Posted by Editoress on 04/13/05
Blizzard Bike Club Fort St. John, BC
April 10th, first race of the series
Mike Heintzman was the winner of Stage #1 of the 20th Annual Spring Stage Race, Sunday. He won a 3 rider sprint finish for the 60 km. Cecil Lake Race in a time of 1:43:10 hours. Dave Damery was second and Pat Ferris was third.
Eighteen riders started the event under cool and windy conditions. The pack constantly shrunk as the race pace quickened. The group was down to Rod Lewis, Dave Damery, Pat Ferris, Mike Hientzman, Bob Andrews and Roger St. Jean at the 30 km turn.
It was Damery, Ferris and Hientzman, 5 km's, later, after the hilly section.
Five-time event winner Pat Ferris continued to force the pace to keep the speed up. He had a short break at the 45 km. mark but was soon brought back by Mike Hientzman and two-time event winner Dave Damery. The trio stayed together to the finish. Hientzman lead out the sprint and easily held off the other two riders.
Rod Lewis was 5th at 1:47:10, three-time event winner Bob Andrews 5th at 1:50:00, Roger St. Jean 6th at 1:51:00 and Gary Hilderman 7th at 1:56:30. Richard Wood won a close sprint for 8th place from Darren Guliov and Dean Lowry, at 1:59:30. Owen Giebelhaus was 11th at 2:11:50.
Sam Keats won the 40 km event with 1:11:00. Barb Polehoykie won 2nd from Gord 'The Hammer' Harris with a time of 1:14:00. Ken Nix was 4th at 1:16:00, Lisa Verbisky 5th at 1:16:38, Ross Garbutt 1:17:00 and Steve Sparling 1:19:00.
Mike is now the early leader of the Spring Stage Race and Barb Polehoykie leads the Women's event with 6 more 'stages' to go. Final race is April 21's Baldonnel time trial.
Competition heats up over the next week with four races coming. Thursday is Stage #2, a Baldonnel 16 km time trial at 6:30 pm.
Saturday has the famous Beatton Hillclimb at 10:00 am, afternoon Baldonnel road race at 2 pm and Sunday's Rocky Road Race at Baldonnel at 2 pm. All three of these events are Challenge Cup events so the Grande Prairie Boys will be in town to make things tough for the defending champion Blizzard club.
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