Results and Reports for April 29-30

Racing from the USA

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Carter Lake Road Race
Chums Hurricane Classic Omnium

Festina Garden State Cycling Cup
Wente Butte Road Race
EDS Track Cup #2 (US Olmypic trials)

Athens Criterium
Xcelerate Road Race
First Charter Criterium

Carter Lake Road Race

Carter Lake, USA, April 30, 2000


Pro, 1/2 Men (85 miles)
1. Chris Fisher (USA) Rock and Road
2. Anton Villatoro (USA) 7 UP/Colorado Cyclist
3. Dirk Friel (USA) Boulder CHAOS
4. Chris Baldwin (USA) Navigators
5. Jimi Killen (USA) Schwinn/Toyota
6. Clark Sheehan (USA) 7 UP/Colorado Cyclist
7. Mike Ley (USA) 7 UP/Colorado Cyclist
8. Michael Creed (USA) 7 UP/Colorado Cyclist
9. Andrew Donaldson (USA) unattached
10. Steve Speaks (USA) 7 UP/Colorado Cyclist

Pro, 1/2 Women (57 miles)
1. Sanna Lehtimaki (Fin) Timex
2. Mari Holden (USA) Timex
3. Kim Smith (USA) Timex
4. Julie Hanson (USA) Saturn
5. Kimberly Bruckner (USA)
6. Emily Gloeckner (USA) Boulder Womens Cycling Team
7. Margell Abel (USA) Boulder Womens Cycling Team
8. Brenda Black (USA) Lakewood Road Team
9. Anne Lannan (USA) Boulder Womens Cycling Team
10. Jilayne Lovejoy (USA) Trek/VW

Chums Hurricane Classic Omnium

Utah, USA, April 29-30


Pro, 1/2 Men
Stage 1- April 29: Gunlock Road Race, 76 miles
1. Brendan Vesty (NZl) Navigators
2. Brad Buccambuso (USA) Nutra Fig
3. Burke Swindlehurst (USA) Navigators

Stage 2- April 30: Hurricane Time Trial, 5 miles
1. Brad Buccambuso (USA) Nutra Fig
2. Burke Swindlehurst (USA) Navigators
3. Brendan Vesty (NZl) Navigators

Stage 3- April 30: Quail Creek Road Race, 81 miles
*stage cancelled after 30 miles due to peloton crossing yellow line

Final Results
1. Brad Buccambuso (USA) Nutra Fig
2. Brendan Vesty (NZl) Navigators
3. Burke Swindlehurst (USA) Navigators

Festina Garden State Cycling Cup #2

New Jersey, USA, April 29, 2000

April 29 was the second round of the Festina Garden State Cycling Cup, the NJBA team challenge point race. The second round only counts for the team classification only. The race was held right outside of Basking ridge, New Jersey.

The series runs from Mid April to early September and the next scheduled event for Festina Garden State Cycling Cup is the Hillpoint Hill climb time trial on May 13th, in Highpoint, New Jersey.


Senior elite men: 50 laps

Overall Team pts:

1 Knapp's-Ready Pac/CCE 				90
2 Mambo Kings Racing 					50
3 Watchung Wheelmen 					28
4 Montclair 						28
5 Liberty Cycle 					24
6 Somerset Wheelmen 					22
7 3D Racing 						21
8 NE Hardware 						10
9 Millburn 						9

Individual Points Totals

1 Ken Vida (USA) Mambo Kings Racing 			26
2 William Skinner (USA) Knapp's-Ready Pac/CCE 		22
3 Joe Masser (USA) Knapp's-Ready Pac/CCE 		20
4 David Goldstein (USA) Montclair 			17
5 Marc Silberman (USA) Knapp's-Ready Pac/CCE 		16
6 Rusty Potts (USA) Mambo Kings Racing 			15
7 John Verheul (USA) Somerset Wheelmen 			13
8 Jason Kary (USA) Liberty Cycle 			13
9 Walter (USA) 3D Racing 				11
10 Kevin Brown (USA) Watchung Wheelmen 			10

