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OBC Grand Prix

Ottawa, Saturday July 17, 2004

By Scott Gerrie

It was a beautiful day in Ottawa despite the weatherman's dire prediction for rain. Team Biovail/Cervélo was represented by Anna Garnett, Rhonda Guzda, Leigh Hobson and Jennifer Stephenson. Everyone was anxious to get to the start line on time this year after many racers missed their start in 2003. The Ottawa Bicycle Club did a phenomenal job staging and starting all sixteen races in 12 minutes! The race is a 21 km closed circuit through the picturesque Laurentian Hills overlooking the Ottawa River.

The women's race started with the Master Men 40+. The first time up the climb everyone had a chance to enjoy the rolling terrain and vistas of the Gatineau. Hoping to get away on the second climb Rhonda went off the front, however the men responded quickly and a set a lively pace up the Fortune Lake climb. The field split on the climb but Leigh and Jen drilled it up the hill putting them in top positions. The group was reduced considerably and the pace was high for the rest of the second and third laps. At the end of the third lap the lead group caught another large group of stragglers from many of the other races. Near the beginning of the final climb the groups joined together. Leigh grasped this opportunity to hammer to the front and secure first place for Team Biovail/Cervélo. Stephenson took a beating up the final climb but thanks to support from her teammate Mark Davies and mate (Kiwi Mike!) she held her own and rode in for second. The rest of Team Biovail/Cervélo finished strong in the main bunch; rounding out the top ten with 9th and 10th place finishes for Rhonda and Anna respectively. The Race was over before 10:30 am because of the early start time and the team was left to enjoy a gorgeous day in the Nation's Capital.

Local results 2004