June 23/04 10:40 am - Road Nationals ITT Pre-race Report
Posted by Editor on 06/23/04
2004 Road Nationals - Kamloops, BC
The Road Nationals will get underway tomorrow morning with the Time Trial events. The schedule is:
|9:30 am||Cerebral Palsy & Amputees||7.5 Km|
|9:40 am||Hand Cycling||7.5 Km |
|9:50 am|| Tandem|| 15 Km|
|10:00 am|| Jr. Women||15 Km |
|10:15 am|| Master Women||25 Km|
|10:20 am|| Junior Men|| 25 Km|
|11:10 am|| Master Men|| 25 Km|
|12:20 pm||Espoir Men|| 30 Km|
|12:45 pm||Elite Women|| 30 Km|
|1:25 pm|| Elite Men|| 40 Km|
|Award Ceremonies: 4:00 pm (estimated)|
There are 250 plus riders participating in the time trial, and registration does not close until 10:00 pm tonight, so we do not expect to have a start list available until very late tonight (or early tomorrow morning).
The course is a straightforward out-and-back one, with the riders turning around at the appropriate spot on the circuit. There are no significant climbs to speak off, but the course is rolling, and the riders will face a headwind on the way back. There are two other factors that will affect riders - cattle guards and temperature.
The course contains a total of 10 cattle guards across the road at the 1, 6.5, 8.1, 10.6, 13.5, 15, 15.9, 16.6, 16.9 and 18 kilometre marks - so the elite men will cross them a total of 20 times. For those not familiar with these obstacles, they are widely spaced metal grids laid into the road (perpendicular to the direction of traffic) that are used to stop cattle wandering down the road. The organizers have designed one metre wide plywood covers for each cattle guard. They are covered in a non-skid surface, with beveled edges where the wheel hits them, and are locked onto the cattle guard. There should be no problems, unless a rider is not paying attention and misses the cover.
Probably a more serious concern is the temperature - 40.4 C today. It is dry, but that extreme heat will still affect the riders, especially when the road races start on Friday. The commissaires have already announced that they will modify rules for feeding to take into account the weather. There are predictions for the temperature to drop somewhat by the weekend.
The biggest interest will be the Elite women's 30 kilometre race, since there are six qualified women competing for 3 spots on the Olympic squad. Two of those women will race the time trial in Athens. The women who have met the Olympic criteria are defending ITT champion Lyne Bessette, Genevieve Jeanson, Manon Jutras, Amy Moore, Sue Palmer-Komar and Anne Samplonius.
In the men's race, it will be interesting to see if Eric Wohlberg can take his ninth straight title. Wohlberg was beaten by Svein Tuft last week at Beauce over a 14 kilometre distance, but was admittedly tired after two consecutive stage races.