|Tech Features Road MTB Cyclocross Track News Photos Feedback|
Philadelphia, PA, June 10, 2001
Whoops I Did It Again: Fred Rodriguez Repeats As USPRO Champion
By Tim Maloney, cyclingnews.com correspondent
"I couldn't believe it..." That's what Domo-Farm Frites rider Fred Rodriguez was saying to himself as he rode away from a hard charging group of 5 riders with half a mile to go in today's 17th edition USPRO Championships in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Rodriguez told cyclingnews after his win that "I just rolled to the inside (as the last lap break of 6 entered Logan Circle at the beginning of the Ben Franklin Parkway) and tried to keep the tempo up...I don't like slow sprints. I just got a gap and kept on going."
Rodriguez's win, the first time anyone has repeated as USPRO Champion was not totally a surprise. His transition to Domo-Farm Frites from Mapei didn't get off to a great start but in recent weeks, some decent results and a tough training session at home prepared the talented rider to recapture his title. Rodriguez's victory also showed that he has become a more mature and seasoned rider under the tutelage of Domo-FF manager Patrick Lefevre and his mentor Johan Museeuw.
Runner up was PCT leader Trent Klasna. The rangy Saturn man from Southern California and his team rode an excellent race, with Michael Barry playing a great second fiddle to Klasna but it was not to be for TK. Although he might not admit it, Third placed George Hincapie of USPS has nothing to be ashamed of today. His team rode hard and smart all day and got their guy in position to win but lady luck did not smile on George today.
Nor did the USPRO championships go the way Mercury-Viatel wanted; their inconsistent Italian sprinter Fabrizio Guidi did make the break and wound up 4th, but unlike last year when they took no prisoners, the team seemed confused and unfocused. The aqua and silver assault everyone expected to dominate at this year's USPRO Championships never materialized and Mercury was shut out of the podium for 2001.
Under a clear blue sky, the USPRO peloton rolled past the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum at 9am and although things were quiet for a while, a large break of 16 riders began to gain time on the not-too-active peloton. With three USPS, two Festina, two Saturn, one Mercury-Viatel and assorted CSC-WOL, 7-Up, Mapei, Zaxby's and IBM-Lotus riders, it seemed that Mercury would likely keep things in hand. But that wasn't their game plan; Mercury-Viatel was not going to ride chase tempo and get burned like they did Thursday in Trenton. USPS took advantage of the situation by riding hard up front and with horses like Joachim and Zabriskie pulling, the break's lead grew rapidly.
With 10 laps to go, the break had 8'15" and up front, Luis Perez of Festina was beginning to dominate the King Of The Wall Challenge up the tough climb in Manayunk. Mercury was still not chasing hard but the peloton had upped their pace when they saw the time board with that big 8' lead. Eventually the pace up front and the distance began to make an impact of the break. With 50 miles left to race and the gap down to 5', Perez attacked hard up the Wall and took Eugene Wacker of Mroz and Clark Sheehan of 7UP with him as the rest of the big break began to drift back to the chase. Once the trio got a lead, the chase groups merged and Perez & Co. were all alone out front with a 4'00 lead and 6 laps to go.
Behind the break, a major selection was happening on the Manayunk Wall with five and a half laps to race. Mercury, Saturn and CSC-WOL made a major acceleration on the front of the chasing peloton and the gap began to drop to under 2'00 and the peloton was now down to 50 riders. By Lemon Hill, the break had been caught as Luis Perez of Festina clinched his win as King Of The Wall Challenge for 2001. This set the stage for the last two times up the Wall, always the crucial moment at the USPRO championship.
A massive attack on the penultimate climb up the Manayunk Wall by Michael Barry of Saturn and Jacob Piil of CSC-WOL blew the peloton apart; two groups of 25 formed about 1'00 apart and it was this front group that would determine the outcome of the USPRO Championship. With 4 laps to go (one large lap of 14 miles and 3 lots of a 3 mile finishing circuit), not much real action was happening. Everyone up front was waiting for the last time up the wall and they were not disappointed by the action.
