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International Tour de 'Toona - NE
USA, July 27, 2008
Colavita-Sutter Home sweeps podium
By Kirsten Robbins in Altoona, Pennsylvania
Cubas Luis Amaran took out the 2008 Tour de Toona criterium with a solo move that saw him finish 50 seconds clear of his Colavita-Sutter Home team-mates, Tyler Wren and Kyle Wamsley. With Amaran, known for his time trial ability up the road, Wren and Wamsley jumped clear of a chasing group to secure a clean sweep of the podium for Colavita-Sutter Home.
"We surprised a lot of other teams and people this year because weve won a lot of races," said Amaran after the teams 25th victory of the season. "Our motivation is very high right now.
"We have good riders with different strengths from climbing to sprinting," Amaran continued. "Normally I race much better in the time trial but we always use our strengths to help one another - thats why we have so many good results."
Amaran attacked alone and built up a 50-second on his way to the win.
Eventually five riders gained a sizeable lead on the field in pursuit of the lone leader. The group included Wren and Wamsley along with team-mate Alejandro Borrajo, Clayton Borrows (Rite Aide) and Chuck Hutcheson (Battley-Harley Davidson).
"We wanted to be patient and not let a chase group go until it had the combination of riders that would secure us the top three places," said Sebastian Alexandre, Colavita-Sutter Home director.
"The race was great because once Amaran was gone, the other teams were very aggressive and that gave us the freedom to race the way we wanted."
What was once a seven-day tour downsized into one high-speed 65-kilometre criterium held in downtown Altoona. The venue incorporated a one-mile, nine-corner circuit that offered something for everyone. It began with a false flat up hill through the first two corners followed by a gradual descent. The riders took on two sets of technical chicanes before the finale corner to the finish line.
A small field of some forty riders assembled at the downtown start. A highly animated peloton made up for their lack of numbers when teams Rite Aid and Battley-Harley Davidson took turns sending riders up the road.
"Racing a small field is never easy and they can be the hardest ones to win," Alexandre said.
Amaran rolled off the front by himself following a string of attacks. He took the opportunity to increase his lead over the false flat, ten laps into the forty-lap race.
"We have a very strong team and there werent too many other teams here this weekend," said Amaran regarding the large number of opposing teams that chose to compete in the conflicting events. "The original strategy was for our sprinters today but we changed our plan once I attacked."
Riders from the Colavita-Sutter Home squad covered all attacks initiated by Rite Aid and Battley Harley Davidson.
Each opposing team had riders such as Dave Fuentes (Battley-Harley Davidson) who initiated several of the threatening chase groups and Bill Elliston (Rite Aid) represented his team in most of them.
When the peloton saw six laps to go, five riders separated themselves from the main field, on the hunt for second place.
Hutcheson and Borrows took turns pulling at the front. The pair received enough help from the Colavita-Sutter Home trio to maintain their lead over the main bunch without damaging Amarans winning lead.
Upon hearing the bell indicating one lap to go, Wren jumped ahead to take second place. He left the group sprint for third to his team-mate, Wamsley.
Van Gilder takes another Toona victory
Laura Van Gilder added another victory to her career tally of over three hundred career wins, winning the International Tour de Toonas downtown criterium. Van Gilder won a two-up sprint ahead of break away companion Iona Wynter Park (Colavita-Sutter Home).
"I think Ive won the crit four times - but Ill figure those numbers out and come back next year to let you know," said Van Gilder who plans on returning next year.
"Ive been coming to this race for thirteen years and if you come that often than you get those winning opportunities."
Jacquelyn Crowell (Kenda Tire) won a two-up sprint to take third place ahead of chase group companion Davina Summers (USA). The pair broke away from the main field with nine laps to go and held off the chasing bunch for the last podium place.
"I didnt know what to expect because its a really well known race with a lot of money so I thought I should come out and see what would happen," said Crowell pleased with a podium finish.
The Tour de Toona was well known for offering equal prize money between the Pro men and women peloton, unchanged in lieu of the events considerable downsize. Race directors Larry Bilotto and Rick Geist continued to pave the way for sport parity offering a $15,000 prize purse to each field.
"I have always been a big believer in the womens peloton deserving the same prize money as the men but, for the same distance raced," said Geist.
The pro womens field took on the same 65-kilometre criterium as the men and with the same vigor.
Third placed, Crowell started a string of attacks on the first lap. She was eventually pegged back by the third lap and immediately countered by Van Gilder and Wynter-Park.
The pair gained a sizeable lead over the circuits grueling hills and technical chicanes, courtesy of Van Gilders fast-paced tempo.
"I didnt have that many options available for me in a break with Van Gilder," said Wynter-Park. She was obliged to sit on the winners wheel given that her teams leading sprinter, Tina Pic, sat back in the field.
"There are some classy ways to do it and some not so classy ways to do it," continued Wynter-Park.
"Once we got further away, my only options were to try to attack her on certain points of the course or lastly to sprint in the end, hoping that she was tired from her work in the break."
On several occasions, the Jamaican national champion tried gain some time ahead of Van Gilder without success. "Eventually my attacks felt lame," she continued. "Laura certainly deserved her win.
"The only person we can say with confidence that can go up against Van Gilder in a sprint is Tina. If one of us is faced to go up against her, all we can do is try to be as smart as possible."
