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Tour of Shenandoah - NE

USA, April 25-30, 2006

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Stage 5 - April 28: Lexington-Bedford, 95 miles

Breakaway puts Bookwalter on top

A breakaway shook up the general classification in Friday’s technically demanding 95-mile stage 5 from Lexington to downtown Bedford.

Bruno Langlois of Quebec, Canada, riding for the AEG-Toshiba-JetNetwork team, took a calculated risk to win a breakaway sprint and finished the stage with a time of 4:05:57, which vaulted him into the lead of the General Glassification ahead of Dan Timmerman (Clay, NY) of the Fiordifrutta team, and Brent Bookwalter (Rockford, MI), riding for Priority Health.

A breakaway move at 30 miles took 10 riders clear of the field, Langlois included, and the peloton remained unresponsive until too late in the race.

“The course was hard,” said Langlois as he sat on the curb near the finish line to rest his legs.  “I attacked a lot in stage 3 and 4, and my legs were tired yesterday. Today I was really passive—always chasing, chasing, chasing” he said.  “With about 40K (25 miles) to go, I made my only move,” Langlois described the point where the breakaway of ten riders became even more aggressive and increased the lead.  “When we knew we had a big gap, we started working,” Langlois said.

AEG-Toshiba-JetNetwork’s director and support car driver Radisa Cubric gave the team orders from the road.  “We could have had a KOM,”  Cubric explained, but stated that instead he wanted to conserve his team’s energy and save Langlois’ legs for the last 15 miles.

Rite Aid’s Zach Bell was part of the ten-rider breakaway, but couldn’t quite catch Langlois.  Bell finished stage 5 second, sharing Langlois’ winning time of 4:05:57. 

Bell said the sprint started at the “last corner,” a hard left turn about 300 meters before the finish line.  “Bruno jumped ahead and we couldn’t catch him,” said the Canadian track specialist.  “None of us knew where the finish line was,” said Bell. He added:  “Bruno took a gamble on where the finish was, and then he got a gap and we couldn’t close on him after more than 94 miles of hard riding.” Bell ended the day wearing the Sprint jersey and was 25th  in the GC.

Priority Health’s U-23 rider, Brent Bookwalter hung with the breakaway and finished third in the sprint.  

Bookwalter has not only staked his claim for the U-23 jersey, his strong finish catapulted him from 8th to 3nd place in the general classification.  Bookwalter is a mere 39 seconds behind Langlois in the GC. 

Other young riders continue to give strong efforts on the bike.  U-23 Justin Spinelli of Team Nerac/ finished the stage in the lead pack, which placed him 4th GC, 48 seconds behind the leader. US U-23 national team member Sam Schultz of Byvik Financial Services-TrekVW finished with the break away too and ended the day 6th GC. 

Priority Health’s Eddy Hilger started the day as GC leader, but lost the jersey when he finished the stage 17th, more than four minutes behind Langlois.  “It’s a tough loss today,” Hilger said, visibly disappointed.  Hilger dropped to 5th GC and said the day might have ended differently if the team still had its strong TT specialist, Tom Zirbel.  “It would have given us more options,” said Hilger.

During Thursday’s stage 4, Priority Health’s Tom Zirbel suffered a high-speed crash on a long descent following a brutal cat 1 climb.  Zirbel suffered a mild concussion and did not finish stage 4, which ended his race.  Scratched and bruised, Zirbel stood with his teammates in the finish area.  He was happy for his teammate Brent Bookwalter’s strong finish, but scratched his head at the wisdom of the team’s apparent strategy of having Eddy Hilger slip into a supporting role.  “It’s such a chess match, well see,” said Zirbel.

Fiordifrutta’s Dan Timmerman finished the stage 4th in 4:05:57.  The strong finish lifted Timmerman from 7th to 2nd place in the GC.  Timmerman has clearly emerged as Fiordifrutta’s lead GC rider, with a total time of 14:21:23, only 34 seconds behind Langlois.

Timmerman’s teammate, Josh Dillon, who started the day 2nd GC, placed 23rd, more than four minutes behind the lead pack.  Dillon dropped to 7th place GC, but was not disappointed.  According to Dillion, his team perfectly executed their strategy of supporting Timmerman.  “Tactically, it made sense not to go for the GC,” Dillon explained why he decided not to pursue the breakaway.  “Both Hilger [Priority Health] and I were talking to each other during the race, happy that we each had our guy up at the front,” Dillon said.

Rite Aid’s Christoph Herby bolted up “Three Sisters Knob” the fastest.  The category 3 climb was the last opportunity for KOM points this week and Herby secured the King of the Mountains Jersey for the 2006 Tour of Shenandoah.  “The mountains here are brutally challenging,” said the Charlottesville, Virginia resident.  Herby credited teammate Zach Bell’s strong riding for helping him win the KOM.

While stage 5’s mountain climbs were not quite as imposing as the prior two stages, the narrow, winding, road challenged riders with several difficult ascents and speedy drops through some of the most scenic cattle farmland and hardwood forests in this hilly region.  “This is the most beautiful course in all America,” stated Radisa Cubric – who has seen many.  Cubric also commended the excellent organization of the Virginia State police officers managing the Tour of Shenandoah course. 

Langlois admitted that time trials are not his strong suit, so the leader’s jersey is still up for grabs.  With Timmerman and the young legs of Bookwalter at Langlois’ heels, the Tour of Shenandoah continues with the 15-mile Stage 6 Time Trial on Saturday afternoon in Natural Bridge, followed by Sunday’s concluding 31.5-mile stage 7 criterium in downtown Waynesboro, Virginia.


