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
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
Susanne Ljungskog sat in for 110km of the Varazze-San Remo, but just before the top of the Poggio climb with 8km to go, the 25-year-old Swede made a blistering attack. The Vlaanderen-T-Interim rider had a 200-meter gap at the high point in the village of Poggio overlooking the green waves of the Ligurian sea below.
She said later, “I am a good descender, and I thought I could hold it until the finish. When I looked back with one kilometer to go and saw that I still had a good gap, I knew that I would win.” Mirjam Melchers (Acca Due O/Lorena) won the sprint in this World Cup stop number
It looked like a magical finish in the making for the Italian throngs lined up along Via Roma in San Remo. Super Mario, the guy whose face was on half of the T-shirts being hawked in the crowd, had caught back onto the front group on the descent of the Poggio, and he had a four-man Saeco train pulling him to the front.
[nid:20289]But Erik Zabel’s Deutsche Telekom train was also working well, and despite Cipollini closing the gap rapidly, he was still a half bike-length behind at the line after charging past world road champion Romans Vainsteins with 25 meters to go.
As the designated finisher for Mercury on the final day of the Sea Otter road race Saturday, Australian Baden Cooke was on the hot seat. His team – accustomed to taking wins in buckets with sprinter Gord Fraser – had been stymied by a hot Saturn squad and hadn’t won all weekend. With Fraser feeling under the weather, Cooke did just fine, outsprinting Dutchman Jeroen Blijlevens, among others, to chalk up the biggest win of his young career. In the women’s Laguna Seca circuit race, Anna Millward just kept rolling, winning the stage and the overall Sea Otter title.
Joining Millward in the
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
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
When Thursday afternoon’s Cannery Row Circuit Race came down to the last of 80 laps for the men, the safe bet was on a guy in green. With the Monterey Bay to their left, the John Steinbeck Building to their right, and gray clouds rolling above their heads, the Mercury train was in full effect in downtown Monterey. It’s a common scenario: Bell banging away, five Mercury men on the front.
Sure enough, less than one minute after the bell stopped clanging, that guy in green hit the Cannery Row finishing stretch with a gap that would get him through. But the Navigators wear a true green, not
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
If early-season happenings on the domestic road circuit are any indication, we are experiencing a planetary shift. Move over, Mercury, it’s Saturn’s turn to shine. Trent Klasna is red hot, Harm Jansen is as aggressive as ever, and Anna Millward just can’t seem to lose. Those three Saturn riders led the charge in Friday’s grueling Fort Ord Road Race at the Sea Otter Classic at Laguna Seca Speedway in Monterey, California.
As usual, Jansen couldn’t hold himself back in the men's race. With more than 70 miles of rugged California coastal roads still ahead of him, Jansen initiated the day’s