Canadian Cyclist


January 25/03 9:06 am - Bessette Interview, Canadian in Europe, Ronde Gone, 2003 Rocky Team

Posted by Editor on 01/25/03

Lyne Bessette Prepares for 'Cross Worlds

Yesterday, we managed to catch up with Canadian 'Cross Champion Lyne Bessette on her cellphone at Santa Barbara airport in California, as she began her long trip to Italy for the 'Cross World Championships in Monopoli, Italy (February 1-2).

CC - We haven't seen your name on the results sheet too much since the Nationals?

LB - No, this season my goal was to win Nationals to qualify for the Worlds, and then start my season. I started my cyclo-cross season at the end of November with specific 'cross training. I went home (Knowlton, Quebec) and talked with my coach (Eric van den Eynde), and we got back to basics. I went snow shoeing, did intervals at the Centre (the National Cycling Centre in Bromont) . . . it felt really good.

I haven't done much ('cross) racing, but I will be doing a local race in Italy on Sunday as a tune up for the Worlds.

CC - What do you know about the Worlds course?

LB - I've heard that it is really fast, lots of corners, not too technical, not too many barriers - like the Nationals course but it should warmer!

CC - What do you expect to do at the Worlds?

LB - Well, I did one World Cup last year, but it is still all really new to me, and I'm just excited to try it. I know all the top girls will be there, so it will be very hard. I don't know what I can do, but I always try to win, that is what I am going for.

Lyne has promised try to get a post-race report to us after the Worlds, but it will depend upon telephone access.

Samantha's European Adventure

Editor's Note: Alberta's Samantha Nicholson is a relative newcomer to the Canadian national scene, mainly because she has spent the past few years living in Europe. She first came to our attention at the 'Cross Nationals, where she finished fourth, after battling with Marie-Helene Premont all race. A few weeks later she was in Europe, making the only World Cup appearance by a Canadian this season.

We asked Samantha to provide with a story of her World Cup experience, which she was kind enough to do:

On November 24th I found myself racing on a decidely un-Canadian grassy and muddy course. Ten degrees Celsius (above zero!). Large and enthusiastic crowds. This was Cyclocross, but not as I knew it - it was My First World Cup Race.

Eight weeks earlier I'd done my first ever 'Cross race in Edmonton. It was so cold we warmed up by jumping in truck and heading for Tim Horton's! And so, as the season progressed, it became clear that mastering the sport of 'Cross involved avoiding hypothermia while learning to corner better on snow, ice and frozen berms.

I'd had my heart set on doing the World Cup Cyclocross race for my entire 'Cross racing career so far! My fourth place finish at 'Cross Nationals in Quebec secured the CCA's approval for me to compete in Frankfurt, for what was to become "Samantha's European Adventure!" All I needed to do was figure out how to keep my season trucking along seven months after it had started and three months past the last race I reckoned I needed to peak for. Fortunately, Mom had an idea: she'd come along and help. Great! I mean, it's way cool that she joined Samantha's European Adventure. I'd take Mom and her cute little Canadian flag over a Team Manager, rollers, spare bike and trusty mechanic any day!

Fortunately, even more help was at hand. The UK national team were in the same hotel as I was and instantly adopted me. We were our own little Commonwealth! We talked tactics (well, they talked, I listened), drank free beer at the Managers' meeting (the managers drank, I took the free beer stein and listened), pre-rode the course around the skaters at the Ice Palace and generally did the World Cup Racer thing.

Something I didn't pick up at the Managers' meeting was that the start would all be in German. It was hard to work out which word might be followed by "Go!" or even "Achtung Baby!" One lap later, I was in fourth place thinking only about dismounts, stairs, those un-Canadian muddy corners and the 23 girls behind me who saw it as a matter of both personal and national pride to pass me.

