|Tech Features Road MTB Cyclocross Track News Images Feedback|
First Union Classic
First Union USPRO Championships
United States of America
First Union USPRO Championships - 1.2
Philadelphia, USA, June 4, 2000
Vogels & Team Mercury finally win the Big One
Rodriguez Sprints to USPRO Title
By Tim Maloney, cyclingnews.com correspondent
It was a day of redemption in Philadelphia today, as Henk Vogels of Team Mercury attacked his way to victory in the 2000 USPRO Championship after a disapointing 2nd place result last Wednesday in Wilmington, while Fred Rodriguez sprinted for second overall to win the USPRO Championship title. Vogels' win set a new race record time, but more importantly, John Wordin's Mercury team has proven with their win today that they are a real force to be reckoned with.
As for Rodriguez, he too has come a long way since joining the Mapei team last season. Rodriguez finished a disappointing 6th last year, but this year his Mapei teamates kept him in contention until the end. Now Fast Freddy will don his new stars & stripes jersey for the upcoming 2000 Tour De France, where he'll be an integral part of the Mapei squad.
The race started on a cool and bright morning in Center City Philadelphia, a change from the opressive heat and humidity of the past few days. An early break jumped to a lead of 1', and the key players like USPS, Mercury and Saturn were content to sit back and watch the break roll. Up front, Adam Livingston of Jelly Belly was on a rampage. The San Diego native took almost all the Saturn Teamwork Challenge sprints from the first of 10 times up the Manayunk Wall, but as the riders in the break faltered, Levi Leipheimer of US Postal Service attacked on the Wall with two laps to go, shattering the break with his move.
Leipheimer was joined by Floyd Landis of Mercury and Piotr Chmielewski of Mroz-Supradyn on the penultimate lap, but the chase behind by the motivated Memorycard-Jack & Jones team pulled this break back just before the last assault on the Manayunk Wall. As the break was caught, Vogels counter attacked on the 17% Wall, breaking clear with USPS rider Steffan Kjaergaard, Alessandro Guerra of Saeco Valli & Valli, Nicolai Bo Larsen of Memorycard and Arkadiusz Wojtas of Mroz-Supradyn.
Right behind the break of 5, '98 USPRO Champ George Hincapie bridged up to join his teammate, followed by Shaklee's John Lieswyn and Fred Rodriguez of Mapei-Quick Step. With this octet in the lead, the chasers slowed and Kjaergaard put the hammer down to pull the break to a 1' lead as the final large lap ended and the USPRO Championships entered the final 3 crucial finish laps.
Vogels showed he had the best legs in the race, with two decisive attacks in the last finishing lap. He came back the first time, but with 1500 meters left to race, Henk took off again and the other riders just watched as the Australian rode to victory. 7 seconds behind, Rodriguez showed he was the fastest and strongest with his decisive sprint for runner-up and the 2000 USPRO title.
"I had great legs, and I was like, 'Whack! I did it once, I can do it again'," said Vogels in his post-race interview.
