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USA Cycling National Festival - NE

Seven Springs, PA, USA, July 6-17, 2006

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Day 3 - July 8: Elite Men/Women road races

Armstrong, Cooke win road race titles

By Andy Lee, USA Cycling

Kristin Armstrong (TEAm Lipton) and Matt Cooke (LSV/Kelly Benefit Strategies) claimed the women’s and men’s elite road race titles Saturday at the USA Cycling National Festival at Seven Springs.

Armstrong, Thursday’s elite women’s national time trial champion, took the title at the line ahead of five riders in a sprint finish. Just one second behind Armstrong, Christine Thorburn (Webcor-Platinum) took second and Amber Neben (Buitenpoort/Flexpoint) took third in a photo finish.

The final kilometer of the course featured a 250-meter climb before a slight descent to the finish, so in a lead group that featured strong climbers such as Neben and Thorburn, Armstrong waited until the end to make her final attack.

“I had a feeling the climbers were going to go with three or 400 meters to go on this climb and I knew that was too far – sprinters don’t even go that far – and so I waited for them to go and got in from behind,” Armstrong said. “I know my sprint is just a little bit stronger so I knew it was to my advantage to have it come down to a group of climbers.”

But those final six riders spent much of the race exchanging attacks to little avail. About 60 kilometers into the 132-kilometer contest, a chase group including Armstrong, Thorburn, Kimberly Baldwin (T-Mobile), Kimberly Anderson (T-Mobile), Neben, Under-23 rider Mara Abbott (Rio Grande/Sports Garage) caught a group of three riders who took the lead early in the race.

But as each kilometer passed, the field of 68 riders had been whittled down to 15 as the remaining competitors took off on their third and final lap. With two kilometers left, Armstrong, Thorburn, Baldwin, Anderson, Neben and Abbott had put more than three minutes between their break and the peloton.

“I think we knew where we were at and that it was going to come down to the end,” Armstrong said. “I think we had our separation and there was nothing else we could do. We could attack each other, but we weren’t going to get anywhere.”

Armstrong’s ride could have earned her an automatic nomination to the U.S. team that will compete in the 2006 UCI Road World Championships in Salzburg, Austria, but Armstrong was already qualified because of her third-place finish at last year’s World Championships in the time trial event.

Baldwin was the last elite woman to claim the time trial and road race titles in the same year when she won them in 2001.

Though Abbott earned herself a spot on the women’s elite podium in fifth, she was also crowned the champion of the women’s Under-23 category.

“I just set little goals, like ‘I‘ll make it to that tree and I won’t get dropped,’ or ‘I’ll make it to the road and I won’t get dropped,’ and then I didn’t end up getting dropped!” Abbott said excitedly. “My main goal was to win the U23s, so I’ll go win the U23s and everything else is just for fun and whatever else I can do is cool. I wanted to stick on as long as I could and put as much time between me and the other younger people. It just worked out really well.”

In the men’s elite category, Cooke, a newcomer to the sport of cycling, claimed the biggest win of his two-year career on the final ascent before the finish line.

“I’m not really a sprinter, but uphill sprints I can do in a small group and I’ve been feeling sharp all day - I have had a pretty good kick going and I was playing those cards,” Cooke said of his final attack. “I waited until the end - I was thinking about going earlier, but I decided not to. I figured going earlier would have been too risky so taking it to the finish would have been really difficult.”

Cooke and Reid Mumford (Abd Cycling Team) rode with the peloton for much of the race and didn’t chase leader Daniel Vaillancourt (Ccb/Volkswagen) down until about 140 kilometers into the 176-kilometer contest. The three exchanged pulls through their final lap until Cooke attacked midway through the final uphill stretch. Neither of the other lead riders responded to the attack and Cooke rode across the finish line alone to secure the win.

Also finishing on the podium was Cooke’s teammate and USA Cycling Under-23 National Team graduate Nick Waite (LSV/Kelly Benefit Strategies) who finished fourth.

The USA Cycling National Festival at Seven Springs continues Sunday with the junior road races.


