Canadian Cyclist


July 15/00 7:51 am - Whister Classic Stage One and Two

Posted by Editoress on 07/15/00

Sydor and Green Take First Stage of Whistler International Classic

WHISTLER, B.C. (Canada) - Olympic Silver Medallist and three-time World Champion Alison Sydor of North Vancouver, B.C. and Victoria's Roland Green won last night's Village Fat Tire Criterium, the first stage of the Whistler International Classic mountain bike stage race.

Alison Sydor riding for the Volvo-Cannondale team wowed the packed cobblestone streets of Whistler Village, taking an early, and well-established, lead in the pro women's Fat Tire Criterium of 25 minutes, plus three laps.

Though normally raced on road bikes, which have narrow tires, this "crit" was done on mountain bikes: racers had fat tires, and a number did the fact-paced 400 meter course on dual or front suspension bikes, which are the more high tech versions of traditional mountain bikes.

Sydor who is currently third in the Union Cycliste International (UCI) rankings, lapped the rest of the pack in the event. Sydor's time of 27 minutes, three seconds put her well ahead of second place finisher Christine Platt, from North Vancouver (Rocky Mountain) at 27:29. Whistler rider Lisa Dickson (Gear was third in the pro category with a time of 27:31. Kirsten Kotval of North Vancouver was first in the senior expert women's category at 27:30.

Sydor hasn't raced on the pavement in Whistler since 1996. "It was a great race today," said Sydor, who will wear the yellow leader's jersey tomorrow for the second part of the Whistler International Classic stage race, the technical time trial. "It's nice to be back."

Platt and Dickson had only two seconds between them, and managed to out-cycle last year's overall winner for the stage race, Amber Chorney (Ford/Devinci), who placed seventh.

In the pro men's category, Roland Green (GT Bicycles) continued his recent hot streak, coming off a third place finish at last weekend's World Cup in Canmore, Alberta. Green was up against a strong field which included fellow national team members, Victoria's Andreas Hestler (Ford/Devinci), Chris Sheppard of Kamloops, B.C. (Haro/Lee Dungarees), last year's Fat Tire winner, Lucas Curran and overall Whistler International Classic champion, Chad Miles of Whistler, now racing for Corsa Cycles.

Riders in the lead pack jockeyed for the front position with a half dozen racers in the lead at one time in the 30 minute, plus three lap event.

Green and Hestler went into the final lap together, however at the first corner Green put the pressure on and made his final move to pull ahead to cross the finish line in a time of thirty-one minutes, 52.13 seconds. Hestler was close behind in a time of 31:52.61, while Sheppard took third with a time of 31.52.95.

Green, who only made the switch from road to mountain bike racing in 1996, employed many tactics used racing in road criteriums. "With so much cornering I knew I had to go into the first corner leading for the first lap and then stay in the top five for the first ten laps with a high pace."

Former Junior National Champion Ricky Federau (Rocky Mountain) of Abbotsford, B.C. who was last year's Fat Tire Crit winner in the junior category moved up this year to pro and finished in seventh position.

Green, who took home a silver medal at this year's World Championship in Spain, is considered a top candidate to make the Olympic Team which will be decided after next week's national championships. Green attributed his success to his training routine which has come together to pay off in podiums. "I think I have reached the point where I have learned the really fine details on how to prepare for races‹things like diet, sleep, rest and how to time everything. If you're off even one percent, you're in the back."

Local Riders Defend Their Titles in Stage 2 of Whistler International Classic
WHISTLER, B.C. (Canada) - It was a morning for locals at the Whistler International Classic, as two Whistler riders won the technical time trial, the second stage of the four-stage Classic.

Vancouver B.C's Amber Chorney, (Ford/Devinci) last year's overall winner, finished the challenging 6.5km course in 24 minutes and three seconds in the women's category, beating out second place finisher Linda Robichaud of Victoria, B.C. by a stretch of one minute and 33 seconds.

"This is a great course to ride, and I had fun," said Chorney. The race became a family affair, as sister Eron placed third with a time of 25:56.

Though she had the yellow leader's jersey yesterday after the fat tire criterium, the expected winner of today's time trial, Alison Sydor, placed 10th in a field of 13 in this stage, losing her way on the trail which runs through Rainbow Park on the west side of Whistler Valley. The course included one of Whistler's signature trails called "Whip Me, Snip Me". While a favorite of local riders, several competitors unfamiliar with the course lost their way, including Michael Pruner on the men's side.

Chad Miles of Whistler knocked some impressive times off the podium, as he crossed the finish line in 18 minutes and 41 seconds to take first place, besting his winning time last year.

Coming in second, Lucas Curran was only out by 13 seconds, and glad the weather cooperated today.

"It's great that it didn't rain," said Curran. "I wish I could ride this course more often."

National team member Andreas Hestler took third in the men's race with a time of 19 minutes and 17 seconds, followed by Roland Green in fourth and Chris Sheppard in fifth.

Reminiscent of the 1999 event, both winners of the time trial, Chorney and Miles, now have the overall lead in the stage race, heading into the dirt criterium later today, and the cross country tomorrow. Both are defending their 1999 overall titles in the Classic.

Top 5 Results

Amber Chorney, 24:03.57
Linda Robichaud, 25:36.96
Eron Chorney, 25:56.81
Lisa Dickson 26:13.46
Sandra Walter 28:05.61

Chad Miles, 18:41.61
Lucas Curran, 18:54.95
Andreas Hestler, 19:17.11
Roland Green, 19:19.21
Chris Sheppard, 19:30.14


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