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Tri-Peaks Challenge - NE

Russellville, Arkansas, May 19-21, 2006

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Stage 2 - May 20: Road race, 148km/92miles

Hot and Humid Road Stage Produces Surprises

by Mark Zalewski, North American Editor with additional reporting from Kirsten Robbins

The first road stage of the Tri-Peaks Challenge, the Petite Jean Road Race, saw a surprise in the men's race with the top three winners from smaller domestic teams, while in the women's race one team dominated the top spots.

Small Team Slips Between Domestic Giants for Big Win

It is often difficult for the smaller domestic teams to get noticed among the teams with bigger budgets. However, every now and then being small can be a benefit. Radisa Cubric, the AEG–TOSHIBA–JetNetwork team director, took advantage of his team's relative anonymity today. He timed his rider's attacks to coincide with the distracted Toyota-United and Health Net-Maxxis riders in the large break, giving Bruno Langlois enough of a gap to hold out for the stage win ahead of fellow attacker Tom Zirbel (Priority Health).

We are definitely not the favourite and Toyota can still win the race, but now anyone can really win," said Cubric. "This really opens the door for the smaller teams. These big teams sometimes play poker instead of racing. I just told my guys to race to race hard."

The race consisted of a large breakaway of more than twenty riders gaining time on the field that contained race leader Ivan Stevic (Toyota-United). The team had three other riders in the break, including second place overall Ivan Dominguez as well as Heath Blackgrove and Chris Baldwin.

The breakaway was about fifteen miles away from the finish when attacks from within began. "In the last fifteen miles people started attacking so we had Heath and Chris push the pace to maybe keep it together until the end for me," said Dominguez.

A solo Colombian rider off the front motivated the Toyota-United riders. "When he attacked, my guys started working," said Dominguez. "He came back slowly, and when he saw the group he stopped and those two guys attacked."

"Bruno attacked with two kilometers to go and Toyota and Health Net were watching each other," said Cubric. "We had Frank Trevisio sitting on the wheel of Dominguez and I told Bruno to attack. He got five second on the group and Zirbel went with him."

The two were able to hang on to their five-second margin to the finish. Adding a special bonus was teammate Treviso able to best the rest of the breakaway for third place.

With the final gap on the day around two and a half minutes it seems that the team is forced to put their overall win ambitions with Dominguez. "Toyota was especially playing poker by sending good guys up the road," Cubric said. "I would think they would protect Stevic more. It was really weird that they would send other guys up the road."

"We'll see what happens, tomorrow is not going to be an easy race," said Dominguez. "That kind of climb (the eighteen-percent grade at the finish) is hard."

Dominguez added that he was excited for the AEG–TOSHIBA–JetNetwork team's success, knowing many of the riders and the team owner. "It's a good win for a small team. I know the owner of the team from Miami and some of the riders, so I'm happy for them."

Hobson Takes Stage, Team Takes Overall Lead

In the women's road race, Victory Brewing's Leigh Hobson soled to a win in the final eight kilometers. Her twenty-second advantage moves her up to second place on the general classification.

“I went after several attacks," Hobson said after the race. "I knew the gap was growing and was hovering around seventeen seconds. If I could hold that off with one kilometer to go I thought it would work, that the peloton would change their tactic to focus on second place for the sprint instead of catching me.”

With Hobson's win the team occupies the top two spots on the overall. “Having the top two gives us more players to force other teams to work rather than coming into the bottom of Mt Nebo fresh," Hobson said.

Hobson's teammate Rachel Heal won the group sprint for second place and moves into the leaders jersey. “Our team goal for the day was to win the stage off the front,” said Heal. “We were not particularly focused on taking the leaders jersey today. That was more our plan for tomorrow.”

Today's stage took the peloton over three major climbs varying from two to three and a half miles in length. With temperatures reaching into the forties many of the riders utilized the neutral feeds being supplied by the race organization.

There were many attempted breaks during the first half of the race. The most threatening break of the day involved Nurnberger's Katherine Bates and Colavita Cooking Light's Audrey Lemieux; the two escaped off of the front leading into the final climb of the day.

“We realized Bates was struggling on the climbs and used that as our opportunity to take over the lead,” said Heal. “When she attacked heading into the final climb we didn't want to give her too much time. We brought her back half way up the climb and immediately attacked her because we saw the opportunity there to take over the race lead.”

There was twenty miles to the finish after cresting the top of the final climb of the day. The lead group of eleven riders, which included three from Colavita, five from Victory Brewing, two from Cheerwine and a single Webcor, worked well together until approximately ten miles to go when Victory Brewing began launching their attacks. Colavita Cooking Light and Cheerwine were forced to either chase or bridge. With eight kilometers to go Leigh Hobson made her winning move gaining a split from the field.


