Posted by Editor on 08/8/98
Trouble at Rocky Mountain House
We received a late telephone call from our reporter at Canada Cup #5 last night - Greg Flaaten. It appears that there is a very strong chance that todayÃ¢â‚¬Å¡s downhill will not take place, due to a rider protest. Greg says that this appears to be the culmination of concerns riders have had all year over the quality and safety of courses. The riders say that they are concerned about inconsistency of courses across the country, with some not being very challenging technically. Things came to a head at Rocky Mountain House after the riders found that the course had no chairlift. They are worried about safety - the course is very remote, and proper training is difficult with no chairlift. The organizer has responded with a large number of emergency staff on-site and (reputedly) an emergency helicopter on standby. Greg says that the riders appear to be fed up: no electronic timing in QuÃƒÂ©bec (Mont Tremblant), inconsistent course quality, safety. he says that at this point (late last night), it appears that the boycott will be pretty well universal. We will keep you posted.
CHIOTTI MAKES UP DEFICIT, DUNLAP WINS STAGE AT MT. WERNER HILLCLIMB
Steamboat Springs, Colo. - The Mt. Werner Hillclimb has become renowned for itÃ¢â‚¬Å¡s ability to crush even the best mountain bikers, and during this yearÃ¢â‚¬Å¡s Mercury Tour, presented by Outdoor Life Network, todayÃ¢â‚¬Å¡s stage was no exception. After nearly 4000 feet of climbing in thirteen miles, it was the Team GT duo of Jerome Chiotti and Alison Dunlap, both Ã…â€™97 defending champions, who conquered the mountain fastest. It was also a day for the changing of race leadership in the menÃ¢â‚¬Å¡s field, as yesterdayÃ¢â‚¬Å¡s leader Rob Woods (Australian National Team) lost more than eight minutes, and dropped to sixth overall, while Chiotti took the leaders jersey by a mere eight seconds over Matt Wallace (Australian National Team).
TodayÃ¢â‚¬Å¡s stage started in Lincoln Park, near downtown Steamboat Springs at an elevation of 6,795 feet, and brought the riders climbing past the base of the mountain, then past the top of the gondola, to the top of Storm Peak at a final elevation of 10,568, in a distance of only thirteen miles. The race began with a four mile stretch of paved road, which turned to dirt as the riders began to ascend the mountain, then switched to singletrack for most of the remaining distance.
As the menÃ¢â‚¬Å¡s race began at 9 a.m., so did the attacks, with OilmeÃ¢â‚¬Å¡s Eddy Gragus jumping right at the gun, and putting his road cycling background to good use. Once they hit the dirt, however, Chiotti took advantage of a good nightÃ¢â‚¬Å¡s sleep and proper recovery to make his move, and slowly pulled away from the other contenders. As he crossed the line, he fell from his bike, and lay in a crumpled ball on the ground, searching for energy to stand up. He found the energy to rise, then frantically searched for the clock to find out if he had taken the leaderÃ¢â‚¬Å¡s jersey away from Rob Woods or kept it away from Matt Wallace. In the end, it was Chiotti who would be the new race leader, by only eight seconds. Following Chiotti to the finish today was Pavel Tcherkassov (Diamondback Racing), the leader following the prologue, at thirty-three seconds, then Roland Green (Mapei-Kona) at 1:39.
The womenÃ¢â‚¬Å¡s race started an hour later, and it was stage-winner Alison Dunlap who made the early move to the front. Said Dunlap, Ã¢â‚¬Å¾I went off the front, but not to attack, just to loosen my legs up. When nobody responded, I just kept going. I felt good today, so I was able to go hard, then recover, go hard, then recover.Ã¢â‚¬Â° Overall leader Alison Sydor (Volvo-Cannondale) followed Dunlap at 2:01, conserving energy where she could, and keeping her within striking distance. Sydor still holds a 4:24 advantage over Dunlap, who now sits in fourth overall. Third on the day was American Ruthie Matthes of Durango, Colo., with Jimena Florit-Juarez (Headshok) in fourth, and Ann Trombley (Ellsworth-Zzyzx) in fifth.
