10th Sea Otter Classic - Cat. 2.4

USA, March 16-18, 2000

Main Page    Results

Stage 3 - March 17: Fort Ord Road Race, 148 km (m)/91 km (w)

Men - Mercury Drew a winner

With over 10,000 total feet of climbing over 92 miles (6,000 feet and 56 miles for the women), the Stage 3 Fort Ord Road Race looked to be the decisive stage in both the men's and women's events. For the men, it was an opportunity to blow open a race that had been, up till this point, thoroughly dominated by the Mercury squad.

The race was indeed blown open, but by Mercury, as they placed four riders in a decisive 12-man break during the fourth of five large loops. The group also included representatives from all the race's top teams except for Navigators, whose sprint trio of Vassili Davidenko, Todd Littlehales, and Franky Van Haesebroucke were left out in the cold. Midway through the final lap, Australian champion Jamie Drew attacked and blew the group apart, eventually soloing in for the stage win seven seconds ahead of Mercury teammate Scott Moninger, and 40 seconds ahead of the remnants of the move, led in by Wustenrot's Tomasz Konecny. As for the main field, including former race leader Gord Fraser, they came in nearly five minutes in arrears.

With a 45 second lead over Saturn rider Harm Jansen, and just the 34-mile Laguna Seca Circuit Race remaining, the overall win looks nearly certain for Drew and Mercury.

Women - Rossner suffers

If the men's stage turned out to be another showcase for the dominant Mercury squad, the women's showed that there were a few chinks in the armor of the female equivalent of Mercury: the Saturn squad of race leader Petra Rossner. The constantly undulating terrain caused innumerable splits and rejoinings of the womens field, until the decisive selection came with about ten miles remaining.

After covering attacks by AutoTrader.com, Elita, and Timex for most of the stage, Saturn found itself overextended a bit, and key riders Clara Hughes and Nicole Freedman lost contact with the lead group, now down to about 25. It was then that the Elita squad took over. While Stage One winner Erin Carter had a touch of stomach flu and ended up losing time in the stage, designated sprinter Karen Dunne had no such problems, and handily beat race leader Rossner in the gallop for the line

"The sprint just came down to good timing we used the wind direction to our advantage, and I was able to hold on to the finish," said stage winner Dunne. However, with Rossner still leading her by over 30 seconds, Dunne and her Elita teammates had few illusions about the overall.

"Tomorrow, we'll be going for the stage win and points jersey," added Dunne. The women's race finishes with the 25-mile Laguna Seca Circuit Race, which includes a stiff 300-foot climb on each of the 11 laps.

Pam Schuster's report

Today's stroll through the park featured a total of 7500 ft of climbing that shredded the international field into numerous groupings and regroupings. Going into the secound major climb a break of 5-7 riders got a 30 secound gap. We had Julie Young-Autotrader.com and Schwab had Catherine Cardwell. Timex had Kim Smith with Odessa Gunn bridging with Katrina Berger of Janes Cosmetics. Elita had Sophie St Jaques. This created total carnage on the climb with the peloton splitting. The first and secound chase groups both had Saturn chasing hard going into the final climb bringing Petra Rossner in smelling distance of holding onto her yellow jersey.

Courtesy of racereport@vcnet.com


1. Jamie Drew (Aus) Mercury		     4.04.32
2. Scott Moninger (USA) Mercury			0.07
3. Tomasz Konecny (Cze) ZVVZ Wüstenrot		0.40
4. Jeremy Hunt (GB) Big Mat		
5. Harm Jansen (Ned) Saturn		
6. John Lieswyn (USA) Shaklee		
7. Henk Vogels (Aus) Mercury			0.46
8. Clark Sheehan (USA) 7 UP/Colorado Cyclist		
9. Ron Schmeer (USA) Nutra Fig			0.51
10. Czeslaw Lukasewicz (Can) ZVVZ Wüstenrot	1.51

General classification after stage 3:

1. Jamie Drew (Aus) Mercury
1. Karen Dunne (USA) Elita		     2.48.15
2. Petra Rossner (Ger) Saturn		
3. Mari Holden (USA) Timex		
4. Marie Holjer (Swe) Charles Schwab		
5. Elizabeth Emery (USA) Charles Schwab		
6. Tina Mayolo (USA) AutoTrader.com		
7. Katrina Berger (USA) Janes Cosmetics		
9. Sanna Lehtimaki (Fin) Timex		
10. Julie Young (USA) AutoTrader.com		

General classification after stage 3:

1. Petra Rossner (Ger) Saturn