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Results and Reports from Canada
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Blizzard Bike Club Spring Stage Race
Fort St. John, BC, April 17-21, 2003
By Pat Ferris
The event started in 1986. It was originally a nine race series to get the Blizzard Team ready for the Ras Tailtean stage race in Ireland. Bill Scott was the first overall winner.
There are other active previous winners also competing for the trophy. Dave Damery won it in 2001. Tim Ferris won it in 1997. Pat Ferris has won it four times, in 1987, 1989, 1992 and 1993.
Lisa Verbisky has been the dominant force for the Women's trophy. She was won it four times in a row, from 1999 to the present. Tammy Howes will be out for the win, as well. Robert Martens is the defending 2002 champion. He has also won it in 2000 and co-won it with Kris St. Jean in 1999.
Report from April 20
After four stages, nothing is settled in the race for the Spring Stage Race Trophy. 2001 winner Dave Damery and three-time winner Robert Martens are deadlocked in a battle for the win and both are tied with 17 points. Trevor McDonell is having his best ever showing by holding down second place with 14 points.
Tammy Howes is the leader in the Women's with 19 points followed by past four-time winner Lisa Verbisky. Tessa Bilodeau is third at 9 points.
Report from April 21
A group of 14 riders left the start line at Beatton Regional Park under warm, windless and sunny conditions, unusual for this time of year. At the first steep bridge in the climb Dave Damery and Vaughn Hilderbrand sped away with Trevor McDonell and Stephen Ferris struggling to stay in contact. The remaining pack strung out behind them.
Damery and Hildebrand, two Club Hillclimb Champions, then pulled away for a big lead. Vaughn Hildebrand attacked on the false flat before the final climb and was all alone for the win.
After five stages, 2001 winner Dave Damery is in the lead with 21 points. Three-time winner Robert Martens and Trevor McDonell are both tied for second with 17 points each. Vaughn Hildebrand has 7 points for third and Pat Ferris has 6 for 4th. Mike Hientzman and Richard Howes have 3 each for 5th.
Tammy Howes is the leader in the Women's with 24 points followed by past four-time winner Lisa Verbisky who has 14. Tessa Bilodeau is third at 9 points.
Stephen Ferris leads the Under 19 for a perfect 25 points. Gilbert Bilodeau has 12 points for second. The last event is Stage #6, next Thursday. This is a 16km time trial and will decide the winners.
The Women's and Under 19 are decided but the Men's winner is not. Robert Martens needs a big win in Stage #6 with Dave Damery out of the points to tie for the trophy.
Stage 1 - April 17: Baldonnel School ITT, 16 km
Men 1 Stephen Ferris 25.35 2 Dave Damery 0.01 3 Robert Martens 0.44 4 Trevor McDonell 1.43 5 Mike Hientzman 2.22 Women 1 Tammy Howes 31.04 2 Lisa Verbisky 0.51 3 Angela Maull 4.43
Stage 2 - April 18: Top Montney to Montney Store, 40 km
Men 1 Dave Damery 1.34.16 2 Trevor McDonell 0.17 3 Robert Martens 1.01 Women 1 Tammy Howes 1.55.35 2 Lisa Verbisky 12.10 3 Erin Drummond 27.19
Stage 3 - April 19: Baldonnel School, 32 km
Men 1 Robert Martens 1.00.13 2 Dave Damery 3 Stephen Ferris Women 1 Tessa Bilodeau 1.04.03 2 Tammy Howes 3 Lisa Verbisky 3.25
Stage 4 - April 20: Cecil Lake, 60/30 km
Men 1 Robert Martens 1.43.36 2 Trevor McDonell 3 Stephen Ferris 4 Dave Damery 5 Pat Ferris Women 1 Tammy Howes 1.49.24 2 Tessa Bilodeau 8.47 3 Lisa Verbisky 14.19
Stage 5 - April 21: Beatton Regional Hill Climb, 5 km
Men 1 Vaughn Hildebrand 21.48 2 Dave Damery 0.09 3 Trevor McDonell 0.23 4 Stephen Ferris 0.49 5 Richard Howes Women 1 Tammy Howes 24.30
Stage 6: Baldonnel School ITT, 16 km