Canadian Cyclist


November 6/00 2:12 am - 'Cross Nationals Story and Full Results

Posted by Editor on 11/6/00

'Cross Nationals Day 2 - Okotoks, Alberta

The Calgary region had snow overnight, and the temperature plummeted. Before the start of the Masters men race, the temperature was hovering around -4 or -5 Celcius, with a slight wind. The good news was that the sun was peeking out from behind the clouds, and would appear in full part way through this first race of the day, and continue for the following races. The start of the Masters men's race was delayed twice, from 10:30 to 11:30 am (the women's start was also pushed back by an hour), so that some sections of the course could be modified. Essentially, the sections that were on pavement were moved to grass, because otherwise it was a skating rink. The climbs were still quite doable, but the main descent became a bit treacherous, with all the ruts from yesterday frozen solid.

The masters men field consisted of 14 Masters A (enough provinces were represented to make it a championship event) and 2 each Masters B and C. The race started quickly at the front, with a group of 5 riders forming at the front - Sean Barr (Team Alberta), Newell Hedstrom (Bike Doctor/Cycledelia), Greg Achtem (Team Alberta), Peter Toth (ERTC/River Valley) and Chris Paton (Gears/MBRC). Barr, Hedstrom and Achtem were the prime movers, dropping the others by the second lap of their 40 minute race.

Barr won it on the climbs "I've been working a lot on running. I knew I would do well on the climbs." He did indeed, dropping Hedstrom each lap on the main climb, only to have the Saskatchewan rider chase back on, on the flats." However, eventually he did manage to stay away, attacking in one of the sandtraps, to win by 43 seconds. Achtem, Barr's Alberta team mate finished third, a further 38 seconds in arrears.

Next up were the women. The day before it looked like this category would not provide a national title, since there were only 4 riders from 2 provinces registered, however, a fifth rider from a third province signed up the morning of. The race was completely open, since defending three-time champion Chrissy Redden (Gary Fisher-Saab) decided not to fly out from Ontario this year.

It did not take more than half a lap before the winner revealed herself - Shauna Gillies-Smith (NEBC Cyclelost). Gillies-Smith is a 39 year old road racer based out of Boston, Massachusetts, originally from Alberta, who came up for the nationals and to visit family. She steadily pulled away from chaser Lisa Licis (Team Alberta) throughout the 30 minute, 3 lap race, winning by nearly 3 minutes. However, the conditions were not to her liking: " the course was a course in survival! I just tried to play it super-safe on the downhills and push on the flats. All I wanted to do was finish safely." Back in Massachusetts, Gillies-Smith competes in the local 'cross circuit, and considers cyclo-cross "my favourite form of bike racing". Now she will be able to do it while wearing a national champions jersey.

Then it was time for the marque event - the Elite/Espoir men's 60 minutes of slogging through an increasingly wet and muddy circuit. In addition to the usual favourites of 3-time defending champion Peter Wedge (Kona) and his usual nemesis Josh Hall (Jet Fuel), the field sported 3 western threats competing in their first nationals - mountain bike pro Andreas Hestler (Ford-Devinci), Carter Hovey (Redline Bicycles) and Ruedi Schnyder (Norco).

The race started blazing fast, and by the end of the first lap the selection was made, with all 5 of these riders off the front from the remainder of the field. Lap 2 saw little change, although Hestler seemed to be lagging a bit on the climbs before powering back to the front runners. On the third lap he was gone, and the reason was revealed: his bottom bracket was slowly unscrewing itself, and he didn't have a spare bike to switch to. Now it was 4.

Wedge decided to shake things up a bit on the next lap and launched a blistering attack. "Carter went in for a bike change in the 'slow' zone, so I jumped." Hall led the chase, but the pain on his face was evident and he dropped back shortly after making contact. Hovey and Schnyder came up to Wedge more slowly over the next lap and a half, so that the three were together as they started the 7th and final lap. Schnyder attacked before the first descent, although he didn't realize at first that it was the last lap ("I thought there was still a lap to go"). Hovey and Wedge came back to him, and then Wedge made his move.

"I attacked before the barricades, but it stayed together until the top of the next climb. They were having trouble getting into their cleats (a common problem, with the ice and snow), but I could, so I went. Wedge's experience gave him the edge he needed to hold off his rivals and win his fourth title by 10 seconds over Schnyder, with Hovey taking the bronze. In the Espoir race, it was first year espoir Stuart Hughes (Bow Cycle Republik) winning over fellow Albertan Roddi Lega (Green Mountain Cycle/Salmon Arm).

Race Notes

- Wedge was one of the few riders to take full advantage of the bike pits, crediting his changes every two laps, "and my great mechanic, Eric " (from Bow Cycle) for a large portion of his win.

