July 18/98 10:07 am - Road Nationals
Posted by Editor on 07/18/98
Road Nationals Report - Womenâ€šs Road Race is about to start
All of the big names of Canadian Womens road racing are here (the exceptions are Clara Hughes out for the season with an injury and Leigh Hobson who broke her collarbone less than 2 weeks ago).
The â€ždark horseâ€° of todays race may be BC rider Sandy Espeseth, winner of last weekends road race in WhiteRock. Espeseth is an ex-member of the national basketball team who seems to be making a succesful transition to bicycle racing. (Can anyone tell us if she is from Vancouver or Victoria)?
The course was covered in early morning fog, but as the riders are being called to the line it appears to be lifting. There are 38 starters for the 6 lap, 96km race.
If you are looking for previously posted results: the results from yesterdays road races are posted: July 17 9:15 pm PST - Road National Junior and Veteran Results and the ITT results from Wednesday are at: July 16 1:00 am PST - National Time Trial Results.
Road Nationals Report - Womenâ€šs Road Race is part way through lap 4
Just after the start of lap 2, Annie Gariepy, went away from the pack on a break that was allowed to stretch to nearly 2 minutes at one point.
The pack has taken a long time to react, but is now beginning to take notice. Linda Jackson reacted on the climb on lap 4, taking Alison Sydor, Stacey Spencer and Sandy Espeseth with her. They have closed the gap to less than 1:30, but there are less than 3 laps to go.
Road Nationals Report - Womenâ€šs Road Race is part way through lap 5
Linda Jackson began a series of attacks during lap 4 that rapidly closed the gap that Annie Gariepy had maintained for over 2 laps. On the climb on lap 5 Linda Jackson, with Alison Sydor firmly attached to her wheel caught and passed Gariepy and the pair has now put 30 seconds between themselves and the Elita rider from Quebec, . Jackson is still attacking, but is allowing Sydor to set the pace.
There is a group of 6 riders 1:30 behind which includes Stacey Spencer, Kim Langton, Cybil DiGuistini, Anne Samplonious ane Lynn Bessett that is not mounting much of a chase effort
Road Nationals Report - Linda Jackson 1998 National Road Champion
Linda Jackson makes it 2 for 2 by winning both the ITT on Wednesday and the Road Race today.
Jackson and Alison Sydor rode the last lap of todays 6 lap , 96 km race side by side maintaining an steady pace. Jackson rolled across the line half a bike length ahead of Sydor. Alison Sydor later commented â€žWe all know who the best woman road rider is in Canada, ....... this was a great training race for meâ€°.
Annie Gariepy who was expected to take third was caught on the finishing straight by a group of 3 riders and ended up in 6th.
1. Linda Jackson
2. Alison Sydor
3. Lynn Bessett
4. Sandy Espeseth
5. Anne Samplonious
6. Annie Gariepy
Road Nationals Report - Men have just started
More than 130 riders have just started the hunt to be the 1998 Canadian National Road Champion. The skies have become slightly overcast, thus increasing the heat and humidity.
The men will race for 176 km (11 laps) and it is not expected that there will be much action during the first half of the race.
Rob spoke with a number of the riders as they were waiting to be called to the line. Steve Rover is racing here hoping to assess his fitness level. He injured his hip back in February, and is only now beginning to feel healthy enough to race. Gord Fraser is making one of his very few appearances in Canada (I think the first in sometime was the race in Queenâ€šs Park at the end of May -ed). â€žAn awful lot of climbing for a sprinter like meâ€° said Fraser about his chances.
Lynn Bessett has been asked to ride a few European races with Team Saturn later in the year. She will ride the World Cup in France and a tour in Germany.
Alison Sydor counted this as one of her easy weekends at home (Abbotsford is less than an hour from Vancouver) before she heads off for the Tour of the Rockies. After the Tour she then has a full schedule leading up to, what are to her, the two most important races of the year: the World Cup final in Bromont and the World Championships at Mont Ste-Anne.
Road Nationals Report - Men have just started the climb in lap 5
There is a break of 9 riders that have gotten away and have about 35 seconds on a gradually dwindling pack. This group includes 1997 champion Czeslaw Lucaszewiccz, Matt Anand, Steve Rover, James Mackie, Michael Barry, Eric Wohlberg, Mark Walters, Sylvan Beauchamp and an unknown rider. Brian Walton is attempting to bridge but is struggling.
This is proving to be a very tough course. A tough climb coupled with the heat is taking its toll. Over half the field has abandoned and the race is not even half over. Upon completion of this lap, there are still 6 remaining.
Road Nationals Report - Joined by Walton and Landry, the break has a powerful lead
There are now a solid group of 12 off the front and the pack (what is left of it) is nowhere to be seen. Czeslaw Lucaszewiccz, Matt Anand, Steve Rover, James Mackie, Michael Barry, Eric Wohlberg, Mark Walters, Sylvan Beauchamp, Jacques Landry, Brian Walton, Antoine Varghese, Dominique Perras are settling down to finish this race.
Road Nationals Report - The ranks of the leaders are beginning to thin, as the toughness of course takes it toll
At the 115 km mark only 10 riders remained, Antoine Varghese and James Mackie had been droped. A number of attacks were launched, but nothing was sticking.. At this point the officials stopped pulling lapped rider. There have been so many drop out, that many of the espoirs will not finish.
Now at the top of the climb at beginning of lap 8 Mark Walters and Matt Anand launched an attack that has splintered the reaminder of the lead group. Steve Rover, Dominique Perras and Jacques Landry were not able to get back on. There are now just 7 riders left, and this group contains 2 Saturn riders (Walton and Barry) and 2 Mercury (Anand and Walters).
Road Nationals Report -
At the start of lap 9, on the climb, Anand launched a attack, taking Barry and Lucaszewiccz with him. The tro were quickly brought back, just in time for Walters to counterattack. Wohlberg was the only rider not able to get back on.
With 2 laps (about 36km) to go, Walters has again launched off the front, and has managed to get 30 seconds clear of the group.
Road Nationals Report -
At the end of lap 9, all 6 (Anand, Walters, Walton, Barry, Lucaszewiccz, Beauchamps) were back together. Just after the top of the climb, with 1.5 laps to go, Walton launched a massive attack taking Lucaszewiccz and Walters with him. The gap they created has quickly grown to 1:20 on the other 3 riders.
At the start of the last lap, the 3 have opened the gap to 1:40 and are closely watching for the next attack.
Road Nationals Report - 8 km to go
Just before the crest of the climb, Walters launched an attack that has taken him 10 seconds clear of Walton and
Lucaszewiccz. The course is downhill from here, with a 2km flat finish stretch.
Mark Walters crowned 1998 National Road Champion
Mark Walters soled in to take the win today, and, according to everyone, he earned it! Throughout the 176 km course, it was Walters who repeatedly pushed the pace and attacked. Walters, of Oshawa Ontario, ranks todays win (his 7th of the year) as the highlight of 1998.
Wohlberg, who had been dropped after lap 9, made an impressive comeback, to catch and overtake Annand, Beauchamps and Barry in the feedzone just before the finish.
1. Mark Walters (Mercury)
2.Brian Walton (Saturn)
3. Lucaszewiccz (Team Quebec)
4. Wohlberg (Shaklee)
5. Matt Anand (Mercury)
6. Sylvain Beauchamps (Team Quebec)
7. Michael Barry (Saturn).