August 13/99 5:18 am - Green/Sinclair Squad Take Team Relay Title
Posted by Editor on 08/13/99
The first event of the 1999 Canadian Mountain Bike Nationals has just concluded - the Team Relay. This is a new event for the nationals (and the Worlds) - teams of four do a relay race. Each team must have an Elite Man, Espoir Man, Elite Women and Junior Man.
There was much speculation on who would make up the squads. In the end there were 4 teams who participated, and it was the foursome consisting of Roland Green, Trish Sinclair, Neil Grover and Ricky Federov that took the championship. It was expected to be a contest between this squad, the one with Seamus McGrath and Chrissy Redden, and a third containing Andreas Hestler and Lesley Tomlinson.
It rained steadily through the race but, in the end, strategy proved to make the difference. The Hestler/Tomlinson squad sent Andreas off first to build a lead, while the others used their Espoir riders. All squads sent off Juniors next, and Ricky Federov, the Canada Cup Junior champion, pulled his team up to the front. The Junior (Jamie Douglas) for the McGrath/Redden team suffered problems in his ride, dropping them into third.
By the start of the third rider, it was a virtual tie between the Green/Sinclair team and the Hestler/Tomlinson one. The Redden/McGrath team was 1:30 back as they started their third rider. This is where the winning team made what proved to be the winning move. They sent off Green, while the other teams sent their female rider. Green opened up a 2:30 lead on Tomlinson, and 3:30 on Redden by the end of his two laps.
Although the other teams would now send off their strongest riders - McGrath, and Ryan Dey, against Trish Sinclair in the lead, the time gap proved to be great enough that Sinclair would hang on for the victory. Dey came in second, approximately 45 seconds back, with McGrath a further 45 seconds in arrears.
We are now getting ready to start the Dual, and the rain should make it a messy affair.