1 Matt Cooke (Lsv/Kelly Benefit Strategies)            4.58.32
2 Reid Mumford (Abd Cycling Team)                         0.12
3 Daniel Vaillancourt (Ccb/Volkswagen)                    0.13
4 Nick Waite (Lsv/Kelly Benefit Strategies)               0.34
5 Mike Ebert (Abd Cycling Team)                               
6 Ted Huang (Alto Velo Racing Club)                       0.42
7 Mark Hardman (Unattached)                               1.10
8 William Innes (Gs Lombardi Sports)                      1.51
9 Josh Dillon (Fiordifrutta Elite Cycling Team)           1.52
10 Patrick Walsh (Ccb/Volkswagen)                         1.56
11 Scottie Weiss (Hincapie Sports / Bianchi)              2.16
12 Jason Baer (Kenda Raleigh Racing)                      3.15
13 David Clinger (Velocity)                               7.12
14 Abraham McNutt (Abercrombie & Fitch P/B Inferno)      11.31
15 Matt White (Fiordifrutta Elite Cycling Team)          14.06
16 Christopher Peck (Fiordifrutta Elite Cycling Team)    14.07
17 Paul Martin (Texas Roadhouse)                         14.15
18 Andrew Fischer (Broadmark / Hagens-Berman)            15.07
19 David Guttenplan (Ag Edwards)                         17.46
20 Morgan Schmitt (Broadmark Capital)                         
21 Chris Rozdilsky (Fiordifrutta Elite Cycling Team)     18.01
22 Dario Falquier (Webcor/Alto Velo)                          
23 Michael Hutchinson (Spine)                            18.02
24 Chris Hardee (Lsv/Kelly Benefit Strategies)           21.55
25 Kenny Williams (First Rate Mortgage)                  22.48
26 Hatcher Rosebrock (Cycles De Oro)                     28.06
27 Martin Adamczyk (Lot/Polish Airlines)                 28.13
1 Kristin Armstrong (Team Lipton)                      4.08.23
2 Christine Thorburn (Webcor-Platinum Women's Cycling)    0.01
3 Amber Neben (Buitenpoort/Flexpoint)                         
4 Kimberly Anderson (T-Mobile (Tmp))                      0.04
5 Kimberly Baldwin (T-Mobile (Tmp))                       1.06
6 Grace Fleury (Team Lipton)                              2.09
7 Tina Pic (Colavita/ Cooking Light Cycling)              2.36
8 Kori Seehafer (Team Lipton)                             2.37
9 Kristin Sanders (Cheerwine)                             2.43
10 Katheryn Curi (Webcor-Platinum Women's Cycling)        2.45
11 Andrea Dvorak (Charlottesville Racing Club)            3.45
12 Dotsie Bausch (Colavita/ Cooking Light Cycling)        7.00
13 Marisa Asplund (Colorado Premier Training - Col)       7.02
14 Kristen Lasasso (Team Lipton)                          7.04
15 Laura Vangilder (Team Lipton)                          7.06
16 Sarah Tillotson (Colavita/ Cooking Light Cycling)      7.06
17 Sarah Bamberger (Cheerwine)                            7.08
18 Rebecca Larson (Cycle Science)                         7.11
19 Brooke Ourada (Colorado Premier Training - Col)        7.17
20 Chrissy Ruiter (Ford-Basis)                            7.28
21 Kristin Wentworth (Nova-Is Corp)                       7.35
22 Kelly McDonald (Cycling-Training.Com)                  7.38
23 Lauren Franges (Victory Brewing)                       7.52
24 Alison Powers (Rio Grande/Sports Garage)               8.04
25 Jane Ziegler (Velo Bella-Kona)                         9.07
26 Katherine Sherwin (Victory Brewing Cycling Team)      10.17
27 Jenn Halladay (Team Tamarack Resort)                  12.12
28 Christen King (Young'S Training Group)                     
29 Melodie Metzger (Mcguire Cycling Team)                14.24
30 Michelle Beltran (Cheerwine)                          17.36
31 Brooke Miller (Pabw Powered By Tibco)                 18.58
32 Anna Milkowski (Gear Works-Spinarts)                  18.58
33 Laura Bowles (Victory Brewing)                        19.37
34 Theresa Cliff-Ryan (Verducci/Breakaway Racing)        20.10
35 Carli Figueroa (Paramount Racing)                     20.10
36 Sima Trapp (Colavita/ Cooking Light Cycling)          20.11
37 Cindy Carroll (Mcguire Cycling Team)                  21.03
38 Amity Elliot (Adg/Joe'S)                              21.04
39 Cat Malone (Webcor-Platinum Women's Cycling)          28.39
40 Amber Rais (Webcor-Platinum Women'S Cycling)          28.39
41 Rebecca Wellons (Gearworks/Spin Arts)                 35.48
42 Melissa Petty (Bmw-Bianchi)                           35.56
43 Holly Borowski (Us Armed Forces)                      36.01
44 Holli Steelman (Cheerwine)                            40.04