Posted by Editor on 04/17/99
News From Willamette
Mike Barry has sent us an "interesting" update on the situation at the Tour of Willamette...
Results from Wllamette are very hard to get and even those posted on their Website are all screwed up. The most recent posted are for "G.C. after stage 3" However if you look, they are in fact, those after stage one! Stage two was completely missed.
In stage three Michael Barry (Jr) went away in a break after 15k of the 163k. stage. The break gained nine minutes on the bunch but was brought back to about six minutes close to the finish . Thurlow Rogers won the sprint by less than half a wheel over Barry. However, Rogers crossed the centre line in the sprint and was relegated to fifth place (the last of the break). Therefore Barry won the stage and took the overall lead. While all this was going on the chase group, last seen at six minutes, went off course and got lost, eventually finishing after the broom wagon. The latest I've heard is that there were, understandably, several protests and the whole stage is in question. It seems to be a not too well organised event.
National Team News
The 1999 season is proving to be a test for a new preparation format for young up and coming riders. The CCA has decided to focus on preparing young riders for world calibre racing and the best place to do so is in Europe. In the past, riders wanting to test there talent on Europe's roads have fallen through the system because the teams they've hitched rides with overseas could not relate to the needs of North Americans. Now, a handful of young athletes have taken on Europe in what we can call the first edition of high profile athlete development.
April 1st is when all this started with pioneers such as Cybil Digustini, Heather Cole, Corey Lange, Jean Charles Pinsonneau, Charles Dionne, Alistair Howard and Nick Rowe.
For the men, so far they've been able to put four races under their belts and the progression of these athletes is good. At this point, it is important that these young men get accustomed to the speed and rhythm of the racing, speed that is seldom found in North America and this, without pressure from trade teams looking for results right off the bat. For the CCA, the more athletes get into the Euro groove, the better there adaptability will be when World championships roll around.
However there is no pressure to perform as of yet, the goals for the spring are for the end of the month with the Giro delle Regioni (Espoir) and the Ronde de l'Isard (Espoir) in the third week of May.
As for the women, the philosophy is relatively the same. The races are chosen to accustom our Canadians with the speed of European women's racing. Races like the FlÃƒÂ¨che Wallonne, la Haute Garonne and others focus on speed and world class rhythm.
It is the Canadian Cycling Association's belief that these efforts will pay off in the years to come and will keep Canada in the running for Olympic medals in the future.
Canadian Cycling Association
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