Canadian Cyclist


August 28/00 7:46 am - Raid Final Stage Story & Photos, Vuelta

Posted by Editor on 08/28/00

Raid Pierre Harvey - Day 3

By the start of the third day in the Raid Pierre Harvey, the riders had 200 kilometres on their legs (pretty much all of it off road), including at least 5000' (1525 M) of vertical climbing. To say the least, they were starting to get tired.

It was also getting tense. Canada's two biggest mountain bike teams - Ford-Devinci and Oryx-Procycle - both have their title sponsors based in the province, and there was a lot of pressure to do well. The rivalry was such that Schwinn-Toyota's Julian Hine said "both Ford-Devinci and Oryx accused me of having a secret deal with the other team. It was getting pretty close to a fight out there because the team tactics were playing such a big part."

As the riders began the last 90 kilometre stage, they would be facing the most technically challenging portion of the event. Plus, the day began cool and overcast, after raining for a good portion of the night; making the trails muddy and slick.

Eric Tourville (Oryx) had the lead, followed by Andreas Hestler (Ford-Devinci), just under 3 minutes back. Hestler was followed in turn by another Oryx rider - stage 2 winner Bill Hurley. While Tourville's margin was substantial, anything could happen in a race of this length - and it did.

A front group containing Tourville, Hestler, Hurley, first stage winner Matt Decore (Marin), Mathieu Toulouse (Ford-Devinci), Hine, Belgian rider Jurgen van den Driessche (GT-Benelux) and Jean-Francois Robert (OGC-Gary Fisher) rode the first 18 kilometre section together, through single track and mud bogs. Slipping, sliding and running many portions, the group came through to the first checkpoint intact, with Oryx marking Ford-Devinci closely.

However, possibly because the riders were tired, or relaxed a bit after getting a feed and onto a relatively easy section of gravel road, Tourville and Hestler touched wheels, and Tourville went down hard. Although he remounted and chased back on (to their credit, nobody attacked), the damage was done. "I was feeling really disoriented after the crash. My wrist was bad, and so was my knee. It (the crash) really took it out of me." said Tourville.

This became apparent when the riders hit the major climb of the stage, to the village of St-Adolphe. Tourville came off, losing 90 seconds on the climb and never rejoining the front. Jurgen van den Driessche was having his own problems, breaking his chain 4 times (!) in that same section, thus destroying his hopes of moving up in the rankings.

As the front group went through the checkpoint in St-Adolphe to begin their long descent to the finish in Lac Beauport, it was down to 5 at the front - Toulouse, Hurley, Hestler, Decore and Hine. Toulouse attacked, got a gap, and hung on to take the stage victory.

The plan was that Hurley would have to watch his GC rival Hestler, and couldn't chase down Toulouse. If Tourville kept fading, then Hestler would take the GC and Toulouse the stage. It was a good plan, except Hestler's rear wheel was disintegrating. "The first spoke went early, and then it was good all the way through St-Adolphe.", explained Hestler. "Then, 3 more spokes went , just pulled right out of the rim, so that was it for me."

With Hestler a DNF, it freed Hurley to chase after Toulouse, and he put on an impressive solo ride to claw back enough time to ensure his overall victory, while finishing second on the stage. Toulouse moved into second overall, while Tourville managed to hang on for third in the general standings (finishing 5th on the stage). Matt Decore took third on the stage and 4th overall, while Hine was 4th on the stage and 5th overall.

In the women's race, It was also an Oryx day, with first time Raid competitor Marie-Helene Premont erasing the 3:18 deficit she had to defending champion Trish Sinclair (Marin). "I am so tired", sighed Sinclair after the finish of the second stage. "I have been travelling so much, and my body just isn't on the same time zone (as the Raid)."

Premont took full advantage on the final stage. "I could see that Trish was slower than me, so I went hard with the front group at the beginning. Then it was just keep riding, keep a good pace." Premont's pace was strong enough to put her two and a half minutes up at the first checkpoint, and she continued to lead by an increasing margin through the remainder of the race, to take both the stage and the overall victory. Sinclair, who had begun to feel better in the latter half of the race, rode a steady race to take second, with Gina Potvin (Saturn) finishing third.

The start of the final stage.
Jean-Francois Robert in the muddy early going.
Race leader Eric Tourville.
Raid winner Bill Hurley.
The lead group before it splits apart on the climb to St-Adolphe.
Belgium's Jurgen van den Driessche suffered bad luck in the final stage (4 chain breaks!).
Marie-Helene Premont leads Trish Sinclair by 6 minutes at the first time check.
Trish Sinclair finishes the Raid.
Marie-Helene Premont crosses the finish line and takes the overall victory.
Marie-Helene Premont savours her victory.
Mathieu Toulouse wins the final stage of the Raid.
Guido Visser wins the 35 kilometre Petit Raid.
The only tandem team in this year's Raid.
Manitoba's Lindsay Gauld wins the Master Expert 50+ category.