TomorrowÃ¢â‚¬Å¡s Stage Three brings the riders back to the Steamboat Base for the Thunderhead Circuit, a two lap, figure-8 course which runs twenty-four miles for the men, and just over fifteen miles for the women. Starting from the base of the gondola, the riders climb up Valley View to the top of the gondola, then descend the Zig Zag trail, cross over the figure-8, and descend down through the start finish. MenÃ¢â‚¬Å¡s racing begins at 9 a.m., with the women following at 11 a.m.
Outdoor Life Network will feature nine hours of original programming with in- depth coverage of every stage, continuing tonight through Monday at 7 p.m. MDT for the menÃ¢â‚¬Å¡s competition, and beginning August 13 for the womenÃ¢â‚¬Å¡s competition.
WomenÃ¢â‚¬Å¡s Stage 2: 1. Alison Dunlap (Team GT) 1:29:39, 2. Alison Sydor (Volvo-Cannondale) @2:01, 3. Ruthie Matthes (Powerbar) @2:33, 4. Jimena Florit-Juarez (Headshok) @2:56, 5. Ann Trombley (Ellsworth-Zzyzx) @4:41
WomenÃ¢â‚¬Å¡s Overall: 1. Alison Sydor (Volvo-Cannondale) 4:09:00, 2. Ruthie Matthes (Powerbar) @2:59, 3. Jimena Florit-Juarez (Headshok) @4:01, 4. Alison Dunlap (Team GT) @4:24, 5. Alla Epifanova (Volvo-Cannondale) @5:26
WomenÃ¢â‚¬Å¡s Under-23 Jersey: Alla Epifanova, WomenÃ¢â‚¬Å¡s Mountain Leader: Alison Dunlap
MenÃ¢â‚¬Å¡s Stage 2: 1. Jerome Chiotti (Team GT) 1:12:17, 2. Pavel Tcherkassov (Diamondback Racing) @0:33, 3. Roland Green (Mapei-Kona) @1:39, 4. Tinker Juarez (Volvo-Cannondale) @1:56, 5. Travis Brown (Trek-Volkswagen) @2:16
MenÃ¢â‚¬Å¡s Overall: 1. Jerome Chiotti (Team GT) 3:27:19, 2. Matt Wallace (Australian National Team) @0:08, 3. Pavel Tcherkassov (Diamondback Racing) @1:10, 4. Tinker Juarez (Volvo-Cannondale) @5:20, 5. Neil Grover (Canadian National Team) @5:39
MenÃ¢â‚¬Å¡s Under-23 Jersey: Neil Grover (Canadian National Team), MenÃ¢â‚¬Å¡s Mountain Leader: Jerome Chiotti
Note: our unoffical results last night became offical, with no protests to change them.
International Regio Tour
(courtesy Marc Morrison)
Stage 3a, Kehl - Emmendingen (Ger), 122 kms:
1. Danny Jonasson (Den) Rabobank 3:04:31
2. Johan Verstrepen (Bel) Vlaanderen 2002 s.t.
3. Jean-Patrick Nazon (Fra) La Francaise des Jeux at 0:25
4. Alberto Ongarato (Ita) Ballan
5. Daniele Contrini (Ita) Brescialat-Liquigas
22. Steve Rover (Can) Mutuelle de Seine-et-Marne all s.t.
Stage 3b, Emmendingen (Ger), ITT 14 kms:
1. Francisque Teyssier (Fra) Mutuelle de Seine-et-Marne 19:07
2. Rolf SÃƒÂ¶rensen (Den) Rabobank 19:10 at 2:60
3. Mirco Celestino (Ita) Polti 19:16 at 8:91
4. Richard Virenque (Fra) Festina 19:24 at 16:43
5. Christophe Bassons (Fra) Festina 19:24 at 16:54
72. Steve Rover (Can) Mutuelle de Seine-et-Marne 21.20 2.12.32
GC after Stage 3b
1. Mirco Celestino (Ita) Polti 11:37.22
2. Rodolfo Ongarato (Ita) Ballan at 1:14
3. Emanuele Lupi (Ita) Amore e Vita 1:18
4. Daniele Contrini (Ita) Brescialat-Liquigas 1:33
5. Christophe Bassons (Fra) Festina 1:36
79. Steve Rover (Can) Mutuelle de Seine-et-Marne 17:57
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