Posted by Editor on 04/26/98
Fraser 10th at OLN GP (courtesy USA Cycling)
Report by Bill Sheldon
ATLANTA, Ga. -- The first big U.S. international calendar event Ã‹â€ the Outdoor Life Network Grand Prix Ã‹â€ turned into a 119-mile criterium Sunday, which is exactly what Mercury wanted. Julian Dean powered out of a late nine-man break for his third win in eight days.
The New Zealander made both the key moves coming late on the flat, non- selective, seven-mile Atlanta course and had a bike length on SaturnÃ¢â‚¬Å¡s Fred Rodriguez and another few lengths on U.S. PostalÃ¢â‚¬Å¡s Marty Jemison, last yearÃ¢â‚¬Å¡s winner.
"I had one of those days, with pure muscle at the end," Dean said, accepting the $15,000 first prize.
DeanÃ¢â‚¬Å¡s victory solidified his hold on the lead in the U.S. National Racing Calendar standings.
The race featured the unexpected return of USPSÃ¢â‚¬Å¡s Lance Armstrong. He was active all race and powered a key 6-man break with three laps remaining which was swallowed in the final flurry. He finished in the field at 52nd and Jemison said he was an inspiration for the team.
There was only one move before the last-lap jockeying, when SaturnÃ¢â‚¬Å¡s Bart Bowen and Italian Andrea Chiurato (Mobilvetta-Northwave) slipped away to as much as three minutes, starting with 13 of 17 laps remaining. The pack decided to end that with four laps left after Mercury, Saturn and Postal controlled the tempo.
The final group had two Mercury riders (Dean and Michael Sayers), two Saturns (Rodriguez and Mike McCarthy) , two Postals (Jemison and George Hincapie), two OilMe riders (Eddy Gragus and Doug Ziewacz), and Jim Copeland (Colorado Cyclist).
1. JULIAN DEAN (MERCURY), Hamilton, New Zealand, 4:19:36
2. Fred Rodriguez (Saturn), Piedmont, Calif.
3. Marty Jemison (U.S. Postal Service), Salt Lake City, Utah
4. Jim Copeland (Colorado Cyclist), Colorado Springs, Colo.
5. George Hincapie (USPS), Charlotte, N.C., all s.t.
10. Gord Fraser (Mercury), Ottawa, Ont., Canada, at 0:08
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