Canadian Cyclist


March 8/99 8:59 am - Bessette Wins Redlands, World Cup Report

Posted by Editor on 03/8/99

World Cup Report From Leigh Hobson

The 1st World Cup took place this morning in Canberra. The course was a 5.1km circuit, completed 20 times to make up the distance of 102km. There were two hills, the first approximately 1km in length and the second, more gradual hill approximately 500m in length. A field of 110 riders began the race under overcast and welcoming cooler weather. As it was the first World Cup of the season, the riders were a little jumpy, with crashes happening left right and centre during the first few laps.

As the peleton relaxed, the hills and the wind began to take its toll. After about 9 laps, the peleton split, proving once again the necessity of riding at the front! Twelve riders split away maintaining a gap as low as 20 seconds and as high as 3 minutes and 23 seconds. As most teams were represented in the break, no significant chase happened. Attacks were made but none that could bridge up to the break.

The race ended with Anna Wilson (AUS) taking the sprint for 1st place, followed by Hanka Kupfernagel (GER) 2nd, and Sarah Symington (GB) 3rd. The remaining group of 42 riders came in together 3:23 down from the break. In total 56 riders completed the race as any lapped riders were immediately pulled from the course. Another teriffic day for the Aussies!!!

Bessette Wins Redlands

We are still waiting for full and final results from the Redlands Classic, but here is what is available so far. (Plus a report from team Elita)

Stage 6 - Arrowhead Road Race


1. Frank McCormack, Saturn
2. David Clinger, Mercury
3. Harm Jansen, Volvo-Cannondale
4. Jesus Zarate, Mercury
5. Vasily Davidenko, Navigators, all s.t.

Final G.C.

1. Christian Vande Velde, U.S. Postal Service
2. McCormack, at 0:46
3. Scott Moninger, at 1:09


1. Carmen Richardson, Volvo-Cannondale
2. Marie Holjer, Inland Sunset Velo
3. Alison Sydor, Volvo-Cannondale
4. Clara Hughes, unattached

5. Julie Young, Timex, all s.t.

Final G.C.

1. Lyne Bessette, Saturn
2. Alison Dunlap, Team GT, at 0:30
3. Cybil DiGuistini, Elita, at 1:02

Team ELITA proves itself at Redlands, DiGuistini 3rd overall
(courtesy David Cathcart, Team Elita)

Team ELITA kicked off the 1999 USPRO Tour with a stunning result at the prestigious Redlands Cycling Classic. Cybil DiGuistini, 21, of Victoria, BC rode brilliantly and fended off challenges from several past World Champions to claim a spot on the podium and win the Espoir title. The Redlands Cycling Classic is a 6 stage event which marks the beginning of the domestic calendar and is one of the seasons premier events.

Starting with Stage 1, the Highlands Circuit race, Team ELITA demonstrated that they were out to prove something. The Highland Circuit is one designed for pure power riders as each of it's 13 laps includes a 500m 10% climb. In this event, Team ELITA's Cybil DiGuistini was an outside chance at victory, but when the right combination of riders surged on the 6th of 13 laps, Cybil knew it was the time to join them. Cresting the hill on the 6th lap, Cybil attacked, joining Lyne Bessette of Saturn, Dara Rogers of Helen's Cycles and Clara Hughes. After several hard turns at the front, their lead was established and the pack's efforts to regain them were in vain. Accompanying Cybil in this break were several accomplished riders, among them double Olympic bronze medallist, Clara Hughes and Commonwealth Games Gold medallist, Lyne Bessette. On the final gallop up the climb, Dara Rogers jumped on the left to cruise to victory while Lyne Bessette and Cybil settled for second and third. They knew it would be a long week!

Wednesday's Time Trial at the Fontana Speedway, was next on the agenda and was certainly a cause for Cybil's concern. Though not normally a TT specialist, Cybil posted the 14th fastest time losing only a minute to Time Trial aces, Dede Demet of Saturn and Alison Dunlap of Team GT. That afternoon's Dash for Cash criterium at the Speedway was also a challenge for Team ELITA's GC leader, but thanks to unbelievable team work by Team ELITA mainstays Annie Gariepy and Kim Langton, Cybil's position was protected.

Friday dawned on Redlands competitors a crisp morning, with the challenge of scaling Oak Glen looming in the distance. The Team ELITA plan was simple, protect Cybil from early attacks and bring her to the base of the climb, fresh for the impending onslaught of attacks. After 3 hours of 40km/h racing Cybil was deposited at the foot of the climb with the leaders. It was here that Cybil entred her element. Matching the attacks of US Road Champion Pam Schuster and former World Champions Alison Sydor and Jeannie Longo, Cybil managed to finish in 9th position and move into 3rd overall. The showdown was set and Cybil's fate would be decided on the downtown streets of Redlands in a final criterium and circuit race.

Saturday's Downtown criterium, was a blistering affair with top speeds reaching 60km/h. The field showed no mercy as the attacks came once a lap, forcing Team ELITA to chase. The strain began to show on team workers Kim Langton, Sophie St Jacques and Melanie Dorion. One by one after several hard laps at the front they drifted backwards in the field, spent. It was now up to Cybil and Annie to protect Cybil's position. Never one to scoff at a challenge, Annie did what can only be described as miraculous, as she single handedly chased down over 20 serious break attempts in 10 minutes. The race ended in a bunch sprint with Cybil finishing in the pack. 5 down one to go.

Sunday's Sunset Road Race is traditionally Redlands' most difficult stage. With 8 laps to ride and over 50 miles of rolling terrain, the challenge was evident. The challenge was made greater by the fact that sickness had claimed 2 more team members, leaving Cybil vulnerable to attack. Thankfully Cybil rose to the occassion and fended off numerous attacks from Timex's Schuster and Saturn's duo of Robbins and Bessette. The day also ended in a sprint won by Carmen Richardson with Cybil cruising in for the biggest result of her young career.

A one hour program of the Redlands Bicycle Classic can be seen on ESPN March 30th 1999.


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