UCI codes explained
Sea Otter Pro NRC Road Race - (NE)
Monterey, California, USA, April 19, 2008
Results, report &
photos     Mountain Bike
Join us Saturday at 1:10pm Pacific
Standard Time for live coverage of the Pro Men's USA Cycling National Road Calendar
(NRC) Circuit race. Riders will race 22 laps on the world-famous Laguna-Seca
International Raceway in Monterey, California. The weather reports are calling
for dry skies (so we should not see a repeat of last-year's cancellation under
torrential downpours) but chilly temperatures.
Live coverage will
get underway just before racing starts.
Good morning from chilly and windy
Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey, California. While we wait for the men's NRC
pro road race to get underway (in about 30 minutes) we figured we could bring
you the last 30 minutes of the women's race.
The women's race is run over 22 laps
of the 2.1 mile Laguna Seca racetrack. The course starts with a 300-meter steep
climb, a bombing descent down a couple of corkscrew turns then over a short
power climb and a fast sloping descent to a flat straightaway for the finish.
The wind has been a factor in the
action so far. The women's field has fractured over the first 17 laps of the
race. Right now, there is a solo woman away from the remnants of a ten-woman
break that split into two groups of five. The rider away is Tiffany Cromwell
(Colavita Olive Oil/Sutterhome).
Cromwell's teammate, Dotsie Bausch
is an obvious favorite to sprint out of a select bunch like this and Cromwell's
break may be a way to set up Bausch so she has to do no work in the break.
There are four laps remaining in the
race. The main field is half a lap behind the leaders and essentially out of
the race at this point. Cromwell has about 1 minute over the remainder of the
Behind Cromwell, the chase includes
five riders. Two minutes behind them are four other riders. We're trying to
get race numbers and confirm the rider's in each group.
There are, we believe, two Cheerwine
riders in the first chase group. They will be happy to learn of the success
of their teammate in Europe today. Anne Samplonius, who rides for Cheerwine
in the US, won the Ronde van Gelderland in the Netherlands today. Representing
her Canadian National Team, she got into a breakaway of eight. She then followed
the attack of German Eva Lutz in the final 10km, and then out-sprinted the Equipe
Nuernberger rider to take the victory.
The leaders are through the start/finish
line and now have three laps remaining. Caldwell is gaining on the back end
of the main field and is a threat to lap the bunch.
Cromwell has two laps to go and a
1:30 seconds gap over the chase group of five. She has all but assured herself
victory in the Sea Otter NRC Circuit race. The nineteen year old Australian
is in the drops and riding with a powerful rhythm against the shifting gusty
The chase group is comprised of Dotsie
Bausch (Colavita), Laura Van Gilder (Cheerwine), Rachel heal (Tibco), Catherine
Cheatley (Cheerwine) and one rider we cannot identify.
Tiffany Cromwell is lapping backmarkers
as she enters her final lap. She is totally clear of the field.
Cromwell is off the climb and working
her way around the back side of the course as the chase group passes the start/finish
line to begin their final lap.
The final rider in that chase group
is Shelly Olds (Proman Women's Racing), a Northern-California based rider who
recently upgraded from Cat 3 (where she was very successful) to the pro ranks.
Cromwell has done it.
The sprint for second (and the bigger
slices of the $10,000 total in prize money) is about a minute away. Will Colavita
The chase group is coming out of the
final turn - into the wind and the final straightaway.
The Cheerwine riders are leading it
But Shelly Olds comes around at the
last second to win the sprint.
Cromwell is talking to the announcers
about her team's strategy. She says that they knew Laura Can Gilder (Cheerwine)
was the most dangerous sprinter in the original lead group so when Van Gilder
slipped to the back and appeared to be struggling, her team manager told her
to drive the pace and she found herself away.
"It's just great to get a win here,"
she said, "to get my name out there."
Join us in 20 minutes for the start
of the men's NRC Circuit race.
Hello again. The men are lining up
for the start of the marquee race for the road portion of the 2008 Sea Otter
Last year, Daniel Ramsey (Team Successfulliving.com)
escaped from the pro men's peloton twice in the circuit race to win while Redlands
champion Andrew Bajadali (then Jelly Belly now Kelly Benefits Strategies) and
Frank Pipp (Health Net/Maxxis) struggled against 30 mile-per-hour winds in a
failed doomed attempt to bring him back.
At the time, Ramsey said
"I had some teammates in (the chase group) so I knew I was going to have to
be the first person to attack; they had been covering moves all day" Ramsey
said about his second surge. And although his intention for the race had been
simply the KOM category, Ramsey found himself alone off the front again. "(The
main pack) must have been just watching each other because I didn't think I
felt that good."
