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March 14/05 3:46 am - Central Valley Classic


Posted by Editoress on 03/14/05
 

Central Valley Classic Fresno, CA

Stage 1 - March 12th: Kearney Park Circuit Race, 75 miles

Men's report by Health Net Pro Cycling Team Presented by Maxxis

The opener of the Central Valley Classic ˆ Saturday's Kearney Park Circuit Race ˆ looked like it was setting up to be another win for Gord Fraser on the heals of his win at the McLane Pacific Downtown Grand Prix a week earlier. With about a mile remaining in the 105-mile race, Health Net Presented by Maxxis had the train lined up. But for some reason, Dave McCook of Jelly Belly/Pool Gel made what more than a few people called a reckless move that resulted in he, Fraser and Chris Wherry, as well as Seasilver's Dan Schmatz, going off the road.

While they all managed to keep the bikes upright, their race was pretty much over at that point. It opened the door for J.J. Haedo (Colavita/Sutter Home) to score his second win of the season, with Ivan Dominguez recovering from the mayhem to salvage second behind his former teammate.
"Ivan wasn't in a great position after Gord and Wherry got taken out," Health Net Presented by Maxxis Directeur Sportif Jeff Corbett said. 'He made the best out of the situation."

Women's report by Team Quark

The second weekend of the NRC calendar started today in Fresno California with the Kearney Park Circuit Race. From the profile of the course it looked as if it would be a day for the sprinters as there was an elevation gain of 5 feet per 15 mile lap for a grand total of 25 feet of climbing for the entire 75 mile race. So it was a shock to many when Quark's super climber Annette Beutler came across the finish line first.

The first two laps of the race were a chess game in which teams were marking each other. One break of 10 riders did manage to get away but the presence of a couple of the big sprinters prevented the break from working smoothly together. As the peloton was absorbing the remnants of the break other riders countered and the wining break of the day was formed.

A group containing Annette Beutler of Quark, Michelle Beltran (Colavita), Christine Thorburn (Webcor), Kori Seehafer (T-Mobile) and Starr Falk (Los Gatos). The break maintained an advantage of 35 seconds for 2 laps over a second group of 20 riders which contained most of the sprinters. Most people watching assumed the sprinters would over take the break on the last lap so when the group of 5 turned into Kearney park for the finish it was a shock. The first to jump was Quark's Beutler who held off a tough challenge from T-Mobile's Seehafer. Rounding out the podium was Webcors Thorburn another strong climber.

The second group on the road came in about a minute after the leaders had finished and the dash to the line for 6th place and bragging rights amongst the sprinters was won by Tina Mayolo-Pic of Quark. Riders take to the streets of the Tower district for the Tower criterium tomorrow which should be a day of redemption for the sprinters.

Women
1. Annette Beutler (Sui) Quark Cycling Team
2. Kori Seehafer (USA) Quark Cycling Team
3. Christine Thornburn (USA) Webcor
4. Starr Falk (USA) Los Gatos
5. Michelle Beltran (USA) (Colavita / Cooking Light)
6. Tina Pic (USA) Quark Cycling Team

Men
1. J.J. Haedo (Arg) Colavita/Sutter Home
2. Ivan Dominguez (Cuba) Health Net Presented by Maxxis

Stage 2 - March 13th: Tower District Criterium, 90 min

Men's report by Health Net Pro Cycling Team Presented by Maxxis

"Today, we finally rode like we were supposed to," Mike Sayers of the Health Net Pro Cycling Team Presented by Maxxis said after the Central Valley Classic Tower District Criterium Sunday.

And when you do what you're supposed to, good things happen. In this case, Canadian Gord Fraser and Cuban Ivan Dominguez took the top two spots on the podium.

Health Net Presented by Maxxis animated the race from the drop of the flag, Sayers said. He and John Lieswyn began the attacks almost immediately, taking advantage of a 180-degree turn just after the start/finish area to put their rivals on the rivet early.
"We were aggressive, and we attacked until we got a break we liked," Health Net Presented by Maxxis Directeur Sportif Jeff Corbett said.

That break, which went away just five laps into the 90-minute race, included Sayers and teammate Doug Ollerenshaw, who bridged up to the break shortly after it went clear. More important, of the other top teams in the race, only Jelly Belly/Pool Gel had a rider in the break. That left Colavita/Sutter Home, Webcor and Seasilver to chase ˆ and burn a lot of matches in the process.
"I worked for 10 laps to keep the break away," Sayers said. 'And as soon as Doug and I decided to stop the break, the chasers sat up, too, so the break stayed at 45 seconds. Then we decided to try to lap the field, and a new group took up the chase, so we never got farther than 45 seconds ahead."

With five laps to go and the lead hovering around 30 seconds, members of the break started attacking each other. 'Guys were playing cat and mouse, trying to get away," Corbett said. But it only served to erode their lead. With a couple laps to go, Health Net Presented by Maxxis went to the front of the main bunch to set up the train. Coming into the last lap, the lead was just a few seconds.

On the final lap, Sayers said he pulled a trick from the old Mercury days, sitting up and waiting for the chase to catch, and then jumping on the front to do a pull for the lead-out. It worked to perfection, with Fraser coming through first followed by Dominguez.

Sayers said that the course, with its 180-degree turn, finally allowed the team to use its strength and depth to work over the other teams. 'It's the first course we've had that's been really difficult," he said. 'It's not a good course to chase on. The first couple races of the season we may have ridden a bit too conservatively. Today we were aggressive. We rode hard.