I finished 13th. Thirteenth! Sure, top ten would have been nice, but who cares?! I went to Germany, raced a bunch of full-on 'Cross chicks from every corner of Europe and the best I could do turned out very nicely. Very cool! Next season I'll be back. And those Euro-cross-girls will know that the Zamboni won't be the only Canadian thing at the Ice Palace in 2003.

Ronde van Wind-Del Ends

One of the early season fixtures on the Ontario cycling season is no more. Organizer Valerie Davidge has sent a brief announcement:

There will be no Ronde van Wind-Del in 2003.

I have 'retired' from race organisation and officiating.

Seriously, 2002 was the last Ronde. I enjoyed organizing it (and many other events) and will probably be sad when the weekend comes along but it is time to move on. I am only worrying about my own bike riding this summer - not all of yours.

Many thanks to all of you who have supported us and our events over the years. It has been appreciated.

Next time you see us, we will be spectators.

Valerie Davidge
Ronde van Wind-Del

Rocky Mountain Bicycles 2003 Team
Courtesy Rocky Mountain

January 24, 2003 - Rocky Mountain Bicycles and Crystal Decisions today announced that the Rocky Mountain Bicycle Race and Freeride Teams will enter the 2003 season with an exciting new Co-Title sponsor, Vancouver based Crystal Decisions, one of the world's leading information management software companies.

Canadians have been keeping the North American fire alive in Mountain Biking setting the standard in Race and Extreme Mountain Bike competitions. Canadian-founded "Crystal Decisions" is setting records in high-tech as one of the fastest growing software companies in the World.

Crystal Decisions was founded in 1984, and is a global company with 1750 employees and 20 offices worldwide that specializes in enterprise reporting software. They were recently voted one of the top 50 companies to work for in Canada by the Globe and Mail, and one of the top 10 to work for in BC by BC Business Magazine. A Crystal Decisions objective of the partnership is to raise its profile as an international Employer of Choice, with the Rocky Mountain Race and Freeride Teams helping to attract new talent. The Teams embody Crystal Decisions' values: motivated, leading, cutting edge, international, and active. Encouraged by in-house fitness facilities and bike to work programs, many of the companies' executives and employees are avid Mountain Bikers.

"We bring in top talent at Crystal Decisions, and we need to attract even more to meet our tremendous growth objectives," said Matt Handford, VP of Human Resources for Crystal Decisions. "Our goal is to raise our profile as an international employer of choice with the help of Rocky Mountain Bicycles. We're very excited about the partnership and looking forward to working with the team on numerous recruiting events and activities, as well as supporting them in their competitive goals."

The Rocky Mountain Crystal Decisions Race and Freeride Teams will compete worldwide in Cross Country and Marathon MTB Racing, Freeride and select Downhill Events.

The Rocky Mountain Crystal Decisions Squad continues to develop and diversify. Returning for 2003 on the Race Team are 2002 Trans Alp Challenge Champions and Olympians, Canadians Lesley Tomlinson and Andreas Hestler with Gretchen Reeves of the USA. Tomlinson will challenge International Marathon events and, along with Reeves, defend their 2003 Trans Alp title. Reeves and Hestler will race the Norba circuit and select World Cup races. The three will be joined by German Marathon Phenom. and 2002 Trans Alp winner Karl Platt of Germany. Platt will spend time racing Norba and World Cups in North America as well as returning to the Trans Alp in July 2003.

2001 Red Bull Rampage Champion Wade Simmons and Canadian Freeride icon Richie Schley will be"going big with style" for another year on the Freeride circuit. Richie opened his season with a 7th place at Red Bull Utah. Simmons, almost fully recovered from a horrendous femur break in September, will compete by mid season. Exciting new Big Air talent, Thomas Vanderham, can also be caught in action at select Downhills as the defending 2002 Canadian Junior Downhill Champion.

Rocky Mountain Crystal Decisions colours will also be flown by the talented Development Team of 6 young riders in Canadian National series races and the Sea Otter Classic, as the team continues to support Canada's future athletes.


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