Mountain: Page 402

Mountain Bike Racing

Blatter wins women’s World Cup opener at Napa

Specialized continued its roll on Saturday as defending World Cup champion Barbara Blatter won the opening race of the 2001 Tissot-UCI World Cup series at the Domaine Chandon winery, near Napa, California. Blatter took control of the 22-mile race midway through the third of five laps. She never really attacked, but on one of the steep climbs, Blatter left Alison Dunlap (GT) and Alison Sydor (Trek-Volkswagen) behind, and quickly gained a 30-second lead. "I just [sped] it up a little from lap to lap, and that was enough," said the 30-year-old Swiss, who has been living with her sister in

Hermida wins, as young guns rule Napa World Cup

You couldn’t ask for a more exciting start to the men’s World Cup cross-country season. Spectators at the Domaine Chandon winery in Yountville, California, were treated to a thrilling opener Sunday that featured seesaw battles for the lead, a touch of weather drama and a first-time winner in Spanish sensation Jose Antonio Hermida. The 22-year-old Hermida, riding for Bianchi Motorex, experienced a career high last year in Spain when he won the world title in the under-23 category. But even that, said an emotional Hermida after completing the 25.2-mile course in 2:02:06, doesn’t compare to

Redden, Bui motor to pole positions at Napa

Everyone knows that in World Cup cross-country racing, nothing is more important than the start. On Saturday, for the first time since 1993, a time trial was held to determine starting positions for the Tissot-UCI World Cup opener, scheduled for Sunday at Domaine Chandon winery near Napa, California. There were winners and there were losers, and at the end of the day Italian Marco Bui and Canadian Chrissy Redden had earned the pole positions. Bui, riding for AS Marin-Helly Hansen, is best known for being the rider who collided with Cadel Evans before the final descent at the 1999 world

Specialized duo heats up at Sizzler

Continuing their tour of the Golden State, Specialized teammates Barbara Blatter and Bas Van Dooren dominated the 13th Annual Sizzler Mountain Bike Classic, April 1, in San Jose, California. After finishing second in the overall at Sea Otter in Monterey a week earlier, Blatter dominated the Sizzler, winning by 3:05. "It was like a fast training session," said Blatter, who is now getting ready for the World Cup opener this weekend at Napa. "I had a flat tire, but it was good practice. My coach said I shouldn’t go 100 percent." Mary McConneloug was second, while Willow Koerber (Cane Creek)

Streb upsets Chausson on short Sea Otter downhill

As far as gravity disciplines go, dual slalom and the new mountain cross disciplines get more play than the course-challenged downhill race at the Sea Otter Classic. Nonetheless, some of the world’s best gravity racers gathered on a sunny Sunday morning for the season’s first taste of real competition at Monterey. World champion Anne-Caroline Chausson broke out the new Cannondale downhill bike; Missy Giove was sporting the nuclear green-and-blue of the new Global team (with matching blue hair); and Steve Peat was up to his old tricks with GT. Peat won the short jaunt through a series of

Alexander, Brentjens capture overall titles at Sea Otter

The final day of the Sea Otter Classic in Monterey, California, saw a shake-up in the women’s cross-country stage-race standings, but no change at the top of the men’s leaderboard. Specialized’s Caroline Alexander came from 17 seconds back to win the women’s overall. Alexander supplanted teammate Barbara Blatter, who entered Sunday’s race wearing the leader’s jersey. In the final stage, the 36-mile cross country, Alexander was second to GT’s Alison Dunlap, who won a sprint finish. Blatter held on for third, despite a problem with her fork that left her without front suspension for most of

Lopes and Chausson take Sea Otter dual slalom crowns

It’s called the Sea Otter Classic, and Saturday the event lived up to its name, providing a pair of classic match-ups in the finals of the dual slalom. On the men’s side it was defending world champion Wade Bootes taking on reigning World Cup champ Brian Lopes. The women’s final saw American Missy Giove taking on her nemesis, Frenchwoman Anne-Caroline Chausson. Give round one to Lopes and Chausson. Each drank in the first taste of victory in 2001, after picking up wins on a warm, sunny day in the hills outside Monterey, California. For Lopes, the road to the final proved tougher than the

Blatter, Brentjens maintain Sea Otter leads

For the second day in a row the gang from Specialized dominated the mountain-bike stage race at the Sea Otter Classic. On the men’s side it was Fillip Meirhaeghe who was first across the line in the 8-lap short-track race on a sunny Saturday, outside Monterey, California. Meirhaeghe’s teammates, Barbara Blatter and Caroline Alexander, went 1-2 in the women’s race, a 7-lap affair, duplicating a feat they accomplished a day earlier in the time trial. The Belgium Meirhaeghe finished in a time of 20 minutes, 22.30 seconds, beating out Giant’s Bart Brentjens by 13.10. Third place went to

Blatter, Brentjens take time trial

There was a time when Barbara Blatter resided in the quiet corner of obscurity. This one-time kindergarten teacher didn’t even start racing mountain bikes full time until 1998. And before last year most of her competitors viewed her as a strong rider, but not a serious podium threat. But in 2000, Blatter changed those perceptions, picking up three World Cup wins on her way to the overall title. A year later, Blatter has picked up right where she left off. The 30-year-old Specialized rider made a sparkling debut in the colors of her new team, finishing first in stage 1 of the Seagate

New Zealand MTB championship series kicks off

Round one of the 2001 New Zealand Mountain Biking national championship series got going January 6-7, in Levin. Downhill opened the competition, as riders tackled a steep 2km course that was smooth, fast, and very dusty. In the women’s race Sheryl MacLeod (Haro) came down in a flurry, posting a time of 3:30.70 to claim her first win of the season. Current European champion Tracy Mosely (Kona-Ford Focus) finished second, four seconds back, while Vanessa Quin (Giant) was third. On the men’s side, 2000 series’ winner Glenn Sisarich wasn’t around, meaning the race was wide open. Nathan Rankin