October 4/99 5:25 am - Trivia Winner, Letter From Italy
Posted by Editor on 10/4/99
Trivia Winner - Day 4
Today's question was: When did Alison Sydor win her first World Championship medal? Many people said 1992, when she won silver at the MTB Worlds in Bromont, Quebec. It is true that that was her first MTB medal, but Alison was a roadie before she turned to mountain bikes, and won a bronze at the Road Worlds in 1991, in Stuttgart, Germany. Alison won the field sprint. Norman Lai of Halifax, Nova Scotia was first in with the correct answer, beating Dave Grant by a mere 31 seconds. Another video will be given out tomorrow, at Noon EDT.
Letter from Italy
San Giorgio Del Sannio, Italy. Oct. 1-3, 1999.
After an entire season of only good placings, I am pleased to announce that Saturday, I won the 2nd stage of the Giro del Sannio stage race in San Giorgio, Italy.
The stage, held over the past 20 years as the 1-day amateur classic "Coppa Papa' Espedito" covered 150 km of hilly terrain around the area of Benevento, near Napoli. Narrow twisting roads, and not a meter of flat land, led an international field of nearly 100 riders through an attritious battle which in the end fractured the group, and had a large impact on the overall time classification for the stage race.
The start of my race was plagued by misfortune: I started on a borrowed bike (my bike became rubbish last Tuesday when some shmuck put his front wheel into my derailleur and broke the hanger). After 2km, I had a rear flat. At about 30km, the bike's shift level detonated. I took a spare bike from the Shimano neutral support, who have a bizarre concept of proper handle bar and saddle position, and had somehow managed to route the right brake lever to the front brake, and the left to the rear. Sick joke, but at least it was a useable bike.
A breakaway born on the windy lead-up to the Category 1 climb starting at kilometer 90 would be the salvation of my season. With 20 km to go, on the last mountain points hill, I attacked the break which was beginning to lose time to the field. The rest of the break was caught at 15km to go, but I still had a good margin. A stretch of 4% grade in the last 10km strung out the peloton, and allowed Christian Sambi (VC SINTOFARM) to join me up the road. Sambi and I duelled in the sprint for the finish, 200 meters in a dead heat, and after an anxious review of the photo-finish tapes, I was declared the winner. The list of previous winners include Giuliano Figueras, Kurt Arvesen, Stefano Dante, Massimo Codol. Now if only the rest of my career could begin to compare to that these current pros, or maybe even the race's guest of honor this year: Claudio Chiapucci.
Eliseo Dal Re, also of SC Reda-Baggioni-Mulinari won the final classification over the 4 stages, and three days of racing. REDA also took the overall team classification, Eliseo winning the points jersey. The final stage decided GC: On the last day, Eliseo was in 2nd position on GC, 2 seconds off of Sambi. Our team started with the order to try to overcome this slim margin. Despite Sintofarm's attempt to control the lead with the suspicious collaboration of three other teams, Eliseo was 2nd in the stage and gained enough time to wrap up the win. I was sitting eighth going into the stage, but crashed on a descent, not quite having figured out how to work the backwards brakes.