Women's Finish the Subject of Protests
After a race that included many strong attacks but no successful breakaways, the Northshore Inline Marathon ended in a field sprint today with Fila's Luca Saggiorato finishing first, just ahead of teammate Massimiliano Presti.
Down the final turn to the finish, the men reached speeds of about 40 miles per hour, said the Northshore's media director Ed Koch.
"It was exciting," he said.
The first seven men across the line finished within one second of each other.
Bont International's Francesco Zangarini finished third with Rollerblade's Jorge Botero just behind him.
Then came two U.S. men: Powerslide's Joey Mantia, recently back from the World Championships in China, where he won the marathon; and Hyper's Dane Lewis. (See full results.)
Women's Grab Fest
The women's race also ended in a field sprint. But while the men finished cleanly, the women's race ended in what Bont's Bill Begg described as a "grab fest."
Hyper's Celilia Baena won the race.
Finishing in second place, but with an identical time, was the young U.S. star Brittany Bowe, who races for Powerslide.
Briggyte Mendez of the K2-Empire team finished third.
After the race, a few teams filed protests, alleging interference on the part of the Colombian women.
So far, there is no word on the outcome of the protests.
Nice Day for Racing
Conditions this morning were nearly ideal for racing: cloudy skies and a temperature in the mid-50s (F).
There was no wind and as a result little chance of anyone breaking the course record of 57 minutes and 18 seconds, which Chad Hedrick set in 1998 with a healthy tail wind behind him. (Saggiorato's time today was 1:03:07.7)
After the start of today's race, two packs quickly formed at the front of the field, said Bont's Glenn Koshi.
The lead pack consisted of men from the World Inline Cup circuit (minus the Saab-Salomon skaters, who skipped the race).
Chasing them was a pack of pro men skaters.
For most of the race, the packs stayed separate, Koshi said. But eventually the pro men's pack caught up and joined the World Cup skaters.
The action in the lead pack was fast and furious, said Bill Begg, who observed the race from the pace car.
"It was a real tough race," he said. "There were attacks all the time. There were people away (on breaks) all the time.
Rollerblade's Shane Dobbin was the first man to take a lead, Begg said. But the pack quickly swallowed him up.
Mantia was also attacking regularly, Begg said. "He was as smooth as silk."
Copyright © 2005 by Robert Burnson
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