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January 24/03 7:21 am - Ukatak Raid, Tour Down Under, Dirt Jumpers Wanted!


Posted by Editoress on 01/24/03
 

Ukatak Raid International

While most of us here in the east are just trying to get through the cold snap, a group of hardy (the word insane comes to mind) individuals are competing in the Ukatak Raid International in the Charlevoix-Saguenay region of northern Quebec. The Ukatak is a 7 day, 400 km event that has teams of 4 members compete in a number of events that include: Mountain Biking, Snowshoeing, Cross-country skiing, Rope sections (Jumar, rappel and Tyrolean traverse) and Orienteering.

A total of 18 teams (Canadian, Canadian combo teams and International) are competing in one of 3 events - Extreme Course, Long Course and Short Course. The current leader in the Extreme are team High Coast from Sweden with a total time of 105:50 for 20 sections complete, team Auberge du Rage/Commençal Supervelo (Can) is 2nd with a time of 1:05:43 for 17 sections complete.

In the long course Ad Opt Technologies/Le Yeti/Novadry (Can/Fra) is in the lead over Olympia Cycle (Can). The Short course leaders are team ChiroTag.com (Can).

For more information check out the website.



Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under Stage 4: Unley to Goolwa, 144km
Courtesy organizers

Victorian Baden Cooke, 24, (FDJeux.com) led the field home in today's fourth stage of the Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under narrowly beating Sydney's Graeme Brown, 24, (Ceramiche Panaria - Fiordo) and South Australian Stuart O'Grady (Credit Agricole) in a furious sprint to the line.

Cooke, who was awarded the Stage One win after Brown was relegated to last place when officials ruled he did not hold his line and impeded the sprint of Robbie McEwen (AUS - Lotto Domo), this time made sure he was first over the line and a clear winner.

"It's the second win of the year with a bit of controversy surrounding the first one," said Cooke., "Today I saw Ashley Hutchinson (AUS - United Water) take the inside run (in the final metres) which was the shortest way round but after seeing what Brownie did on Tuesday I decided to go the long way around because otherwise I'm sure he would have stepped into me."

Cooke told media after the stage that the 40 degree plus heat had been draining for everyone.

"I think I drank 12 bidons (bottles of water) today and was even forcing it down just to keep my fluids up," said Cooke.

"85,000 fans braved the scorching heat and some even sprayed the grateful riders with garden hoses as they passed by," said Belinda Dewhirst, General Manager, Australian Major Events.

But while Cooke claimed the honours on the line it was 21 year old South Australian Adrian Laidler (UniSA) who was then hero of the day.

The race set off from the Adelaide suburb of Unley which was still celebrating after last night's fabulous Street Party where an estimated 15 thousand people enjoyed food, wine and dancing in the street.

"Unoley was absolutely a-buzz this morning," said Ms Dewhirst. "Fans enjoyed breakfast and the unique opportunity to grab autographs from and chat with their heroes."

The festive atmosphere was still in force as the 90 riders headed out under race neutral conditions.

The race proper began at the Old Toll Gate and Glen Osmond and almost immediately Laidler, the recently crowned Australian U/23 road time trial champion, launched a solo attack off the front.

Laidler, who began the day ranked last on the overall standings after sacrificing his rear wheel for team mate Patrick Jonker, and being forced to chase the field home, established an impressive leading margin as the main bunch let him go.

"I sort of regretted it the minute I got away but once you're out there you have to do it," said Laidler who at one stage was more than ten minutes clear of the race.

He cleaned up the maximum points at the Echunga sprint (26km ) and again in Langhorne Creek ( 64.8km) where McEwen led the field across for second place which gave him the lead in the SA Lotteries Sprint Classification plus a two second time bonus that moved him closer to Sacchi in the battle for the overall win.

After more than 100 kilometres on his own setting a driving pace in front Laidler began to fade. "I think Saeco (team of race leader Fabio Sacchi) controlled it really well and just left me out there to blow myself up."

But the bunch did not aggressively chase Laidler down. In fact several riders including O'Grady, McEwen and Sacchi said after the stage they thought the young rider deserved the win but Laidler did not have the energy to go on in front.

