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Central Valley Classic - NE

Fresno, CA, USA, March 12-13, 2005

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

More of the same recipe for Quark

By Sarah Uhl, Quark Cycling Team

The women's podium
Photo ©: Nancy Wright
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Day two of the Central Valley Classic proved to be similar to day one 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 8:30am start and no time to waste, all of the major teams were launching attacks and keeping announcer Dave Towle thriving, with plenty of 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.

Health Net's Fraser & Dominguez snag one-two

Health Net team report by Jeff Sobul

Canadian national champion Gord Fraser (Health Net)
Photo ©: Nancy Wright
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"Today, we finally rode like we were supposed to," Mike Sayers of Health Net 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 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 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 - and burn a lot of matches in the process.

The Tower theatre is a major landmark in the district
Photo ©: Nancy Wright
Click for larger image

"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.

Andy Jacques-Maynes (shadowed by winner Gord Fraser and John Lieswyn)
Photo ©: Nancy Wright
Click for larger image

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.


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Nancy Wright/Abbi Orca Photography


Pro Men
1 Gordon Fraser (Health Net)
2 Ivan Dominguez (Health Net)
3 Charles Dionne (Webcor Builders)
4 Dave McCook (Jelly Belly)
5 Victor Ayala (Kahala-Lagrange)
6 Alex Candelario (Jelly Belly)
7 Marty Nothstein (Navigators Insurance Pro)
8 Karl Menzies (Advantage Benefits Endeavour)
9 Frank Pipp (Advantage Benefits Endeavour Cycling)
10 Jackson Stewart (Kodak Gallery/Sierra Nevada Cycling)
11 Chris Wherry (Health Net)
12 Eric Wohlberg (Symmetrics Cycling)
13 Daniel Schmatz (Team Sea Silver)
14 Vassili Davidenko (Navigators Insurance Pro)
15 Andrew Pinfold (Symmetrics Cycling)
16 Kayla Leogrande (Jelly Belly)
17 Tim Larkin (Kodak Gallery/Sierra Nevada Cycling)
18 Chris Greene (California Giant/Village Peddler)
19 Jake Rytlewski (Advantage Benefits Endeavour)
20 Gustavo Artacho (Colavita/Sutter Home)
Women Pro/1/2
1 Laura Van Gilder (Quark Cycling Team)
2 Magen Long (The 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 (Velo Bella)
11 Amy Moore (Victory Brewing)
12 Liza Rachetto (Subway)
13 Sarah Tillolson (ABD Cycling)
14 Sarah Bamberger (Touchstone Climbing)
15 Starr Falk (LGBRC)
16 Kelly Benjamin (ABD Cycling)
17 Kimberly Anderson (Colavita/Cooking Light)
18 Cindy Carroll (Dewars Racing)
19 Audrey Lemieux (Quark Cycling Team)
20 Felicia Greer (Webcor Builders)