Ramsey said he was more motivated to stay away once
he had a lead the second time. "My teammates were all back there covering for
me. They all dug just as deep as I did to give me a hand so I wanted to give
it everything I had." Ramsey also had to contend with 30-mph winds. "It was
hard. The wind was strong. It was wet early on. You had to stay on your toes.
But this course is as good as it gets in the rain and I just had the legs to
keep on going."
Ramsay wears number one this year so there's not
much chance he'll get away unnoticed.
Ramsey represents the Time Pro Cycling
team this year.
Also in the field is a strong contingent
from California Giant Berries, Bissel, Colavita, Health Net, Successful Living
and Rock Racing's.
Also a strong possibility is the affable
and super-friendly UK team Plowman Craven - who won the non NRC road race yesterday
against almost as strong a men's field.
And with warnings to not run the fences
through the start finish lines (because the winds are strong enough to have
blown them into the racecourse a couple of times), the men's field is off.
There are 116 riders in the men's
field but with a wide, clear and perfectly paved racecourse, the high numbers
shouldn't be a problem.
The aggression has started in just
the first lap - Johnny Sundt attacks and is bridged to by a rider from Successful
Living. But the main field is not ready to let opportunists get away so easy
and is pacing up.
But... maybe the main bunch is satisfied
letting an early escape stay away; Johnny Sundt and Bradley White (Successful
Living) are offthe front by abut 30 seconds.
The leaders have 28 laps remaining.
Sundt and White is still away.
The break is at 35 seconds. The field
doesn't seem to be working too hard but the gap is not rising so the wind is
obviously sucking the energy out of the two leaders and this break does not
look like it has the legs to stay away.
Two riders are bridging across from
the main field - only ten seconds behind Sundt and White. It' Rock Racing's
David Clinger and Adam Livingston.
The move has woken up the field, which
is all strung out, but the gap between the leaders and the field is holding
at just under 30 seconds.
The four riders are together off the
climb and working together. One additional rider is trying to bridge across
and the field is letting him go.
The pace is hurting the main field
- a split has formed in the stiff crosswinds on the back side of the course
and a handful of riders are off the back behind the SRAM neutral service car.
The men have 23 laps remaining.
The lead has changed. There are now
four riders off the front - Clinger is still there but he is now accompanied
by three Successful Living riders (Brian Swenson, Christian Valenzuela and one
rider we have not yet identified).
Mountain Bike Editor Sue George is
standing on the sidelines of the pro women and men's Short Track Cross Country
races just across the venue from our position and reports that Leah Davidson
(Trek/VW) just won the women's race ahead of Melanie McQaid and Kelli Emmett.
We have a correction on the make-up
of that lead group - it's Brian Jensen, Michael Grabinger Jr and Bradley White
of Team Successful Living with David Clinger of Rock Racing.
There are a couple of riders attempting
to bridge but all that is doing is putting more and more pressure on a fracturing
main field - the gap is not closing and the shifting headwind/crosswind/tailwind
is keeping riders in the field fighting to stay connected.
There are nineteen laps to go in the
men's race. White is 25, married and lives in Littleton, Colorado. he was with
the Discovery Channel/Marco Polo team last year and this is his second season
as a pro. According to his team bio, his strengths are to be a motor for breaks
and driving tempo - certainly skills he's showing off today
Behind the leaders, some riders on
the front of the main field are getting frustrated with the lack of coordination
in reeling in the three teammates and Clinger. Coming over a short rise on the
back side of the course, riders at the front are spread all across the road.
There is some arm gesturing as well but we're too far away to hear what is probably
some salty attempts by riders to convince others that they all have an interest
in bringing back the break.
All have an interest in bringing the
break back except the full Rock Racing team and, currently sitting second wheel
in the main bunch, Successful Living teammates of course.
The men's field is shattered into
bunches but still the four leaders are away.
We just witnessed an exciting finish
to the men's short-track mountain bike race across the venue from us; 22 year
old Sam Schultz (who now races for Subaru Gary Fisher but was on the USA Cycling
Development team last season) just outfoxed perennial US mountain-bike favorite
Ryan Trebon (Kona Les Gets) for the win. Schultz was on Trebon's wheel in the
final lap and made a move to get in front and simply outrode Trebon on a couple
of nasty little uphills to win.
Back to the men's road race - there
are sixteen laps remaining. The four leaders are still away. There is one chase
group of about a dozen riders gritting their teeth and trying to make their
way through the wind to the front. Behind them, it's multiple single-file groups.
The first chase group has settled
in - seven riders at about 1:30 behind the leaders. The group is made up of
riders from seven different teams (including Colavita, Rock Racing, Bissel).