Senior Elite Men Teams Classification (after one team competition):

1 Knapp's-Ready Pac/CCE 				10
2 Mambo Kings Racing 					8
3 Watchung Wheelmen 					6
4 Montclair 						5
5 Liberty Cycle 					4
6 Somerset Wheelmen 					3
7 3D Racing 						2
8 Ne Hardware 						1

Current individual standings for Senior Elite men:

1 Ken Vida Mambo Kings 					20
2 Dave Margolin Watchung Wheelmen 			16
3 Kevin Browne Watchung Wheelmen  			14
4 Joe Masser Knapp's-Ready Pac/CCE    			12
5 Charlton Hoag Liberty Cycle 				10
6 Jurandir Dealmeida Knapp's-Ready Pac/CCE 		8
7 Steve Ward Watchung Wheelmen    			6
8 Charles Erndle 3D Racing    				4
9 Ian Curtis Cental Jersey    				2

Senior Elite Women: 20 laps

Senior Women's Team:

1 Watchung Wheelmen 					48
2 Somerset Wheelmen 					44
3 Knapp's-Ready Pac/CCE 				23

Individual Points Totals

1 Petra Ford Watchung Wheelmen 				48
2 Betty Tyrell Somerset Wheelmen 			31
3 Ellie Varnae Somerset Wheelmen 			13
4 Tricia Carnila Knapp's-Ready Pac/CCE 			10
5 Laurie Mestres Knapp's-Ready Pac/CCE 			9
6 Eileen Fanning Knapp's-Ready Pac/CCE 			3
7 Tara Walhart Knapp's-Ready Pac/CCE 			1

Senior Elite women (after one team competition):

1 Watchung Wheelmen 					10
2 Somerset Wheelmen 					8
3 Knapp's-Ready Pac/CCE 				6

Senior Elite Women Invidual Classification:

1 Amy Biasucci (USA) Montclair  			20
2 Caryl Gale (USA) Cranford Bike    			18
3 Elizabeth Varnai (USA) Somerset   			16
4 Lenore Imhof (USA) Cranford Bike  			14
5 Laurie Mestres (USA) Knapp's-Ready Pac/CCE    	12
6 Tricia Carnilak (USA) Knapp's-Ready Pac/CCE    	10
7 Elizabeth Tyrell (USA) Somerset   			8
8 Diane Flynn (USA) Tri State Velo  			6
9 Laura Carlson (USA) Knapp's-Ready Pac/CCE 		4
10 Abby Chryst (USA) CCR Team Cyclo 			2

Wente Butte road race & criterium

USA, April 29-30, 2000

Wente Brut Road Race - 45 miles, Saturday, April 30

Reporting by Lisa Hunt,

After spending the last few weekends on the road duking it out with the "big girls," I was looking forward to doing a local NorCal event. Usually the local hilly road races get a small turnout for the Women's 1/2 field. But this year, several of the top pro women decided to test their legs on this oh so "wente brutal" course. A total of 25 women took to the start line, with the likes of Karen Kurreck (riding for Alto Velo here in the US), Tracey Gaudry (Timex), Pam Schuster ( and Julie Young (

I had a feeling this was going to be a hard race! This course starts out flat for the first few miles, then there's a short climb, which starts out steep, but then is more gradual at the feed zone. Then it crosses the freeway, and is flat, then climbs a bit more, then zooms downhill.....well, you get the picture.

The first lap was relatively mellow, with everyone chatting away. On the 2nd time up the climb, Karen attacked, with Tracey, Julie, Cindy Mommsen (Olympic Club), Joy Schaffer (Los Gatos) and Cindy Ferguson hanging on to them. I was suffering but it was my hero(ine), Pam who talked me into hanging onto her wheel and making it over the climb. By the time we hit the second set of rollers, we could see Cindy M and Cindy F coming off the group, and Pam went to chase them. We had a nice chase group, which included several of the Spokesman women (including new mom Keri Silk), and before the 3rd and final climb, we had caught Cindy, Cindy, Pam and Kristina Kras (Davis Bike Club). The other 4 were nowhere in sight, so we all rode together towards the finish. Thinking that the 4 Spokesman girls would begin some aggressive attacking, I tried to set a nice tempo for the last few K, and on the final turn I gunned it, blew up halfway, and my teammate Cindy Mommsen took the field sprint for 5th!

