt Hansen and Andrew Pinfold (formerly of Ital Pasta, now with Symmetrics). Both of them turned out to be great guides on the rides and Geoff Kabush, with whom we were all staying, was a most gracious host.

Having been to South Africa over Christmas I had some pretty good miles in the legs. The plan had been that I would only have a month of poor riding
conditions between South Africa and a second training camp and it ended up working perfectly. Funnily though, the efforts made in the gym on the Xtrainer ( a cross-country simulator) and the monarch don't seem to translate perfectly onto the bike. From what I can tell it definitely takes a couple of days to get the outdoor legs back. And so it was that in BC I was struggling over the first few days, at points almost getting dropped by Hansen, a near invalid until a couple of months ago. Worried about the coming season is what I was!

Every day we put in some great riding. One of the best rides we did went to the northwest of Victoria, over what is known as the Malahat. Once over the top you're into this great back country kind of area of rolling roads that pop out onto the coast once in a while, just amazing. Best of all, as always, was the stop at the Cosmic Cafe in Duncan which had been highly recommended. Almost best of all was an area called Highlands, just to the north of Victoria. You would never guess that you were close to an urban center. The woods, in all their damp and mossy glory, felt pristine and untouched. All in all the riding in Victoria is as good as anything I have done anywhere else; with the damp climate it feels like Oregon or riding along the coastal hills south of San Francisco.

At week's end I had put in 32 hours and am now paying the price, I've felt rocked on the bike for the whole week afterwards; a small price to pay in trying to get some race winning form for the coming season.

Hansen and Randell get ready for the start of the season.

 


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