June 9/97 7:44 am - Thrift Drug, Norba National #2
Posted by Editor on 06/9/97
Kurreck, McCormack Win As Americans Sweep Thrift Drug Classic
-- USA Cycling Press Release --
PITTSBURGH, Pa. -- Despite the presence of some of the worldâ€šs top riders, Americans held forth and won both races at the Thrift Drug Classic Sunday.
Karen Kurreck (Klein), Cupertino, Calif., won the initial womenÃs USPRO Championship while Frank McCormack (Saturn), Leicester, Mass., led a strong
showing by his team to win the menÃs race.
Kurreck bested a field which included Olympic time trial champion Zulfia Zabirova (Dream Team) of Russia, Tour de Lâ€šAude champion Linda Jackson (Saeco-Timex) of Canada, and a host of top Lithuanian riders. After seven laps on the lower criterium-like circuit were controlled by the top teams -- Klein, Saturn and the Dream Team -- the riders hit the daunting Sycamore Street climb, an imposing 350 feet of elevation gain in one-half mile. The field was quickly shattered to eight riders, including two Americans, Kurreck and Louisa Jenkins (Shaklee), Boulder, Colo. Zabirova, Canadian Sue Palmer (Saturn) and three Lithuanians, Edita Pucinskaite and twins Rasa and Jolanta Polikeviciute, were among the lead group. Two more riders, Jackson and her
teammate, Redlands champion Susy Pryde of New Zealand, joined the lead pack on the back side of the course.
The second trip up Sycamore Street reduced the lead pack to five -- Kurreck, Zabirova, and the three Lithuanians -- as the others rapidly dropped 20 seconds behind and did not threaten again.
The presence of Kurreck, the 1994 world individual time trial champion, was something of a surprise. Not noted as a climber, Kurreck has been the top American during the recent European spring campaign, finishing third at the Tour de Lâ€šAude.
In Pittsburgh, Kurreck not only climbed with top Europeans, she out-sprinted them as well, beating Zabirova by a bike length to become the first USPRO womenâ€šs champion.
â€žI was pretty confident if I could get to the line I could win it,â€° Kurreck said.
Jenkins, who led much of this race a year ago before crashing, was the second American, eighth overall. Linda Jackson was the lone Canadian in the top-10.
The menâ€šs race sorted itself out quickly as Trent Klasna (Comptel-Colorado Cyclist), San Diego, Calif., initiated a nine-rider break on the opening lap. The group included Frank McCormack (Saturn), Leicester, Mass.; Chris Horner (La Francaise des Jeux), Lemon Grove, Calif.; and Scott Mercier (USPS), Telluride, Colo., along with Jacek Micklewicz of a strong Polish Mroz team.
The vaunted European squads, Mapei-GB and Saeco-Cannondale, showed little concern about the initial break and never challenged.
The groupâ€šs lead grew to two minutes as they hit Sycamore Street for the first of 11 climbs. The group shrank to six riders as Klasna was among those who fell back. Two more Mroz riders, Piotr Wadecki and Grzegorz Rosolinski, bridged to the leaders with seven laps to go before Horner turned up the pace up the Sycamore Street climb, eventually cutting the lead group down to three -- himself, McCormack and Wadecki -- with four laps to go.
The Saturn squad was prominent in the chase with climbers Bart Bowen, Albuquerque, N.M., and Chann McRae, Plano, Texas, ready to launch a counter-attack. Though the lead shrank to only 30 seconds at one point with two laps to go, the lead trio stayed away, though Horner struggled to stay with his breakaway partners.
On the final climb, the chase pack closed to within a single straight-away of the leaders, but never fully closed the gap. Horner fell off the pace again, but managed to stay within touch of the other two riders. During the final, technical stretch through the criterium circuit, McCormack attacked with two miles to go, gaining a comfortable lead and soloing in for victory. Wadecki was second and Horner third. Canadian Eric Wohlberg (Shaklee) was 7th.
â€žI figured I might as well be the aggressor,â€° said McCormack, who finished second in this race last year during the U.S. Olympic Trials.