I think I ended up 13th!

Wente Brut Criterium - Sunday, April 30

This crit is more like a flat circuit race, as the course is over a mile, is always windy, and the bots dots are extremely bothersome! The field today was a bit larger, with 37 women 1/2/3's, including Pam Schuster from Autotrader. com and Cheryl Binney from P&G. The dominant team was the Spokesman women, featuring 5, including another new mom, Lauren Smith.

The race started off a bit slow, but the attacks began on the 2nd lap. There were several primes, and my teammate, Cindy Mommsen (aka, the Cash Register), snagged several, including 2lbs of coffee (the BEST prime), $10, and $20. After successfully cashing in, a break of 4, including Cheryl Binney, Keri Silk (Spokesman), Liz Benishin (Cat 3 - San Diego Cyclovets) and Krystina Kras (Davis Bike Club) snuck away. Sensing that could be a strong group, I successfully bridged, and we began a lovely paceline that got quite a nice gap on the field. With 1 lap to go, I was thinking about how I could win this race (not being a sprinter and all....). And guess what, with about 200 meters to go, I just stomped on the pedals and snagged the big win!! My first for the season (and actually my first in NorCal!). Cindy Mommsen, soloed away from the field on the last lap, and held on for 5th.


1. Lisa Hunt (USA) The Olympic Club
2. Keri Silk (USA) The Spokesman
3. Cheryl Binney (USA) P&G
4. Krystina Kras (USA) Davis Bike Club
5. Cindy Mommsen (USA) The Olympic Club
6. Pam Schuster (USA)
7. Sonia Ross (USA) Sycip
8. Debbie Allen (USA) Charles Schwab
9. Brenna Wolford (USA) The Spokesman
10. Kristin Drumm (USA) Napa Valley Velo/Echelon

EDS Track Cup #2 (US Olmypic trials)

Frisco, Texas, USA, April 29, 2000

1996 Olympic silver medalist Marty Nothstein (Trexlertown, Pa.) and 1992 Olympian Jame Carney (Flagstaff, Ariz.) capped off the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Track Cycling Saturday with their third victories of the week.

In addition, two-time Olympic speed skating medallist Chris Witty (Park City, Utah) finished second in the 500-meter time trial in her first major cycling competition since the 1998 World Track Cycling Championships.

Nothstein captured the Keirin, one of four new events on the 2000 Olympic cycling schedule. The 1994 and 1996 world champion in the Keirin, Nothstein also established a Superdrome lap record with a time of 13.419 seconds. The old 250-meter mark was established by Nick Chenowth on May 15, 1998 (13.817).

"Coming off the pace I had only one guy in front of me in the Keirin, so I was able to control the rest of the field. I was in perfect position; I really could not have done any better. At the same time, Marcelo (Arrue, who finished second and led most of the race) is my friend and my training partner, so I was able to protect him a little bit for the silver medal," said Nothstein, 29.

"It was real close, but there also was a bit of showmanship. I know my body, it's like putting your car in cruise control, and you know exactly where to put it. I ride my bike so much, I know exactly how fast to go. It was good for the people; it was good for the race. It was a safe race."

"I accomplished what I wanted to do, and I did it all while still training straight through competition. My big goal all along is to win two gold medals in Sydney, and that's why I continue training straight through the Trials. I expect to go to Sydney. I expect to win in Sydney, and this was my first big sprint competition of the year. Sometimes you feel a little sticky in the first competition, but I rode into here real well and I felt better every day."

Carney teamed with 1996 Olympian Adam Laurent (Shell Beach, Calif.) to destroy the eight-team field and win the 30-kilometer Madison. Teams score points every 20 laps. The Shaklee duo registered 33 points by winning five of the six sprints. The duo of Mike Tillman (Santa Monica, Calif.) and Jeff Hopkins (Bankstown, Australia) earned 17 points and finished second.