1 Henk Vogels (Aus) Mercury 5.52.11 (42.76 km/h) 2 Fred Rodriguez (USA) Mapei-Quick Step* 3 Nicolay-Bo Larsen (Den) Memory Card-Jack & Jones 0.07 4 Alessandro Guerra (Ita) Saeco-Valli & Valli 5 George Hincapie (USA) US Postal Service 6 Arkadiusz Wojtas (Pol) Mroz-Supradyn 7 John Lieswyn (USA) Shaklee 8 Gord Fraser (Can) Mercury 0.18 9 Marcel WŁst (Ger) Festina 10 Julian Dean (Nzl) US Postal Service 11 Ed Gragus (USA) Jelly Belly Lexus 12 Vassili Davidinko (Rus) Navigators 13 Antonio Cruz (USA) Saturn Cycling Team 14 Piotr Wadecki (Pol) Mrůz 15 Salvatore Commesso (Ita) Saeco-Valli & Valli 16 Dariusz Wojciechowski (Pol) Mrůz 17 Jan Bratkowski (Ger) Mercury Cycling Team 18 Remigius Lupeikis (Pol) Mrůz 19 Graeme Miller (Nzl) Team Shaklee 20 Cezary Zamana (Pol) Mat-Ceresit CCC 21 Kevin Monahan (USA) 7Up-Colorado Cyclist 22 Andrew Randell (Can) Jet Fuel Coffee Cycling Team 23 Oscar Pineda (Dom) 7Up-Colorado Cyclist 24 Jacob Moe Rasmussen (Den) Memory Card-Jack & Jones 25 Oscar Cavagnis (Ita) Alexia Alluminio 26 Derk Friel (USA) Jet Fuel Coffee Cycling Team 27 Christopher Horner (USA) Mercury Cycling Team 28 Jacek Mickiewicz (Pol) Mrůz 29 Kirk Albers (USA) Jelly Belly Lexus 30 Giusseppe Giuliano (Can) Jet Fuel Coffee Cycling Team 31 Jakob Storm Piil (Den) Memory Card-Jack & Jones 32 Kevin Hulsman (Bel) Mapei-Quick Step 33 Glen Mitchell (Nzl) Team Shaklee 34 Leif Hoste (Bel) Mapei-Quick Step 35 Piotr Przydzial (Pol) Mat-Ceresit CCC 36 Brian Walton (Can) Saturn Cycling Team 37 Mark Walters (Can) Navigators Cycling Team 38 Doug Ziewacz (USA) 7Up-Colorado Cyclist 39 Jason Crookham (Can) Jet Fuel Coffee Cycling Team 40 Mark McCormack (USA) Saturn 41 David Clinger (USA) Festina-Lotus 42 David McCook (USA) Team Shaklee 43 Trent Klasna (USA) Saturn Cycling Team 44 Anton Villatoro (USA) 7Up-Colorado Cyclist 45 Stefan Kjaergarrd (Nor) US Postal Service 46 Danny Pate (USA) Saeco-Valli&Valli 0.27 47 Floyd Landis (USA) Mercury Cycling Team 0.39 48 Valentino China (Ita) Saeco-Valli & Valli 49 Scottie Weiss (USA) Zaxby's 0.47 50 Sylvain Beauchamp (Can) Team Shaklee 51 Marty Jemison (USA) US Postal Service 52 Aldo Zanetti (Ita) Alexia Alluminio 53 Burke Swindlehurst (USA) Navigators Cycling Team 54 Ivan Sastre Estevez (Spa) Festina-Lotus 1.10 55 Michael Sandstod (Den) Memory Card-Jack & Jones 1.17 56 Paul Martin (USA) Navigators Cycling Team 57 Russel Miller (USA) Team Shaklee 58 Clark Sheehan (USA) 7Up-Colorado Cyclist 59 Dario Andriotto (Ita) Alexia Alluminio 1.39 60 Rafael Casero (Spa) Festina-Lotus 1.53 61 Harm Jansen (Ned) Saturn Cycling Team 6.16 62 Piotr Zaradny (Pol) MAT-Ceresit CCC 63 Tim Erwin (USA) Yahweh Tokyo Joe's 64 Adam Livingston (USA) Jelly Belly Lexus 65 Steve Hegg (USA) Jelly Belly Lexus 66 Scott Cochran (USA) Jelly Belly Lexus 67 Joby Siciliano (USA) Yahweh Tokyo Joe's 68 Slawomir Chrzanowski (Pol) Mat-Ceresit CCC *Fred Rodriguez is the USPro Champion for 2000 Saturn Teamwork Challenge Winner (King of the Wall): Adam Livingston (USA) Jelly Belly Thanks to Shaun McBride/First Union Cycling for the results
