January 27/01 8:39 am - Berlin Six-Day Report, Toronto Olympic Bid, Visser, Birthday
Posted by Editor on 01/27/01
Berlin Amateur Six-Day - Night 2
By Kris Westwood
I am typing this in my hotel room while watching the pro six-day on TV. The presenters emphasize the show element of the six, and how exciting it is for the spectators. The second night of Glen Rendall and Alex Cloutier's Berlin six-day campaign provided more than its fair share of excitement, not necessarily of the best kind . . .
Glen and Alex went into the second night in 10th place overall, having treated the first day as an adaptation period, to get back into the swing of bike racing after six weeks of skiing and ergometer riding at home. Besides, the major goal of this trip is not the final result per se: because Canada lacks depth of development in track endurance events, we are here to develop two riders technically. After this experience, Glen and Alex will be able to race in Canada and pass on these skills to a new generation of riders.
The amateur program tonight consisted of two madisons: a 100-lap (25 km) race first, and then, after an hour's break, a 60-minute event. The first race started off quite well for our lads, though they were still not completely at ease in the pack and during their exchanges. As the speed picked up about midway through the event, Alex dropped down a little too low for an exchange, riding a little too slowly, and allowed his arm to extend a little too far. The difference in speed made Alex's elbow lock at full extension, putting a rotational load on the bike and causing his back wheel to skip out sideways down the track. He went down quite hard, fortunately not bringing Glen with him. Alex got up right away, though scraped and winded, and after a quick wheel change got back in the race. The rest of the stage went OK, though they weren't able to place in the final sprint.
The second stage of the evening was never going to be easy, with the first six or seven teams pretty evenly matched on power, but it ended up being much harder than expected. A little gun-shy from the crash, Glen and Alex weren't able to maintain a position near the front of the group and, consequently, were forced to repeatedly chase back on after gaps formed ahead of them. Alex was emphatically feeling not at his best, and this series of efforts put him over the top. They managed to make the best of it, finishing two laps down, but we won't know in what position until we see the classification tomorrow.
So, not the best of days. However, from a technical standpoint, despite the crash, the improvement from the first night is remarkable. We are able to review video footage of the racing, allowing Glen and Alex to see their mistakes through my eyes, and we are able to together analyze and correct any problems we find. Having access to tools like this is invaluable in such a technical discipline.
Tomorrow follows a similar program to today, so we hope Alex can work the stiffness out of his limbs. The trip has already been a success in terms of our stated goals. With a bit of luck the boys can move up in the rankings, too.
Two items of six-day trivia: the first six-day with two-man teams was held in Madison Square Garden in 1899; Berlin is the 1315th six-day of all time.
Alex and Glen
Team 2001 News
We earlier announced that B.C. rider Stacey Spencer had joined the Proctor & Gamble/Women's Health Team, however, we did not realize that there is another Canadian connection to this team. Former national track team member Alain Boucher will be the road manager for the squad.
Toronto Olympic Bid Shifts Cycling Venues
We have received information that the Toronto Olympic Bid organization has revised the location of their cycling sites, moving them to Toronto from Hamilton (road/track) and Hardwood Hills (mountain bike).
The move has nothing to do with quality of facilities, but appears to be a political move to centralize everything in Toronto. The reason is to compete against Paris, France, whose bid plans to keep travel to a minimum. Rumour has it that Toronto and Paris are closely ranked, behind front runner Bejing (whom everyone is waiting to slip up on in the human rights department...).
If Toronto did win and stick to city-based venues, road and track could be managed, but it is hard to think of an area in the city that could be used without howls of outrage from conservation groups (we are thinking of the Don and Rouge Valleys here). Anyone got any suggestions?
Visser obtient son meilleur résultat de la saison
St.Paul, Minnesota (DIAPO) - Guido Visser a obtenu son meilleur résultat de la saison en terminant au 8e rang du sprint de la Coupe continentale de ski de fond de St.Paul. Treizième à l'issue des qualifications en raison d'un chrono de 2:42 minutes pour un kilomètre, Visser a terminé au deuxième rang de sa première vague éliminatoire avant d'être éliminé au deuxième tour. Les Américains, Carl Swenson en tête, ont monopolisé le podium. Robin McKeever a été le meilleur Canadien avec une 4e place.
" Je me retrouve parmi l'élite nord-américaine du ski de fond et ça fait du bien, a-t-il indiqué. Demain (samedi), le but sera de terminer parmi les quatre meilleurs Canadiens et je suis optimiste. "
Membre de la délégation canadienne aux Jeux olympiques de Nagano en 1998, Visser n'a jamais réellement retrouvé son rythme olympique. La route sera longue d'ici Salt Lake City, mais une qualification est encore possible.
Christine Bisson a été la meilleure athlète québécoise vendredi en terminant 9e en qualifications. Seules les huit meilleures accédaient aux éliminatoires.
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Happy Birthday To...
Sue Palmer (today) and Eric Tourville (tomorrow).