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June 17/03 10:59 am - Manitoba 24 Hour Race, Race Report from Ottawa Italian Festival GP


Posted by Editoress on 06/17/03
 

24hr MTB Race in Eastern Manitoba

Members of the Portage Ave Olympia Cycling Club and Falcon Trails Ski Area (1hr east of Winnipeg) are holding a 24hr endurace mtb race on July 19-20 from noon to noon.

Entry fees are $25.00 for solo riders and $100.00 for relay teams. Entry forms are available by calling 204-888-4586, or online w/in the next few days at: www.cycling.mb.ca or by emailing Patrick Humenny at: cptnpwdr@yahoo.com The course features lots of climbing, plenty of Canadian Shield slickrock and singletrack, and fireroads.


MidWeek Club Race Report for Italian Festival GP
Courtesy Bruce Ketchum

Ficko rolls to victory at Italian Festival GP

Ottawa, ON (June 15, 2003) -- Massive crowds, perfect weather, and the largest field in years added up to a spectacular event for this year's Stella Artois Italian Festival Grand Prix.

At the start, 98 riders toed the line for the 100-km, four-corner, 62-lap criterium in Ottawa's Little Italy.

Contenders included Glen Rendell of Ride With Rendell, Heath Cockburn and Darko Ficko of La Bicicletta, former national team rider Tim Hadfield of Peterborough Racing Club, and local riders James Brookes and Aaron Fillion. Also starting was the four-man MidWeek Elite squad of Chris Atkins, Bruce Krip, Peter Morse, and David Fry, who just came off a victory the night before at the Carleton Place Criterium.

The first 15 laps were fast and aggressive, but no attacks were successful. Then a Swiss rider from the Nella-Maestro team got away on his own for four laps before Bruce Krip of MidWeek Elite was able to bridge across. The two riders rode well together for another 12 laps, holding around 15 seconds in front of the main peleton.

A third rider, Juan Estevez of Major Motion, was also successful in getting across and over the next 14 laps the threesome, taking equal pulls, built a lead that fluctuated around 20 to 30 seconds.

At around three quarters of the way into the race, Krip spotted Darko Ficko of La Bicicletta on his own bridging to the lead trio.

"When I saw Darko coming across, I sat on the back and rested so that we could gain his horsepower in the break," said Krip after the race. "I was of two minds, we needed his strength to make the break work, but he was also a clear threat to win."

Ficko was the last to successfully get across to the break and the four riders proceeded to build a lead that grew to as much as 57 seconds at one point.

It wasn't long before a tired Estevez was shaken from the lead group, and then the young Swiss rider fell off the torturous pace set by Ficko and Krip.

A second break of four riders formed containing two of the race favourites, Aaron Fillion and James Brookes. But they were never able to get closer than 50 seconds to the two hard-charging leaders.

The race leaders continued to work well together until the last lap. That is when Ficko made his move on the hill and was able to hold off Krip for a 10-second victory, finishing in a winning time of 2:27:12.

Fifty seconds later, Fillion held off Brookes to take the final podium spot.

The main field, closing in fast on the four-man break, was won by David Fry of MidWeek Elite.

Fry, whose sprinting form has come around in recent days, will be one of the favourites for two key upcoming events ? the MidWeek Race, which is offering $500 in cash and the newly revived CHIN Picnic Criterium, July 1.

 


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