- Wedge was also pleased to see some newcomers challenging him. "It's good to see some new blood out there. I had no idea about Carter, I've never raced against him, but I've heard his name a lot. The boys (out west) keep bugging me - 'you're lucky it's (the championships) out east' - so I am glad that we had a chance to try somewhere new." However, it seems that East or West, Wedge is still the best when it comes to Canadian cyclo-cross.

Photos later today.

Elite Women
PlaceLast NameFirst NameTeamCityProvinceTime
1Gillies-SmithShaunaNEBC CycleloftLake LouiseAB32:14
2LicisLisaTeam AlbertaEdmontonAB35:07
3HoodShannonTeam SaskatchewanSaskatoonSK37:06
4DespresLynneBow CycleCalgaryAB41:54
5WallacePamelaBasic/Back to Back ChiropracticVictoriaBCat 1 lap
Junior Women
PlaceLast NameFirst NameTeamCityProvinceTime
1GalbraithCydneyKona BicyclesCampbellvilleON36:25
2MorrisRachelIndependentRed DeerAB39:22
3MorrisRebeccaIndependentRed DeerAB41:08
Junior Men
PlaceLast NameFirst NameTeamCityProvinceTime
1RothRyanWoodstock CCBrightonON46:53
2HegedusGergelyTeam AlbertaRed DeerAB46:56
3BunninShawnSaskatoon Cycledelia / TrekSaskatoonSK47:37
4MillerBuckSt:Catherines CCNiagra FallsON48:21
5BomhofMarcLethbridge HeadwindesLethbridgeAB48:34
6AchesonJaySports Shack CroakersEdmontonAB48:48
7KriekJamesWaterloo CC/The Flying DogsWaterlooON49:41
8SteenaertsPeterEurotech CycleCalgaryAB49:59
9AmosSteveWaterloo CCWaterlooON52:22
10MorrisonCarlSports Shack CroakersFt. SaskatchewanAB53:00
11SparlingJamieOlympic Oval - Bike ShopCalgaryAB53:37
12StachuraDamianSports Shack CroakersEdmontonAB54:34
13OneschukJimmyTeam SaskatchewanSaskatoonSK55:55
14EastmeadKeeganSports Shack CroakersEdmontonAB57:43
McKenzieRyanOlympic Oval - Bike ShopCalgaryABat 1 lap
GregoryDrewOlympic Oval - Bike ShopCalgaryABat 1 lap
Master Women
PlaceLast NameFirst NameTeamCityProvinceTime
1RobbinsSarahTeam SaskatchewanSaskatoonSK37:18
2SutherlandSusanEurotech CycleCalgaryAB40:2
Elite Men
PlaceLast NameFirst NameTeamCityProvinceTime
2SchnyderRuediNorco BikesRoberts CreekBC1:01:32
3HoveyCarterRedline BicyclesVictoriaBC1:01:45
4HallJoshJetfuel CoffeeWaterlooON1:03:25
9MacDonaldDanielBasic/Back to Back ChiropracticVictoriaBC1:07:02
11KuncewiczRafalTeam AlbertaEdmontonAB1:07:10
12ForrestCoryTeam SaskatchewanWaskesuiSK1:07:44
13WhitfieldAaronBow Cycle RepublikCalgaryAB1:12:18
14SmithJeffBow Cycle RepublikCalgaryAB1:12:20
DNFWardDanielTeam Bike ShopCalgaryAB
DNFHestlerAndreasFord - DevinciVictoriaBC
Espoir Men
PlaceLast NameFirst NameTeamCityProvinceTime
1HughesStuartBow Cycle RepublikCalgaryAB1:11:32
2LegaRoddiGreen Mountain Cycle/Salmon ArmEdmontonAB1:12:10
3FrischDavidRebound CycleCanmoreAB1:13:55
4TrainiEnricoTrail BlazersTorontoON1:13:55
DNFKennedyDaveBow Cycle RepublikCalgaryAB
Master Men A
PlaceLast NameFirst NameTeamCityProvinceTime
1BarrSeanTeam AlbertaEdmontonAB39:12
2HedstromNewellBike Doctor/CycledeliaSaskatoonSK39:55
3AchtemGregTeam AlbertaCalgaryAB40:33
4TothPeterERTC/River ValleyEdmontonAB41:15
10LicisBrianSports Shack CroakersEdmontonAB43:15
12MoreauCarlLethbridge HeadwindsCanmoreAB44:44
DNSJohnsMichaelReaction RacingLacombeAB
Master Men B
PlaceLast NameFirst NameTeamCityProvinceTime
2ShuttleworthDerrillVelocity Cycling ClubEdmontonAB41:39
Master Men C
PlaceLast NameFirst NameTeamCityProvinceTime
1SteenaertsThomasEurotech CycleCalgaryAB49:18
2GalbraithRobBicycle WorksCampbellvilleON52:09
PlaceLast NameFirst NameTeamCityProvinceTime
1SparlingJeffOlympic Oval - Bike ShopCalgaryAB38:18


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