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Photo ©: Bettini

 UCI codes explained

Joe Martin Stage Race - NE

USA, May 9-11, 2003

Stage List

Climbing legs on for Joe Martin Stage Race

This weekend's major US National Racing Calendar event is the Joe Martin Stage race in Fayetteville, Arkansas, a four-stage competition named after the race's founder who sadly died of cancer in 1989.

According to race spokesman John Carruthers, Joe Martin was "a cycling enthusiast from Fayetteville, Arkansas who dreamed of having a national-calibre bicycle race in his home town, at the foot of the Boston Mountains. In 1978, he organized the Fayetteville Spring Classic, which went on to become a fixture of the region's racing calendar; however, in 1988, Martin was stricken with cancer, and passed away within a year. Since then, the event which he founded has been renamed the Joe Martin Stage Race in his honor, and has become what Martin always dreamed it would be: a top multi-day event."

Teams that have signed up for this year's race include the Saturn men's and women's teams, Sierra Nevada/Clif Bar, 7UP/Maxxis, Prime Alliance, Jelly Belly/Carlsbad, T-Mobile, Colavita/Bolla, Health Net, Jittery Joe's, Sierra Nevada/Time, West Virginia, and Mercy Cycling Team.

Men's favourites include defending champion Gustavo Carillo (Grand Performance/Bianchi), though Carillo will have his work cut out against riders such as Eric Wohlberg (Saturn); 7 UP/Maxxis team leader John Lieswyn, fresh from his win at Shelby; young Australian Ben Brooks (Jelly Belly/Carlsbad Clothing); 2001 winner Steven Cate (Mathis Brothers Cycling); and former Tour de France competitor Javier Nelson Rodriguez of Colombia, riding for the local Tyson Racing team

On the hilly parcours of the Joe Martin, the rider to beat in the women's race will undoubtedly be Genevieve Jeanson who demonstrated her total superiority in climbing when she won last week's Tour of the Gila by over 18 minutes. Hoping to put Jeanson under pressure will be defending champion Lyn Gaggioli (Velo Bella) and Genesis Scuba's Sue Palmer-Komar, the runner up at the Flèche Wallonne World Cup two weeks ago.

The race starts Friday with a road race stage that includes 5,400ft of climbing for the men and 3,500ft for the women, then Saturday morning's stage two throws even more climbing at the riders with a 23-mile loop that takes in over 1,500ft of climbing per lap. Saturday afternoon sees yet more uphill action with a hill climb time trial in Devil's Den State Park and the race culminates with Sunday's criterium in downtown Fayeteville.

The Stages

  • Stage 1 - May 9: Fayetteville-Fayetteville, 113/70 miles; 5,400ft/3,500ft climbing (M/W)
  • Stage 2 - May 10: Fayetteville-Fayetteville, 92/68 miles; 6,000ft/4,500ft
  • Stage 3 - May 10: Devil's Den State Park Hill climb ITT, 2.5 miles; 900ft
  • Stage 4 - May 11: Fayetteville Criterium, 90 minutes + 3 laps/60 minutes + 3 laps