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Hanes Park Classic- NE
North Carolina, USA, August 5, 2007
Dominguez and Pic cash in at Hanes Park
Dominguez hottest in heat wave
By Laura Weislo in Winston-Salem
The NRC moved to Winston Salem for its second race of the weekend in the oppressive conditions of North Carolina's August heat wave, and while the previous evening's race was a sultry evening affair, Sunday's afternoon criterium in Hanes Park was a veritable inferno. Despite the sauna-like weather, the men's race saw a constant series of attacks which never gained more than a few seconds on the wide open, fast course. The inevitable field sprint was complicated by a short hill coming into the final two turns, but that didn't slow Toyota United Pro's Cuban missile, Ivan Dominguez, who shot out of the field on the final turn and rocketed to victory ahead of Jeff 'Hoppy' Hopkins (Jittery Joe's) and Brazilian U23 champion Kleber Ramos da Silva (Garneau-Crocs).
After backing off from the aggressive and tense, technical finale of the Charlotte Criterium, Dominguez was keen to get a good result for his team in Winson-Salem. "I said to the guys keep it together because the legs feel good," Dominguez explained following the race. "I was behind [Karl] Menzies for like ten laps, but we got stuck between the last two turns - then I went around and got third wheel coming into the last turn. From there I took off and I could see the guys stay behind me."
Hopkins agreed that the final was a bit messy, but was happy to step onto the podium after a taxing day in the sun. "It was pretty hectic, but I had my man with me - I just had to sharpen the elbows a little bit. We got swarmed before the last corner, and I decided to hit it and ended up in a good spot, but Ivan was too quick in the end," he admitted. "Not bad getting beat by that bloke, though."
Fourth placed finisher Dominique Rollin (Kodak Gallery-Sierra Nevada) was a bit disappointed to find out he wasn't higher up in the tight finish. "I thought I had second, but not even half a wheel and I'm fourth!" he lamented. "I was a bit too far back - We got swarmed on the back stretch because the pace was too slow coming into the finish." Rollin's team had been aggressive all day going with moves that never quite got away. "We were pretty active following every move, especially since last night everyone raced negatively. We were still expecting something at the end, but we got pretty boxed in at the end. I think the heat hit a lot of guys and made it hard. It was hard to recover from every move, every effort."
The surprise of the day came with the third placed finish of the Under 23 Brazilian champion Kleber Ramos da Silva, a rider who was relatively unknown in the US until his arrival in the Southeast this week. The Quebec-based team wasn't invited to the Charlotte race, but instead raced the elite amateur races in the area during the previous week where Ramos earned them a few podium places. His team-mate, Australian Peter Ladd, explained that the team's presence at the race was a last minute decision. "We only decided to do this race four days ago because Ramos was winning all these races. We decided to stop here and it's paid off. We were unlucky not to get a ride last night because we aren't a continental team."
The race started just like the previous night with an attack from hometown boy Jon Hamblen (Kane Bikes), but when he was joined by Rock & Republic's Rahsaan Bahati, the field quickly reacted to bring the pair back. The Kane Bikes team quickly countered with Michael Mueller going clear for one lap, only to be brought back several minutes later. This would be the story throughout the race, as teams like Priority Health, Rock & Republic, AEG, Health Net and Kelly Benefits Strategies would send riders away only to have them quickly bounce back to the field on the fast course.
Several crashes marred the racing, some caused by inattention or aggression, but the previous night's winner Frank Pipp was taken down by an errant banner which blew into his handlebars midway through the race. Attacks continued to go off the front, one by cyclo-cross star Jonathan Page who launched a strong move with eight laps to go in order to stay out of trouble. He drew away a group of four, but once more the break lasted just a couple laps, and the bunch sprint was nearly inevitable.
A crash with three laps to go opened a small split in the field, but with $10,000 on the line, the impetus was there to chase, and the field came into the final lap with Health Net, Kodak Gallery-Sierra Nevada and Toyota United battling for control of the front of the race. A moment of indecisiveness saw the field bunch up and reshuffle in the final kilometre, and the Health Net train was swallowed up by a surge from behind, but Ivan Dominguez rode the wave into the final turn. When Dominguez has a wide-open, long straight finish, he's difficult to beat, and the Cuban had plenty of time to raise his arms in victory as he approached the line.
