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CSC Invitational- NE
Arlington, Virginia, USA, May 29, 2005
Sprinters take the breakaway option
Dominguez and Van Gilder show it doesn't have to be a bunch kick for them to win
By Kristy Scrymgeour
Formerly known as the Clarendon Cup, the 8th annual CSC Invitational was held in beautiful sunshine today in front of huge crowds in downtown Arlington. With an impressive field, and of course Bobby Julich and the CSC team on deck, the crowds were not disappointed as both the men and women put on exciting races. In the men's race Ivan Dominguez took the honours for the Health Net team, winning the sprint from a small break; following suit in the women's race were two sprinters that got away from the field, with Laura Van Gilder beating Ina Yoko Teutenberg in a tight two-up sprint at the finish.
This race is definitely one that makes old, fat ex-cyclists turned journalists wish that they were still racing and so was the case today. The one kilometre course starts on the wide open Wilson Boulevard, a tough uphill drag, turning left at the top and negotiating some fast turns on the back side of the course before a fast bottom couple of corners into the home uphill stretch. The race is always fast and often affected by strong winds, which were not as apparent today.
Teutenberg starts the ball rolling in the women's race
As could probably have been predicted by most, especially if they have raced here over the past few years, it was Ina Teutenberg who made the very early move, breaking away on the third lap, never to be seen again. Reminiscent of 2001 Teutenberg took Laura Van Gilder with her and the two sprinters took off for their 50-kilometre partnership. Back in the field, Victory Brewing quickly realised they had missed what could possibly be the winning move, put a couple of riders on the front to try and bring things back, but without full strength at the front, it was not to be and the breakaway duo worked well together and continued to gain time.
As the race proceeded, a few riders tried to attack, and midway through the race Victory Brewing put if a flurry of one attack after the other, but Teutenberg's T-Mobile teammates continued to bring things back and the break stayed away. It was with two laps to go that Teutenberg, probably the strongest sprinter but not confident she could win today after illness put her in bed yesterday, decided to attack. Van Gilder was on it however, and Teutenberg didn't get far, leaving the two of them back together to sprint it out. On the final straight, Van Gilder had the upper hand sitting in behind Teutenberg and the track stand game began. Finally Teutenberg kicked but couldn't hold Van Gilder off and the Quark rider came around to take the almost-photo-finish win on the line.
Van Gilder's grin spread from ear to ear, knowing that she had pulled off a pretty special victory against the German. "Once I got in the break I was looking forward to duking it out with Ina," explained Van Gilder after the race. "I really wanted to go woman on woman. In other races this year she has always got away from me, so I'm glad I got the opportunity this time."
"I knew [Ina] would try and make a move late," she continued. She is a very savvy rider, but I told myself to be confident and in the break I was ready to do it and I gave it 100% and take my chances."
Teutenberg was less than pleased with her performance, knowing that she had messed up the final lap. "It sucks to lose," she joked on the podium, "but Laura deserved the win."
"I went early," she told Cyclingnews later, referring to her attack with just over a lap to go, "because I was worried I wouldn't beat her in the sprint. In hindsight I should have done things differently."
Health Net comes out fighting in the men's race
Following the women's race and a couple of kid's races in between, the men lined up with a strong field including defending champion Lars Michaelsen (CSC). The 100km criterium started fast and around the back straight the huge field was strung out from corner to corner. A number of breakaways were attempted with Health Net ever present at the front along with the Navigators team. Seasilver, TIAA Cref, Advantage Benefits/Endeavour all had a go but CSC was all over it with Bobby Julich spending a lot of time on the front following wheels.
It wasn't until midway through the race that the action began, initiated by David O'Loughlin (Navigators) who attacked on the back side of the course. Three riders took off in pursuit, followed by another four and a straggler until eventually a group of nine had a convincing gap to the field. Deciding that this was a good break to be in, the attacks continued from the field, really splitting things up until eventually the break was 19 guys with five Health Net riders, three from Navigators, with single riders from Seasilver, McGuire,Colavita Sutter Homes, Monex, Aerospace Engineering and of course Bobby Julich from CSC. A few laps later, also seeing that this could be the move of the day, Mark McCormack (Colavita) bridged solo to the group in an impressive effort in his typical huge gear style, making two for his team.
It was then that Julich, obviously outnumbered, moved to the back of the break and the CSC boys came to the front of the chase group. The Health Net guys were driving the break with the help of Navigators, but when CSC put the hammer down the gap started to fall. Within a few laps the field was closing in on the break and the main field had split, with riders being shelled left, right and center. When the break was eventually caught, a counter attack of four guys went up the road. In the group was Dominguez, Julich, Ivan Stevic (Aerospace Engineering) and Kirk O'Bee Navigators. This was the decisivemove move as any chase from behind had been temporarily exhausted and before long the leaders had 40 seconds on the field.
