Thursday, June 12, 2008

Tour de PEI - Day 4

Cyclist escapes 'disaster'
Seehafer keeps the yellow jersey as the overall leader despite a major spill
during Stage 4 of the Tour de P.E.I.

The Guardian

A major spill on Wednesday nearly cost American Kori-Kelley Seehafer the yellow jersey for the overall lead during Stage 4 of the Tour de P.E.I.

Cuba’s Dalila Gonzalez finished first, with a time of three hours, 18 minutes and 49 seconds, but Seehafer retained the yellow jersey.

“That would have been a major disaster for the race,” one of the race officials said when it was announced at the finish line in Stratford that Seehafer had crashed.

A half hour after crossing the finish line, Seehafer, who finished 34th on Wednesday, was still quite shaken up.

“I don't feel too (good) right now, I’m really dizzy,” Seehafer told The Guardian. “I landed on my head. I definitely cracked my helmet in half. I landed straight on my head.”

Gonzalez is a member of the Cuban national team, while Seehafer is a member of Menikini-Selle Italia/Master Color of Italy.

Overall, Seehafer is followed by Menikini teammate Nathalie Bates, in second position at 16 seconds, and the young Trine Schmidt of Denmark, in third place at 2 minutes 24 seconds.

Australian Rochelle Gilmore, also of the Menikini team, finished second, followed by German Tanja Hennes of Specialized Design for Women.

Merrill Collins of Team Ontario) held onto the best Canadian jersey and is currently seventh overall.

Gilmore and Bates maintained the best sprinter and best climber jerseys, respectively.

In the team race, Menikini still leads, with the Cuban national team in second place.

Wednesday’s stage began on the north shore, departing from Dalvay-by-the-Sea at 2 p.m. The route took the cyclists on a 120-kilometre tour through Tracadie, Mount Stewart and Montague.

The peloton continued south over the hills of Orwell, Cherry Valley and Pownal before the lead racers crossed the finish line around 5:30 p.m.

Tour de P.E.I. is a five-stage international women's cycling event.

Downtown Charlottetown comes to life today as the cyclists race at top speeds around a one-kilometre circuit in the city centre in the final stage of the race.

The action will start at 5:30 p.m. on Grafton Street, in front of the Confederation Court Mall, with the peloton looping east and then south on Prince Street, west along Sydney Street, and north on Queen Street, past Victoria Row, in a criterium totalling 49.25 kilometres.

Cyclists battled very strong head winds on Wednesday, especially around Montague.

By the time Seehafer got back up, she was approximately three minutes behind the leader. Any more time down and it could have cost her the yellow jersey.

With the help of at least one of her Menikini teammates, Seehafer made up significant ground.

“We were just trying to keep it together as a unit and control the day because we have a lot (at stake).”

Seehafer said in addition to her injuries, she had to wait while her bicycle was fixed (the crash bent her handlebars).

“You just try and relax. Your teammates will drop back to help you if you need help. I stayed pretty calm but it was hard because I wasn't fully there. I think I have a bit of a concussion.”

Seehafer said she’ll be good to go in today's final stage, which will be followed by the awards ceremony at 7 p.m.

(More tour results available at


Top Five Overall

Finishers In Stage 4

1. Dalila Rodriguex, Cuban National Team.

2. Rochelle Gilmore, Menikini-Selle Ialia.

3. Tanja Hennes, Specialized Design for Woman.

4. Fiona Dutriaux, Vienne Futuroscope.

5. Sophie Creux, ESGL 93 GSD Gestion.

Top Five Canadian

Finishers In Stage 4

1. Jenny Trew, Atlantic Cycling Centre, eighth overall.

2. Joanie Caron, Equipe Cascades, ninth overall.

3. Merrill Collins, Provincial Team Ontario, 13th overall.

3. Joelle Numainville, ESGL?93 GSD Gestion, 15th overall.

4. Heather Logan, Provincial Team Ontario, 20th.

5. Mathilde Hupin, Specialized Carrefour/Multisport Mazda, 21st overall.

Today’s Final Stage

A 50-lap, one-kilometre circuit through the streets of Charlottetown, begins at 5:30 p.m.

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