Pic prevails despite withering heat
Colavita's Tina Pic took her second consecutive win of the weekend, one again besting Cheerwine's Laura Van Gilder in the bunch sprint. Katharine Carroll (Aaron's Corporate Furnishings) got the better of last nights' third place finisher Gina Grain (Team expresscopy.com) with TEAm Lipton's Kori Seehafer in fifth.
Pic suffered through the energy-sapping heat just to survive until the last lap, and then pulled out her superior sprint and blasted up the final straightaway to victory. "It was a really hard race - I just felt terrible from yesterday," Pic said while draping an ice-water soaked towel over her head. "I got in a couple moves but I couldn't even pull through - I think it's just the heat. I felt like a snail!"
Pic's team-mate Alex Wrubleski was the last lead-out for her team, but explained that Pic was on her own in the final 500 metres. "Alison Powers took over and she took it all the way up to the second corner and then everyone swarmed ahead. It was actually perfect because everyone else led (Tina) out - and she just had to sit on them. It wasn't a very technical course, so positioning wasn't as vital. As long as she was in that top bunch she could just sneak away."
Cheerwine's Van Gilder took her second defeat to Pic in stride, looking forward to the upcoming races in the hopefully cooler climate of Chicago, Illinois. "The racing was really aggressive. I think the course probably didn't allow a breakaway to form, and also because it was a short race. There's always another race next weekend and the weekend after."
Third place in a sprint against champions like Van Gilder and Pic was a solid result for the Aaron's team's Katharine Carroll, who described the race as aggressive. "There was a lot of fighting to move up on those hills," Carroll explained. "It kind of narrows on the second to last turn, and on the final turn I was gaining momentum and then I started my jump. But it was just hard to time it, and sprinting against Tina and Laura - I'm just glad to be on the podium."
With temperatures soaring and humidity gathering like a wet blanket over the riders, the racing was surprisingly aggressive, but like the men's race, nothing gained more than a handful of seconds. Unlike the men's race, the short length of the race also contributed to the inability of a break to become established.
The pace of the opening laps was hectic, with North Carolina native Holli Steelman (Juice Plus) launching off the front from the gun. Rapid fire attacks from Cheerwine's Catherine Cheatley, Lipton's Lauren Franges and Colavita's Alison Powers put the field under pressure, and with two to go HT Naturals' Julie Bishop took advantage of a momentary lull to put in a powerful move. The sprinters' teams weren't messing around, though, and Bishop was caught on the final lap. A crash from Bishop's team-mate Christina DeKraay disrupted the momentum a bit, but the trains of Cheerwine, Colavita and Lipton reorganized and picked up the pace on the hilly back side of the course.
Coming into the final turn, Pic was comfortably positioned, and was able to take a fast line with the lead three into the turn and power up the right side to victory, hugging the barricades and forcing Van Gilder to take the longer route to the line.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Kurt Jambretz/www.actionimages.cc
Images by Emory Ball/Cyclingnews.com
Images by Kurt Jambretz/www.actionimages.cc