1 Bruno Langlois (Can) AEG-Toshiba-JetNetwork                     
2 Tom Zirbel (USA) Priority Health                                
3 Frank Travieso (Cub) AEG-Toshiba-JetNetwork                     
4 Gord Fraser (Can) Health Net pb Maxxis                          
5 Richard England (Aus) Priority Health                           
6 Ivan Dominguez (Cub) Toyota-United                              
7 Alexander Gonzalez (Col) Caico                                  
8 Todd Herriott (USA) Colavita Olive Oil - Sutter Home            
9 Matthew Cooke (USA) LSV/Kelly Benefit Strategies                
10 Andrew Bajadali (USA) Jelly Belly                              
11 Christian Valenzuela (Mex) Monex                               
12 Solomon Woras (USA) Broadmark / Hagens-Berman                  
13 Frank Dierking (USA) ABD                                       
14 Ryan Trebon (USA) AEG-Toshiba-JetNetwork                       
15 Reid Mumford (USA) ABD                                         
16 Tim Johnson (USA) Health Net pb Maxxis                         
17 Brian Sheedy (USA) Priority Health                             
18 Chris Baldwin (USA) Toyota-United                              
19 Franco Font (PRc) Caico                                        
20 Heath Blackgrove (NZl) Toyota-United                           
21 Bryce Mead (USA) ABD                                           
22 Stuart Gillespie (USA) TIAA-CREF                               
23 Justin Jackson (USA) MATRIX                                    
24 Malachi Peacock (USA) Abercrombie & Fitch pb Inferno           
25 Alex Welch (USA) Mercy Cycling                                 
26 Joel Charles (USA) Rio Grande/Sports Garage                    
27 Eric Marcotte (USA) Bianchi/Grand Performance                  
28 Owen Gue (USA) Broadmark / Hagens-Berman                       
29 Martin Adamczyk (USA) Lot/Polish Airlines                      
30 Roman Kilun (USA) Health Net pb Maxxis                         
31 Abe McNutt (USA) Abercrombie & Fitch pb Inferno                
32 Glenn Fant (USA) Monex                                         
33 Derek Laan (USA) Purdue University                             
34 Janne Hamalainen (USA) CTCA / Tulsa Wheelmen                   
35 Jered Gruber (USA) Abercrombie & Fitch pb Inferno              
36 Scott Moninger (USA) Health Net pb Maxxis                      
37 Nathan O'Neill (Aus) Health Net pb Maxxis                      
38 Zach Bell (Can) Rite Aid                                       
39 Juan Haedo (Arg) Toyota-United                                 
40 Tommy Nankervis (Aus) Priority Health                          
41 Edward King (USA) Priority Health                              
42 Scott Veggeberg (USA) Compliance Depot                         
43 Zak Grabowski (USA) Colavita Olive Oil - Sutter Home           
44 Edwin Ramos (PRc) Caico                                        
45 Joel Dion Poitras (Can) Calyon-LiteSpeed                       
46 Andrew Fischer (USA) Broadmark / Hagens-Berman                 
47 Brad Viera (USA) Rite Aid                                      
48 Shane Densmore (USA) Compliance Depot                          
49 Brooke Boocock (Can) Calyon-LiteSpeed                          
50 Tero Hameenaho (Fin) CTCA / Tulsa Wheelmen                     
51 Tracy Martin (USA) Raising Canes                               
52 Ruben Borrero (PRc) Caico                                      
53 Robbie King (USA) Priority Health                              
54 Eudaldo Asencio (PRc) Caico                                    
55 Brian Jensen (USA) Jelly Belly                                 
56 Oscar Henao (PRc) Caico                                        
57 John Delong (USA) Rite Aid Pro Cycling                         
58 Aaron Tuckerman (NZl) Rubicon/Gleukos                          
59 Ben Raby (USA) Bianchi/Grand Performance                       
60 Mark Hekman (USA) Abercrombie & Fitch pb Inferno               
61 Andy Applegate (USA) Abercrombie & Fitch pb Inferno            
62 Joseph Carpisassi (USA) E.C. Velo Racing                       
63 Ian Ayers (USA) Colavita Olive Oil - Sutter Home               
64 Nathan Miller (USA) Monex                                      
65 Prokic Predrag (SCG) AEG-Toshiba-JetNetwork                    
66 Emmanuel Suarez (USA) Monex                                    
67 Eric Keim (USA) AEG-Toshiba-JetNetwork                         
68 Jean Sebastien Perron (Can) Calyon-LiteSpeed                   
69 Frank Breure (USA) MMW/CARVE                                   
70 Chris Wherry (USA) Toyota-United                               
71 Ivan Stevic (SCG) Toyota-United                                
72 Tony Cruz (USA) Toyota-United                                  
73 Nick Reistad (USA) Jelly Belly                                 
74 Viktor Laza (SCG) AEG-Toshiba-JetNetwork                       
75 Devon Vigus (USA) Monex                                        
76 Chad Nikolz (USA) Broadmark / Hagens-Berman                    
