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47th Nevada City Classic - NE
USA, June 17, 2007
South African dominates in Nevada City
Some of the top professional cyclists from around the globe fronted in Nevada City, California for one of the oldest, physically, and technically challenging races in the United States. Thousands of spectators lined the 1.1-mile hilly course to watch a field of over 100 Pro-1-2 riders contest the historic race from teams including Discovery, BMC, Jelly Belly, Kodak Gallery/Sierra Nevada, Navigators, Rock Racing, Successful Living, Lombardi, Vitamin Cottage, and California Giant.
Navigators' Darren Lill, a last minute entry in the event, turned the Pro field upside down with a vicious attack on the fourth lap that most thought was fruitless. Fans who expected one of the past masters of the Nevada City Classic to step atop the podium were doing a double take each time Darren Lill blasted by.
While previous NCC champ and lone Discovery Team rider Tony Cruz was the early favourite, he was a marked-man as BMC stacked the deck with another crowd favourite Scott Moninger, accompanied by Jackson Stewart, Nathan Miller, Scott Nydam and Mike Sayers.
While Lill was off the front by several seconds for most of the race, the crowd watched what was perceived as the race within the race, which was a group of 10 riders trading positions, including Cruz, who was being doggedly marked by Moninger.
As the race blew apart with a record-setting pace, two additional chase packs formed with riders constantly trying to bridge to the next group, or falling back to the group behind. At this point it became that Lill had increased his lead to nearly a minute and a half and they needed to work together to have any chance of reeling him in with only 15 laps to go.
Cruz attacked on two consecutive laps, followed by Moninger who had been tight on his wheel on the third lap. The pairs move left them and Rios as the only riders with any realistic chance of tracking down Lill in the remaining eight laps.
At four laps to go they had cut the gap almost in half to 48 seconds, but with three laps to go they appeared to accept the race would be for second place. Cruz held on for a third-place finish behind defending champion Scott Moninger. Marcos Rios and Jackson Stewart took fourth and fifth respectively.
"This one was hard for me," Cruz said. "There were so many people to watch today. The other teams all had three or four guys, which makes it tough. I knew just about anything I did was a gamble.
"Only the strongest riders win here," Cruz said. "It's such a difficult course. If you win this one, it's like you have bragging rights on the West Coast. It's almost like winning a national championship."
Speaking with announcer Dave Towle, Darren Lill addressed the fans with a wry smile on his face. "I don't think you ever come into a race expecting to win, you just have confidence that you'll do well," he said. "In this case it worked out - this is a big win. I was hoping to wait until about halfway through before attacking, but we were into the race about 20 minutes and the time just felt right to go. The BMC rider who stuck with me wasn't willing to do any work with Moninger, Sayers and Stewart in the chase group, and I wasn't going to let him sit on me, so I just rode him off my wheel."
In the Women's Pro 1-2 field Shelly Olds ran away from the competition, keeping the event title in her ProMan team for another year. Olds took victory in a very international field, which included the Jazz Apple women's squad from New Zealand. The Kiwi squad pushed the pace early along with 2006 winner Helene Drumm (ProMan), who finished fifth this year after working hard to help Olds get away.
Olds, a 26 year-old Californian, lapped many riders en route to her first win at Nevada City, and third of the 2007 season. "This is one that goes on the résumé, for sure," said Olds, who was contesting the race for the second time. "To get on the podium or to win, it's always great. There's always great competition here."
Olds' teammate Rachael Lloyd took second, while Rushlee Bucahanan (Jazz Apple) finished third from Bettina Hold (Cheerwine).