Pro men 1 Ivan Dominguez (Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team) 1.29.26 2 Jeffery Hopkins (Jittery Joe's Pro Cycling) 3 Klaber Ramos (Garneau-Crocs) 4 Dominique Rollin (Kodak Gallery Pro Cycling p/b S) 5 Jeremiah Wiscovitch (Rock Racing) 6 Ricardo Escuela (Successfulliving.com) 7 Sebastian Haedo (Rock Racing) 8 Anibal Borrajo (Rite Aid Pro Cycling) 9 Uriel Rayo 10 Menzies Karl (Health Net presented by Maxxis) 11 Frank Travieso (AEG/Toshiba/Jetnetwork) 12 Mike Friedman (Slipstream Sports) 13 Emile Abraham (PRIORITY HEALTH/BISSELL) 14 Daniel Holt (Nerac Pro Cycling) 15 Stephan Kincaid (Rite Aid Pro Cycling) 16 Adam Myerson (Nerac Pro Cycling) 17 Kirk Albers (Texas Roadhouse Cycling) 18 Maxime Vives (Calyon/Litespeed Pro Cycling Te) 19 Mark Hekman (A&F Pro Develoment Cycling Team) 20 Adam Bergman (Colavita Sutter Home) 21 Michael Muller (Kane Bikes/NC Cycling) 22 Craig Dodson (Nature's Path ProAm) 23 Casey Magner (Myogenesis Nutrition) 24 Jim Baldesare (A&F Pro Development Cycling Tea) 25 Peter Cannell 26 Rory Sutherland (Health Net presented by Maxxis) 27 Todd Yezefski (Nerac Pro Cycling) 28 Jesse Anthony (Kodak Gallery Pro Cycling p/b S) 29 Alex Martinez (Successful Living.com) 30 Keck Baker (Seigler/Axley USA) 31 Bobby Sweeting (AEG-TOSHIBA-JetNetwork) 32 Alejandro Borrajo (Rite Aid Pro Cycling) 33 Rudolph Napolitano (Rock Racing) 34 Andrew DiPaula 35 Paul Martin (Texas Roadhouse Cycling) 36 Nick Friesen (Kelly Benefit Strategies/LSV Am) 37 Michael Bose (Texas Roadhouse Cycling) 38 Todd Henriksen (AEG-TOSHIBA-JetNetwork) 39 Cody O'Reilly (Kodak Gallery Pro Cycling p/b S) 40 Tim Swain (A&F Pro Development Cycling Tea) 41 Scottie Weiss (AEG-TOSHIBA-JetNetwork) 42 Terry Huss (Raleigh All-Stars) 43 Robert King (PRIORITY HEALTH/BISSELL) 44 Eric Bennett (Time Factory Development Team) 45 Gustavo Artacho (Colavita Sutter Home) 46 Torsten Wambold (Giordana-Clif Bar Cycling Team) 47 Brian Butts (Battley Harley-Davidson/ Hudson) 48 Rich Harper (A&F Pro Develoment Cycling Team) 49 Ryan Gamm (Abercrombie&Fitch) 50 Davide Frattini (Colavita Sutter Home) 51 Clay Murfet (Team Fuji/Salamander) 52 Guido Palma (Rite Aid Pro Cycling) 53 Hayley Murphy 54 Michael Norton (Rite Aid Pro Cycling) 55 Chris Scott (Locos) 56 travis livermon (Capri Foundation / CSH) 57 Jonathan Sundt (Kelly Benefit Strategies/Medifa) 58 59 Charles Coyle (Successfulliving.com) 60 Gerardo Castro (Nature's Path ProAm) 61 Tommy Nankervis (Jittery Joe's Pro Cycling) 62 Josh Thornton (Kodak Gallery Pro Cycling p/b S) 63 Glenn Murray (Kelly Benefit Strategies/LSV Am) 64 Trent Wilson (Jittery Joe's Pro Cycling) 65 Kevin Attkisson (Texas Roadhouse Cycling) 66 Geri Mewett (Hincapie Sports/ Dasani) 67 Dan Timmerman (Kodak Gallery Pro Cycling p/b S) 68 Seth Hansley (Locos) 69 Tim Johnson (Health Net presented by Maxxis) 70 Viktor Rapinski (Navigators Insurance Cycling Te) 71 Oleg Grishkin (Navigators Insurance Cycling Te) 72 Alejandro Acton (Colavita Sutter Home) 73 Jamie Lauib (Garneau-Crocs) 74 Chris Wherry (Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team) 75 Teresa Reynolds 76 Heath Blackgrove (Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team) 77 Michael Joanisse (Garneau-Crocs) 78 Owen Nielsen (Kane Bikes/NC Cycling) 79 Predrag Prokic (AEG-TOSHIBA-JetNetwork) 80 Curtis Gunn (Successful Living.com) 81 Phil Cortes (UCI CT:Calyon-Litespeed Pro cyc) 82 Christian Valenzuela (Successful Living.com) 83 Justin England (Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team) 84 Shawn Milne (Health Net presented by Maxxis) 85 Jered