June 1/99 12:33 pm - Pacific Classic story and results
Posted by Editoress on 06/1/99
Green and Espeseth Win Pacific Classic '99 Stage Race
VICTORIA (May 30, 1999) - A conversation over pizza shaped the finish of the women's race in the ReMax Bastion Square Cycling Grand Prix today.
Coquitlam's Gina Grain, Physical Culture teammate of stage leader Sandy Espeseth, battled current World Cup mountain bike leader Alison Sydor in a sprint finish to win the last stage race of the three-day Pacific Classic `99 Cycling Stage Race.
"Sandy and the team talked about it over pizza last night," said Grain. "My job was to chase the leader."
Grain, who stuck with Olympian Lesley Tomlinson of Victoria, in an early lead break for most of the race, said she was tempted to make a break but knew her role on her five-member team. Trying to protect her stage placing, Espeseth bridged the gap and pulled the pack back together with four laps remaining in the 45-lap race.
"It was a total team effort," said Espeseth, who was the women's eventual overall stage winner. "We used team tactics all the way."
On the men's elite side, Port Coquitlam's Scott Goguen beat Olympian Andreas Hestler and World Cup mountain biker Roland Green - both of Victoria - in a sprint finish for the ReMax Bastion Square Cycling Grand Prix title. Goguen, a bronze medallist in the 1990 Commonwealth Games, joined Green, Hestler, Dan Reilly, Jessie Keefer and twins Chris and Maurice Worsfold in the lead pack with seven laps to go in the 70-lap race. The finish time for the lead pack was one hour, 13 minutes and 52 seconds.
Green, who carried the yellow jersey into the last day, won the overall men's title in the stage race with a cumulative time of three hours, 40 minutes and 7 seconds, with Hestler second (3:41:19) and Keefer third (3:41:41).
As a rider currently moving through World Cup mountain bike series, with an eye on the 2000 Sydney Olympics, Green especially liked the new three-day format of the Pacific Classic.
"A bunch of tough races like this all in a row - it really gets you in great shape for mountain bike races which also go one after another," said Green.
Espeseth, a former player on the three-time CIAU champions University of Victoria Vikes basketball team, was a little bit of a darkhorse coming into the stage race against Olympians Sydor and Tomlinson.
Espeseth's cumulative time for the three stages was three hours, four minutes and 40 seconds, while one second split Tomlinson and Sydor who finished in 3:04:57 and 3:04:58 respectively.
The stage race - which consisted of a 1.2 kilometre time trial climb up Mount Douglas, laps of a Mount Tolmie road race and a criterium in Victoria's Old Town - brought together more than 160 riders in categories ranging from novice to elite, competing for a total purse of more than $5,000 in cash and prizes.
Green and Espeseth also received awards for being Victoria's top riders in the elite category.
The Pacific Classic `99, organized by the Victoria International Bike Race Society, was sponsored by the Times-Colonist, 100.3 the Q and PacificSport Group.
Saanich MLA Andrew Petter made a special presentation on behalf of the Society to Alison Sydor in recognition of her contribution to racing in Victoria and being named a 1999 Order of British Columbia recipient. In receiving B.C.'s highest honour, Sydor joins other great B.C. women athletes Lori Fung, Karen Lee Gartner and Kathleen Heddle.
Complete results for Senior 1/2 Men and Senior Women can be found Here