"This was a very successful week for me by winning the points race, Miss & Out and Madison," said Carney. "I feel very comfortable with my situation toward earning a spot on the Olympic team, and I am looking forward to competing at the season-opening World Cup in Moscow in May."

The 1996 and 1998 national champion in the 500-meter time trial, Witty posted a time of 36.374 seconds to finish just .025 seconds behind the fastest U.S. cyclist, Tammy Thomas of Yazoo City, Miss. (36.349). Canada's Tanya Dubnicoff, who has won four world championship medals, recorded the fastest time in the event (36.155), but as ineligible since she was not an U.S. citizen.

The500-meter time trial is one of four new events to be held in Sydney. The other new events are the Keirin, Olympic Sprint and Madison.

"I was surprised and happy with my performance since I've only been back training for the last two weeks," said Witty, who was an alternate on the 1996 U.S. Olympic Cycling team.

"After '98 World Championships, I said no way to cycling. There was too much racing, too much traveling, so I said there was no way I'd do it (both sports) before the Salt Lake Olympics. This year, Tanya Dubnicoff (Canadian Olympic cyclist) put a bug in my ear in Calgary in January that I could ride the 500 meter time trial since not that many American women were racing in the event, and if it didn't work out I could go back to skating.

"Competing at U.S. Olympic Trials is something that if I didn't do, I'd kick myself. I didn't want to have regrets later in the year. I didn't want to have an opportunity pass without giving it a shot. It also looking forward to a new challenge at this time of year, not just training. It's another opportunity too that if I make the Olympics, how do you handle the stress. And the more you are in situations like this the better off you are."

Lucy Tyler (Miami, Fla.) won the women's Miss & Out race, a non-Olympic event Saturday. On Friday, Tyler, a past world champion and Olympic medal winner, claimed first place in the women's points race.

USA Cycling can add members to the Olympic Long Team. No U.S. athletes earned spots on the Olympic Team during five-day U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Track Cycling. The Olympic Long Team is a pool of athletes who have met certain qualifying standards in past international and national competitions. The U.S. Olympic Track Cycling Team will be announced in early July.

The U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Road Cycling is scheduled for May 18 and 20 in Jackson, Miss.


Keirin final standings

1. Marty Nothstein (USA)
2. Marcelo Arrue (USA) Team UPS
3. Jeff Hopkins (Aus) Bankstown Sports CC
4. Garth Blackburn (USA) Coast Cycling Club,
5. Johnny Barios (USA) Team UPS
6. Roger Farrell (Tri) unatttached
7. Murray Solem (Can) Atomic Racing Club
8. Kyle Hudson (Can) Intersport/Canada
9. Mike Beers (USA) Shaklee
10. Lars Madsen (Can) Shaklee
11. Jason Beauregard (USA) unattached
12. Zac Copeland (USA) unattached
13. Josiah Ng (USA) Sparkletts
14. Josh Weir (USA)
15. Doug Baron (Can) Shaklee
16. Giddeon Massie (USA)

Women's 500-meter time trial finals

1. Tammy Thomas (USA) unattached			36.349
2. Chris Witty (USA) unattached				36.374
3. Tanya Lindenmuth (USA) Team UPS			36.724
4. Jennie Reed (USA) Team UPS				36.766
5. Nicole Reinhart (USA) Saturn				36.840
6. Becky Quinn (USA) Shaklee				37.005
7. Shan Rayray (USA) Wash.Pista Elite			38.145
8. Suzanne Marshall (USA) Los Gatos Bike Club		38.243
9. Ashley Kimmet (USA) East Coast Velo			39.068
10. Cynthia Goodman (USA) Team One Racing		39.309
11. Martha Dunne (USA) unattached			39.642
12. Denise Marie Harewood (USA) unattached		40.867
13. Jeanne Farrell (USA) The Sports Team		40.965
14. Linelle Betts (USA) Alto Velo			41.048
15. Christi Simmons (USA) Team Corima			41.328
16. Natalie Kelly (USA) The Spin Cycle CC		41.647
17. Kelly Marshall (USA) unattached			42.197
18. Annette Hanson (USA) Saturn Bellview		42.678
19. Amy Lowry (USA) Fuji				44.965
20. Emily Thurston (USA) MAC/Bike Central		50.310