Gruber (TIME Factory Development Team) 86 Marco Aledia (A&F Pro Develoment Cycling Team) 87 Paul Ward (Nature's Path ProAm) 88 Hugh Moran (Kane Bikes/NC Cycling) 89 90 Yosvany Falcon (AEG-TOSHIBA-JetNetwork) 91 Kyle Wamsley (Navigators Insurance Cycling Te) 92 Garrett Peltonen (PRIORITY HEALTH/BISSELL) 93 Scott Zwizanski (PRIORITY HEALTH/BISSELL) 94 Ryan Roth (Kelly Benefit Strategies/Medifa) 95 Jean-Michel Lachance (Garneau-Crocs) 96 Bennet van der Genugten (A&F Pro Develoment Cycling Team) 97 John Murphy (Health Net presented by Maxxis) 99 Ben Brooks (Navigators Insurance Cycling Te) 100 101 Christopher Jones (Nerac Pro Cycling) 102 Matthew Hansley (Locos) 103 Frank Pipp (Healthnet) 104 Michael Stoop (Team Nature's Path/3 Sports) 1.31 105 106 Thad Dulin (Jittery Joe's Pro Cycling) 107 David McCook (Kelly Benefit Strategies/Medifa) 108 Jonathan Mumford (Kelly Benefit Strategies/Medifa) 109 Martin Gilbert (Kelly Benefit Strategies/Medifa) 110 Mark Warno (Evolution Cycling) 111 Mark Walters (Kodak Gallery Pro Cycling p/b S) 112 Sean Sullivan (Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team) 113 Jonathan Page (SunWeb/Batley Harley Davidson) 114 Sterling Magnell (Rock Racing) 115 Graham Howard (Priority Health/Bissell) 116 Richard England (Priority Health/Bissell) 117 Timothy Henry (Jittery Joe's Pro Cycling) 118 Predrag Prokic (AEG-TOSHIBA-JetNetwork) 119 Paul Ward (Nature's Path ProAm) Pro Women 1 Tina Pic (Colavita/ Sutter Home presented) 45.08 2 Laura Van Gilder (UCI WPT Cheerwine) 3 Katharine Carroll (Aaron's Corporate Furnishings P) 4 Gina Grain (Expresscopy.com) 5 Kori Seehafer (TEAm Lipton) 6 Erica Allar (Salamander Racing/Team Fuji) 7 Lauren Franges (TEAm Lipton) 8 Shannon Hutchinson-Krupat (Aaron's Corporate Furnishings P) 9 Laura Yoisten (Webcor Builders) 10 Amber Rais (Webcor Builders) 11 Lara Kroepsch (TEAm Lipton) 12 Rachel Heal (Webcor Builders Cycling Team) 13 Heather Labance (Advil ChapStick) 14 Jennifer Bodine (ABRT/Latitude) 15 Rebecca Larson (Aaron's Corporate Furnishings P) 16 Heidi Woolever (ABRT/Latitude) 17 Kristin Sanders (Aaron's Corporate Furnishings P) 18 Jenette Williams (Hub Racing) 19 Holli Steelman (Team Juice Plus/CycleSafe.org) 20 Alex Wrubleski (Colavita/ Sutter Home presented) 21 Leigh Valetti (TARGETRAINING WOMEN'S TEAM) 22 Kelly Benjamin (UCI WPT Cheerwine) 23 Emily Helmboldt (Team Nature's Path/3 Sports) 24 Natalie Klemko (Advil ChapStick) 25 Elizabeth Morse Hill (Harris Teeter Naturals) 26 Dale Tye (Hub Racing) 27 Leigh Hobson (UCI WPT Cheerwine) 28 Kim Foland (BMW/Bianchi) 29 Sarah Bamberger (UCI WPT Cheerwine) 30 Michele Bote (Hub Racing) 31 Trotter Hadley (HT Naturals/Bicycle Sport) 32 Annie Lux (HT Naturals/Bicycle Sport) 33 Kristen Lasasso (TEAm Lipton) 34 Iona Wynter (Colavita/ Sutter Home presented) 35 Brenda Lyons (TEAm Lipton) 36 Catherine Powers (Aaron's Corporate Furnishings P) 37 Karthryn Clark (HT Naturals/Bicycle Sport) 38 Robin Farina (Juice Plus/CycleSafe.org) 39 Andrea Dvorak (Colavita/ Sutter Home presented) 40 Alison Powers (Colavita/ Sutter Home presented) 41 Laura Bowles (Advil ChapStick) 42 Cora Olson (BMW-Bianchi) 43 Rachel Warner (TARGETRAINING WOMEN'S TEAM) 44 Cheryl Fuller (Reality Bikes & Skateboards) 45 Tonya Lail (BMW/Bianchi) 46 Chrissy Ruiter (UCI WPT Cheerwine) 47 Reem Jishi (Advil ChapStick) 48 Gina Voci (Team Kenda Tire) 49 Anna Milkowski (Advil ChapStick) 50 Amy Slater (BMW/Bianchi) 51 Jamie Dinkins (Vanggio/Specialized) 52 Robin Blankenbaker (ABRC) 53 Cara McCauley (BMW-Bianchi)