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Kris Wakefield
Pro/Cat 1/2 Men 1 Darren Lill (USA) Navigators 2 Scott Moninger (USA) BMC Pro Cycling Team 3 Tony Cruz (USA) Discovery 4 Marco Rios (USA) Kahala LeGrange 5 Jackson Stewart (USA) BMC Pro Cycling Team 6 Jared Barrilleaux (USA) Metromint 7 Mark Santurbane (USA) Team Bobs-Bicycles.Com 8 Jonathan Baker (USA) Vitamin Cottage 9 Micheal Grabinger (USA) Successful Living.com P/B Park 10 Jesse Moore (USA) California Giant/Specialized 11 Rudolph Napolitano (USA) Rock Racing 12 Edmund Overend (USA) Unattached 13 David Rodriguez (USA) Navigators 14 Kayle Leogrande (USA) Rock Racing 15 Jeremiah Wiscovitch (USA) Rock Racing 16 Scott Nydam (USA) BMC Pro Cycling Team 17 Andres Gil (USA) Pacific State Bank/Anderson Ho 18 Michael Sayers (USA) BMC Pro Cycling Team 19 Stephen Dey (USA) DBC Elite 20 Jonathan Eropkin (USA) CVC 21 Jason Moeschler (USA) WTB/Fox/Santa Cruz 22 Chris Coble (USA) Easton/Specialized 23 Mitchell Trux (USA) DBC Elite 24 Kevin Klein (USA) Team Rock 25 Micheal Hutchinson (USA) Team Spine 26 Austin Carroll (USA) Rock Racing 27 Dan Sweet (USA) Davis Bike Club 28 Patrick Caro (USA) Successful Living.com P/B Park 29 Jimmy Miller (USA) Adobe/Schwalbe/Lombardi Sports 30 Ariel Herrmann (USA) Pacific State Bank 31 Peter Graf (USA) Pegasus/VandenBerghe Propertie 32 Jonz Norine (USA) Owens Healthcare 33 Patrick Briggs (USA) California Giant/Specialized 34 Nathan Miller (USA) BMC Pro Cycling Team 35 Kevin Ring (USA) Kovarns 36 Chris Swan (USA) Lombardi Sports 37 Adam Curry (USA) Hagens Berman, LLP 38 Jamel Danseh (USA) Kodak Gallery 39 Matt Ream (USA) Owens Healthcare 40 Michael Telega (USA) California Giant/Specialized 41 Mark Shimahara (USA) TGI Hazards 42 Joe Pinkerton (USA) Vitamin Cottage 43 Vincent Owens (USA) Central Valley Cycling Club 44 Ricardo Escuela (Arg) Successful Living.com P/B Park 45 Ian Burnett (USA) Fort Lewis College 46 Sean Mazich (USA) Waste Management 47 Devon Vigus (USA) California Giant/Specialized 48 John Staroba (USA) Eastside Cycles 49 Sergio Hernandez (USA) Rock Racing 50 Bill Reuss (USA) Owens Healthcare 51 Ross Spero (USA) Hagens Berman, LLP 52 Anastasio Flores (USA) Another Bike Shop 53 Timmy Doud (USA) Waste Management 54 Mark Deterline (USA) Pegasus/VandenBerghe Propertie DNF Zac Coolman (USA) Waste Management DNF Ron Jentzen (USA) Waste Managemnt DNF Dave Bailey (USA) AMD-Discovery Channel Masters DNF Michael Tymoff (USA) Arete Racing/Vellum Cycles DNF Evan Lawrence (USA) BPG/ Montano Velo DNF Salvador Borrego-Crum (USA) California Giant/Specialized DNF Patrick Dunaway (USA) California Giant/Specialized DNF Keith Miller (USA) California Giant/Specialized DNF Steven Reaney (USA) California Giant/Specialized DNF Mike Taylor (USA) California Giant/Specialized DNF Taylor Kuphaldt (USA) Davis Bike Club DNF Tyler Dibble (USA) DBC Elite DNF Stephen Maluk (USA) Etna Brewing/DeSalvo Cycles DNF Cooper Lange (USA) Hagens Berman, LLP DNF Jorge Alvarado (USA) Kahala-La Grange DNF Marco Rios (Mex) Kahala-La Grange DNF Cameron Hoffman (USA) Ogden One Cycling Team DNF Bob Newman (USA) pacific state bank/ anderson h DNF Rahsaan Bahati (USA) Rock Racing DNF Mariano Friedick (USA) Rock Racing DNF Haldane Morris (USA) Rock Racing DNF Sebastian Haedo (Arg) Rock Racing DNF Adam Switters (USA) Rock Racing DNF Dan Martin (USA) Safeway/G.A. Communications DNF Michael Hernandez (USA) Safeway/GA Communications DNF Brian Choi (USA) Specialized/Sierra Nevada DNF Alessandro Bazzana (Ita) Successful Living.com P/B Park DNF Chuck Coyle (USA) Successful Living.com P/B Park DNF Dusan Ganic (SCG) Successful Living.com P/B Park DNF Curtis Gunn (USA) Successful Living.com P/B Park DNF Alexi Martinez (USA) Successful Living.com P/B Park DNF Christian Valenzuela (Mex) Successful Living.com P/B Park DNF Mark Fennell (USA) TGI / Hazard's DNF Dean Peters (USA) unattached DNF Eric Riggs (USA) USA National Team // VMG DNF Dominic Giampaolo (USA) Webcor/Alto Velo DNF Mark Sasser (USA) CVC DNF Jorge Alvarado (USA) Kauala LeGrange DNF Jono Coulter (Aus) Webcor Alto Velo
Men Women 2006 Scott Moninger (Health Net-Maxxis) Helene Drumm (Proman/Paradigm) 2005 T. Burke Swindlehurst (Team Seasilver) Barbara Howe (Velo Bella)