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Sea Otter Classic - NE
USA, April 6-9, 2006
Race 1 - Thursday, April 6: MTB stage race #1 - Super XC
Gunn-Rita super at Sea Otter
Peraud takes men's race ahead of favoured rivals
By Steve Medcroft in Monterey, CA
Norway 's Gunn-Rita Dahle-Flesja (Multivan-Merida) and France 's Jean-Christoph Peraud (Team Orbea) won the Sea Otter MTB stage race opener on Thursday morning on a windy and muddy half-road, half-mountain 2.3-mile course.
In the first event of the four-stage Sea Otter MTB Omnium, Dahle-Flesja stormed off the front in the very first lap of the women's race, leaving 2005 Omnium winner Alison Sydor (Rocky Mountain/Business Objects) to out-sprint a chase group for second.
Sydor said the constant rainstorms that have swept across the Monterey peninsula in recent weeks waterlogged the dirt section of the hybrid course and helped create the break Dahle-Flesja needed. "It was a mighty, messy affair," she said after the race. "The ground was super saturated. We (Sydor and teammate Pia Sundstedt among others) were at the front up the first climb. But there was a huge amount of pedalling needed once you got into the mud and things broke up." Dahle-Presja slipped away.
Typically a power course, the off-cambre turns and boggy sinkholes threw racers off their rhythm. "Everyone was changing lines," Sydor said. "Each time we went through the mud, a few riders were going off the back so I made sure I stayed close to the front."
Dahle-Flesja finished unchallenged. "The group was chasing pretty hard but Gunn-Rita was a level ahead strength wise." Sydor patrolled the front of the eight-woman chase held off former road racer Georgia Gould (Luna Chix) for second place.
The sloppy terrain also played a role in the men's race as European continental champion Jean-Christoph Peraud slipped away from a stumbling field to steal a solo win. "I started slowly," the 28-year-old Peraud said by phone Thursday evening. "I just stuck close to the riders in front of and behind me. When we left the road, I got 20 metres ahead in the mud and did the last part of the lap alone."
Two riders - Ralph Naef (Multivan Merida ) and Todd Wells (GT/Hyundai) bridged up to Peraud. Australian Chris Jongewaard (Australian National Team) joined the trio, and the group stayed together for most of the race. "Near the end," Peraud said, "I did the downhill and got another gap, another 20 metres. I did the last lap alone." Peraud ultimately won by almost a full minute over a re-formed main group. 2005 Super XC and Curacao World Cup winner Bart Brentjens slipped across the line for second. Jongewaard held on for third.
Peraud says that he is more suited to cross country and doesn't expect to hold onto the Omnium title through Friday's time trial or Saturday's short track, but thinks that his performance on Thursday is a good sign for Sunday's cross-country race. "I would like to do well on Sunday," he said. "I did one lap of the course today and it's nice. It suits me."
