Posted by Editoress on 08/2/01
Tour de 'Toona: Team Reports for Prologue and Stage 1
The Navigators Cycling Team started the 2001 Tour de 'Toona with a strong showing in the 3mi. prologue Tuesday evening. Vassili Davidenko, Chris Baldwin and Kirk O'Bee placed 4th, 5th and 6th on the flat, downtown criterium-like course in Altoona, Pennsylvania, highlighting the depth of form the Navigators squad are bringing to the event. Mercury's sprinting specialist Gord Fraser took the honors followed by Eric Wohlberg (Saturn) and Derek Bouchard-Hall (Mercury) as the 6-day, 6-stage event got underway in this hilly, Western Pennsylvania town.
Wednesday, the riders faced 74mi. of hilly terrain in the Johnstown Circuit race. Several large groups attacked and were able to stay in the clear for short periods throughout the race. Expectedly, the Mercury team was protecting Fraser's slim lead and each escape was reeled back in. Near the end, a small group escaped the peloton's grip and finished about 30-seconds clear. Navigators' Chris Baldwin just missed the podium in the ensuing sprint and had to settle for 4th, following his successful bid for the leader's jersey in the King Of the Mountain (KOM) competition. At the finish, it was Ivan Dominguez (Saturn) followed by teammate Harm Jansen, then John Peters (Mercury) in 3rd. (all results are unofficial as of press time).
The action continues today with the 60mi. Hollidaysburg Circuit Race.
The Tour de 'Toona kicked off in the downtown streets of Altoona, PA yesterday. Returning to the race to defend her Title of the 2000 event, Lyne Bessette and her Saturn teammates will have their work cut out for them. Outnumbered and facing some of the toughest North American cyclists, the team of four will be competing against Genevieve Jeanson and the RONA Team as well as a full Autotrader.com squad. The Saturn Men face a similar situation, with the Mercury Team bringing a complete roster.
The Saturn Team was off to a great start however, with Lyne Bessette and Eric Wohlberg both finishing second in the short prologue. Held in the downtown, the technical course usually compliments the sprinters. However, fresh off his stunning Canadian National Time Trial Championship win, Wohlberg narrowly missed winning the event by a scant 5/100th of a second, finishing second to Mercury's Gord Fraser. His Saturn Teammate Bessette, also recently crowned National Time Trial Champion, also finished second. Jeanson won with a time of 5:39.
The first stage was a circuit race which started and finished in Johnstown, PA. The Saturn Men rode the race aggressively from start to finish. The men completed three of the 24-mile laps, on a rolling course that featured only one significant hill. The first two laps saw two separate breaks orchestrated by the Saturn Team. Although the second break gained a maximum time of 1:30 on the main group, the peloton was eager to race and brought the small group containing Mark McCormack and Harm Jansen back to the fold. However, the last time up the hill and with 20 kilometers left, Saturn teammates Jansen, Wohlberg and Ivan Dominguez attacked and pushed a breakaway of thirteen clear of the peloton. Coming into the finish, it was Dominguez taking the win after an excellent lead out by Jansen, who still managed to finish second over Mercury's Mike Sayers. The break held an advantage of 25 second at the finish over the peloton giving Wohlberg the overall lead. His Saturn Teammates, Jansen and Dominguez sit second and third respectively, which will give the Saturn Team a lot of options in the remaining four days of racing.
The women's Johnstown Circuit Race was held on the same course and the women race the same distance. The Tour de Toona is the only stage race in the United States where the professional women race the same courses and the same distance as the professional men, and all for the same prize money. However, in the women's second stage there was not as much aggressive riding as the main field was content to keep it together for a field sprint. The Saturn women nevertheless tried to attack and get something up the road but in the end it came down to a field sprint, which suited the Saturn women just as well. Bessette won the field sprint crediting her teammate Kim Davidge who placed 4th with an excellent lead out. Autotrader's Tina Mayolo was second and Jeanson finished third. Bessette's time bonus for the win was enough to overcome her young compatriot for the yellow leaders jersey.
1. Gord Fraser, Mercury
2. Eric Wohlberg, Saturn Cycling Team
3. Derek Bouchard-Hall, Mercury
1. Genevève Jeanson-Team RONA 5:39
2. Lyne Bessette-Saturn Cycling Team 5:46
3. Katrina Berger-AutoTrader.com 5:46
Stage 1: Johnstown Circuit RR 70m
1. Ivan Dominguez Saturn Cycling Team
2. Harm Jansen Saturn Cycling Team st
3. Mike Sayers Mercury st
1. Eric Wohlberg Saturn Cycling Team
2. Harm Jansen Saturn Cycling Team at 0:03
3. Ivan Dominguez Saturn Cycling Team 0:05 sec
Stage 1: Johnstown Circuit Race 70 miles
1. Lynn Bessette Saturn Cycling Team
2. Tina Mayolo Autotrader.com st
3. Geneviève Jeanson RONA st
1. Lynn Bessette Saturn Cycling Team
2. Geneviève Jeanson RONA at 0:03
|Return to Canadian Cyclist homepage | Back to Top|