Martinez, Fullana Top Italian World Cup.|
Wednesday, May 17, 2000
MAY 14, 2000 -- The U.S. women continued their charge through the mountain bike World Cup Series Sunday, as three American women placed in the top 10 at the fifth round, May 14, in Sarentino, Italy. Current World Cup Series leader Alison Dunlap (Colorado Springs, Colo. -- Team GT) took fourth, while fellow 2000 U.S. Olympic Long Team members Ruthie Matthes (Durango, Colo. -- Trek-Volkswagen) and Ann Trombley (Golden, Colo. -- Team Koulius Zaard) were sixth and seventh, respectively.
Reigning 1999 world champion Marga Fullana (Spain) won the women's race by a blistering five minutes, while '96 Olympian Miguel Martinez (France) won the men's event. The World Cup Series is organized by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the sport's international governing body.
Fullana took an early lead, putting 30 seconds on the field in the first half-lap. Dunlap, the '99 Pan American Games gold medalist and national cross-country champion, rode in sixth until the third lap, when she moved up to fourth. Matthes, a three-time national champion and '91 world mountain bike champion, also made her charge during lap three, taking over the sixth spot. In seventh place, Trombley put in her career-best World Cup performance.
With her finish in Italy, Dunlap hangs on to the overall World Cup leader's jersey. Matthes holds strong at 11th overall and Trombley stands at 12th.
The U.S. men faced one of their toughest days, with no Americans finishing the race. '99 Pan American Games gold medalist and Olympic Long Team member Steve Larsen (Jacksonville, Ore. -- LL Bean/Mongoose) flew home earlier in the week and did not compete Sunday due to illness. Fellow Olympic Long Team member and '99 national cross-country champion Travis Brown (Boulder, Colo. -- Trek-Volkswagen) is still recovering from knee surgery at home.
In the UCI world rankings, Dunlap, who was ranked number one May 1, falls to second behind Swiss rider Barbara Blatter. Matthes is eighth, and Trombley jumps six places to 15th. Tinker Juarez, Downey, Calif. (Volvo-Cannondale) continues to be the top American man at 40th.
U.S. riders return to the United States this week to compete at the season opener of the Chevy Trucks National Off-Road Bicycle Association (NORBA) National Championship Series, May 19-21, in Snow Summit, Calif. The next international event is the 2000 World Mountain Bike Championships, June 7-11 in Sierra Nevada, Spain.
Women: 1. Marga Fullana, Spain (Subaru-Specialized) at 1 hour, 53 minutes and 47 seconds; 2. Barbara Blatter, Switzerland (Scott USA) @ 5:15 back; 3. Alison Sydor, Vancouver, BC, Canada (Volvo-Cannondale) @ 5:57.
Men: 1. Miguel Martinez, France (Full Dynamix) at 2 hours, 12 minutes and 21 seconds; 2. Marco Bui, Italy (Full Dynamix) @ :34 back; 3. Christophe Dupouey, France (Giant) @ 2:07.