Mapei's Pedro Munoz Horrillo had been lying low all day, but when he unleashed his move on the final assault of the Manayunk Wall, it turned out to be the winning move. In his wake, 5 other riders managed to extricate themselves and form the winning break; Piil, Guidi, Hincapie, Klasna and Rodriguez. The sextet never got a big lead; perhaps 32" at the most but with teammates blocking and despite the heroic chase by Navigators, the break was a done deal as the race entered the final three laps.
Everyone up front rode hard as the chasers always had them just ahead, dangling tantalizingly ahead like a carrot. But with not enough horsepower in the chase, there was nothing to stop the six fugitives from the inevitable sprint. Nothing except Fred Rodriguez, who simply made the most successful move of his cycling career to win. Kudos to the speedy sprinter; he didn't hesitate to make the power move on the inside once he saw he had a gap and just do it.
Fred won by taking a page out of his mentor Museeuw's victory book, which augurs well for his future as a classics rider. Klasna jumped away from the break in pursuit of Rodriguez him to grab a gap and runner up spot while a visibly disappointed Hincapie easily bested Guidi for third.
1 Fred Rodriguez (USA) Domo-Farm Frites 5.57.56 (42.15 km/h) 2 Trent Klasna (USA) Saturn 0.05 3 George Hincapie (USA) US Postal Service 4 Fabrizio Guidi (Ita) Mercury-Viatel 5 Jakob Piil (Den) CSC-World Online 6 Pedro Munoz Horillo (Spa) Mapei-Quick Step 7 Viatcheslav Ekimov (Rus) U.S. Postal Service 0.15 8 Leon Van Bon (Ned) Mercury-Viatel 9 Henk Vogels (Aus) Mercury-Viatel 10 Julian Dean (NZl) U.S. Postal Service 11 Dirk Friel (USA) Zaxby's 12 Steffen Radochla (Ger) Festina 13 Simon Kessler (RSA) IBM-Lotus 14 Harm Jansen (Ned) Saturn 15 John Lieswyn (USA) 7UP-Colorado Cyclist 16 Damon Kluck (USA) Jelly Belly 17 Glen Mitchell (NZl) Navigators 18 Salvatore Commesso (Ita) Saeco Macchine per Caffe' 19 Ernesto Lechuga (USA) DeFeet-LeMond 20 Zbigniew Piatek (Pol) MROZ-Supradyn 21 Gabriel Rampollo (Ita) DeFeet-LeMond 22 Soren Peterson (Den) Saturn 23 Nikki Sorensen (Den) CSC-World Online 24 Geert Van Bondt (Bel) Mercury-Viatel 25 Kirk O'Bee (USA) Navigators 26 Antonio Cruz (USA) U.S. Postal Service 27 Christian Vandevelde (USA) U.S. Postal Service 28 Raimondas Vilcinskas (Ltu) MROZ-Supradyn 29 Brad Davidson (Aus) Saeco Macchine per Caffe' 30 Jamie Ball (RSA) IBM-Lotus 31 Michael Barry (Can) Saturn 32 Levi Leipheimer (USA) U.S. Postal Service 33 Matthew White (Aus) U.S. Postal Service 34 Vassili Davidenko (Rus) Navigators 35 Chris Baldwin (USA) Navigators 36 Francisco Lara (Spa) Festina
By Jeff Jones
Strangely enough, the answer to that question is "Not necessarily the winner of the 250 km First Union USPRO Championship". In its 17th year in 2001, the race attracts teams from around the world to compete for UCI points and a big cash purse - US$130,000 this year. This has the benefit of raising the level of competition, and the first US rider to cross the line will certainly earn it.
The international field is the strongest ever this year, with the top two US teams Mercury Viatel and US Postal, along with other division one squads Domo-Farm Frites, Festina, CSC World On Line, Mapei Quick Step, and Saeco Macchine per Caffe, and several strong division two teams.
US Postal and Mercury-Viatel have won one each in the lead up races, the First Union Invitational (Leon Van Bon, Mercury) and the First Union Classic (Julian Dean, USPS). They will be highly motivated to take the race tomorrow, and will be pushed all the way by the "foreigners".