Health Net were happy, with their fast man Dominguez really having the upper hand as the fastest guy in the group. Navigators also had their sprinter up there, Stevic was just happy to be racing and having another great day for Aerospace Engineering and CSC also seemed happy with the break.
Colavita was not happy and sent Juan Jose Haedo in pursuit. He managed to bridge the gap solo, but the effort was too much for him and he was almost immediately dropped, leaving the break as four with a 40 second gap and 20 laps to ride.
A few solo attacks happened after this point, but nothing was sticking. Cameron Hughes of Subway got the most convincing gap, but he too was reeled in as the Health Net team took control of the peloton. Before long the break looked like they might lap the field, at which point the Health Net team got on the front of the peloton to pick things up. They were happy with the break and trusted Dominguez out there alone. For the break to lap the field would just confuse their chances. It was a battle of four riders and with five laps to go Ivan Stevic made his move, not liking his odds in the sprint. Dominguez was straight on his wheel and soon after it was the only other non-sprinters' turn to have a go, as Julich attacked hard getting a 150m gap. Again Dominguez was on it and the race finally came down to a sprint.
With two laps to as the cat and mouse game was being played out ahead, Navigators realized the gap was not all that big and put their leadout train on the front. With O'Bee not feeling entirelyconfident, they thought they might have time to bring things back. The drops of rain at 3 laps to go didn't come to anything, but a broken chain of Navigators rider Oleg Grishkine on the last lap, caused a crash right next to Mavic neutral support.
Up front, Stevic led out the last lap with Dominguez on his wheel. The final uphill straight to the finish was a drag race between Dominguez and O'Bee with Dominguez finally taking the win in a very close finish. Stevic held on for third place in front of Julich and Rahsaan Bahati flew home to take the bunch sprint for fifth place.
Dominguez was very happy after the race, explaining his thought in the final laps. "I knew Bobby would start attacking, so Kirk and I were just sucking wheels waiting for the sprint."
"I like this kind of course," he added. "In a big group you really have to be in the top three or four around that last corner."
His contender O'Bee wasn't surprised he was beaten and is happy with the way he's feeling having just arrived in the US. "I was shocked that I was in the break," he told Cyclingnews. "I warned my teammates that I wasn't feeling 100% confident and I didn't think I'd have the legs to beat Ivan. In the end I knew I just had to be on his wheel and go for it."
Despite being jet lagged, O'Bee said he is very happy that he feels this good already. "All my thoughts are on the US Pro champs next weekend. I've got my eye on the jersey," he added. "Our team is strong and the motivation is there. I think I'm the best chance for the jersey, but we'll keep our options open."
Julich was simply very happy to be racing on US soil and commented that he really enjoyed the race. "I knew in that break of four that I had a snowballs chance in hell of winning the race, but I had a lot of fun. We don't get the chance to race in America very often so I was out there enjoying it."
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us
Images by Sabine Sunderland
