Though still very preliminary, the 2002 mountain-bike-racing schedule is beginning to take shape. After several conversations with sources close to NORBA and the World Cup, VeloNews has drawn up a possible picture of what next year’s racing calendar will look like.
The biggest wild card appears to be Durango, Colorado, which hosted a World Cup "triple" this summer. Initially organizers in the small tourist town seemed enthusiastic about a repeat visit in 2002. But since then things appear to have shifted, and now there are indications that Durango will pass on holding another World Cup
Though six events will be contested at this weekend’s World Cup finals in Mont-Ste-Anne, Quebec, only two will have significant bearing on the top of the overall standings — the men’s downhill and the men’s cross-country.
Saturday will feature a battle between Nicolas Vouilloz (Vouilloz Racing) and Greg Minnaar (Global Racing) to decide the downhill championship. Coming in Vouilloz has a slim 28-point lead over the 19-year-old from South Africa. Vouilloz has won five of the last six overall titles, including three straight, but has struggled this year, winning just one race.
The latest rendition of four-rider gated racing took place Wednesday afternoon on the sun-drenched slopes of Les Relais Ski Resort in Lac-Beauport, Quebec, just 15 minutes north of Quebec City. The event, dubbed the Schwinn-Toyota Biker-Cross, served as a prelude for the upcoming World Cup finals slated for Saturday and Sunday at nearby Mont-Ste-Anne.
After nearly three hours of delay-marred racing, it was Schwinn’s Mickael Deldycke and Jamis rider Katrina Miller who walked away with the bulk of the $10,000 pot offered up at the made-for-TV affair. The longest delay occurred when a semi-pro
Julie Young (Autotrader.com) donned the leader's jersey at the end of the first stage of the Grand Prix Feminin International du Quebec. Young was a member of a nine-rider breakaway that got away 18km into the 97km stage around the town of Farnham, south and east of Montreal.
The break was initially composed of Young, her teammate Sarah Ulmer, Julia Farell (VeriZon), Andrea Hannos (VeriZon), Pia Sundstedt (Intersports), Charlotte Hopkinson (Great Britain), Melissa Holt (Rona), Ina Teutenberg (Saturn) and Anke Erlank (Saturn). Holt was called back to the peloton to support an unsuccessful
Italy's Massimo Apollonio, riding for the Vini Caldirola team, won a spectacular sprint finish to take the fourth stage of the Tour of Burgos in Medina de Pomar, Spain, on Thursday.
Spaniard Juan Miguel Mercado of the ibanesto.com team retains the overall leader's purple jersey after the 184km run between Ona and Medina de Pomar.
Apollonio won a bunch sprint finish on the descent into Medina De Pomar to edge ahead of Argentine Martin Garrido and Spain's former world champion Oscar Freire in 4:33:55.
The iBanesto.com team blocked most breakaway attempts during the day to conserve Mercado's
French amateur Franck Laurance won a sprint finish at the third stage of the Tour du Limousin in France on Thursday. Bonjour’s Franck Bouyer retained the overall lead, six seconds ahead of Patrick Jonker (Big Mat) after the 193.2km stage between Ussel and La Souterraine.
The 193km stage saw a breakaway of almost 160km, starting at the 25th km when eight riders escaped. That group gained a lead of 4:20, but was brought back into the fold with 10km to go, setting up the sprint finish won by Laurance.
American Bobby Julich (Crédit Agricole) took fifth in the sprint, and held onto eighth place