The race begins and ends on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and travels along Kelly drive before going through the Manayunk community, which includes the Manayunk wall to be completed 10 times. Cyclingnews will be providing live updates of the race from its 0900 start local time (1500 European time) to its anticipated finish at 1500 local time (2100 European time). Be sure to join us if you can't be there in person.
Domo-Farm Frites Mercury Viatel 1 Fred Rodriguez (USA ) 11 Henk Vogels (Aus) 2 Max Van Heeswijk (Ned) 12 Leon Van Bon (Ned) 3 Mario DeClerc (Bel) 13 Fabrizio Guidi (Ita) 4 Leif Hoste (Bel) 14 Geert Van Bondt (Bel) 5 Piotr Wadecki (Pol) 15 Chris Horner (USA) 6 Tomas Konecy (Cze) 16 Baden Cooke (Aus) 8 David Orvalho (Ned) 17 Derek Bouchard Hall (USA) 18 Chris Wherry (USA) 19 Michael Sayers (USA) 20 Scott Moninger (USA) US Postal Service Festina Lotus 21 George Hincapie (USA) 31 Nicolas Reynaud (Fra) 22 Viatcheslav Ekimov (Rus) 32 Luis Perez (Spa) 23 Julian Dean (NZl) 33 Rafael Casero (Spa) 24 Antonio Cruz (USA) 34 Luis J. Rebollo (Spa) 25 Benoit Joachim (Lux) 35 Francisco Lara (Spa) 26 Levi Leipheimer (USA) 36 Michel Klinger (Swi) 27 Christian VandeVelde (USA) 37 David Clinger (USA) 28 Robbie Ventura (USA) 29 Matthew White (Aus) 30 David Zabriskie (USA) CSC World On Line Saturn 41 Arvis Piziks (Lat) 51 Mike Barry (Can) 42 Jakob Storm Piil (Den) 52 Matt DeCanio (USA) 43 Bjarke Nielsen (Den) 53 Chris Fisher (USA) 44 Raphael Jeune (Fra) 54 Trent Klasna (USA) 45 Jacob Moe Rasmussen 55 Harm Jansen (Ned) 46 Michael Sandsted (Den) 56 Mark McCormack (USA) 47 Nikki Sorensen (Den) 57 Frank McCormack (USA) 58 Soren Peterson (Den) 59 Tim Johnson (USA) 60 Eric Wohlberg (Can) Navigators 7-UP Colorado Cyclist 61 Chris Baldwin (USA) 71 Charles Dionne (Can) 62 Siro Camponogara (Ita) 72 Ryan Guay (USA) 63 Vassili Davidenko (Rus) 73 John Lieswyn (USA) 64 Oleg Grichkine (Rus) 74 David McCook (USA) 65 Glen Mitchell (NZl) 75 Kevin Monahan (USA) 66 Kirk O'Bee (USA) 76 Juan Pineda (USA) 67 Franky VanHaesbroucke (Bel) 77 Oscar Pineda (USA) 68 Mark Walters (Can) 78 Andrew Randell (Can) 69 Brendon Vesty (NZl) 79 Clark Sheehan (USA) 70 Burke Swindlehurst (USA) 80 Doug Ziewacz (USA) Mapei Quick Step Saeco Macchine per Caffe 81 Scott McGrory (Aus) 91 Salvatore Commesso (Ita) 82 David Tani (Ita) 92 Justin Spinelli (USA) 83 Pedro Munoz Horillo (Spa) 93 Brad Davidson (Aus) 84 Antonio Rizzi (Ita) 94 Alessio Galletti (Ita) 85 Eddy Ratti (Ita) 95 Nicole Gavazzi. Ita 86 Patrick Sinkewitz (Ger) 96 Dario Pieri (Ita) Defeet Lemond Mroz-Supradyn / Servisco 101 Roberto Gaggioli (Ita) 