Pro Men 1 Ivan Dominguez (Health Net/Maxxis) 2 Kirk O'Bee (Navigators Insurance) 3 Ivan Stevic (Aerospace Engineering-Vmg) 4 Bobby Julich (CSC) 5 Rahsaan Bahati (Mcguire - Langdale) 6 Vassili Davidenko (Navigators Insurance) 7 Mark Mc Cormack (Colavita Olive Oil/Sutter Home) 8 Matti Breschel (CSC) 9 Karl Menzies (Advantage Benefits-Endeavour) 10 Eneas Freyre (Targetraining) 11 Alvaro Tardauila (Targetraining) 12 Eric Saunders (Mcguire - Langdale) 13 Jason Allen (Mcguire - Langdale) 14 Garrett Peltonen (Advantage Benefits-Endeavour) 15 Gord Fraser (Health Net/Maxxis) 16 Caneron Hughes (Subway Pro Cycling Team) 17 Kyle Gritters (Seasilver) 18 Lars Bak (CSC) 19 Alex Candelario (Jelly Belly - Pool Gel) 20 Trent Lowe (Jittery Joes/Kalahari) 21 Adisa Cubric (Aerospace Engineering-Vmg) 22 Gustavo Artacho (Colavita Olive Oil/Sutter Home) 23 Brent Bookwalter (Advantage Benefits-Endeavour) 24 Kirk Albers (Jelly Belly - Pool Gel) 25 Curtis Gunn (Seasilver) 26 James Mattis (Webcor Builders) 27 Emile Abraham (Team Monex) 28 Andy Schleck (CSC) 29 Roman Kilun (Mcguire - Langdale) 30 Tim Johnson (Jittery Joes/Kalahari) 31 Jonathan Page (Colavita Olive Oil/Sutter Home) 32 Eric Murphy (Aerospace Engineering-Vmg) 33 Ben Jacques-Maynes (Kodak Easyshare Gallery - Sierra Nevada) 34 Nathan Miller (Team Monex) Elite women 1/2/3 1 Laura Van Gilder (Team Quark) 2 Ina Tuetenberg (T-Mobile) 3 Nicole Freedman (Ford-Basis) 4 Jill Mc Laughlin (Velo Bella) 5 Gina Grain (Victory Brewing Company) 6 Lara Kroepsch (T-Mobile) 7 Shannon Hutchison (Aaron's Corporate Furnishings/L5Flyers) 8 Sarah Uhl (Team Quark) 9 Jean Mcray (Diet Cheerwine) 10 Lauren Franges (Victory Brewing Company) 11 Allie Warfel (Diet Cheerwine) 12 Kathleen Billington (Diet Cheerwine) 13 Sarah Bamberger (Touchstone Climbing) 14 Christina Dedraay (Team Fuji) 15 Liza Rachetto (Team Lipton) 16 Brenda Lyons (Victory Brewing Company) 17 Jeanette Williams (Hpc/List/Cardinal) 18 Hawn Heibgen (Tds) 19 Amy Moore (Victory Brewing Company) 20 Brooke Blackwelder (Team Tamarack) 21 Nancy Lux (Bmw-Bianchi) 22 Atherine Powers (Tds) 23 Christine Vardaros (Velo Bella) 24 Iona Wynter (Team Quark) 25 Rebecca Much (T-Mobile) 26 Heidi Goldberg (Hpc/List/Cardinal) 27 Brooke O'connor (Hub Racing) 28 Zoe Owers (Team Lipton) 29 Megan Esmonde (Colavita/Cooking Light) 30 Rebecca Larson (Colavita/Cooking Light) 31 Brooke Ourada (T-Mobile) 32 Sandra Kolb (Bicycle John's Serious Cycling) 33 Susan Hefler (Hpc/List/Cardinal) 34 Laura Bowles (Diet Cheerwine) 35 Kate Sherwin (Victory Brewing Company) 36 Lisa Matlock (Team Tamarack) Elite Men 1/2 1 Jacobs Stevens (Cobblestone/Natures Path) 2 John Green (Ag Edwards) 3 Kenny Bellau (Herring Gas) 4 Joshua Frick (Dc Velo/Martens Volvo) 5 David Osborne (Artemis) 6 Jonathan Hansen (Richmond Ciclismo) 7 Ramon Benitez (Artemis) 8 Philip Wikoff (Cane Creek) 9 Paul Basler 10 David Bozak (Big Wheel) 11 Michael Price (Snow Valley P/B Seal On) 12 Jeff Dickey 13 ? 14 Shane Groth (Ncvc) 15 Paul Wa (Snow Valley P/B Seal On) 16 Brian Butts (Rockville Harley Davidson / Bicycle Pro Shop) 17 Ken Johnson (Rockville Harley Davidson) 18 Fred Reidenbach (Hydromax) 19 Leigh Carter (Team Csk/Cvcc) 20 Jay Moglia (Ncvc / Edge Technologies) 21 John Schindler (Richmond Ciclismo) 22 Edward Beamon 23 Peter Stewart (Rockville Harley Davidson) 24 Paul Mica (Ncvc / Edge Technologies) 25 Nigel Chinemilly (Evolution/Dls) 26 James Wagner 27 Keith Franklin (Tulsa Wheelmen) 28 Matthew Cooked (Matt Cooke) 29 Stephen E. Jadatz (Richmond Ciclismo) 30 Jason Meidhof (Ncvc / Edge Technologies) 31 Blair Sanders (Fsvs) 32 R Muoio 33 Chris Decker (Ncvc / Edge Technologies) 34 Adam Fung (Rockville Harley-Davidson / Bicycle Pro Shop) 35 Grant Soma (Snow Valley P/B Seal On) Elite Men 3/4 1 Mario Sanchez (Rockville Harley-Davidson/Bicycle Pro Shop) 2 Miles Baker (Team Csk/Cvcc) 3 Bill Gros (Squadra Coppi/Im Saab) 4 Elias Hengst (Rockville Harley-Davidson/Bicycle Pro Shop) 5 Victor Siegfried (Evolution Cycling Club/Team Dls) 6 Chris Bruce (Charlottesville Racing Club) 7 Frederick Barlow (Richmond Ciclismo) 8 Brian Steele (Ncvc/Edge Technologies) 9 Scott Delaune (Ncvc/Edge Technologies) 10 Todd Hipp (Lanterne Rouge) 11 Jonathan Craig (Ncvc/Edge Technologies) 12 James Pettengill (Rockville Harley Davidson/Bicycle Pro Shop) 13 ? 14 Anthony Hall (Richmond Ciclismo) 15 Mike Bradbury (Evolution Cycling Club/Team Dls) 16 Guy Perotti (Team Snow Valley/Anapollis Bike Club) 17 Hawker Dawes (Team Cobblestone P.B. Nature's Path) 18 Larry Byvik (Mountains Edge Cycling Team) 19 ? 20 Joe Norarnicola (Richmond Ciclismo) 21 ? 22 ? 23 Andreas Gutzeit (Ncvc/Edge Technologies) 24 Darryl Greene (Artemis Racing)