Non-U.S. eligible cyclists

Tanya Dubnicoff (Can) Shaklee				36.155
Lori-Ann Muenzer (Can) Edmonton Juventus Sports		36.493
Mandy Poitras (Can) Intersports/Escape CC		37.605
Susan Auch (Can) Euroteck				37.751
Andrea Hannos (Can) Intersports				40.007
Stephanie Hannos (Can) Champione Cycling Team		41.142

Men's 30km madison finals

1. Adam Laurent/Jame Carney (USA) Shaklee				33 pts (5 sprint wins)
2. Mike Tillman (USA) L'Equipe Cheval/Jeff Hopkins (Aus) Bankstown	18(1)
3. Bill Short (USA) /Chris Carlson (USA) Akili Racing Team		8 (0)
4. Kit Kyle (USA) Pro Peloton Velo/Daniel Larson (USA) Cycle Science	7 (0)
5. Kent Bostick (USA) Shaklee/Dave Bailey (USA) Pedali Alpini		4 (0)
6. Joseph Miller (USA) Tokyo Joe's Pepsi/Erin Hartwell (USA) Saturn	7 (-1 lap)
7. Ryan Crissey (USA) Selinger (USA) Peet's/Oaktown	0 (-6 lap)
8. Ryan Sabga (USA) Guerin (USA) Cody Racing	0 (-9 lap)

NOTE: Points scored five for first place, three for second place, two for 
third place and one for fourth place on sprint laps, which are every 20 
laps. The final sprint is double points.

Women's miss and out (non-olympic event)

1. Lucy Tyler (Aus) Rubio/Banchi,
2. Mary Calle (Col) Colombian National Team
3. Nicole Reinhart (USA) Saturn
4. Erin Veenstra-Mirabella (USA) Timex
5. Mandy Poitras (Can) Intersports/Escape CC
6. Becky Quinn (USA) Shaklee
7. Stephanie Hannos (Can) Champione Cycling Team
8. Laura Suditu (USA)
9. Sandra Smith (Aus) VeloBelles
10. Traci MacNamara (USA) Chippers/Vitamin Cottage,
11. Suzanne Marshall (USA) Los Gatos BR
12. Lori-Ann Muenzer (Can) Edmonton Juventus Sports
13. Andrea Hannos (Can) Intersports
14. Amyazellie Tremelling (USA) Make-a-Wish Cycling,
15. Kelly Marshall (USA) unattached
16. Amy Lowry (USA) Fuji
17. Linelle Betts (USA) Alto Velo

Men's invitational fly lap (non-olympic event)

1. Marty Nothstein (USA)				13.419 
2. Doug Baron (Can) Shaklee
3. Nick Chenowth (USA) Team Corima

Athens twilight criterium

Georgia, USA, April 29, 2000


By John Alsedek, correspondent

Now in its 21st year, the Athens Twilight Criterium is one of the premier events on the U.S. racing calendar, with a list of former winners that includes national champions, Tour de France yellow jerseys, and Olympians past and present. On Saturday night, two more names were added to that list, as Canadian Gord Fraser (Mercury) and New Zealand's Sarah Ulmer (Elita) took the men's and womens event's respectively.

Contested on a one-kilometer circuit in downtown Athens that annually attracts crowds in excess of 25,000, the Twilight Criterium is one of those rare short-course events that generally DOESN'T end in a field sprint, and this year was no exception. After an early move by local rider Chris Pic (Zaxby's), the decisive four-man break of Fraser and Roy Knickman (both Mercury), Graeme Miller (Shaklee/Marin), and Trent Klasna (Saturn) was formed. With 17 laps to go, the foursome had a 25-second lead, and continued to build on that, finally lapping the field with just a few laps to go.