111 Piotr Chmielewski (Pol) 102 Gabrielle Rampollo (Ita) 112 Zbigniew Piatek (Pol) 103 Chris Harkey (USA) 113 Skazimierz Stafiej (Pol) 104 Brandon Lovick (USA) 114 Bogdan Bondarev (Ukr) 105 Geri Mewett (Ber) 115 Eugen Wacker (Ger) 106 Victor Laza (Yug) 116 Remigis Lupejkis (Ltu) 107 Dragomir Zivkovic (Yug) 117 Pawel Niedzwiecki (Pol) 108 Ernesto Lechuga (USA) 118 Zbigniew Kyrzykowski (Pol) 109 Shawn Willard (USA) 119 Raimondas Vilcinskas (Ltu) 110 TBD 120 Czeslaw Lukaciewicz (Can) Prime Alliance Sympatico.ca 121 Jame Carney (USA) 131 Jason Crookham (Can) 122 Steve Larsen (USA) 132 Joe Giuliano (Can) 123 Danny Pate (USA) 133 Charles Gorman (Can) 124 Michael Creed (USA) 134 Chad Grochowina (Can) 125 Ryan Miller (USA) 135 Josh Hall (Can) 126 Aaron Olson (USA) 136 Daniel Maggiacomo (Can) 127 John Walrod (USA) 137 Dominique Rollin. Can 128 Jonas Carney (USA) 138 Peter Wedge (Can) 129 Kirk Willett (USA) 139 Heath Cockburn (Can) 130 Colby Pearce (USA) Net Zero Jelly Belly 141 Jamie Paolinetti (USA) 151 Kirk Albers (USA) 142 Graeme Miller (NZl) 152 Norm Carter (USA) 143 Matthew Yates (NZl) 153 Mariano Friedick (USA) 144 Clark Hilton (Aus) 154 Eddy Gragus (USA) 145 Michael Johnson (USA) 155 Brian Forbes (USA) 146 Ryan Barrett (USA) 156 Brad Buccambuso (USA) 147 Mike Tillman (USA) 157 Damon Kluck (USA) 148 Gregg Medinilla (USA) 158 Jason McCartney (USA) 159 Jonathan Erdelyi (USA) Zaxby's Realitybikes.com 161 Dirk Friel (USA) 171 Kent Bostick (USA) 162 Alex Ferguson (USA) 172 Andrew Brozis (USA) 163 Scottie Weiss (USA) 173 Ryan Blickem (USA) 164 Jesse Lawler (USA) 174 Ryan Barnett (USA) 165 Michael Ley (USA) 175 Jon Atkins (USA) 166 Max Finkbeiner (USA) 176 Lou Schimmel (USA) 167 Luke Stockwell (Aus) 177 Andy Crater (USA) 168 Jacob Fetty (USA) 178 Travis Hutchinson (USA) 169 Rusty Miller (USA) 170 Justin Gilmore (USA) IBM Lotus 181 Douglas Ryder (RSA) 182 Simon Kessler (RSA) 183 Morne Bester (RSA) 184 Daniel Spence (RSA) 185 Jamie Ball (RSA) 186 Owen Hannie (RSA) 187 James Perry (RSA) 188 Darryn Lill (RSA)
2000 Henk Vogels (Aus) Mercury-Viatel 251 kms in 5.52.11 (42.76 km/h) 1999 Jacob Piil (Den) Acceptcard 251 kms in 6.04.44 (41.30 km/h) 1998 George Hincapie (USA) US Postal 251 kms in 6.06.35 (41.08 km/h) 1997 Massimiliano Lelli (Ita) 251 kms in 5.54.50 (42.44 km/h) 1996 Eddy Gragus (USA) 1995 Norm Alvis (USA) 1994 Sean Yates (GBr) 1993 Lance Armstrong (USA) 1992 Bart Bowen (USA) 1991 Michel Zanoli (Ned) 1990 Paolo Cimini (Ita) 1989 Greg Oravetz (USA) 1988 Robert Gaggioli (Ita) 1987 Tom Schuler (USA) 1986 Thomas Prehn (USA) 1985 Eric Heiden (USA) Past winners courtesy of Bob Schwartz