1 Bruno Langlois (AEG-TOSHIBA-JetNetwork Pro Cycling Team)               4.05.57
2 Zach Bell (Rite Aid Pro Cycling)                                              
3 Brent Bookwalter (Priority Health Cycling Team)                               
4 Dan Timmerman (Fiordifrutta cycling team)                                     
5 Sam Schultz (Byvic Financial Services/Trek/VW)                                
6 Dan Cassidy (CCB / Volkswagen)                                                
7 Nick Waite (LSV/Kelly Benefit Strategies)                                     
8 Nate Buyon (Watchung Wheelmen/High Gear Cyclery)                              
9 Derek McMaster (ItalPasta)                                                    
10 Justin Spinelli (Team Nerac/ Pro Cycling)                   
11 Viktor Laza (AEG-TOSHIBA-JetNetwork Pro Cycling Team)                    0.28
12 James Camut (Watchung Wheelmen/High Gear Cyclery)                        0.34
13 Ian Ayers (Byvic Financial/Trek/VW/)                                     2.06
14 Matt Cooke (LSV/Kelly Benefit Strategies)                                    
15 Russell Langley (Rite Aid Pro Cycling)                                   4.08
16 Jerry (Jay) Charles (Manulife Financial/Jack Kane Bicycles)                  
17 Eddy Hilger (Priority Health Cycling Team)                                   
18 Greg Wolf (AEG-TOSHIBA-JetNetwork Pro Cycling Team)                          
19 Mike Miller (Pennsylvania Cycling Association)                               
20 Ben King (Hot Tubes Development Team - TRI DIM)                              
21 Michael Norton (Team Nerac/ Pro Cycling)                    
22 James Duncan (Manulife Financial/Jack Kane Bicycles)                         
23 Josh Dillon (Fiordifrutta Cycling Team)                                      
24 Cameron Hughes (ItalPasta)                                                   
25 Predrag Prokic (AEG-TOSHIBA-JetNetwork Pro Cycling Team)                     
26 Amos Brumble (CCB / Volkswagen)                                              
27 R Muoio (LSV/Kelly Benefit Strategies)                                       
28 Craig Snydal (LSV/Kelly Benefit Strategies)                                  
29 Jeff Schiller (Team R.A.C.E.)                                                
30 Alberto Blanco (G.S.MENGONI USA)                                             
31 Gavriel Epstein (G.S.MENGONI USA)                                            
32 Matt DeCanio (Unattached/Stolen Underground Anti Doping Racing Team)         
33 Andy Applegate (Team Type 1/Abercrombie & Fitch)                             
34 Christopher Jones (Champion System)                                          
35 Jered Gruber (Team Type 1/Abercrombie & Fitch)                               
36 Andrew Wulfkuhle (LSV/Kelly Benefit Strategies)                              
37 Norman Zellers (Health Delivery Inc/Giant)                                   
38 Joe Whitman (Pennsylvania Cycling Association)                               
39 Jon Wirsing (Rite Aid Pro Cycling)                                           
40 Jacob Rytlewski (Priority Health Cycling Team)                               
41 Sonke Thiel (Team Ideal Tile/Wendy's/Liquid Lightning)                       
42 Jeremiah Bishop (Byvic Financial Services/Trek/VW)                           
43 Matthew Guse (Team R.A.C.E.)                                                 
44 Torsten Wambold (Team Nerac/ Pro Cycling)                   
45 Brad Viera (Rite Aid Pro Cycling)                                            
46 Christoph Herby (Rite Aid Pro Cycling)                                       
47 Thomas Soladay (LSV/Kelly Benefit Strategies)                                
48 John DeLong (Rite Aid Pro Cycling)                                           
49 Dan Maggiacomo (ItalPasta)                                                   
50 Sean Barrie (Rockville Harley-Davidson/Silver Cycles)                        
51 Brian Fouche (LSV/Kelly Benefit Strategies)                                  
52 Buck Miller (Fiordifrutta cycling team)                                      
53 Jake Hollenbach (CCB / Volkswagen)                                           
54 Shawn Forsyth (CCB / Volkswagen)                                             
55 Gabriel Larrea (AEG-TOSHIBA-JetNetwork Pro Cycling Team)                 4.28
56 Ryan Roth (Team R.A.C.E.)                                                    
57 Elliot Gaunt (Watchung Wheelmen/High Gear Cyclery)                       4.48
58 Brian Sheedy (Priority Health Cycling Team)                              7.00
59 Michael Cody (Fiordifrutta cycling team)                                     
60 Thomas Foster (Team R.A.C.E)                                            17.21
61 Scott Jackson (Watchung Wheelmen/High Gear Cyclery)                          
62 Bill Short (Pennsylvania Cycling Association)                           20.16
63 Chris Rozdilsky (Fiordifrutta cycling team)                             20.32
64 Matt White (Fiordifrutta cycling team)                                       
65 Alaisandr( Sasha) Bialiausk (CCB / Volkswagen)                               
66 Cameron Fox (Encino Velo)                                                    
67 Scott Stewart (Priority Health Cycling Team)                                 
68 Peter Penzell (Rite Aid Pro Cycling)                                         
69 John Hanson (Team Nerac/ Pro Cycling)                       
70 Graham Howard (Priority Health Cycling Team)                                 
71 Cameron Fox (Encino Velo)