The main group has settled down again and are all together about 2:30 behind
Fifteen laps is a long way for a small
break to succeed in such wind but if it does, Successful Living has the numbers
to really work against Clinger. With a Rock Racing rider in the chase, Clinger
may now sit on the lead group.
Clinger is still working with the
With 14 laps remaining, the leaders
have 1:10 over the chase. Some of the riders in the chase group are Simon Graywood
(Plowman Craven), John Murphy (Health Net), Daniel Ramsey (Time Pro Cycling),
Rory Sutherland (Health net), Alejandro Barrejo (Colavito), Caleb Manion.
With 12 laps to go, the four leaders
are still working well together. The chase group is holding its distance right
now. The main field has split into two distinct bunches - the back of which
needs to get a move on or they may be lapped by the leaders.
There are now eleven laps to go.
The leaders have 1:50 over the chase and are taking even turns at the front
and riding strong tempo.
The seven riders in the chase are not cooperating
as smoothly as the break.
The first block of the main group is only
30 seconds back. It may be, with the wind, that the chase's only hope is to
allow the larger main field to reconnect and try to get a more motivated bunch
trying to work together to bring back the leaders.
The final main field is a couple of
minutes behind the chase. The leaders are closing in.
Ten laps to go.
The chase group and the first main
field did come together over the top of the course and John Murphy (Health Net)
has gone off by himself - putting himself between the leaders and the chasers.
The leaders have lapped the back of
the main field.
We have reached a stalemate in the
race. The leaders have enough of a gap to hold it to the end. But it's not certain
so they are still working together cleanly - each rider taking fifteen-second
pulls and all four sharing the load evenly.
There will come a time
soon where the isolated Rock Racing rider, David Clinger, will need to decide
if he is going to attack this group and risk running out of energy or whether
he likes his chances in a four-man sprint. Team Successful Living team director
will be trying to decide when is the perfect time to try and break Clinger out
of this lead group and sweep the podium (and the lion's share of the $25,000
in prize money).
Murphy took on a huge challenge for
himself. With the wind today, a solo bridge to a well-functioning break almost
two minutes up the road is a task only the strongest of riders would be able
With seven laps to go, the task proved
to be too much for John Murphy and he's fallen back into the chase.
Colavita are at the front of the chase,
trying to salvage something for the team out of the day.
The race has only six laps to go.
The leaders are actually coming up behind the chase group (about 500 meters
back) and if the chase doesn't get fire in its legs, it too will be lapped by
The leader's are less than 200 meters
behind the chasers on the circuit now. So will the leaders sit back now, rest
up and avoid lapping the field knowing there's no way, with 4-1/2 laps left
in the race, they will be caught? if they do sit back, does that help the isolated
rider (Clinger or Rock Racing) or the three Successful Living teammates?
The answer revealed itself quickly
- the leaders have moved clear of the chase - they have now lapped the entire
Based on the race's rules, the benefit
to the chase group is they wont have to contend that one final lap to be scored
for points and prizes (lapped riders are scored on the leader's final lap -
but behind any lead riders still on the final lap even if they finished behind).
The leaders have crossed the start/finish
line again and now have only three laps to go - about fifteen minutes of racing.
So far, the fireworks are staying in the box but someone has to make a move
So in a race two hours long and which
started with 116 riders, only four remain with any chance to win. One rider,
Bradley White, has been off the front since the very first lap. The other three
joined him in the very early minutes of the race. All four deserve victory for
their confidence and aggression to make the race win a possibility for themselves.
But with two laps to go, each of the four know that only one of them will take
the ultimate prize.
Riding up the climb for the 29th ascent, they
leaders have climbed a sum total of almost 10,000 vertical feet so far today.
In just two hours of racing!
Even now, with such little room to
make a move, Clinger stays with the three Successful Living teammates and continues
to share the work.
I would think he certainly has a right
to sit on the back and force them to take action against him.
And he is a strong enough rider that
he could respond to any attack if he is rested.
The leaders have just double-lapped
the very back of the main group and are now on their final lap. Clinger is still
with the three Successful Living riders. They are on the brutal, 300-meter climb
together for the last time.
Clinger is sitting on the other three
leaders around the back of the course.
Clinger is still sitting on. They
are entering the final straight.
Clinger moves to the front.
Sucessful Living has him boxed in.
Grabinger takes the sprint.
Clinger may have slipped through for
Clinger powered out of the final turn
and tried to make the race with the deck stacked against him but having three
teammates against him was simply too much. Successful Living made the race and
gets to take home the ultimate prize. Chapeau.
John Murphy moved off the front of
the chase group and takes fifth pace.
Well, that's it for our live coverage
of the 2008 Sea Otter NRC Men's pro Circuit race. Stay tuned to Cyclingnews
for full results, a race report and photos later this evening.