According to Fraser, that essentially decided the race: "Because of that, I was able to get back to my teammates", who set such a furious pace at the front ("It was REALLY fast!" remarked fifth-placed Kevin Monahan afterwards) that the Saturn and Shaklee squads had little opportunity to break into the 'train'. At the finish, it was Fraser for the win, ahead of Miller and Klasna, with 7 UP/Colorado Cyclist riders Monahan and Oscar Pineda taking the field sprint.


1. Gord Fraser (Can) Mercury
2. Graeme Miller (NZL) Shaklee/Marin
3. Trent Klasna (USA) Saturn
4. Roy Knickman (USA) Mercury
5. Kevin Monahan (USA) 7 UP/Colorado Cyclist
6. Oscar Pineda (Gua) 7 UP/Colorado Cyclist


If the win by the dominant Mercury team wasn't a surprise, than the results of the women's 35-kilometer race certainly were. Saturn (with the likes of Anna Wilson and Dede Demet) and the Georgia-based squad (featuring 'hometown girl' and NRC points leader Tina Mayolo) were the hot tips for the win. However, it was the upstart Elita team that came up with the victory in what is proving to be a very successful 2000 season for them.

As in the mens event, there was a decisive breakaway: Demet and Suzanne Sonye (Saturn), Sarah Ulmer and Erin Carter (Elita), and Shannon Hutchinson ( With the three strongest teams in the field represented, the break worked well together right up to the last lap, when Demet launched an attack on the back straight that was meant to force the Elita duo to chase, thereby allowing her teammate Sonye a free ride to the finish.

However, the strategy backfired, as Ulmer, a track specialist who will represent New Zealand in the Sydney Olympics, jumped right onto Demet's wheel, forcing Sonye to do the chasing. The five came back together at the finish, where Ulmer topped Hutchinson and Sonye for the victory, which came as no surprise to the Elita team director, David Cathcart: "Sarah is a hidden gem when it comes to sprinting. She's tough to beat if it's close down the stretch, and she delivered today."

Anna Wilson's report

This evening we raced a 35km criterium in Athens, Georgia. It was an awesome atmosphere with a huge crowd enjoying the spectacle and the pubs along the course! We had a team of 5 here - myself, Dede, Clara, Susy, and Suzanne.

We were aggressive from the start of the race, trying to use our strength to wear out the sprinters on the other teams. About one third of the way through the race, Suzanne initiated an attack and took 4 riders with her - Dede, Sarah Ulmer (Elita), Erin Carter (Elita) and an Autotrader rider that we weren't too familiar with! It seemed like a good break for us with 2 riders out of the 5 and we thought Suzanne was probably the fastest sprinter there. Dede worked really hard in the break to establish the initial break and the five riders soon had a good gap. Clara, Susy and I then started being aggressive again, hopeful of getting one more rider across to the break or just one more rider away to take the 6th place. With 5 laps to go it was clear the break would not be caught and no one else would get across and we began jockeying for the sprint for 6th place.

Out in front, Dede was hoping to set Suzanne up for the sprint. She attacked on the final lap down the back straight, hoping that would force the Elita riders to chase and provide Suzanne with a lead out in that way. Unfortunately, Sarah was too quick and jumped straight to Dede's wheel. Suzanne was then in the position of having to chase before the final sprint for the line. Sarah seized the opportunity and took off from the final corner and won the race. The Autotrader rider finished 2nd with Suzanne third and Dede 4th. Erin Carter was 5th and I won the bunch sprint for 6th. So unfortunately not a fairy tale ending!! Oh well you can't win them all!

I fly to France tomorrow for the start of Tour de l'Aude - a 12 day race in France. We are all very excited about our first European adventure for the season. I'll write more from France.


