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July 22/98 11:19 am - Track World Cup Story, U.S. Rankings, Another Injury...


Posted by Editor on 07/22/98
 

Track World Cup - The Real Story

We reported last night that Victoria had lost the rights to host a Track World Cup in 1999, even though they had supposedly been given a 3 year sanction. So what‚s the deal? Well, a little snooping turned up some interesting (and bound to be controversial) facts. We spoke to a number of different sources on this matter, none of whom would speak publicly on the situation. However, we are still going to report the gist of their comments, since they point to serious problems that need to be addressed if Canada hopes to continue hosting major international events in the future. We invite official, „on the record‰ responses from anyone involved in the event.

The Victoria World Cup Track meet, held at the end of May, was a dream - from the point of view of a spectator. Excellent weather, and the best racing one could hope for. However, it turns out that there were some serious logistical and facilities problems that have sunk any hopes of a repeat event in the foreseeable future:

1. Facilities

The primary complaint here is that there is no tunnel through to the infield of the track. This meant that competitors, support staff, officials, media, etc. had to run across the track in between racers. I was told that this was possibly the primary reason why Victoria was not renewed as a venue - other problems may be fixable, but this involves major reconstruction. During the Commonwealth Games, a bridge over the track was used. This is not really acceptable, since it obstructs the view of the officials and racers (plus it could be dangerous). The only solution here is to build a tunnel - a major effort, but not insurmountable because of the venue layout (the ground slopes away on one side of the track).

2. Administration

Some major problems here, but generally fixable. Since the event was put together on short notice (Indianapolis pulled out 14 weeks before), most teams and competitors recognized that there would be some shortcomings. However, a few areas had serious problems:

  • Meals - competitors were told that they could not get breakfast at the early times they required them; this is a major no-no, since racers know how long before an event they need to eat. At a World Cup event this is unacceptable.

  • Accommodation - Some complaints, but fairly minor.

  • Officials - Making sure you look after UCI officials who report back on your event should be high on any race organizers list! Problems with payments (including out of pocket expenses) and transportation should not have occurred.
3. Competing Activities

Having a mountain bike race during the event is a nice idea, but running it through the entrance to the track when competitors are trying to get in for a session was a VERY bad idea! I personally saw Jens Fiedler (2 time Olympic champion) kick over barricades that were in his way, and team mechanics were dodging mountain bikers while trying to get bikes ready. A little more planning would have solved this problem.

Having Bastion Square the same weekend was also a nice idea, and the track racers that took part in it after the World Cup certainly added to the stature of the event, but it did mean that resources were stretched very thin. From the UCI‚s point of view (and the national teams, and the officials), the World Cup takes precedence.

It may have been a hard lesson to learn, but now local organizers, the provincial association and the CCA know what needs to be fixed before they even attempt to bid on another World Cup. We would urge the organizers and the CCSD (Commonwealth Centre for Sports Development) facility owner to not give up! Put together a plan for the future and come back to the UCI in a few years with solid proposal. The athletes all said that the Victoria track was the smoothest and best concrete track they had ever ridden, and that the fan support was excellent. Let‚s just see the organization and facilities cranked up another notch.


U.S. National Racing Calendar Standings (as of July 21st)
(courtesy USA Cycling)

Note: Standings do not include results from Motorola International Cycling Classic.

Men - Individual

1. GEORGE HINCAPIE, U.S. POSTAL SERVICE, Charlotte, N.C. 526 points
2. Julian Dean, Mercury, Hamilton, New Zealand 479
3. Frank McCormack, Saturn, Leicester, Mass. 423
4. Trent Klasna, Navigators, Pine Valley, Calif. 421
5. Gord Fraser, Mercury, Ottawa, Ont., Canada 357
6. Kirk Willett, Mercury, Pullman, Wash. 341
7. Mark McCormack, Saturn, N. Easton, Mass. 276
8. Adham Sbeih, Nutra Fig, Pollock Pines, Calif. 252
9. Eddy Gragus, OilMe, Fort Collins, Colo. 245
10. Mike McCarthy, Saturn, New York, N.Y. 241

16. Brian Walton, Saturn, N. Delta, B.C., Canada 184
19. Mat Anand, Mercury, Calgary, Alb., Canada 179
29. Eric Wohlberg, Shaklee, Burlington, Ont., Canada 140


Women - Individual

1. DEDE DEMET, SATURN, Boulder, Colo. 662 points
2. Linda Jackson, Saeco-Timex, Nepean, Ont., Canada 453
3. Karen Kurreck, Saturn, Cupertino, Calif. 442
4. Elizabeth Emery, Saturn, New York, N.Y. 401
5. Pam Schuster, Saeco-Timex, Northridge, Calif. 375
6. Tina Mayolo, PowerBar, Athens, Ga. 366
7. Karen Bliss Livingston, Saturn, Gainesville, Fla. 360
8. Kendra Wenzel, Saeco-Timex, McKenzie Bridge, Ore. 309
9. Mari Holden, Celestial Seasonings, Colorado Springs, Colo. 308
10. Joan Wilson, Celestial Seasonings, Palo Alto, Calif. 303

13. Clara Hughes, Saturn, Hamilton, Ont., Canada 273
16. Leigh Hobson, Canadian National, Kitchener, Ont., Canada 250
25. Alison Sydor, Volvo-Cannondale, N.Vancouver, B.C., Canada 130



Another Wounded Warrior...

Hi guys, Mike Jones here (as in 2nd in last seasons Senior dh nationals, and 5th in Canada Cup). I just thought that I would let you know that the reason I havn't been at any of the Canada Cup this year is because I decided to do the US Norba Circuit instead, and with my budget it was one or the other. Unfortunately you can add me to your list of injured racers as I had a big crash at Mammoth on Friday during training, which resulted in a third degree separation if my right AC shoulder joint. This means that where my collar bone joined my shoulderblade, things are no longer connected.... bummer. It happened about 1/2 way down the course on a section where you could go around a six foot drop that landed in sand or go right off it and save a 1/2 second. Well I'd been riding it all week no problem and this last time I just got bogged down in the sand and crashed hard at about 50km/h...ooops! I'm hoping to be good to go for the Nationals, but until then I may as well get a head start on my reading for school or something.

See you at the Nationals (I hope),

Mike Jones
Victoria, BC

 


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