Canadian Cyclist


April 26/03 1:45 am - La Vuelta de Bisbee: Stage 1

Posted by Editoress on 04/26/03

La Vuelta de Bisbee
Courtesy Team Saturn

The La Vuelta de Bisbee stage race kicked off today under brilliant sunny skies, in the surprising quaint town of Bisbee, Arizona. The first of the four stages was a challenging time trial which gained 837 feet of elevation in just 2.8 miles. Winding its way up through the narrow streets of the mining town, the course's ascent combined with the wind and effects of elevation took its toll on the legs and lungs of the 200 competitors.

Although such distinguished cyclists as Greg Lemond (who won as a 16-year old in 1978), Bob Cooke (1977, 79), Alexi Grewal (1992), have raced here, the fields are a little leaner this year due to the fact the Vuelta shares the same calendar space as the Dodge Tour of Georgia. However, the field is still a full one, and the terrain, altitude, heat and wind will provide plenty of challenge.

First off in the women's field was Saturn's Manon Jutras and her time would prove to be the time to beat for the day. Blazing up the climb in a time of 11:23, the only person close to her was T-Mobile's Katrina Berger, finishing ten seconds behind Jutras, with a time of 11:33. Third was Dotsie Cowden with a time of 11:46.

In the men's race it was Andrew Miller taking top honors with a time of 9:42, followed by three tied for second position: Mike Sayers (Health Net) with a time of 9:57, Scott Price with a time of 9:57 and Saturn's Viktor Rapinski with a time of 9:57.

Saturday is a double day of racing with a bright and early start of 8 AM. The men begin the day with almost 80 miles of racing, while the women race 46 miles. The afternoon is a ten mile time trial for both categories. By tomorrow evening, the charming town of Bisbee should have begun to sort out who is the strongest in the field. However, the remaining stage which features an extended uphill finish, should bring the toughest rider to the top of the barrel as the winner of the Tour.

1. Manon Jutras, Saturn, 11:23
2. Katrina Berger, T-Mobile, 11:33
3. Dotsie Cowden, T-Mobile, 11:46

1. Andrew Miller, 9:42
2. Mike Sayers, Health Net, 9:57
3. Scott Price, 9:57
4. Viktor Rapiniski, Saturn, 9:57


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