1. Sarah Ulmer (NZL) Elita
2. Shannon Hutchinson (USA)
3. Suzanne Sonye (USA) Saturn
4. Dede Demet (USA) Saturn
5. Erin Carter (Can) Elita
6. Anna Wilson (Aus) Saturn
7. Tina Mayolo (USA)

Xcelerate Road Race

Georgia, USA, April 30, 2000

In Sunday's Xcelerate Road Race, revenge was the key word, as the Saturn and squads made up for their near-misses of the night before in the Athens criterium. In the 90-mile men's race, Saturn's Antonio Cruz took the long uphill sprint over his eleven breakaway companions, just edging out Oscar Pineda (7 UP/Colorado Cyclist). Meanwhile, in the women's event, hometown hero Tina Mayolo improved on her seventh of the night before, and won a six-up dash for the victory.


1. Antonio Cruz (USA) Saturn
2. Oscar Pineda (Gua) 7 UP/Colorado Cyclist
3. Jesse Lawler (USA) Zaxby's Cycling Team
4. Eddy Gragus (USA) Jelly Belly
5. Gustavo Carillo (USA) NARC/Free Flite)
6. Chris Frederick (USA) Jamis/AccessHealth
7. Eric Wohlber (Can) Shaklee/Marin
8. Brian Whitcomb (USA) L'Equipe Cheval
9. Franky Van Haesebroucke (Bel) Navigators
10. Steve Sevener (USA) Zaxby's Cycling Team

1. Tina Mayolo (USA)
2. Rebecca McClintock (USA) Jane Cosmetics
3. Annie Gariepy (Can) Elita
4. Roz Reekie (NZl) New Zealand National/Rudy Project
5. Wendy Webb ((USA) ABP Velo
6. Tammy Riggs (USA) Velo Voodoo
7. Kim Davidge (Can) Elita
8. Andrea Ratkovic (USA)

First Charter Criterium

Shelby, USA, April 28, 2000

By John Alsedek, correspondent

With NRC points and $21,000 in prizes available, most of the country's top professional squads came to Shelby, North Carolina with their top sprinters- Navigators brought Todd Littlehales; Saturn, Tony Cruz; Jelly Belly, Eddy Gragus; 7 UP/Colorado Cyclist, Kevin Monahan; Mercury, Gord Fraser. However, it was Jonas Carney of the Shaklee/Marin team who came up with his second win in as many years.

Wet conditions on Thursday night and early Friday morning left the riders a little leery, but the 1.4-kilometer course was dry by race time. After Mercury's Derek Bouchard-Hall clocked the fastest time in the one-lap Cleveland Eye Clinic Pole Position Challenge, the 10-rider Mercury squad continued to dictate the pace early on in the main event, with Michael Sayers, John Peters, and Roy Knickman making early solo moves that netted them a number of $100 and $200 primes and kept the average speed up around 30 mph.

Around the midway point, Peters and Mercury designated sprinter Fraser made a tactically questionable foray off the front (Knickman explained it afterwards by saying, "We wanted to have fun and make the race interesting"); while the duo gained as much as 16 seconds on the field, it didn't take long for Shaklee to take advantage of the situation - they took the front and let the duo dangle a bit before bringing them back with about ten laps to go. At that point, the pace got even faster, as Mercury moved most of their remaining riders to the front to set up Fraser's 'train'.

However, Shaklee was up to the challenge. after Dave McCook snagged the penultimate lap's $750 'Gamblers Prime', Carney took a flyer near the finish and won by three bike lengths over Navigators' Vassili Davidenko, with Fraser taking third.

John Lieswyn's report

Weather: wet roads and cool temperatures at start, dry by the finish. Pole Position 1 lap time trial for $500 won by Derek Bouchard Hall (Mercury) Top 10 times got on the first row at the start of the Criterium. None of us Shaklee guys did the pole position challenge as we wanted to save all our strength for the battle to come. Team sponsor Gardner Webb University is near Shelby and we wanted to impress them.

