Posted by Editoress on 03/28/03
Solano Bicycle Classic Fairfield, California
Courtesy Giana Roberge, Saturn Cycling Team
The second stage of the Solano Bicycle Classic was a short one at 7.7 miles, but was, perhaps, one of the toughest stages of the early spring stage races. With grades of 22% and an average of 15%, the climb offered both Golden Jerseys in Chris Horner and Kimberly Bruckner another opportunity to further their lead on their competitors. However, in the end, it was Prime Alliance's Jonathon Vaughter's capturing the stage win with race leader Horner finishing right behind him. T-Mobile's Bruckner put more time into her two closest Saturn competitors, winning her second consecutive stage.
The first three miles of the race was a flat run into a left hand corner into Mix Canyon, a gut wrenching effort for even the top climbers. The women's race saw the same three players as yesterday quickly shedding their competitors, with Bruckner setting the pace and Saturn teammates Lyne Bessette and Manon Jutras gamely fighting to stay on her wheel. As Bessette dropped off the pace, her Saturn teammate hung with Bruckner for a bit more before she could not match the pace, and Bruckner soloed in for the win, finishing over a minute in front of Jutras in second. Bessette finished third.
Although a crash on the climb of the men's race took some of race leader Horner's teammates, the Saturn rider was plenty capable of matching the first attack thrown down by Prime Alliance's Jonathon Vaughters. Only Horner was able to match the pace set by Vaughters and the two quickly put time into any brave chasers. In the final meters it was Vaughters for the win with Horner taking second but given a same time finish and thus maintaining his lead in the overall. Vaughters will move into second in the overall.
Tomorrow's afternoon stage is a downtown criterium, always a crowd pleaser, it offers up plenty of primes and two opportunities for time bonuses.
Results Stage 2 (unofficial at time of report)
1. Jonathon Vaughters - Prime Alliance
2. Chris Horner - Saturn
1. Kimberly Bruckner - T-Mobile
2. Manon Jutras - Saturn
3. Lyne Bessette - Saturn
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