Note to teams and riders, we have a number of high resolution photos available. Please contact us for more information.

Vuelta Espana

Stage 3 - Montoro to Valdepenas 198 km

1. Jans Koerts (Ned) Farm Frites 5:08:27
2. Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Fassa Bortolo
3. Jan Svorada (Cze) Lampre Daikin
4. Giancarlo Raimondi (Ita) Liquigas-Pata
5. Mario Traversoni (Ita) Jazztel-Costa Almeria
6. Nicola Loda (Ita) Fassa Bortolo
7. Danilo Hondo (Ger) Deutsche Telekom
8. Federico Colonna (Ita) Cantina Tollo
9. Matteo Frutti (Ita) Lampre Daikin
10. Oscar Freire Gomez (Esp) Mapei-Quick Step
11. Endrio Leoni (Ita) Alessio
12. Giovanni Lombardi (Ita) Deutsche Telekom
13. David Clinger (USA) Festina Watches
14. Marco Zanotti (Ita) Liquigas-Pata
15. Glenn Magnusson (Swe) Farm Frites
16. Martin Garrido Mayorca (Arg) Relax-Fuenlabrada
17. Gilles Bouvard (Fra) Jean Delatour
18. David Etxebarria Alkorta (Esp) ONCE-Deutsche Bank
19. Fabio Baldato (Ita) Fassa Bortolo
20. Laurent Brochard (Fra) Jean Delatour

22. Mario Cipollini (Ita) Saeco-Valli & Valli
33. Guido Trenti (USA) Cantina Tollo
34. Jan Ullrich (Ger) Deutsche Telekom
35. Alex Zulle (Sui) Banesto
37. Abraham Olano Manzano (Esp) ONCE-Deutsche Bank
46. Santiago Botero (Col) Kelme-Costa Blanca
60. Andrea Tafi (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step
61. Richard Virenque (Fra) Team Polti
70. Laurent Dufaux (Sui) Saeco-Valli & Valli
75. Fernando Escartín (Esp) Kelme-Costa Blanca
112. Ivan Gotti (Ita) Team Polti
113. Oscar Camenzind (Sui) Lampre Daikin all s.t.


1. Alex Zulle (Sui) Banesto 9:26:58
2. Abraham Olano Manzano (Esp) ONCE-Deutsche Bank at 0:02
3. Jan Hruska (Cze) Vitalicio Seguros 0:04
4. Victor Hugo Pena (Col) Vitalicio Seguros 0:15
5. Inigo Cuesta Lopez (Esp) ONCE-Deutsche Bank 0:21
6. Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano (Esp) Vitalicio Seguros 0:28
7. Andrei Teteriouk (Kaz) Liquigas-Pata 0:30
8. Felix Garcia Casas (Esp) Festina Watches 0:32
9. Angel Casero Moreno (Esp) Festina Watches 0:33
10. Alvaro Gonzalez de Galdeano (Esp) Vitalicio Seguros 0:34
11. Eladio Jimenez Sanchez (Esp) Banesto
12. Carlos Sastre Candil (Esp) ONCE-Deutsche Bank both s.t.
13. Laurent Brochard (Fra) Jean Delatour 0:35
14. Martin Garrido Mayorca (Arg) Relax-Fuenlabrada 0:36
15. Ivan Parra Pinto (Col) Vitalicio Seguros 0:38
16. Francisco Cabello Luque (Esp) Kelme-Costa Blanca s.t.
17. Santos Gonzalez Capilla (Esp) ONCE-Deutsche Bank 0:40
18. Fabian Jeker (Sui) Festina Watches 0:41
19. Gianni Faresin (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step s.t.
20. Dario Cioni (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step 0:43

21. Jan Ullrich (Ger) Deutsche Telekom
22. Laurent Dufaux (Sui) Saeco-Valli & Valli 0:46
46. Richard Virenque (Fra) Team Polti 1:05
52. Santiago Botero (Col) Kelme-Costa Blanca 1:10
80. Oscar Camenzind (Sui) Lampre Daikin 1:31
90. Pascal Herve (Fra) Team Polti 1:35
116. Mario Cipollini (Ita) Saeco-Valli & Valli 1:51
149. David Clinger (USA) Festina Watches 2:15
156. Guido Trenti (USA) Cantina Tollo 2:32


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