Mary McConneloug posted the most awesome World Cup
result of her career on Saturday, coming in second in
Calgary, earning 130 UCI points. This finish has to
be considered a win in what has become the race for
second place in the wake of the unbeatable 2004 World
Cup Champion, Norwegian Gunn-Rita Dahle.
After pulling off a strong start, Susan Haywood
suffered a series of first lap crashes that knocked
her back as far as 19th place. She then battled her
way back to 15th by the finish, gaining 75 UCI points.
Crashes have certainly had an effect on the U.S.
women's Olympic mtb situation. Obviously Alison
Dunlap's horrific crash at Snowshoe all but ended her
Olympic bid. That slip, combined with several other
factors, reduced our Olympic squad from three women to
only one.
UCI points on July 12th:
Mary McConneloug 1411
Susan Haywood 1370
(includes 2003 Sandpoint, ID short-track mystery
McConneloug now has a 41 point lead going into the
Marathon World Championships next Sunday. Haywood
will have to score a huge result in Austria to
overcome the deficit.
Add into the mix the unique starting procedure the UCI
has cooked up and things get more interesting,
especially for the men. The starting order goes like
1) the current World Marathon (MX) Champion Maja
Wloszczowska / Thomas Frischknecht
2) the current World XC Champion Sabine Spitz/
Filip Meirhaeghe
3) the current Olympic MTB Champion Paola Pezzo/
Miguel Martinez
4) former World XC Champions Gunn-Rita Dahle
5) former Olympic MTB Champions Bart Brentjens
6) the top 50 in the general classification of the
World Marathon Series. Now here is where it gets
interesting. There have been only two events so far
in this new series. The first one was on June 19,
2004 in France and the second in Canada on June 20,
2004. The World Cup XC #4 in Austria was also on June
20, 2004. Results from the Canadian MX race are
available but not from France, nor is there a "general
classification" to be found anywhere. How anyone did
both of these events to form a general classification
is a mystery, but the UCI seems to be good at mystery.
For the women, that is probably not a problem since
only four finished the Canadian MX. For the men,
expect to see about 50 guys you never heard of, mostly
French and Quebecois lining up in front of you. The
women may see the Brazilian Jaqueline Mourau, Leslie
Tomlinson and Melissa Thomas line up with whoever
raced in France.
7) the top 50 riders on National teams based on their
current UCI rankings. This is where McConneloug,
Haywood, Jeremiah Bishop and Michael Broderick will
find themselves.
8) 51st and up in the World Marathon Series
9) everyone else in order of their arrival in the
start area! God help the poor souls in the men's
event who fall in this category. This year's event
will also feature separate starts for the women and
men. Last year they all started mixed together for a
real cluster.
It doesn't look like the two North American former
World Champions, Alison Dunlap and Alison Sydor, will
be lining up for this event. Both champions opted to
go home for a while, a place neither of them has seen
much of this year. It is hard to fault Dunlap for not
making her fourth trans-Atlantic journey in less than
four months.
Everyone wants to know what is happening in the U.S.
men's Olympic race. According to last weeks official
UCI rankings (which do not account for the missing
mystery races like the 2003 Big Bear, CA, 2003
Sandpoint, ID and some 2004 results) it looks like
Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski has the first automatic
nomination based on UCI ranking and Todd Wells has the
second nomination based on World Cup rankings.
Jeremiah Bishop planned to contest the Marathon World
Championships on Sunday. Hopefully the two-time
Shenandoah 100 champion will go, because he is good at
long distances. Even with a win worth 200 UCI points,
it would be impossible for him to catch JHK in the UCI
rankings, if the rankings are correct.
Good luck to all the brave racers in the Marathon
World championships!
Matt Marcus
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