Posted by Editoress on 10/6/05
Star Crossed - A Woman's Perspective
Courtesy Nicola Mann
This letter was sent out in response to the October 1st cyclo-cross race in Redmond, Washington.
If only the women's field garnered a little more respect.
If only the time of the Elite Women's Race hadn't been switched to an earlier slot. The women's field for cyclocross in North America is getting deeper every year and I think 2005 will mark a new level in Elite competition. It was disappointing to see the Women's Elite Race relegated to a start time so much earlier than the "Main Event". You can't really think that more people are interested in watching the B's and Masters race?
Perhaps the reason for the switch was to entice more people to the venue for a longer period of time but I think the result was that many interested fans actually missed the women's race altogether. I only saw the switch at the last minute and I ran into several groups of dedicated racers and fans that were disappointed at missing the race (they anticipated that the two key events would run back to back, as usual).
The podium girls were a hit again this year but maybe next year they could use some hottie junior (or Johnny) in just his bibs to present for the women. I can't see the girls being quite as titillated by the shorty skirts... and while we're on the topic of podiums...what's with the hugely divergent prize list? I certainly don't think that the Women's Elite field needs the same prize money (or depth). I completely understand the smaller field etc., but the disparity in payout is crazy given that these women are training just as hard, racing at the top of the sport (I might add they are performing better on the World stage than the Men, in a huge and talented field of top pro's from various disciplines) and are having to pay their own way to all the same races throughout the US.
Although no race reports covered the Women's race, it was thrilling. An early race crash and resulting mechanicals caused several contenders to essentially race through the entire Men's B field back to get back into the race. Lyne Bessette took a solid victory in her return to cyclocross and I think we'll see great things from her this year. Canadian Champ Wendy Simms, after rolling her front tire, posted faster laps than Bessette every lap to claw back into 5th. Rhonda Mazza was incredibly smooth throughout, taking an impressive 2nd place. She put on a show every time at the barriers and I swear she looked as smooth as Dale Knapp. Queen of 'cross Ann Knapp, looking as strong as ever, has to be impressed with the fierce competition she has inspired among this North American field. These women deserve your respect and admiration. If you want exciting racing, watch the women!
Pacific Northwest Hosts 2005 Crank Brothers US Gran Prix Openers
Courtesy Paul Salvucci, U.S. Gran Prix of Cyclocross Series
Two of America's `cross craziest cities - Portland, OR and Tacoma, WA - host the opening pair of races in the 2005 Crank Brothers US Gran Prix races this weekend, October 8 and 9. Portland's Alpenrose Dairy is the site for the Cannondale Stumptown Cyclocross Classic on Saturday, October 8, with race director Brad Ross expecting more than 800 racers for the US Gran Prix opener, the biggest single-day race ever held on US soil. On Sunday, racers will trek an hour north to Tacoma's Ft. Steilacoom Park for the Rad Racing Gran Prix of Cyclocross.
Saturday's event doubles as the second race of the River City Bicycles Cross Crusade, the Portland region's wildly popular cyclocross series. "This is the River City Bicycles Cross Crusades marquee event," explained Portland's Brad Ross. "For any cycling fan interested in watching America's most talented cyclocrossers at speed, this is your chance. And for any cyclist looking to try cyclocross themselves, the Crusade offers a fun-filled opportunity, whether you're a beginner or an expert."
A number of Oregon riders will be favorites to grab part of the UCI Cat 1 Cannondale Stumptown Cyclocross Classic's $8,000 purse on Saturday. Local `cross talent includes 2004 Cross Crusade champion Barry Wicks and 2004 U.S. National runner-up Ryan Trebon, both of Corvallis; Portland's Rhonda Mazza, third in the 2004 U.S. Nationals; and Gina Hall of Ashland. Also expected is defending 2004 U.S. Gran Prix of Cyclocross champion Ann Knapp of Seattle. Other nationally ranked riders expected to compete include Canadian National Champion Geoff Kabush of British Columbia, defending New England series champion Mark McCormack of Boston, Ben Jacques-Maynes of San Francisco, Josie Beggs, of San Francisco, and more.
The Steilacoom course is a mainstay for Northwest cyclocross and is famous for the 80-meter thigh-busting Kona Knapp Time Run-Up named for local cyclocross legend, Dale Knapp. The course is split evenly between dirt and pavement and features a long start/finish section before tackling the Kona Knapp Time Run-Up and several smaller climbs.
Previous winners on the tough Steilacoom course have included Erwin Vervecken, Alison Dunlap, Adam Craig, and Gina Hall. Top riders expected to appear at this year's UCI Cat 2 race include: Ryan Trebon, Barry Wicks, Adam Craig, Mark McCormack, Jesse Anthony, Geoff Kabush, Jeremy Powers, Erik Tonkin, Jonny Sundt, Ann Knapp, Josie Beggs, Rhonda Mazza, and Wendy Simms.
The Rad Racing Gran Prix of Cyclocross is being held as a fundraiser for the Rad Racing Northwest Junior Developmental Cycling Team. 100% proceeds from the race go towards assisting Rad Racing team members in attending the 2005 US National Championships in Providence, Rhode Island.
Along with Crank Brothers and presenting sponsor VeloNews, additional U.S. Gran Prix of Cyclocross sponsors include Clif Bar,Selle Italia, Focus Bikes, Cyclocrossworld.com, adidas, Mavic, and BikeReg.com
All six races will be held under UCI category and competition regulations. U.S. Gran Prix of Cyclocross Series leaders will be recognized at the conclusion of each event with leaders' jerseys.
Overall winners in the Elite Men, Elite Women, U-23, and Junior Men categories will receive automatic selection to the World Cyclocross Championships in Zeddam, The Netherlands, January 28-29, 2006. Master 35+ Men will also be ranked.
Birthday Greetings to ......
Buck Miller (tomorrow), Ricky Federau (October 8th), Carter Hovey (October 9th), Greg Reain (October 10th) and our Tech Editor Mike Badyk will also celebrate a B.Day on the 10th.
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