I got a front row start and whooped "I love bike racing!" like some kinda "Breaking Away" fan/nerd as we accelerated through the first turn. After 15 years of racing I still get such a rush out of it. (to all the people associated with the great movie "Breaking Away" please don't send me offended emails as this was meant complimentarily)

Mercury put us on the ropes straight away. I was thinking of my teammate Graeme Miller's oft said paraphrase of "The Sixth Sense" as there were sea foam green jerseys all over the front. I SEE GREEN PEOPLE. Outnumbered 10 to 2 they took nearly every $100 and $200 prime offered in the early going, and Roy Knickman (Mercury) got an early 10 second lead and earned a few hundred bucks for his efforts. He soon blew up in the head winds and came back to us. The first 7 laps we averaged over 30mph (50kph) and it took some time for Shaklee teammates Eric Wohlberg (aka Little Frank) Glen Mitchell, Sylvain Beauchamp (aka Pepe from the French skunk cartoon character) and Dave McCook (known as Chewie, from Star Wars due to his long hair years back, now just called Cookie) to join Graeme and I at the front.

Jonas was just hanging back waiting for the field sprint, and it was up to the rest of us to make sure he'd get one. Actually, he hadn't delivered at Santa Rosa or Austin, but the feeling was that his sprint was coming along soon. We'd see if we could get a good break we could win from or else set it up for Jonas at the end. Lap after lap Mercury had us outnumbered in the breaks and then we got a lucky situation. Gord and a Mercury teammate got away just the two of them and built a 20 second lead on us. This looked bad but was very good: as long as we got ourselves composed into a good chase train at the front of the pack and "feathered" the gap to the leaders, we could save our sprinter while Mercury's top sprinter was off the front using up his energy in a hopefully fruitless effort. Soon we had places 1-6 at the head of the field, setting a fast enough pace that the lead duo's time gap dropped into the 15 second range. They gave up after about ten laps.

The final 7 laps were really really fast, up to 32 mph average speed. Mercury had an awesome leadout train going with 4 laps to go until 1/2 lap to go, whereupon Graeme and Jonas did their thing. I was hurting bad back around 25th place, and couldn't see the action up front, but I did hear that our Cookie won the $750 2 laps to go Gambler Prime. Yeah Dave. Jonas fired out of the front of the dueling sprinters like he was shot from a cannon and won the bike race by 4 bikelengths, while Graeme held on for 7th. All in all, a very successful day. Here's hoping we can do it again tomorrow.

There's 1/2 the prizemoney available but Saturn US PRO Tour points are on the line, plus 10,000 plus screaming spectators. The Twilight holds special significance for me because back in '94 when I was with Coors Light team, I was having absolutely the race of my career when at 1/2 lap to go a drunk climbed over the barricades and stepped right out in front of my teammate Chris Huber and I as we led the pack out of the second turn. I suffered two compressed vertebrae and a dislocated shoulder in an accident that severely stunted my cycling career. In '97 I went back to Athens Twilight and finished 2nd (after Gord was DQ'd for using his hand to slingshot off Derek Bouchard Hall, then off Shaklee, during the last lap). While finishing 2nd in a bike race that cost me years was some kind of redemption, winning would be the ultimate...

Results - 82 km

1. Jonas Carney (USA) Shaklee/Marin
2. Vassili Davidenko (Ukr) Navigators
3. Gord Fraser (Can) Mercury
4. Kevin Monahan (USA) 7 UP/Colorado Cyclist
5. Eddy Gragus (USA) Jelly Belly
6. Antonio Cruz (USA) Saturn
7. Graeme Miller (NZL) Shaklee/Marin
8. Derek Bouchard-Hall (USA) Mercury
9. James Baledesare (USA) GoMart/West Virginia
10. Todd Littlehales (USA) Navigators
11. Roberto Gaggioli (Ita) DeFeet
12. Chris Pic (USA) Zaxby's
13. Franky Van Haesebroucke (Bel) Navigators
14. Juan-Carlos Pineda (Gua) 7 UP/Colorado Cyclist
15. Leigh Bryan (Aus) Australian National
16. Kirk Albers (USA) Jelly Belly
17. Chad Gerlach (USA) DeFeet
18. Jason Waddell (USA) Arlington Velo
19. Ryan Oelkers (USA) Scott/BiKyle/Flyers
20. Oscar Pineda (Gua) 7 UP/Colorado Cyclist
Results courtesy of Tom English