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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The Final Shoe Falls?

The Road to the Val di Sol Starting Line doesn't end at a point on a map. The words with an arrow saying YOU ARE HERE don't guarantee that you are; certainly not on this trip. It is not enough that travel was encumbered due to all the lame airline snafu's you could think of but it's effects were taxing. John made it to the Relay and put in a fine effort in his first race at such an ethereal level. He did us proud but felt in his heart it was not this best effort.

John said that this course was the most technical he had ever raced. He said it just "chews up bike parts". I looked at the photos and the riders looked pretty clean to me but I'm not there. Actual pictures of the course are clearly not up to NorCal standards. In any case John is the one riding, not me. There are some on-course photos away from Start Finish here:

http://valdisole2008.pentaphoto.it/

and here:

http://www.mtbvaldisole2008.it/interne/cross_country_interna.ashx?id=7259

Tuesday night was slated for full-on Olympic style sleeping and I'm sure that was welcome. However, there is more to this story. Lest you think all is calm there was some alarming news. Upon close inspection John's Orbea frame appeared to be cracked in the rear triangle. Fortunately the Orbea folk were on hand and gave him a new frame and the bike was built up. They were at a loss to understand the damage or its cause. For my part I still suspect the customs guys manhandling the bikes in transit. That is my story and I'm sticking to it!

Anyhow, John went out with the other Juniors for some old fashioned mountain biking. Joining him were Kerry Werner who won the automatic spot with his victory at Greenbriar, with Robbie Squire (Sandy, Utah) and Seamus Powell (Round Top, N.Y.) who raced at Greenbriar and Santa Ynez. The weather is dryer with temps near 80 degrees with occasional clouds. There was post-ride napping and later, cheering the Under 23 and Under 18 Girls races. Junior Deirdre York represented in a 3 lap race on the same course as the Relay yesterday. A whopping 6 Dnf's were recorded out of 45 young women. Deirdre started slowly but pulled back in laps 2 and three to finish 33rd. Columbian Laura Abril took the victory. Jill Behlen was slated to start 16th for the 18 unders but I saw no data that she ever hit the starting line.

John said that the course was drying but there were places where the girls ran their bikes through mud. He says that the best place to do any passing is on the climbs (how many times has Matt said the race is won on the climbs?) and the downhills don't offer much for passing. I imagine that those Euro boys can climb but if John says that is where he is going to try to pass I believe him. It should be a very exciting race. By the time we wake up tomorrow we should have some results of John's race.

All our best wishes go with him. NorCal and El Cerrito Racing represent at the Worlds!!!!

Michael Mejia
 

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Always Learning
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LMN said:
If you want lap by lap updates on the race go to.

www.canadiancyclist.com
Looks like the usual total domination by European mountain bikers again:

The sun continues to shine as the junior men line up for their 5 lap race. 102 is the size of the field a very large one..

Lap 1 Arnaud Jouffroy (France) is at the front of a long line as they head up the first climb. Canada's Evan Guthrie is sitting ~ 30th.

Lap 2 On the first climb it is now Peter Sagan (Slovakia) at the front followed by Jouffroy, Alexander Gehbauer (Austria), Matthias Rupp (Switzerland) and Jonas De Backer (Belgium). Still a steady line of riders. Evan Guthrie (Canada) sitting 63rd, Tyson Wagler (Canada) 80th and Jonathan Boucher (Canada) 91st.

At the end of the lap, It is Jouffroy and Sagan together in the lead with a 30 second gap on Gehbauer then Rupp at 40 seconds. At another 30 seconds is Luca Braidot (Italy) and then shortly after De Backer and then Henk Moorlag (Netherlands) in 7th.

Lap 3 At ~ 1.5 km into the lap, just before the climb . The laps are FAST- about 18 minutes it is taking the top juniors to cover 1 lap. Sagen has a 23 sec gap on Jouffroy. Rupp is at 1:50 and then Braidot in 4th at 2:30 and Fabian Strecker (Germany) 5th but nearly 3 min down on leaders. Guthrie moving up and is now 50th, Wagler 71st and Boucher 73rd.

At the end of the lap Sagen and Jouffroy about the same. Rupp now at 1:55. Braidot in 4th still at 2:25 and then Strecker 5th at 3:05.

Lap 4 1 km into the lap it is Sagen with Jouffroy at 1 minute. Rupp at 3 minutes. Braidot has been joined by Strecker and they are at 4:10. Guthrie now up to 43rd but is 10:30 back. Wagler 63rd, Boucher 67th.

Midway : Sagen with Jouffrey at 1:10. Rupp at 3:06. Braidot and Strecker at 4:20. Mirco Widmer (Switzerland) in 6th

Last Lap Sagen has opened up the gap to Jouffrey now at 1:30. Rupp now at 2:57. The race is now on for the 4th spot as Braidot, Strecker and Widmer are all together at 5 min. With Moorlag in 7th at 5:30.
Guthrie 46th at 13:49

Final

Unofficial
1 Peter Sagan (Slovakia)
2 Arnaud Jouffroy (France)
3 Matthias Rupp (Switzerland)
4 Fabian Strecker (Germany)
5 Mirco Widmer (Switzerland)
6 Luca Braidot (Italy)
7 Henk Moorlag (Netherlands)
8 Marcus Schulte-Luenzum (Germany)
9 Mattthias Stirnemann (Switzerland)
10 Marek Konwa (Poland)
11 Martin Gluth (Germany)

45. Evan Guthrie (Canada)
all other Canadians pulled before final lap
 

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It's about showing up.
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
John's result at the World's

4 am

El Cerrito Racing's John Bennett was 16th at the Starting Line at the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships 18-Under Division. In the flurry of the start John was impacted from a rider behind him jamming his brake and he dropped to 56th by the second lap, pacing with fellow rider Robbie Squire. John, along with 2 other Americans, was pulled from the race at the end of the 3rd lap. John finished 83 of 119.

More to come later.

Michael Mejia
Director, El Cerrito Racing
 

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88 rex said:
5 laps!!! Was this a short track event?
Welcome to racing outside the US. US racing is know for it's crazy long laps.

I always tell the juniors when they head to worlds that they will be shocked at how fast the field is. I also say don't get too concerened, when Geoff Kabush went to worlds as a junior he was lit up like a Christmass tree. He was patient stuck and after years of hardwork became the rider he is today.
 

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Jam Econo
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Berkeley Mike said:
4 am

El Cerrito Racing's John Bennett was 16th at the Starting Line at the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships 18-Under Division. In the flurry of the start John was impacted from a rider behind him jamming his brake and he dropped to 56th by the second lap, pacing with fellow rider Robbie Squire. John, along with 2 other Americans, was pulled from the race at the end of the 3rd lap. John finished 83 of 119.

More to come later.

Michael Mejia
Director, El Cerrito Racing
That's a bummer! Hand of fate, totally out of his control.
 
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