77 Noah Singer (USA) Mercy Cycling                                
78 Kirk Carlsen (USA) Rubicon/Gleukos                             
79 Jason Woods (USA) Dogfish                                      
80 Hugh Moran (USA) AEG-Toshiba-JetNetwork                        
81 Erik Lyman (Can) Calyon-LiteSpeed                              
82 Emile Abraham (Tri) AEG-Toshiba-JetNetwork                     
83 Richard Speer (USA) Rubicon/Gleukos                            
84 Chad Cagle (USA) Mercy Cycling                                 
85 Ryan Nenninger (USA) Bianchi/Grand Performance                 
86 Mike Ebert (USA) ABD                                           
87 Scott Barnes (USA) Boston Mountain Cyclists                    
88 Aarow Smathers (USA) Specialized                               
89 Mat Ankney (USA) Mercy Cycling                                 
90 Paul Esposti (USA) Rio Grande/Sports Garage                    
91 Ryan Fiddler (USA) Mercy Cycling                               
92 Brian Wyrick (USA) HHH/MSU                                     
93 Christopher Jones (USA) Champion System                        
94 Brice Jones (USA) Jelly Belly                                  
95 Brian Dziewa (USA) Mercy Cycling                               
96 Peter Fairbanks (USA) Bianchi/Grand Performance                
97 Duane Dickey (USA) Bianchi/Grand Performance                   
98 Ryan Gamm (USA) Abercrombie & Fitch pb Inferno                 
99 Jeremy Sartain (USA) Bianchi/Grand Performance                 
100 Jake Rosenbarger (USA) Rio Grande/Sports Garage               
101 Russell Langley (USA) Rite Aid                                
102 Pleasure Jackson (USA) Broadmark / Hagens-Berman              
103 Jake Rubelt (USA) AEG-Toshiba-JetNetwork                      
104 Jarred Gilker (USA) Mercy/ Zero Mountain                      
105 Nathan Rogut (USA) Compliance Depot                           
106 Mat Stephens (USA) Mercy Cycling                              
107 Ryan Heydenrych (USA) Mercy Cycling                           
108 Christoph Herby (USA) Rite Aid                                
109 Steven Grife (USA) Boston Mountain Cyclists                   
110 Keith Franklin (USA) CTCA / Tulsa Wheelmen                    
111 Scott Walnofer (USA) Boston Mountain Cyclists                 
112 Eric Warnsman (USA) Northwest Cycling Club/Alkek Velodrome    
113 Doug Greek (USA) Mercy Cycling                                
114 Curt Kippenberger (USA) Mercy Cycling                         
115 Charly Vives (Can) Calyon-LiteSpeed                           
116 Ryan Keels (USA) Compliance Depot                             
117 Justin Morgan (USA) Broadmark / Hagens-Berman                 
118 Dylan Lewis (USA) ABD/Trek-VW Cycling Team                    
1 Leigh Hobson (Can) Victory Brewing                              
2 Rachel Heal (GBr) Victory Brewing                               
3 Sima Trapp (USA) Colavita/Cooking Light                         
4 Tara Ross (Can) Victory Brewing                                 
5 Kristin Sanders (USA) Cheerwine                                 
6 Jennifer Manefield (Aus) Cheerwine                              
7 Kate Sherwin (USA) Victory Brewing                              
8 Sarah Tillotson (USA) Colavita/Cooking Light                    
9 Kirsten Robbins (Can) Victory Brewing                           
10 Alisha Lion (USA) Webcor-Platinum                              
11 Brooke Ourada (USA) Colavita/Cooking Light                     
12 Pamela Hinton (USA) dent wizard                                
13 Abby Cooper (USA) Team Kenda Tire                              
14 Robin Farina (USA) Team Kenda Tire                             
15 Tracie Akerhielm (USA) Compliance Depot                        
16 Elizabeth Frye (USA) Cheerwine                                 
17 Amanda Lawrence (USA) North Atlantic Velo                      
18 Caroline Soong (USA) Team Kenda Tire                           
19 Katy Ligler (USA) Team Kenda Tire                              
20 Mandy Lozano (USA) Cheerwine                                   
21 Audrey Lemieux (Can) Colavita/Cooking Light                    
22 Kim Geist (USA) Victory Brewing                                
23 Mary Downing (USA) Team Kenda Tire                             
24 Katherine Bates (Aus) Nurnberger                               
25 Jenny Trew (USA) Team Kenda Tirew                              
26 Maegan Daigler (USA) JR Engineering                            
27 Holli Steelman (USA) Cheerwine                                 
28 Katharine Carroll (USA) Victory Brewing                        
29 Charm Breon (USA) Cheerwine                                    
30 Shannon Koch (USA) Compliance Depot                            
31 Laura Yoisten (Can) Victory Brewing                            
32 Stacey Bertsch (USA) Mercy Cycling Team                        
33 Laura Bowles (USA) Victory Brewing                             
34 Rebecca Gross (USA) Armed Forces