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Pro Cycling Tour Grand Finale - NE

Miami, USA, October 21, 2001

2000 Results    Past winners

Horner, Mayolo win in Miami

Klasna, Millward take Pro Cycling Tour titles

By John Alsedek

The 2001 Pro Cycling Tour ended in dramatic fashion today, as Chris Horner (Prime Alliance) and Tina Mayolo (AutoTrader.com) emerged victorious in the PCT Grand Finale.

Though the overall Pro Cycling Tour standings didn't change, the day was nonetheless one to remember, as two high-caliber fields finished off the 2001 racing season at one of North America's most beautiful race settings. Held around the perimeter of Bayfront Park, the 1.5-mile circuit drew an estimated 25,000 people, who were treated to the dual spectacle of Miami's famous waterfront and some of the season's best racing.

The 85-minutes-plus-five-laps Pro/Elite Men's race started off at nearly 30 miles per hour...and did so twice! As former ONCE professional Ivan Franco was winning a special International Currency prize awarded to the rider who crossed the line in front on the very first lap, there was a crash in the final corner involving South Florida rider Joel Chavez that neutralized the race and led to a restart.

But it neither slowed things down nor blunted anyone's aggression, as Horner and 2000 Under-23 National Road Champion Brice Jones (Mercy Cycling) broke away from the main group just 13 minutes into the race. They were soon joined by Italian veteran Roberto Gaggioli (DeFeet/LeMond), and the newly-formed trio were off and running; by the 30-minute mark, they had amassed a lead of 27 seconds on a four-rider chase group. Thirteen seconds further back, the field was rapidly disintegrating, as the highly technical course and strong winds off the waterfront wreaked havoc among their ranks - noticeable among the abandoning cyclists were the likes of Pro Cycling Tour leader Klasna and U.S. PRO Champion Fred Rodriguez (Domo-Farm Frites).

However, with five laps to go, an eight-man chase took up the challenge. Driven by 2000 U.S. Olympian Antonio Cruz (U.S. Postal Service), the chasers began whittling away at their lead, getting as close as 18 seconds with just three laps remaining. However, with Horner's Prime Alliance teammate Jonas Carney softpedaling in the group, they never got any closer, and eventually finished nearly a minute behind Horner, who jumped his erstwhile companions in the last corner and rolled in several seconds up on Jones and Gaggioli.

Afterwards, Horner was quick to credit Carney: "We really had a good team here, even if it was just the two of us. With Jonas coming up behind, it really just let me sit in and rest for the finish." Their outstanding teamwork comes as an even greater surprise when it's noted that they've only done about a half-dozen races together since Horner's transfer from the Mercury Cycling Team a few weeks ago.

In contrast, the earlier 60-minute Pro/Elite Women's race came down to a group sprint, though not for a lack of aggressive racing. Just five minutes into the event, the duo of Lenora Felker (Amoroso's/Tri-State Velo) and Rebecca McClintock (Gatorade Women's Cycling Team) broke away and gained a few seconds before being swallowed up by the hard-charging field. Then, no sooner were they brought back to the fold, than Kerry Soraci-Schmatz (Gatorade Women's Cycling Team) jumped clear in what would be the longest-lived move of the race, spending over one-third of the race alone and gaining a maximum of 18 seconds before the field reacted and brought everything back together again with just five laps remaining.

Next to try her luck was Robin Kavan (Best of Bay Cycling), who got a small gap before McClintock led the field up with just two to go, at which point it was almost certain to come down to a field sprint. Coming out of the final corner, four riders had a minimal gap on the rest, and Saturday's International Cycling Invitational winner Hutchison looked to have the sprint in hand, but Mayolo came back in the final fifty meters, just nipping her former AutoTrader.com teammate in a photo-finish.

Afterwards, Mayolo talked animatedly about her competition: "Kerry rode really aggressive, and Shannon is always really tough to beat in the sprints. I thought today was a really good race."

In the overall Pro Cycling Tour results, there were no changes in leadership, as Trent Klasna (Saturn) and Anna Millward (Saturn) retained their orange PCT leader's hats. Said Klasna afterwards: "It's been a LONG season, but a very fruitful one for the Saturn team. For us to do so well in the Pro Cycling Tour - the premier cycling series in North America - is a real feather in our caps."

The PCT is managed by Threshold Sports and sanctioned by USA Cycling, the national governing body for cycling in the U.S. Threshold Sports is a sports marketing and event management company that focuses on the commercial development of the sport of cycling and organizes the best professional bicycle races in North America.

Photography

Jonathan Devich (TheFastTrack) was ringside for the finale of the top US series and took these pictures.

Photos added on October 25

Results

Pro/Elite Men - 85 minutes plus five laps

1 Chris Horner (Prime Alliance)
2 Brice Jones (Mercy Cycling)
3 Roberto Gaggioli (DeFeet/LeMond)
4 Jonas Carney (Prime Alliance)
5 Kevin Monahan (7 UP/Colorado Cyclist)
6 Andrew Crater (RealityBikes.com)
7 Antonio Cruz (U.S. Postal Service)
8 Mike Zingaro (Mercy Cycling)
9 John Cipalla (Jamis)
10 Jay Moglia (NCVC)

Pro/Elite Women - 60 minutes

1 Tina Mayolo (AutoTrader.com)
2 Shannon Hutchison (Litespeed/Atlanta Velo)
3 Lynn Brotzman (DeFeet/LeMond)
4 Sherri Stedje (Best of Bay Cyclists)
5 Ashley Kimmet (Gatorade Women's Cycling Team)
6 Kerry Soraci-Schmatz (Gatorade Women's Cycling Team)
7 Rebecca McClintock (Gatorade Women's Cycling Team)
8 Elizabeth Wencel-Stone (Hurricane Cycles)
9 Tracy Sproule (Litespeed/Atlanta Velo)
10 Beth Leasure (Gatorade Women's Cycling Team)

Past winners

Men

2000 Ivan Dominguez (Cub) Saturn


Women

2000 Marjon Marik (Swe) AutoTrader.com