The MTB Omnium continues tomorrow with a two-mile time trial.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Rob O'Deafirstname.lastname@example.org
Pro/Elite men 1 Jean Christoph Peraud (Fra) Orbea 1.11.13 2 Bart Brentjens (Ned) Giant-Racing-Team 1.02 3 Chris Jangewoard (Aus) Australian National Team 1.03 4 Ralph Naef (Swi) Multivan Merida Biking Team 5 Liam Killeen (GBr) Specialized Factory Racing 6 Todd Wells (USA) GT Bicycles 1.08 7 José Antonio Hermida (Spa) Multivan Merida Biking Team 1.09 8 Sid Taberlay (Aus) Dolphin Bike Team 1.39 9 Karl Platt (Ger) Rocky Mountain Business Objects 1.53 10 Matt Kelly (USA) Subaru-Gary Fisher 1.54 11 Thomas Frishcknecht (USA) Swisspower/Scott 13 Christophe Sauser (Swi) Specialized Factory Racing 1.56 14 Max Plaxton (Can) Rocky Mountain/ Business Objects 2.12 15 Michael Broderick (USA) Seven Cycles/Kenda 2.52 16 Jeremiah Bishop (USA) Trek/VW 3.05 17 Simon Richardson (GBr) Subaru-Gary Fisher 3.18 18 Rudi Van Houts (Ned) Dolphin Bike Team 4.05 19 Antonio Ortiz (Spa) Specialized Spain 4.11 20 Kris Sneddon (Can) Kona Les Gets Factory Team 4.17 21 Michael Weiss (Aut) SRM Simplon Team 4.46 22 Geoff Kabush (Can) Jittery Joe's-Kalahari 23 Jelmer Pietersma (Ned) Dolphin Bike Team 24 Adam Craig (USA) Giant 4.57 25 Barry Wicks (USA) Kona Les Gets 5.03 26 Sam Schultz (USA) U23 National Team 5.05 27 Ricky Federau (Can) Team R.A.C.E. com 5.51 28 Matt Martindill (Can) NA 6.09 29 Neal Kindree (Can) Kona Factory 6.57 30 Chris Eatough (USA) 31 Tristan Schouten (USA) PCW Cycling team 7.13 32 Alban Lakata (Aut) Specialized Factory Racing 7.19 33 Carsten Bresser (Ger) Rocky Mountain Business Objects 34 Shaun Lewis (Aus) Australian National Team 7.30 35 Charles Jenkins (USA) cytomax/KHS 7.38 36 Ken Onodera (Jpn) Subaru-Gary Fisher 7.40 37 Troy Misseghers (Can) Mountain Bike City 38 Nick Waite (USA) Kelly Benefit Strategies 39 Jason Sager (USA) Hotel San Jose/Cannondale 8.24 40 Sam Jurekovic (USA) U23 National Team 8.48 41 Michael Lee (USA) Trek VW JBL 8.50 42 Carl Decker (USA) Broadmark Capital 9.07 43 Brendan Macintosh (Can) Brendan MacIntosh 44 Eric Ransom (USA) Tamarack Resort/ Intense 45 Christian Favata (USA) campmor/hutchinson 9.08 46 Perry Paolini (USA) Trek-VW West 9.21 47 Charlie Pendry (USA) Inland Construction/BTD 9.27 48 Andy Schultz (USA) Cannondale Mountain Bike Team 9.50 49 Tim Olson (USA) 9.57 50 Nick Martin (USA) 10.09 51 Cody Peterson (USA) 3D Racing/ SRAM/ LFP&Co 10.27 52 Jeff Schalk (USA) Trek-VW East 10.50 53 Roddi Lega (Can) Norco Factory Team/United Cycle 11.07 54 Oyvind Aas (Nor) Team Stifinner/Giant 55 Kevin Bradford-Parish (USA) Bicycle Butler/Rocky Mountain 11.14 56 Colin Cares (USA) U23 National Team 11.15 57 Sean Donovan (USA) cytomax/KHS 11.36 58 Austin Carroll (USA) Team Devo 11.55 59 Bryan Fawley (USA) University of Montana 11.56 60 Ben Thompson (USA) Santiam Bicycles / Breakaway Consulting 12.35 61 Aren Timmel (USA) Soulcraft 12.56 62 Ryan Trebon (USA) Kona/Clarks/LesGets 12.58 63 Craig Richey (Can) Cove