With no significant organization from the main field, the pairs lead grew to over one minute. Upon seeing twelve laps to go, Australian Laura McCaughey (Juice Plus) launched herself into what looked like a potential bridge to the leaders.
However, the main field felt her threat to the remaining podium place and quickly pulled her back.
Summers countered McCaugheys return, gaining ten seconds on the field before Crowell bridged across to her. The pair dangled behind the leaders, securing their third and fourth places.
"Im having a lot of fun racing my bike," said Van Gilder who is in her 18th season of racing on the American circuit. "I feel really fortunate and very passionate about this sport."
"I love coming out to these events and to all the towns that are so supportive of our racing," continued Van Gilder saddened to see the Tour de Toona shortened to a single day.
"Im really thankful for all the volunteers and sponsors that make these events possible. I look back, with happiness, on all the times I had success or suffered to the finish line here and I hope it comes back as a seven day stage race next year."
Elite men 1 Luis Amaran (Colavita/Sutter Home) 1.27.09 2 Tyler Wren (Colavita/Sutter Home) 0.53 3 Kyle Wamsley (Colavita/Sutter Home) 1.04 4 Alejandro Borrajo (Colavita/Sutter Home) 5 Clayton Barrows (Rite Aid Pro) 6 Chuck Hutcheson (Battley HARLEY-DAVIDSON/Sonoma) 1.08 7 Luca Damiani (Colavita/Sutter Home) 1.19 8 Adam Myerson (Time Pro Cycling) 9 Davide Frattini (Colavita/Sutter Home) 10 Guido Palma (Rite Aid Pro) 11 Dave Fuentes (Battley HARLEY-DAVIDSON/Sonoma) 12 Jared Babik (Hershey Cancer Institute-GPOA) 13 Elliot Gaunt (Hershey Cancer Institute-GPOA) 14 William Elliston (Rite Aid Pro) 15 Alex Bhogal (Mazurcoaching.com) 16 Brian Butts (Battley HARLEY-DAVIDSON/Sonoma) 17 Jonathan Erdelyi (Rite Aid Pro) 18 Clay Murfet (Kelly Benefit Strategies) 19 Evan Fader (Battley HARLEY-DAVIDSON/Sonoma) 20 Chris Schmidt (The Bike Lane) 21 Shane Kline (Kelly Benefit Strategies) 22 Matthew Johnson (CRCA/Empire Cycling Team) 23 Luciano Bezerra 24 Dan Quinlan (mahoning valley cyclist) 25 David Bozak (Clean Currents) 26 Colin Sandberg (Hershey Cancer Institute-GPOA) 27 Ryan Dewald (Battley HARLEY-DAVIDSON/Sonoma) 28 Sean Barrie (Battley HARLEY-DAVIDSON/Sonoma) 29 Mark Warno (The Bike Lane) 30 Jason Meidhof (Clean Currents) 1.31 31 Gustavo Artacho (Colavita/Sutter Home) 1.48 32 Ryan McKinney (Clean Currents) 1.51 Lapped 33 Turner Johnson (Hershey Cancer Institute-GPOA) 34 Chris Kuhl (Hershey Cancer Institute-GPOA) Elite women 1 Laura Van Gilder (Cheerwine Cycling) 1.40.07 2 Iona Wynter Parks (Colavita/Sutter Home) 0.04 3 Jacquelyn Crowell (Team Kenda Tire) 0.53 4 Davina Summers 5 Tina Pic (Colavita/Sutter Home) 1.04 6 Erica Allar (Aarons Pro Women's Cycling) 7 Kacey Manderfield (Verducci/Breakaway) 8 Anne Samplonius (Cheerwine Cycling) 9 Marple Stacy (Cheerwine Cycling) 10 Sarah Caravella (Team TIBCO) 11 Susan Palmer-Komar (Team Advil/Chapstick) 12 Sinead Miller (UPMC Cycling Performance) 13 Kate Veronneau (Kutztown Cutters) 14 Laura McCaughey (Juice Plus) 15 Lisa M. Jellett (Verducci/Breakaway) 16 Robin Farina (Cheerwine Cycling) 17 Sonja Evers (C3-Sollay.com) 18 Genevieve Whitson (HPC powered by Altarum) 19 Lesley Golenor (HPC Powered by Altarum) 20 Tricia Carnila (Verducci/Breakaway) 21 Leeanne Manderson (Hub Racing) 22 Kristin Scheffenacker (HPC powered by Altarum) 23 Susan Hefler (HPC powered by Altarum) 24 Shontell Gauthier (Colavita/Sutter Home) 25 Rachel Warner (Juice Plus) 26 Dale Tye (Hub Racing) 1.18 27 Melissa O'Reilly (Van Dessel Factory Team) 1.26 28 Erin Quinlan (Stark Velo) 29 Arley Kemmerer (Hub Racing) 1.30 30 Samantha House (Elves & More) 1.33 31 Nichole Wangsgard (Colavita/Sutter Home) 1.43 32 Veronica Martinez (JVR Sports) 2.33
2007 Karl Menzies (Health Net - Maxxis) Kristin Armstrong (TEAm Lipton) 2006 Sergey Lagutin (Navigators Insurance) Kristin Armstrong (TEAm Lipton) 2005 Scott Moninger (Health Net pb Maxxis) Genevieve Jeanson (The Bicycle Store)