April 15/00 8:19 am - Norm Lowe Tribute, Willamette
Posted by Editor on 04/15/00
Norm and His Love of Cycling
This tribute to former National team member Norm Lowe was written by Max Grace.
Norm loved his bike.
As a young lad in England, riding and competing on a bicycle quickly became a passion that was to remain with him throughout his life.
Cycling is a hard and beautiful sport. It demands the utmost of an athlete dedicated to succeed at an elite level. It requires speed, intelligence, guile, strength and bloody mindedness. It requires an ability to "dig down" and confront adversity and human frailties, head on. It requires an athlete to hang in there when all seems to be against him because one of the beauties of cycling is that fortunes of racing can quickly change and until that finish line is crossed the race is neither won nor lost.
Norm was a gifted athlete and made full use of the talents endowed upon him. Those of us who experienced his presence know of the suffering he would put us through as he relentlessly pushed himself to the limits of his abilities. He earned his respect in cycling's "peloton" the hard way, gaining a reputation for his deep seated honesty and gutziness in the pursuit of victory. He did so with humility and respect. A quiet man, he let his legs do the talking, and prevail he did.
Norm won multiple Alberta road titles. He won the Canadian National Road Race championship in 1973, demolishing his rivals, winning alone by over 2 minutes. Norm was a member of the National Cycling Team during the late sixties and early seventies.
After his retirement from racing he continued to coach and organize events in the sport he loved so much.
He began competing again as a Master Athlete about six years ago, and continued where he left off, tearing the legs off his old rivals and keeping the young legs honest as well.
In 1998 Norm won the Provincial and National Road Race Championships in his age group and took gold medals at the World Master's Games in the road and the mountain bike events.
Even when Norm fell ill, his love of cycling sustained his spirit. Found unconscious by the side of the road in May of last year, he was back on his bike within days, riding until he required surgery in July. Told he would never ride again, Norm was cycling again within 3 weeks of his surgery and continued to cycle, sometimes up to 3 hours, (90 kms) when he could, as long as he could and as often as he could.
"I just want to be able to ride my bike" Norm said as his battle with that insidious disease of cancer continued to rage.
Norm's last ride was only a few short weeks ago, a solitary ride where he came to peace with himself and his beloved bicycle.
We will miss this corporeal warrior, whom we admired, respected and loved.
We will never forget him.
February 25, 1944 Ë† April 07, 2000
Bessette : troisième à l'étape et deuxième au général
Eugene, Oregon (DIAPO) - Après avoir perdu le maillot de leader du tour de Willamette jeudi, Lyne Bessette avait une seule idée en tête vendredi: le récupérer. Lors de la cinquième étape disputée sur un parcours de 108 kilomètres, incluant un dénivelé de 1370 mètres, la cycliste de l'équipe Saturn a réussi à réduire l'écart de 44 secondes qui la séparait de la meneuse, passant ainsi de la quatrième à la deuxième place au classement général.
" Lors de la dernière montée, j'ai largué le peloton, a expliqué Bessette. Tracy Gaudry et Mari Holden (toutes deux de l'équipe Timex) sont venues me rejoindre. Étant partie un peu trop en avance, je n'avais plus de jambes pour garder le rythme. " La cycliste de Knowlton a terminé au troisième rang de l'épreuve.
Bessette peut presque dire mission accomplie mais, elle sait bien qu'il lui reste encore du travail à faire : " Même si je suis maintenant à moins de dix secondes de la nouvelle meneuse, Mari Holden, je vais devoir garder un oeil sur elle. C'est une excellente cycliste et il ne faut pas la prendre à la légère. Nous allons tout faire pour mettre la main sur le maillot de leader demain (samedi). "
Deux étapes seront au programme de la journée de samedi : en matinée, un contre la montre individuel de 16 km ainsi qu'un critérium, qui sera présenté en après-midi.
Le tour de Willamette se termine dimanche.
Des extraits sonores de Lyne Bessette sont disponibles à L'Agence DIAPO
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Note: Bessette was third on the stage, and is second overall.