The Thrift Drug Classic is the third of nine events on the USPRO Tour. The upcoming CoreStates races -- June 10 in Lancaster, Pa., June 12 in Trenton, N.J., and the CoreStates USPRO Championships, June 15 in Philadelphia, Pa. -- will likely be the key events in the Tour. Dariusz Baranowski (USPS) currently leads the individual standings.
THRIFT DRUG CLASSIC, June 8, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Men, UCI 1.3, 108 miles
1. FRANK MCCORMACK (SATURN), Leicester, Mass., 4 hrs, 25 mins, 37 secs; 2.
Piotr Wadecki (Mroz), Poland, @:07; 3. Chris Horner (La Francaise des Jeux), Lemon Grove, Calif., @:20; 4. Cezary Zamana (Mroz), Poland, @1:34; 5. Chann McRae (Saturn), Plano, Texas, s.t.; 6. Bart Bowen (Saturn), Albuquerque, N.M., s.t.; 7. Eric Wohlberg (Shaklee), Canada; 8. Massimilian Lelli (Saeco-Cannondale), Italy, s.t.; 9. Gilberto Zattoni (Amore & Vita), Italy, s.t.; 10. Darren Baker (United States Postal Service), Santa Rosa, Calif., s.t.
USPRO Tour Standings (after three of nine events)
1. DARIUSZ BARANOWSKI (UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE), Watbrzych, Poland, 60 pts; 2T. McCormack, 50; 2T. Marty Jemison (United States Postal Service),
Salt Lake City, Utah, 50; 4. Fred Rodriguez (Saturn), Piedmont, Calif., 45; 5. Bowen, 42; 6. Jonathan Vaughters (Comptel-Colorado Cyclist), Englewood, Colo., 39; 7T. Wadecki, 35; 7T. Tomasz Brozyna (United States Postal Service), Kieleckie, Poland, 35; 9. Scott Moninger (Navigators), Boulder, Colo., 31; 10. Andy Bishop (Comptel-Colorado Cyclist), Williston, Vt., 28.
USPRO WomenÃs Championship, U.S. 1.4, 44 miles
1. KAREN KURRECK (KLEIN), Cupertino, Calif., 1 hr, 49 mins, 34 secs; 2. Zulfia Zabirova (Dream Team), Russia, s.t.; 3. Jolanta Polikevieciute (Lithuanian National), Lithuania, s.t.; 4. Edita Pucinskaite (Dream Team), Lithuania, s.t.; 5. Rasa Polikevieciute (Lithuanian National), Lithuania, s.t.; 6. Diana Ziliute (Dream Team), Lithuania, @:33; 7. Linda Jackson (Saeco-Timex), Napean, Ont., Canada, s.t.; 8. Louisa Jenkins (Shaklee), Boulder, Colo., s.t.; 9. Karen Bliss Livingston (Saturn), Gainesville, Fla., @:50; 10. Susy Pryde (Saeco-Timex), Auckland, New Zealand, s.t.
Norba National Series #2 - Red Wing , Minnesota
1 Ruthie Matthes (Powerbar) 2:07:11
2 Leslie Tomlinson (Kona) Canada at 5:15
3 Tammy Jacques (Schwinn-Toyota RAV4) 6:47
4 Beth Coates(Ventana) 8:14
5 Chrissy Redden (Ritchey) Canada 9:35
6 Shari Kain (Polo Sport WC) 10:45
Both Alisons (Sydor and Dunlap) did not finish due to mechanicals. Sydor broke her chain twice (the first trime while leading).
Chrissy will be talking to us later about her race.
1. Stephen Larsen (Schwinn-Toyota RAV4) 2:15:46
2. Kirk Molday (Marin) Canada at 1:42
3. Tinker Juarez (Volvo-Cannondale) 3:11
4. Travis Brown (Trek-VW) 3:44
5. Andreas Hestler (Rocky Mountain) Canada 4:18
9. Roland Green (Kona) Canada 6:53