December 18/01 9:10 am - Giant Canada DH Team 2002, Hughes at Olympic Qualifier, Birthdays
Posted by Editoress on 12/18/01
Giant Bicycles Canada Announces 2002 Downhill Team
Courtesy Sean Jenkins - Race Program Director, Giant Bicycles Canada
Vancouver, B.C. - December 17th, 2001 - After being named one of the "Top 20 Worldwide Small Companies", by Forbes Magazine, Giant Bicycles looks to be staying at the forefront of the Canadian bike industry with signing an all-star downhill team.
As Giant's Race Program Director, I am very impressed with the direction the company is moving, with the signing of a number of Canada's top downhill racers; which will undoubtedly increase brand name awareness, help us test products and improve Giant's position in the competitive bicycle industry. With many of the other bike companies tightening the sponsorship reigns, Giant has illustrated its' commitment to developing the sport of cycling.
For the 2002 season, Giant Canada has acquired two new riders. The first is Rob Hewitt, former National Champion and 2001 National Team member. Rob rode, with great success, for the Royal/Orange Team last season. We anticipate that Rob will continue his high level of performance and will improve upon his 6th place National Series ranking.
Leon May is the second new addition to the Giant Team, who was also a National Team member last season, and ended up 3rd overall in the Canadian National Series. Leon really impressed me last season, as he was atop the National Series ranking for most of the season. Leon showed a few flashes of brilliance last season, especially with his 20th place finish at the Mont Saint-Anne World Cup. I believe that Leon's potential, coupled with Giant's extensive support program, will see Leon cracking the top 20 at a number of World Cup events this coming season.
Giant is also very pleased to have Trevor Porter and Brant Lyon returning to the crew. Trevor is a 3-time National Team member and was a part of the 2001 squad that went to Vail Colorado. For us, Trevor is Mr. Consistency, with a 4th place overall ranking; he rarely finished outside of the top ten.
Brant Lyon is back with the Giant Team, as he finished last season ranked 5th overall, and was the British Columbia Provincial Series Champion. Brant was an easy choice to resign, as he is a 'rocket ship' in single track, and his 5th place ranking is not indicative of his riding ability. Brant went into the Canada Cup finals ranked 2nd in Canada and ended up ripping out the spokes in his rear wheel during his race run. That unfortunate mechanical problem slid Brant's ranking back a bit and probably cost him a spot on the National Team.
To sum it up, these riders all possess the qualities necessary to represent the Giant name while still posting top National results.
This coming year, the Giant Team will be competing in the 2002 Canadian National Series, the Canadian World Cup events and NORBA races which do not conflict with the Canadian National Series. Giant is looking forward to many great things from this new team; which will build on the amazing season Giant Canada recognized last year, as we claimed two National Champion titles, a Provincial title and twenty-two podium appearances. With a newly designed downhill bike and a powerhouse team, we have all the ingredients to equal and better our 2001 success, and keep Giant in the limelight on the National circuit.
Hughes Third at Olympic Trials in Calgary
Clara Hughes was third in the 3000 metres at the first set of Olympic Trials taking place this week in Calgary. While the 5000 metres is Clara's specialty, comments on Speedskating.com after the event were that should the times hold for next weeks second set of trials, Hughes will go to the games.
If Hughes can qualify for both the 3000 and the 5000 she will race in 2 events in Salt Lake, and the schedule will work well in her favour. The 3000 metre event is the 2nd long track event of the games on February 10th and the 5000 metres is the final long track event on February 23rd.
1. Cindy Klassen (MB) 4:03.26
2. Kristina Groves (ON) 4:08.19
3. Clara Hughes (MB) 4:08.68
Happy Birthday to..... Michael Barry, Jacob Erker and Brian Walton, all celebrating birthdays today.