1 Fred Rodriguez (USA) Mapei-Quick Step 5.52.11 (42.76 km/h) 2 George Hincapie (USA) US Postal Service 0.07 3 John Lieswyn (USA) Shaklee 4 Ed Gragus (USA) Jelly Belly Lexus 0.18 5 Antonio Cruz (USA) Saturn Cycling Team 6 Kevin Monahan (USA) 7Up-Colorado Cyclist 7 Derk Friel (USA) Jet Fuel Coffee Cycling Team 8 Christopher Horner (USA) Mercury Cycling Team 9 Kirk Albers (USA) Jelly Belly Lexus 10 Doug Ziewacz (USA) 7Up-Colorado Cyclist 11 Mark McCormack (USA) Saturn 12 David Clinger (USA) Festina-Lotus 13 David McCook (USA) Team Shaklee 14 Trent Klasna (USA) Saturn Cycling Team 15 Anton Villatoro (USA) 7Up-Colorado Cyclist 16 Danny Pate (USA) Saeco-Valli&Valli 0.27 17 Floyd Landis (USA) Mercury Cycling Team 0.39 18 Scottie Weiss (USA) Zaxby's 0.47 19 Marty Jemison (USA) US Postal Service 20 Burke Swindlehurst (USA) Navigators Cycling Team 21 Paul Martin (USA) Navigators Cycling Team 1.17 22 Russel Miller (USA) Team Shaklee 23 Clark Sheehan (USA) 7Up-Colorado Cyclist 24 Tim Erwin (USA) Yahweh Tokyo Joe's 6.16 25 Adam Livingston (USA) Jelly Belly Lexus 26 Steve Hegg (USA) Jelly Belly Lexus 27 Scott Cochran (USA) Jelly Belly Lexus 28 Joby Siciliano (USA) Yahweh Tokyo Joe's
By John Alsedek, cyclingnews.com correspondent
Philadelphia is, at a total population of over 1.6 million, the largest city in Pennsylvania. It was the most celebrated venue of the Revolutionary War. Among other things, the Declaration of Independence was signed here, it was here that Betsy Ross created the first U.S. flag, and it was even briefly the nation's capital.
This will be the sixteenth year that Philadelphia has hosted the U.S. PRO Championship, one of the city's most beloved sporting events, and one that annually attracts crowds in excess of a quarter-million.
What's the word from the riders?
Antonio Cruz, Saturn
"Sunday is the biggest race of the year for our team, and we all plan to come out like smoking guns. When it comes down to the crowds and excitement of the whole series, nothing beats Philly!"
Eddy Gragus, Jelly Belly
"The First Union races are the pinnacle of the season. If you can do well in these races against some of Europe's finest, then you have put yourself amongst the best in the U.S. Not surprisingly, there aren't that many Americans who do well during that week- even some of the U.S.'s best never accomplish much during the Philly week. It takes an aggressive rider, one who is willing to take chances and race full tilt at the front. Natural selection due to difficulty in the courses is limited, but selections happen more tactically, so you have to race at the front."
John Lieswyn, Shaklee
"This race is getting to be too easy a course, but more important is to get with the rest of the world and do two things: limit it to Americans only; and make it a true U.S. PRO Championship, and put it on the same day as every other nation in the world holds their nationals. Let's support AMERICANS and AMERICAN RACING."
Scott McAfee, 7 UP/Colorado Cyclist
"Philly is our biggest priority, as it is for everyone else. As might be expected, Clark (Sheehan), having won the King of the Wall last year; and Anton (Villatoro), having finished seventh last year, are our two favorites. We also have a few guys who are untested in an event this long, but who could surprise some people."
Ron Schmeer, Nutra Fig
"The course is pretty easy, even at 156 miles. To make the first group, it all comes down to the Wall, and position is everything. It's a mini field sprint for the two or three kilometers before the Wall. With the big straightaway, and then 90 degress right, one block, another 90 degree right, 1/2 block, and a left to the Wall, you could be fifteen seconds down before you even start climbing."
1998 George Hincapie (USA) US Postal 251 kms in 6.06.35 (41.08 km/h) 1999 Jacob Piil (Den) Acceptcard 251 kms in 6.04.44 (41.30 km/h)