September 29, 2007 (Coquitlam, BC) – Approximately 100 racers took part in the second annual Escape Velocity Grand Prix of Cyclocross today in the heart of Coquitlam. The Kids and Men’s C race took part under cloudy skies. A brief but intense rain shower preceded the Women’s A and Men’s B race, adding just enough moisture to make the grassy, technical course a little more difficult.
In the Men’s C race, Joel Lemaire (Mighty Rider’s) dominated the field with Kalle Karu second and Alex Cogger (Brake Bikes) third. Perhaps even more impressive was the riding of 70’s retro rider John Starcevic, who showed off his skills by clearing the double jumps in the BMX track portion of the course on his “˜cross bike!!
In the Women’s C race, Lesley “Trivianni” Trivett opened up an early lead only to flat on the first lap. Although Trivianni had an incredibly quick wheel change, the mechanical allowed CÃ©line Dennis to take over the lead where she held strong to take the win. Stania Juriga (Chicks Cycling) rounded out the top three.
In the hotly contested Men’s B race, Clayton Sansbury (Masi / Adobe) once again dominated the field. Youngster up-and-comer Sebastien Sleep held off Escape Velocity’s own hard charging Duncan Steele for second. After the race Mr. Steele said: “I would have won for sure if the stairs weren’t so hard”.
In the Women’s A race local legend, Olympic Silver medalist and three time world mountain bike champion Alison Sydor (Rocky Mountain/Haywood) bested a tough field of riders, with Dawn Berg (Oak Bay Bikes) second and Jean Ann McKirdy (Local Ride) third.
In the main event of the day, the Men’s A race, a surprise at the starting line was international cyclocross star and Danish National Champion, Joachim Parbo (CCV Protek). Parbo, fresh off of competing in several recent International Cycling Union (UCI) cyclocross races in the United States and in Vancouver to host a cyclocross clinic at Jericho Park, decided to test his skills and fitness against the local riders. However, also at the starting line was British Columbia resident and international mountain bike under-23 2006 World Cup medalist Max Plaxton (Rocky Mountain/Haywood). Plaxton, the 2007 Cheakamus Challenge mountain bike Elite Men’s winner, seemed reluctant to sign on for the race but some cajoling from teammate Alison Sydor just before the start convinced him to enter.
After a fast start, a group of four riders formed early on consisting of Parbo, Plaxton, Kevin Noiles (Norco) and Tyler Trace (Lazy Boy). However, as the race wore on Parbo and Plaxton quickly distanced themselves from Noiles and Trace. The battle for first came down to a duel between Parbo’s pure power and Plaxton’s technical riding skills. In the sand pit sections of the course, Parbo was able to use his cyclocross skills, particularly his smooth dismounts and powerful running, to get ahead of Plaxton who would plod along, pushing his bike, instead of using the traditional “over the shoulder” cyclocross bike carry method. However, Plaxton would use his mountain bike handling skills to catch back up through the technically demanding single track sections and on the BMX track. This back and forth battle continued for several laps through the race. On the final lap, Plaxton made a bold move on the BMX track to pull ahead of Parbo and just barely held off the charging Parbo at the finish line for the win. The race for third and fourth was also hotly contested seesaw battle between Noiles and Trace, with the technically savvy Nolies finishing third.
Escape Velocity would like to thank the City of Coquitlam for their kind support in providing this fabulous venue for the races. A special thanks also goes out to Powerbar, Louis Garneau and La Bicicletta for their generous support of this event.
Please stay tuned for our next race “Crossquitlam!” on November 3, 2007.
1. Max Plaxton (Rocky Mountain/Haywood)
2. Joachim Parbo (CCV Protek)
3. Kevin Noiles (Red Truck)
1. Alison Sydor (Rocky Mountain/Haywood)
2. Dawn Berg (Oak Bay Bikes)
3. Jean Ann McKirdy (Rocky Mountain)
1. Clayton Sansbury (Masi-Adobe)
2. Sebastian Sleep (Sunshine Coast)
3. Duncan Steele (Escape Velocity)
1. CÃ©line Dennis
2. Lesley Trivett (Wedgewood)
3. Stania Juriga (Chicks Cycling)
1. Joel Lemaire (Mighty Riders)
2. Kalle Karu
3. Alex Cogger (Brake Bikes)
For complete details visit www.escapevelocity.bc.ca/gpcx
About Escape Velocity
Founded in August 1989, Team Escape Velocity is a Vancouver, BC based cycling club committed to promoting and developing the sport of cycling in Canada. With membership ranging from novice Category 5 riders to Canadian National Team members and North American champions, we pride ourselves in our community involvement, race organization, youth development, and leadership activities. For more information on EV see: www.escapevelocity.bc.ca.