"The races get harder from here on out, and that's good for us," he added.

Women's report by Team Quark

Day two of the Central Valley Classic proved to be a repetition of action in the powerful Pro women's field. To complement the competitive array of teams represented at the second stop on the NRC, today's course offered its own challenges. A fast, technical Criterium offered its takers five corners and a 180 degree turnaround to break legs and split apart the field. With an 8:30 AM start, and no time to waste, all of the major teams were launching attacks and keeping announcer Dave Towle thriving with action to broadcast onto the streets of downtown Fresno's Tower District. The members of Quark, Victory Brewing, and Webcor had their hands full dealing with the repetitive attacks of Ina Teutenberg and her T-Mobile team. As the laps counted down, it was the dueling Yellow of Quark and Pink of T-Mobile setting up their leadout trains, charging full force into the 180 degree turn the yellow train came out first with all the sprinters fighting for Tina Mayolo-Pic's wheel. Taking advantage of the brawl for Pic's wheel, Quark riders Van Gilder and Uhl slipped around the last turn first with just enough precision for Van Gilder to take the victory. Pic held on for the third spot on the podium, one spot behind Magen Long of the Bicycle Store. 'I am excited that Quark was able to be victorious today and cap off a fantastic weekend of racing put on by the CVC cycling club" said Van Gilder

Women
1. Laura Van Gilder, (Quark Cycling Team)
2. Megan Long, (Bicycle Store)
3. Tina Pic, (Quark Cycling Team)
4. Gina Grain, (Victory Brewing)
5. Ina Teutenberg, (T-Mobile)
6. Laura Yoisten, (Diet Cheerwine)
7. Nicole Freedman, (Ford-Basis)
8. Sarah Uhl, (Quark Cycling Team)
9. Suzanne Sonye, (Helen VW)
10. Brenna Wofford, (Vello Bella)
11. Amy Moore, (Victory Brewing)
12. Liza Rachetto, (Subway)
13. Sarah Tillolson, (ABD Cycling)
14. Sarah Bamberger, (Touchstone Climbing)
15. Starr Falk, (Los Gatos )
19. Audrey Lemieux (Quark Cycling Team)

Men
1. Gord Fraser (Can) Health Net Presented by Maxxis
2. Ivan Dominguez (Cuba) Health Net Presented by Maxxis
3. Charles Dionne (Can) Webcor

Sportcom

Dionne monte sur la troisième marche du podium

Le cycliste Charles Dionne a pris le troisième rang du critérium de la Classique Central Valley dimanche. Le coureur de St-Rédempteur, qui porte les couleurs de l’équipe Webcor, n’a été devancé que par deux coureurs de l’équipe Health Net, soit le Canadien Gordon Fraser et le Cubain Ivan Dominguez, dans cette course de 90 minutes disputée dans les rues de Fresno, en Californie.

« Je suis content d’être monté sur le podium, a tout d’abord indiqué Dionne. Hier (samedi), j’avais dit que je souhaitais monter sur le podium, mais il y a tellement de facteurs qui entrent en ligne de compte, qu’il y a une bonne différence entre le dire et le faire. Je voulais prouver à mes coéquipiers, qui ont tous travaillé super fort pour moi, que je pouvais ramener un bon résultat. C’est sûr que j’aurais aimé mieux remporter la course, mais Health Net compte des coureurs qui roulent très vite et qui font de bons lead out (échappées finales). J’ai donc fait ce que je pouvais, et, aujourd’hui, cela a résulté en une troisième place.

« J’ai tout de même connu un bon week-end de course. De toute façon, comme mon équipe est jeune, le but n’est pas nécessairement de remporter des courses présentement. Je vise plutôt le podium, mais c’est prometteur pour l’avenir. Et, pendant ce temps, mes coéquipiers apprennent le métier. Pas mal tout le monde dans notre équipe a trouvé ça difficile aujourd’hui, mais au moins on s’en est tiré pas si mal », a conclu le coureur qui fêtera son 26e anniversaire de naissance mardi.

Audrey Lemieux, 19e

Chez les femmes, le critérium, qui était d’une durée de 60 minutes, a été remporté au sprint par l’Américaine Laura Van Gilder (Quark). Dans l’ordre, elle a devancé ses compatriotes Megan Long et Tina Pic (Quark).

La Québécoise Audrey Lemieux, qui porte également les couleurs de l’équipe Quark, a terminé au 19e rang.

« C’était un critérium assez technique. Il y avait un virage à 180 degrés, qui est venu compliquer les choses lors des attaques, a indiqué la cycliste d’Alma. J’avais tout de même de bonnes jambes, malgré la course sur route d’hier (samedi), mais j’ai trouvé que le rythme était rapide.

« Notre équipe a très bien travaillé. Nous avons couvert toutes les attaques. J’ai pris part au lead out (dernière échappée), mais j’ai manqué de jus, a-t-elle lancé en riant. Il me manque un petit peu d’endurance. Je peux aller vite, mais pas longtemps. Je suis tout de même contente de ma performance, car je suis venue en aide à l’équipe et ce, malgré mon manque d’entraînement. C’était le début de ma saison, et je suis confiante que tout va bien aller pour les autres courses », a conclu l’athlète de 19 ans, qui, au Québec, est entraînée par Nicolas Tremblay.

Le week-end prochain, Lemieux et Dionne prendront part à la course par étape de Pomona Valley, en Californie.

 


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