Fitchburg Longsjo Classic 2000 Report
By Various Team Members
We had Eugene and Tim in the pro-1-2, Gary, Keith and Simon in the 3s and JT, Kurt and Paul in the 35+. And all went well.
The most interesting race was probably the 3s, with Simon winning the opening time trial.
He lost the leaders jersey in the circuit race, in which Keith got top ten and there being a fair amount of chaos, with the field sprinting twice on subsequent laps (leading to a much discussed 30mph average speed, which is mistaken -- the race was fast, but not that fast). The new leader was an Australian (not ours) named Kristjan Snorrason. Do a search on him at www.cycingnews.com -- it's interesting. And Mihael calls Simon, with a new baby, a big job with a lot of travel and a mortgage a sandbagger!
Our guys were good in the third stage road race, where Josh Davison of CRCA-Dash.com-Renaissance made the top ten.
If Simon could win the final stage criterium he would have got the overall back -- and he, Keith and Gary were very prominent at the front of the field. Instead Snorrson won decisively, with Simon an excellent fifth and Keith on the podium again in this stage with third.
In the masters our guys were all players, with Kurt getting fifth both in the circuit race -- after launching the decisive move -- and in road race, plus ninth overall. And Paul got 12th in the circuit race.
The overall and two stages were won by ex-Subaru rider Jim Copeland, who was in town mainly to coach Mercury's elite junior team (which was well beaten by CRCA-Hot Tubes riders, with Dan Wolfson taking the first stage and his teammate Dustin Rademacher taking the rest, with the two ending up first and second on final GC).
Copeland's power was impressive -- Kurt admitted to thinking "What have I got myself into?" when Copeland joined him on stage two.
We were also very impressed by Enrique Cubillo of CRCA-Keith Haring who rode into second place after joining the break on stage two and also being one of only two guys to get away with Copeland in the road race.
The pro-am was as usual wicked fast because, except for USPS, all the US pro teams were there. Eugene finished OK as expected, while Tim was super, with his best ever time trial and staying very near the front in the circuit and road races, though a flat in the circuit race cost him about eleven minutes. He ended up 79th overall but would have been about 40th without the flat. Inson Wood was really strong in the pro-am too and finished an outstanding 56th. And a number of CRCA-ReMax guys and Breakaway Courier guys were in it as well.
We also had flats in the 3s (Keith in the TT) and 35+ (JT who lost a tire in an off-road excursion in the third stage). But that was not really bad luck compared to some other riders. CCB's Tim Johnson lost the memory of three days of his life after hitting a pole at over 40mph in the road race! No broken bones though. And in the women's 4s CRCA-Women's Sports & Fitness' Stephanie Bleecher laid it down while trying to rejoin the field (and hold onto her GC spot) after a flat in the circuit race.
And then there were people who really made their own bad luck, with a number of riders in the pro-1-2 missing the start of the road race and having to chase from the gun...or hiding in the bushes and taking a ten-mile lap out...
We didn't see as much of the other races as we would have liked, but did catch a lot of the three women's fields in the circuit race and criterium. The club's women seemed really active and aggressive despite, in the 4s, a large number of crashes and, in the pro-am, an impressive international field. Which included one of our heroines, Elizabeth Emery.
Among the good performances were new rider and club member Hannah Robson (WS&F), who was second in the road race in the 4s and fourth overall, Beth Renaud (also WS&F) third overall in her first stage race as a 3 and Deirdre Murphy getting top ten in the criterium in the pro-am.
Full result are at www.longsjo.com/results00.html