Posted by Editor on 04/11/03
This report made possible through the sponsorship of Evolution by Oryx
Canadians dominated the second day of the Sea Otter Classic, winning three out of four events contested. In the mountain bike time trials, Chrissy Redden (Subaru-Gary Fisher) and Roland Green (Trek-VW) won the women's and men's events respectively, with Canadian men sweeping all five podium places and seven of the top ten places. Genevieve Jeanson (Rona-Esker) consolidated her lead in the women's road stage race taking her second consecutive win in the women's time trial, with Manon Jutras (Saturn) third and Lyne Bessette (Saturn) fourth. In the men's road time trial, Eric Wohlberg (Saturn) was the top Canadian finisher in sixth place, behind teammate Nathan O'Neill who took the stage and the overall lead.
Redden won the women's 8 kilometre mountain time trial by the slimmest of margins - half a second ahead of Susan Haywood (Trek-VW). "I didn't have the best start, so I was surprised that my time was that fast. I always tell myself that every second counts, and today it really did!" Redden also called the course perfect for herself: "I really like this time trial, it seems to be a good distance for me and the course was hard and fast."
Alison Sydor (Trek-VW) finished seventh and Melanie McQuaid (Ford Outfitters) was eighth. Sydor got off to a poor start when she struggled to clip into her pedals - not what you wanted to be doing when the stage started with a 400 metre climb...
In the men's race, world champion Roland Green came into the competition unsure of his form. "I've been struggling a bit after the Tour of Malaysia (in February), so I've been conservative with my training. I started out easy today, and just rode into it. Once I got going, it went very smooth and I knew that I was having a good ride. Itg was a good idea for me to pull out of Redlands last weekend, because I was a little scratchy in my throat and I didn't want to push it."
Chris Sheppard (Haro-Lee Dungarees) finished four seconds behind Green, with Mathieu Toulouse (Gears Racing) at 18 seconds, Ryder Hesjedal (Subaru-Gary Fisher) at 19 seconds and Geoff Kabush (Kona/Clarkes) at 20 seconds. Seamus McGrath (Haro-Lee Dungarees) was sixth and Andreas Hestler (Rocky mountain-Crystal Decisions) ninth. One Velonews staffer was remarking at the podium "what is it with all these frick'n Canadians?"
Genevieve Jeanson followed up her sprint win in Redwood City on Wednesday with a convincing one minute victory over Kimberly Bruckner (T-Mobile USA) in the 19 kilometre road time trial. "There is no plan in a time trial, you just go super hard. After one kilometre I wanted to stop, so I knew that I was riding very hard. It helped that the course was so challenging, with many turns, climbs and downhills, since it means that you think less about the pain in your legs. I am very pleased with the win because it gives me a bit more of a cushion on the other riders as we go into the next stages."
Bruckner, who lives and trains in Boulder, Colorado, equalled her previous best result in the time trial by finishing second to Jeanson (which is what she did two years ago), and was happy with her result after a slow start. "I didn't feel like I had a good start, but I saw a bunch of riders in front of me, and it motivated me to catch them. My warm up before the start wasn't so good, but I rode my way into the stage and began to feel better in the second half. I think that i could have done better if I had been more organized at the beginning."
Jeanson leads Bruckner by one minute and ten seconds in the overall standings, with two stages remaining. Bessette is third in the overall standings, 1:41 behind Jeanson, and Jutras fifth at 1:49.
O'Neill led a Saturn 1-2-3 sweep of the men's time trial, with Tom Danielson and Chris Horner, the defending Sea Otter champion, taking the next two spots. American riders took eight of the top ten spots in the men's race, salvaging some national pride. Jonathan Vaughters (Prime Alliance) might have come closer to breaking the Saturn stranglehold if he hadn't missed his start...
O'Neill's performance had his rivals shaking their heads over the margin of his victory, and surprised even him. "I didn't really expect to have such a decent gap, but time trialling is what I'm all about. I just drilled it out there from the start, no let up anywhere. Technically, I was riding really sound and I ripped through every corner like it wasn't there." His margin of victory takes some of the pressure off the team as they go into the remaining two stage of the race. "It is very advantageous to the team have such a good gap, and should help us keep the jersey to the finish."
- You might seen our previous announcement of the changes tomorrow to the road stage race, with the criterium in Santa Cruz being replaced by a circuit race at Laguna Seca. The races will be a lot tougher than a crit, with a significant climb every lap of the 2.2 mile (3.5 kilometre) loop. The women will do 40 kilometres, the men 60. Ostensibly, the reason is to put a stage in to replace the missing circuit race from Redwood City; in reality it is because someone finally noticed that taking corners at 55-60 kilometres an hour with speedbumps just before and just after corners is not necessarily a good thing...
- Tom Danielson (Saturn), winner of the Tour de Langkawi and second in the time trial today mentioned in passing that this was his first time to race on a time trial bike. "I've never done so many corners (in a time trial), and it was my first time on a TT bike. I was good on the straights, but all over the road in the corners. I definitely need to practice and then I'll get faster." Considering he beat out a lot of TT specialists, he seems to be doing not so bad...
- The excellent weather from the last couple of years is about to disappear, according to weather reports, with rain predicted to come in tomorrow and stay through the weekend.
- Genevieve Jeanson rode a 54x11 and Nathan O'Neill a 55x11 in their winning rides. Jeanson's time would have put her 46th among the men and only 1:30 out of the top 10.
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