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Green and Dunlap lock up Sea Otter titles

Ryder Hesjedal (Subaru-Gary Fisher) is anxious to win mountain bike races and wants to do it on his own terms. His feisty racing style sometimes comes back to haunt him, but win or lose the 22-year-old remains unphased. Hesjedal made the race in Sunday’s 36-mile cross country race, the final stage of the 2003 Sea Otter Classic mountain bike stage race, attacking from the gun and stringing out the 106-man pro field. But in the end Hesjedal couldn’t match a final surge from his friend, countryman and overall winner, Roland Green (Trek-VW), who won his third stage of the four-stage race. Green

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By Chris Milliman

Hesjedal: The animator

Hesjedal: The animator

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Ryder Hesjedal (Subaru-Gary Fisher) is anxious to win mountain bike races and wants to do it on his own terms. His feisty racing style sometimes comes back to haunt him, but win or lose the 22-year-old remains unphased.

Hesjedal made the race in Sunday’s 36-mile cross country race, the final stage of the 2003 Sea Otter Classic mountain bike stage race, attacking from the gun and stringing out the 106-man pro field. But in the end Hesjedal couldn’t match a final surge from his friend, countryman and overall winner, Roland Green (Trek-VW), who won his third stage of the four-stage race. Green also won the overall GC for the second consecutive year while Hesjedal leapfrogged over Julien Absalon (Motorex-Bianchi) for second on GC.

“I knew I had to go to the front and make it a hard race,” said Hesjedal.“It’s not how everyone else races, but I feel better dictating the pace.”

Green: The champ

Green: The champ

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Hesjedal’s early-race dash created a five-man break that eventuallydwindled to three: Hesjedal, Green, and Geoff Kabush (Kona ClarksFactory). The Canadian trio worked together until the final kilometersof the long drag up to the paved roads of the Laguna Seca Raceway. Greenattacked and neither Hesjedal nor Kabush could bring him back.

“I wanted to come here and defend my title, which I did,” said Green.“It was really fast today, but I had the legs at the end.” Hesjedal outsprintedKabush for third.

Alison Dunlap (Luna Women’s MTB Team) looked like she might mimic Green’sdomination. She and Barbara Blatter (Specialized) broke away early in thewomen’s pro cross country and as their lead mounted on the second lap,a third stage win seemed possible for Dunlap. However, with the GC prettymuch salted away the defending champion sat up and let Blatter win thesprint.

“Alison and I got together on the first lap and pulled away from therest of the field,” said Blatter. “She pulled for a bit, but I ended uppulling her around for the whole second lap. She didn’t contest the sprint,which was really good of her.”

2003 Sea Otter Classic — SoBe Mountain Bike Stage RaceStage 4 Cross Country
Women
1. Barbara Blatter, Specialized 2:31.41
2. Alison Dunlap, Luna, at 0:01.6
3. Kerry Barnholt, SoBe Cannondale, at 2:08.6
4. Mary McConneloug, Seven Cycles, at 2:50.7
5. Chrissy Redden, Subaru-Gary Fisher, at 3:36.0
6. Melanie McQuaid, Ford Outfitters, at 3:36.2
7. Rhonda Quick, Vaniqua, at 4:04.4
8. Willow Koerber, RLX Polo Sport, at 4:09.3
9. Dara Marks, SoBe Cannondale, at 4:09.5
10. Susan Haywood, Trek-VW, at 5:36.1Final overall
1. Dunlap 4:12.12
2. Blatter, at 0:37.5
3. McConneloug, at 3:42.8
4. McQuaid, at 3:54.1
5. Barnholt, at 4:28.7
6. Redden, at 4:29.6
7. Koerber, at 4:50.2
8. Marks, at 5:07.7
9. Quick, at 5:27.4
10. Haywood, at 6:05.2Men
1. Roland Green, Trek-VW 2:05.07
2. Ryder Hesjedal, Subaru-Gary Fisher, at 0:27.4
3. Geoff Kabush, Kona-Clarks Factory, at 0:29.2
4. Thomas Frishcknecht, Swisspower, at 1:26.0
5. Mathieu Toulouse, Gears Racing, at 2:02.5
6. Jose Hermida, Motores-Bianchi, at 3:39.0
7. Christophe Sauser, Siemens-Cannondale, at 3:54.6
8. Florian Vogel, Swisspower, at 3:54.8
9. Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski, RLX Polo Sport, at 3:54.8
10. Julien Absalon, Motorex-Bianchi, at 3:55.1Final overall
1. Green 3:33.04
2. Hesjedal, at 1:06.8
3. Kabush, at 1:19.5
4. Frischknecht, at 2:16.1
5. Toulouse, at 3:28.7
6. Absalon, at 4:33.1
7. Vogel, at 5:05.2
8. Hermida, at 5:10.7
9. Jose Bonilla, Costa Rica, at 5:35.7
10. Chris Sheppard, at 5:35.8

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