September 8/04 5:11 am - Tomlinson 24 Hour Solo Champion
Posted by Editoress on 09/8/04
24hr World Solo Championships Whistler BC
Courtesy Rocky Mountain Business Objects
Rocky Mountain Business Objects Tomlinson takes 2004 24hr World Solo Championships.
The Adrenalin 24hr World Solo Championships were hosted by Whistler, BC Sept 4&5. A record 200 solo riders started at the base of Blackcomb mountain at high noon on Saturday, September 4 2004. The Le Mans start of a 400 meter run was the start of 24 hrs of BC style single track, rocky climbs, ladders and roots, making the epic race about as hard as it could possibly be.
The weather co-operated, although it was cold and overcast until daybreak on Sunday. The well organized solo pit area was home to racers and crews from numerous nations. Biggest challenges for Lesley Tomlinson of Canada on the womens side were from Jenny Oâ€šConnor of Great Britain, and defending World Solo Champion Christina Begy of the USA. Throughout the entire race, the solo pits thrived with spectators, supporters and fans making the 24 hr challenge ultimately more bearable for those taking on the task.
In the early laps, Jenny Oâ€šConnor and Begy maintained close contact, forcing quicker than usual pit stops on the 1 hr 15 to 30 min laps for Tomlinson. Knowing that they would pay later for this strategy, Rocky Mountain Business Objects, Tomlinson upped the pace on the laps to allow for longer pits to refuel and rest. Although the longest stops the entire race were 7 mins, and as short as 1 min, this was enough to make the difference as the challengers tried to forego the stops to reduce the deficit from the lap times.
By 8 am Tomlinson had a 30 min lead and took a complete change and food stop. Oâ€šConnor tried one last effort to cut the lead by riding right through without a stop at all. This helped her to gain back 9 mins, but would ultimately cost much more in the final few hours. Begy likewise slowed to the point of being lapped by Tomlinson with 2 hrs remaining after which she retired from the race and was consequently passed by Louise Kobin, her Trans Alp Challenge partner of 2004.
The Rocky Mountain Business Objects crew of Keith Yip and Karen Stark, assisted by young racer and mechanic Matt Green were indescribably competent and supportive. Between the three, the bikes, light systems and changes were flawless. Additional support by Daina Carmicheal, Kevin Calhoun, Brad Fairall and Alex Pro all of Rocky Mountain, was magic in fuelling the ride. Thanks to all for staying up most of the night and helping in the win.
Chris Eatough successfully defended his title to make it 5 times World Champion.
1. Chris Eatough (USA) 24:46:26, 21 laps
2 Tinker Juarez Downey (USA) 23:40:07, 20 laps
3. Nat Ross (USA) 24:02:56, 20 laps
4. Cameron Chambers (USA) 23:14:01, 19 laps
5. Mathew Chynoweth (USA) 24:19:38, 19 laps
1. Lesley Tomlinson (Can) 23:26:32, 17 laps
2. Jennifer O'Connor (GBr) 24:04:27, 17 laps
3. Louise Kobin (USA) 24:40:44, 17 laps
4. Marg Fedyna (Can) 24:48:57, 17 laps
5. Cristina Begy (USA) 23:03:01, 15 laps