Bikes 13.11 64 Dana Weber (USA) JAX Bicycle Center 65 Paolo Montoya (CRi) Santa Ana 66 Cale Redpath (USA) 3D Racing 13.12 67 Leonardo Sandoval (USA) Bicycle John's/Kenda/MGTEC 13.15 68 Walker Ferguson (USA) Scott/Spinner 13.16 69 Mitchell Peterson (USA) Balance Bar/ Devo 13.39 70 TJ Woodruff (USA) Litespeed/PCW 13.46 71 Dallas Morris (C DeadGoat Racing 13.47 72 Pierre-Yves Facomprez (Fra) A.S Fourchambault 73 Noah Singer (USA) Cannondale Mountain Bike Team 14.20 74 Clint Muhlfeld (USA) Sportsman Ski Haus-Cannondale 14.38 75 Kris Holden (USA) Wheelsport 76 Patrick Bush (USA) clif bar 15.15 77 Justin Robinson (USA) Cal Giant /Village Peddler 16.27 78 Paul Hanson (USA) 17.33 Pro/Elite women 1 Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Nor) Multivan Merida Biking Team 1.04.00 2 Alison Sydor (Can) Rocky Mountain/Business Objects 2.44 3 Georgia Gloud (USA) Luna Women's MTB Team 4 Irmiger Heather (USA) Subaru-Gary Fisher 2.45 5 Kiara Bisaro (Can) Team R.A.C.E. COM 6 Dara Marks Marino (USA) Titus/Kenda 7 Katerina Nash (USA) Luna Women's MTB Team 8 Jimena Florit (USA) Luna Women's MTB Team 9 Mary Mcconneloug (USA) Seven Cycles/Kenda 10 Sue Hayward (USA) Trek VW 11 Pia Sundstedt (Ger) Business Objects/ Rocky Mountain 4.09 12 Sabrina Enaux (Fra) Lapierre Factory Team 4.27 13 Lea Davison (USA) 4.34 14 Asa Erlandsson (Swe) Subaru-Gary Fisher 4.35 15 Kelli Emmett (USA) Ford Cycling 16 Mical Dyck (Can) Terrascape Racing 4.46 17 Willow Koerber (Can) Subaru-Gary Fisher 4.47 18 Sara Bresnick-Zocchi (USA) Ford Cycling 5.08 19 Wendy Simms (Can) Velo Bella - Kona 5.41 20 Jenny Copnall (GBr) Subaru-Gary Fisher 5.59 21 Sabine Spitz (Ger) Specialized Factory Racing 7.38 22 Monique Sawicki (USA) Sho-Air/Team Mata 7.44 23 Catharine Pendrel (Can) Norco 8.09 24 Rie Katayama (Jpn) Trek 8.30 25 Tomarra Muhlfeld (USA) Trek/VW 9.00 26 Kristin Danielson (USA) Velo Bella - Kona 9.02 27 Cecile Rode (Fra) Lapierre Factory Team 9.03 28 Nina Baum (USA) Cannondale Mountain Bike Team 29 Patricia Sinclair (Can) Scott USA/Kenda 9.45 30 Lara Kroepsch (USA) T-Mobile 31 Kathy Sherwin (USA) Ford Cycling 10.30 32 Jenna Zander (USA) Cannondale Mtn Bike Team 10.48 33 Judy Freeman (USA) Cannondale MTB Team 10.50 34 Melanie Meyers (USA) Ford Cycling 11.13 35 Nathalie Schneitter (Swi) rocky mountain 11.42 36 Stacey Scanlan (USA) Tamarack 11.45 37 Krista Park (USA) Colavita/Addictive Cycles 12.08 38 Christine Misseghers (Can) Mountain Bike City 12.11 39 Melanie Mcquad (USA) Orbea 12.17 40 Josie Beggs (USA) Starbucks 12.18 41 Niki Gudex (Aus) SRM Simplon Team 12.49 42 Megan Monroe (USA) Colo Preimier Training 43 Jennifer Gersbach (USA) Tokyo Joe's 44 Kyia Malenkovich (USA) Headmethod.com 13.19 45 Linden Kimmerer (USA) Soulcraft 14.09 46 14.11 47 Meggan Flaherty (USA) Bicycle John's Serious Cycling 14.20 48 Carolyn Popovic (USA) MTBchick.com/Cannondale 14.35 49 Theresa Richardson (USA) Cannondale Mountain Bike Team 14.45 50 Shannon Holden (USA) Velo Bella - Kona 15.32 51 15.34 52 Cristina Begy (USA) Spot