Posted by Editoress on 07/2/04
Calgary World Cup - Pre-race Report
World Cup coverage sponsored by ORYX
We are about 7 hours away from the 4-Cross event at Calgary Olympic Park. The cross-country will take place tomorrow, and the downhill Sunday. It has been raining off and on for the last 24 hours, with more rain scheduled through the weekend, but right now there is hazy sun and it is drying out. Here are some notes, based on a cruise through the tech area.
- The 5.5 kilometre cross-country circuit is not very technical, and there is no significant climb. There is lots of singletrack and tight turns, so passing will be a concern. If it dries out, the course will be very fast - the men are predicting 15 minute laps. If, on the other hand, the rain starts up again, the short climbs will become treacherous, and there will be some hike-a-bike sections. Alison Sydor (Rocky Mountain-Business Objects) says that the lack of climbs will not make the race easier "it means that there is nowhere to rest, and the wind could be a factor, so you will have to be in a group for open sections." Current thinking is 8 laps for the men, and 6 for the women.
- The downhill and 4-Cross run next to the luge runs. A pedalling section at the top before a rock garden and a couple of switchbacks, and then into a twisty wodded section before a big drop-off (the Drop'n In). The coursse gets shallower after that, and the riders will have to pedal hard into the finish to maintain speed. World champion and World Cup leader Filip Meirhaeghe (Specialized) has reportedly signed up to do the Downhill!
- There has been a proposal floated that since this is the critical race for the Canadian Olympic selection, maybe Roland Green and Geoff Kabush be provided a higher start position than their World Cup ranking warrants. It would be unfortunate if a rider missed out because of traffic on the course.
- There are 52 men and 17 women signed up for the 4-Cross at this time. The Downhill and Cross-country registration is not yet closed, but thus far 115 men and 33 women for the downhill, and 44 women and 86 men are on the list.
- The U.S. women's Olympic selection for the one spot available is now been mathematically reduced to two riders - Sue Haywood (Trek-VW) and Mary McConneloug (Seven). There are two races left for UCI points before the deadline - Calgary and Marathon Worlds.
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