Posted by Editor on 01/30/05
World Cyclocross Championships Report
Normon Thibault Reporting
The night before the Elite races:
9:48pm Local Time.
Everything is ready to go. Corey and I have stamped "Go Wendy" into the snow outside our hotel window for Wendy to see in the morning. We have the bikes totally dialed in for Greg, Peter, Wendy, Tara and Samantha. The bags are packed and the whole extended team are just finishing up the pre-race meeting next door. We are pretty excited!
Earlier in the day.
After the Junior race Corey and I sent Wendy and Samantha back to the hotel. We sent our report and then had the opportunity to watch the under 23 race. This race is one of the best to watch because they race so hard and with far less tactics. It is just full throttle from the beginning until they each reach their limits. The crowds were even bigger than the junior race and we joined them at various parts around the course checking out the lines and making mental notes to pass onto the "drivers" in tomorrow's race. Along the way we stopped for some local spindle meat and "beverages". It was a great race and even better was the atmosphere of the place.
Jake, Josh, Corey and I debated one last time about tires to start on and what we would be doing for race day. All the bikes got one more once over and finitely tuned. We debated about putting a Canadian Flag onto Johnathan Page's bike as he is staying at our hotel since the US team forgot to get him a room at theirs.
After dinner the owner of the hotel got out the biggest arabian water bong and started smoking with anyone that would try it.
It has been a great day.
OK. I can't hold back any longer! I am sitting outside the press area. 12:25 local time. The girls have just finished racing and my head it pounding and I have a HUGE head ache. What an AWESOME race!! I am sure that Wendy will replay it in her head a number of times over the next hour, day, years. As will Samantha and Tara.
I will focus a bit more on Wendy's race from the pits and try to get all the riders to recount their races for a future report.
ANYWAYS....I am waiting for official results but we think that Wendy was nipped at the line for 12th or 13th place (ed. note: the officials have Wendy currently tied for 11th). She had awesome start...but not too awesome as she is usually inclined to go out too hard. The course was in great shape as the crew was sanding and sawdusting the course all night. BUT it was snowing!! The temp. was -6.
Wendy was right in the mix on the first lap. At the end of lap one we could see that she had dirt on her right hip. She had gone down on the far section of the course as it was super slick. Halfway through lap 2 she pitted as she had a front flat. She grabbed her back up bike, Corey's Empella, but was finding the tires on this bike were not hooking up quite as well as the "secret" tires that we put on her bike for the snow. Jake worked on getting her bike dialed in again putting on a spare wheel and checking everything. All the while Corey and I were watching for Samatha and Tara. Somewhere in there Samantha flatted her front tire as well and pitted for her second bike. On lap 4 Wendy was in a solid group of girls from 10th to 14th and she pitted again to get back on her pink Surley.
I have to tell you that She never looked better in a race. Totally solid. Looking for places to pass. Not following. Making moves. Her last move was just a slight error as she got on the track with 200 meters to go she was in a bad position and leading out the sprint. Wendy does not lose many sprints but this girl had just a little too much and nipped her at the line.....still waiting to hear the placing.
At the finish area she was totally spent. Her hands were numb. Her face was actually frozen a bit and she was having trouble moving her lips. We can download the HRM data and post a graph later if anyone is interested!!
Several people came up to her afterwards to congratulate her on her performance. In Europe this usually does not happen if you are not in the top 10.
Samatha and Tara I think finished together or in order with one lap to go having been lapped by Hanka on her last lap. I have not had the chance to talk to them yet about their feelings on their races but will try to post their reports later.
A HUGE thanks to everyone for their support for Wendy. I know that she really appreciates it all.
Still waiting for results....
Thanks to www.HellyHansen.com, www.Frontrunners.ca, www.BrodieBikes.com, Tufo and eNVy.
OK we have the official results.
They have Wendy down as an exact tie for 11th place. We are not sure if they will go back and change this after reviewing the tape but for now she is 11th. (Editor's Note: the official results from the UCI have placed her 12th) HUGE result!!
1. Hanka Kupernagel
2. Sabine Spitz.
3. Mirjam Melchers
7. was Ann Knapp at 2:16
11th Birgit Hollmann from Germany at 3:06
12th Wendy Simms s.t.
19th Sarah Kerlin from USA in 4:33
24th Josie Beggs USA 5:01
25th Rhonda Mazza 5:23
26th Barbara Howe 5:43
37th Smantha Nicholson -1 lap
38th Tara Ross -1 lap
Photos to follow.
Happy Birthday To...
Eric Tourville on Friday and Amber Chorney yesterday.
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