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May 24/01 9:03 am - Wedge Report, Midweek


Posted by Editor on 05/24/01
 

Wedge Report

Peter Wedge is currently racing the Milk Ras in Ireland with the Sympatico.ca team.

Life is good here in Ireland. This race is like no other Euro stage race that I have done. We get real food, I mean with vegetables and meat that was cooked the day it was served. No boiled chicken and micro waved pasta. We even have great lodging, like tonight we are on the River Laune, at a beautiful B&B with a view of the mountains we will be flattening tomorrow.

The fanfare at the races is a nice touch as well. There is usually some type of parade leading us out of town, with a Scout troop, or a marching band, that the riders usually tend to run over. Today we had a 70 year old bag piper lead us out of town, kind of a pied piper I guess, leadin' out the rats. I kept waiting for him to fall over so I could use the Mike Myers line, but no luck there. The music is a tad harsh first thing in the morn' - like they say, the only thing bag pipes are good for is kindling for a good accordion fire.

Stage 4; Castleisland- Killorglin. 120KM

These guys don't know the meaning of the word "piano". Everytime the speed drops below 45km/hr, Philip Cassidy yells "I'm gonna miss me diner, lads!".  I think he might have seen his diner on the Category 1 KOM at 55 km into the race. It was the most scenic climb I have done in a while, at least from what I could see as my head twisted in pain following Welshman Julian Winn up the climb. I got over in the first group, and Jibber, Bluesky and Brendan did as well. From there it was rock'em sock'em  Euro style, as the attacks kept coming. Our group of 50 guys split in half with 25 km to go, and I was the last up to the front group, to join Bluesky, in my usual, "uh-oh, I shouldn't have missed that" style. The dynamics of the group was weird again,as people who should have been driving it were sitting on. I powered for a while to make sure there was a time gap established for Bluesky, and then at 3 to go, went off solo. I got as many as 8 seconds on the group, and was caught by a Brit with 1 to go. I sat on and dropped him with 300m to go, and got swarmed at the line to finish 9th in the uphill sprint. Bluesky was 13th,good enough to put him in 2nd overall, and give our driver bragging rights. Irishman Scanlon won, and now the Swiss rider David Chassot is in the lead.

Tomorrow is a big day, with 10 KOMs in 150km.

Peter Wedge


Labicicletta Midweek Series 2001
Courtesy Peter McCaffery

Event # 6 01/05/23 Handicap 25 Laps, 51.25 km
Time: (scratch group) 1-07-18 46.6kph
Hershey Centre

Heath Cockburn Jet Fuel Sympatico Cat. 1 1:07:18 12 points
Don Zuck Pavan Master B at 0:02 11
Ed. Makarchuk HRT Master A s.t 10
Jeff Hansen Ital Pasta Cat. 1 at 0:07 9
Peter Morse GO Cat. 1 at 0:43 8
Douglas Hinan Peterborough Cat. 2 s.t 7
Mark Polsinelli Police Master B s.t 6
David Fry RNH Cat. 1 s.t 5
Roy Zucchetto Pavan Master B s.t 4
Craig Webster Ind Master A s.t 3

This was by far the best Midweek race this year. The handicap group had an advantage of 2‚45‰ on the scratch group and started real racing right from the gun. There were several abortive breakaway attempts that were all hauled back in short order by the large, fast-moving pack. Their average speed was higher than usual and the scratch group only took a few seconds out of them for the first four laps.

After nine laps, the scratch group was still over a minute behind when a group of eight riders including Mike Ybanez, Peter Morse, Paul Rego, Jeff Hansen, Michael Moore and series leader Heath Cockburn got down to some serious chasing. This continued for another three tours of the challenging Hershey circuit and then Cockburn made a concerted effort to split the group and only Jeff Hansen could stay with him.

By lap fifteen, the dynamic duo had pulled the handicap bunch to within ten seconds but the remainder of the chase group had been swallowed up by the scratch pack who had finally started to work together. However, they were still forty-five seconds down on the first pack.At this point Kevin Speacht, rapid vet Garnet Abbey and #461 commenced to chase the leading bunch and, for a couple of laps, started to cut down the lead.

By lap eighteen, the scratch group were all together again, still forty seconds down on the handicap group, which had Cockburn and Hansen at the front. At this point, Heath turned on the jet fuel once more and only Jeff, Don Zuck and Ed Makarchuk could hang on.

This quartet pulled away for the last four laps and eventually finished over forty seconds up, with Cockburn taking the chequered flag two seconds clear of Zuck, who just edged out Makarchuk for second place. Hansen trailed in a further seven seconds down.

Meanwhile, the scratch group finally caught the handicap pack just a lap from the end. The remainder of the top ten places were filled by a mixture of handicap and scratch riders - a great way to finish the race. Everyone agreed it was one of the most exciting and eventful events in the series‚ five year history.

There were three crashes, each involving single riders. Nothing serious with each of the victims being attended to by our St John‚s Ambulance expert, Adam Hobbs.Thanks to Adam and to marshal, Bill Stathopoulos.

Next week is the second annual DOWNSVIEW PARK Criterium with a novice race starting at 6:30pm and the main event at 7:30pm.

Series Standings to date:

Heath Cockburn Jet Fuel Sympatico Cat. 1 56 points
Peter Morse GO Cat. 1 51
Jeff Hansen Ital Pasta Cat. 1 44
Barry Reid Maple Leaf Cat. 1 35
Marcel Zierfuss Racer Sportif Cat. 3 34
Enrico Traini Toronto C.C Cat. 1 31
Paul Rego Ital Pasta Cat. 1 29
Roy Zucchetto Pavan Master B 27
Paul Hornak Gears Cat. 2 19
David Fry RNH Cat. 1 18
Andrew Randall Sevcn Cat. 1 18
Don Zuck Pavan Master B 17
Ed Makarchuk HRT Master A 16
Paul Greene Chain Reaction Master A 15
Josh Hall Sympatico Cat. 1 15
Mark Shaw Ind Master B 15
Greg Cavanagh Oakville / Cyclepath Cat. 2 14
Craig Webster Ind Master A 13

 


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