Posted by Editor on 05/24/99
Shep's Reports From Minnesota NCS #2
It sure is great to come down to sea level and leave that high altitude crap behind me. There's nothing worse than having to perform while breathing through straws. This weekend presented a different challenge, that is, the heat and humidity. Adding to that issue were the impending thunder clouds that could have dumped rain and made the course into a run fest. It didn't. The course consisted of short climbs, moderate technical descents, and soil that had just started drying thus holding your wheels and making your bike feel real slow.
From the gun, the usual suspects arranged themselves at the front: Larson, Brown, Tinker, Green, Wiens, Carl Swenson (my teammate), Hestler, and me. After blowing last week, I chose a more passive position at the back of the front group. By the end of the first lap, I led with Larson and Tinker on my wheel while Brown, Swenson, Green, Hestler, and Gullickson were chasing. I attacked with Larson near the top of the first climb then separated myself from him on the ensueing descent....ten minutes later he caught me and we worked together to separate ourselves from the others, so by the start of the third lap Brown was 25sec back but Molday was driving hard to make contact with us and lurked 29 sec back. Behind them was a group that contained Tinker, Rolli (Green), Dre (Hestler), Carl, and Bishop lying another minute back. Half way through the third lap, Larson attacked as Molday continued his rampage and pressed on by me....I stayed with him till start of the fourth lap, but was unable to keep up as the course turned vertical. Travis was 30 sec back from me, Gullickson and Juarez at 2 min with Dre and Rolli at 3 min. This order of riders would stay the same as the last lap started...I trailed Molday by 45 sec, he was 36 sec behind Larson, and Brown was 38sec behind me. Dre and Green faded into the teens, and Matt Toulouse sat in 19th. At this point cracking would result in a place gained or lost, and luckily that didn't happen. Finish order was Larson, Molday, me, Brown, Tinker with Dre in 16th, Green 22nd, Toulouse 23rd, and Hurley in32nd. Overall Larson, Brown, Me, Gullickson, Wiens, Green 7th, (Bill) Hurley 28th, Hestler 46th, Toulouse 51st.
Well the weather changed big time last night with constant downpours, heavy wind and cold temperatures. By the morning the rain had stopped but the high winds remained and were an important factor as the only climb faced these winds! The start was kind of slow as riders tried not to pull in the wind....Jimmi Killen jumped off the front followed by all the usual suspects from yesterday. Larson attacked seven minutes into the 30 min crit with Hestler jumping up to him and staying with him for 4 laps. As Dre fell off the pace Green attacked and I joined him taking up Dre and starting a Canadian team time trial that pursued Larson, and slowly dropped the rest of the field. Through out this attack, I had Carl (my teammate) sitting in the second chase group unwilling to chase due to my presence in the front...hey, who said that there couldn't be teamwork in mountain biking! With a lap to go there was no getting caught or catching Larson, so the game of cat and mouse started....Green attacked the first half of the climb and I countered when he slowed. This dropped Dre off of us but persistent as ever he worked back on the descent and clung on the flats. Entering the final headwind climb to the finish I led out Rolli but with enough power and tactical swerving I beat him in the sprint. Actually I had a radio piece in my ear so when he moved left my manager radioed it to me....ahhh racing in 1999! Meanwhile, Carl attacked his group and soloed the last lap to finish off the podium in 5th place (which could have been higher had he not sacrificed for me!). The weekend was good to Catera/Klein/DKNY with three podium appearances.....looking forward to the next round! Larson now has the overall in the short track as well as the XC...Rolli is second, and I am third.
|2||Hincapie,George||US Postal Service|
|4||Silovs,Juris||Team Home - J & J|
|7||Capelle,Christophe||Bigmat Auber 93|
|8||Dacruz,Carlos||Bigmat Auber 93|
|10||Backstedt,Magnus||Credit Agricole||all s.t.|
|Return to Canadian Cyclist homepage | Back to Top|