Posted by Editor on 09/18/99
Chausson Wins Muddy Downhill Title
Our reporter Chris Redden (yes, he is the husband of cross-country pro Chrissy Redden) says that the rain and cold have not gone away, making it possibily the worse conditions ever for a World Championships.
That did not stop Anne Caroline Chausson of France from repeating as world champion in the elite women's category, although her margin of victory over Finland's Katja Repo was a slim 1.6 seconds - much smaller than usual. Switzerland's Sari Jorgensen took the bronze, 15.7 seconds back. Top Canadian was Lorraine Blancher in 19th. Daamiann Skelton, the Canadian national champion DNF'd.
The men are racing now. Canadian Eric Cseff was an early leader, but has dropped back (still in the top 15). Mike King (USA) currently leads, but the big guns are still to come...
The conditions are so bad, says Chris that sections of the cross-country are unwalkable, let alone ridable. The mud is up to 6 inches deep in places, and the rain will not let up for long enough to allow anything to start drying up. One 500m section of descending is causing particular problems - it is a rooty series of steps that is currently completely impassable, except maybe flat on your back. Early riders in the downhill also faced fog on the top of the mountain, cutting down visibility. All in all, a lot of people are asking the UCI "so why did you choose northern Sweden in September?"
1. Anne Caroline Chausson FRA
2. Katja Repo FIN at 0:01.6
3. Sari Jorgensen SUI 0:15.7
4. Leigh Donovan USA 0:18.0
5. Tracy Moseley 0:19.0
19. Lorraine Blancher CAN 0:57.7
24. Sylvie Allen CAN 1:23
28. Tera Meade CAN 1:27
32. Cecile Gambin CAN 1:59
DNF Daamiann Skelton CAN
1. Nathan Rennie AUS
2. David Wardell GBR at 0:10.4
3. Jared Randel AUS 0:10.5
4. Adam Vagner CZE 0:14.2
5. Philip Polc SVK 0:15.8
16. Mathieu Laurin CAN 0:41
29. Phillipe Menard CAN 1:13
38. Craig Short CAN 1:30
40. Cody Swansborough CAN 1:38
1. Sabrina Jonnier FRA
2. Kathy Pruitt USA at 0:08.5
3. Helen Gaskell GBR 0:09.9
4. Celine Gros FRA 0:11.3
5. Melissa Uhl USA 0:37.4
9. Katherine Lobodzinski CAN 1:44
New Ontario Downhill
'Antoine Adventure Mt.' in Mattawa, Ontario has been re-structured to offer 4 seasons of operation which means Mt. Biking (both downhill & xc) have been added to the list of activities. We would like to get at least a day's worth of riding on the new Downhill trails that have been developed on the hill prior to the ski season. XC trails will be cut this fall .
This event will take place on Oct. 2nd and cost $15. The chairlift will be running from 11am - 4pm. Riders travelling from out of town can contact the 'Canadian Ecology Center' (705) 744-1715 for accomodations on the Friday night. Please e-mail or call me for more details.
Dave Drenth, P.Eng
Columbia Forest Products
Perras To Euro Team
(courtesy Francois Perras)
Canadian Dominique Perras, who has been riding with the Nutra Fig team this season, has a fall try out with the Swiss Post Team. It appears that they were very impressed with his riding during the Trans-Canada Tour.
1999 Tour de Hokkaido, Japan
(courtesy Kris Westwood)
September 15 - 20
Japan, UCI 2.6
Canadian National Team
Charles Dionne St-Redempteur PQ
Pascal Choquette St-Hyacinthe PQ
Martin St-Laurent LaPrairie PQ
Bruno Langlois Rimouski PQ
Robin Baillie Saskatoon SK
Manager: Kris Westwood
Mechanic: Bruno Roy
Masseuse: Karine Jaouen
Prologue: Obihiro 4.2 km
Stage 1: Shikaoi - Kitami 168.0 km
Stage 2: Abashiri - Nakashibetsu 179.9 km
Stage 3: Betsukai - Kushiro 187.9 km
Stage 4: Shiranuka - Ikeda 126.7 km
Stage 5: Sapporo 100.8 km
Canada has again been invited to field a team in the 13th edition of the Tour de Hokkaido. This 760 km race on the northernmost island of Japan will not only give the Canadian boys a chance to show their stuff, but will serve as the final selection event for our espoirs team at the upcoming world championships in Verona, Italy. With this in mind, a team almost wholly composed of under-23 riders will be competing, starting tomorrow, against four other international teams (Ireland, New Zealand, USA and Korea) and 14 Japanese squads.
Two of the riders on the Canadian team have competed in Hokkaido before. Last year Charles Dionne won the first stage on the way to finishing a very close second in the points classification, while Pascal Choquette worked hard for Charles until the final stage, where a bad day saw him eliminated from the race. Martin St-Laurent and Bruno Langlois are both new to this event, as is last-minute replacement Rob Baillie. Rob was called up to replace Jonathan Tremblay, who was suffering from over-training. Though the Saskatoon native is no longer in the espoir (under-23) age category, he is a welcome addition to a team that seldom sees prairie lads competing at this level.
The other international teams are also mainly composed of espoir riders, many of whom are back for the second or even third time. They will all face a strong challenge from the six main Japanese teams: Miyata-Subaru, Shimano, Ravanello, Nippon-Hodo (probably the strongest squad, with last year's points winner Takehiro Mizutani as well as the French crack Philippe Mauduit), Bridgestone-Anchor and Ezak. The remaining eight teams are all regional university squads, some of whom undoubtedly hold an ace or two up their sleeves.
The race itself opens with a short prologue, then heads straight into the mountains at the start of the first stage. The next stage is also quite hilly, followed by a very long and relatively flat race. The final two stages are a little shorter, though no less difficult: hilly stage 4 comes before a really tough criterium in the Sapporo Olympic Park.
This race is extremely well organized, in the typically meticulous Japanese manner. Accommodation is excellent as is the food. The organizer also pays all the expenses for the foreign teams, which is crucial for Canada: our tight budget could never pay for a trip of this nature.
So let the racing begin! You can follow the action here with daily updates throughout the next week.
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