"At the end they just wound it up when I had no legs to bring it home," he said. "But it was definitely worth a shot."

His efforts were appreciated those who lined today's route and as Laidler went through Goolwa for the first time the fans who had flocked to the town gave him a rousing reception.

He was caught at the approach to the climb at Macfarlane Hill (132km) where Denmark's Lennie Kristensen (CSC) was first over the summit to increase his lead in the Laubman & Pank King of the Mountain classification.

The next time the field entered Goolwa it was fifty riders in a group speeding down Cadell Street.

At the end of the day Italian Fabio Sacchi held on to the Jacob's Creek Leader's jersey but his margin over McEwen is now eight seconds.

Tomorrow provides fans with the chance to view the action several times because of the design of the Fleurieu Peninsula course which covers 147km.

"The riders cover a circuit from Willunga, down to Aldinga Beach and back through McLaren Vale three times with the last lap taking them up the gruelling Willunga Hill climb before they sweep back to Willunga for the finish," said Ms Dewhirst. "This is a very popular route for fans and we expect thousands to head out for the action."


Jersey Wearers for Stage 5

Jacob's Creek General Classification - Fabio Sacchi (ITA - Saeco)
SA Lotteries Sprint Classification - Robbie McEwen (AUS - Lotto Domo)
Laubman & Pank King of the Mountains - Lennie Kristensen (DEN - CSC)
Share the Road Best Young Rider - Gene Bates (Aus - UniSA)
Century 21 Most Aggressive Rider - Adrian Laidler (AUS - UniSA)
Monroe Leading Team - Ag2R - Prevoyance

Stage
1. Baden Cooke (Aus) FDJeux:com 3:33:59
2. Graeme Brown (Aus) Panaria Fiordo
3. Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Credit Agricole
4. Robbie McEwen (Aus) Lotto Domo
5. Ashley Hutchinson (Aus) United Water
6. Tom Boonen (Bel) Quickstep-Davitamon
7. Luke Roberts (Aus) UniSA
8. Mark Scanlon (Irl) Ag2R
9. Jaan Kirsipuu (Est) Ag2R
10. Allan Davis (Aus) ONCE Eroski all s.t.

GC
1. Fabio Sacchi (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport 11:58:33
2. Robbie McEwen (Aus) Lotto Domo at 0:08
3. Andy Flickinger (Fra) Ag2R 0:17
4. Cedric Herve (Fra) Credit Agricole 0:18
5. Mikel Astarloza (Esp) Ag2R 0:20
6. Lennie Kristensen (Den) CSC
7. Russell Van Hout (Aus) UniSA 0:23
8. Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Credit Agricole 0:25
9. Xavier Florencio (Esp) ONCE Eroski 0:27
10. Luke Roberts (Aus) UniSA 0:28


Dirt Jumpers Wanted

The Burlington track is gearing up for 2003. A number of projects are planned, volunteers are being recruited and the website has never been busier.

Volunteers needed for 2003 season
As you may or not be aware of our track is completely run by volunteers - without volunteers we wouldn't be able to be open.We are always looking for more volunteers - either on out on the track during ride days, special events, maintenance days (we will need lots of help here in the spring once the white stuff leaves and the track has dried up a bit), executive/planning committee, promotion - (we have a flyer currently being designed and will need help distributing). So if you have a few hours to spare - or you need to do your 40 hours of volunteer work to graduate please keep us in mind and drop me a line at debbie@burlingtondirtjump.com

Tech talks
We have had a fantastic response to the tech talks - both submitted questions to us as well as the great tech talks our very own Shaun has written. If you have any subjects/questions you would like us to answer / write up about please let us know.

First aid certification
We are planning on having another round of first aid certification - hopefully Gary MacDonald (a Burlington Fire Dept fireman) will be able to teach this course again. If not we will secure a new instructor. If you are interested in obtaining your general first aid certificate please send me an email. This is a very informal hands on course which is a ton of fun - and could help save someone's life. Per our requirements with the City of Burlington we at all times have to have at least two people at the track during ride days who are first aid certified.

More info on the website.

 


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