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Merco Cycling Classic - NE
USA, February 28-March 1, 2009
Stage 4 - March 2: Men's foothills race, 192km
Rock's youngster claims victory against seasoned field
By Kirsten Robbins in Merced, California
Iggy Silva benefited from the experience of Rock Racing captain Freddy Rodriguez, who guided the young rider to his first bunch sprint victory as a professional. The young track specialist defied the odds and not only completed the lengthy road race but used his points race smarts to manoeuvre a win ahead of Taylor Tolleson (BMC) and Andy Jacques-Maynes (Bissell).
"This is my first season as a category one rider and my first win at this level too," Silva told Cyclingnews with an ear-to-ear grin, pleased to be a part of Rock Racing's weekend-winning performances. His team-mates Rashaan Bahati and Justin Williams placed first and second in the previous day's criterium. "This is definitely the biggest win for me. It was pretty cool because all the big teams were here and I got to show my stuff."
The 192km Foothills Road Race might have been a typical distance for most of the professional men's peloton but for 18-year-old Silva it was 150 kilometres longer than the standard junior level 40-kilometre points race that he has been accustomed to competing in.
"I haven't ever done a race this long so I was trying to pace myself towards the end, hoping I was able to make it," said Silva. "It was definitely on for most of the race, with a lot of attacking. Plus there were a lot a faster sprinters here and riders who have already done some big races."
The speed of the peloton picked up near the end of the race to reel in a seven-man breakaway. The only obstacle preventing a straight and easy shot to the finish line was a small hill placed in the last kilometre. It may have been unassuming but it was enough to disorganise team lead outs and force every man to fight for himself.
"At the finish, Freddy [Rodriguez] went and I stayed and sat third wheel," Silva continued. "The BMC guy [Taylor Tolleson] went and I sat on him and countered when he caught up to Freddy. There was no one behind me so it was all good. It was perfect to have Freddy there because that forced another team to jump and I was in the perfect position to counter."
The peloton set off in the early morning to complete five laps of a nearly 40km circuit through the notorious orange and almond groves of California's Central Valley. Cooler temperatures and little rain were optimal in keeping the pollinating bees in their bee-hives and not in the riders jerseys and helmets.
Team Bissell rode offensively and forced several of the day's significant breakaways. Each lap a large leading group reshuffled with some riders dropping off the back and others bridging the small margin across. Along with Bissell other teams included in the splits were BMC, Colavita-Sutter Home, California Giant Berry Farms and La Grange.
"There were a lot of early breakaways but the group seemed to be glued together the whole race," said Tolleson. "A break would go but nothing ever got more than a minute before a big chase would start. I don't think there was one group that went that everyone was happy with and not enough big teams to control it. It was on the gas pretty much all day.
Strength from the chasing peloton came from local level teams that included Bike Religion, Webcor, Lombardi Sports and the Z-team that kept the time margin between the field and any front group from gaining more than a minute-and-a-half.
"We were all over the front and off the front," Jacques-Maynes said. "We wanted to be hyper-aggressive because we we aren't a great field sprinting team. All of the bigger teams would populate the break and then solo operators or smaller teams with less riders would just sell out to bridge the gap. There were just different tactics going on. But those teams ended up using up a lot of their guys because as the race went on the field was getting smaller and smaller."
1 Ignacio (Iggy) Silva (Rock Racing) 4.24.30 2 Taylor Tolleson (BMC Pro Cycling Team) 3 Andy Jacques-Maynes (Bissell Pro Cycling Team) 4 Justin Williams (Rock Racing) 5 Jason Lowetz (Team Bearclaw) 0.01 6 Alessandro Bazzana (Fly U Australia) 7 Robert Macneill (Webcor/Alto Velo) 8 Colby Elliot (Pista Pauacia) 9 Dirk Copeland (California Giant -Specialized) 10 Alexi Martinez (Kahala La Grange) 11 Andres Gil (Pacific State Bank Cycling Team) 12 Charlie Avis (Team Specialized) 0.02 13 James Badia (Webcor/Alto Velo) 14 Andy Goessling (ZteaM) 15 Lucas Sebastian Haedo (Colavita Sutter Home p/b Cooking) 16 Alejandro Borrajo (Colavita Sutter Home p/b Cooking) 17 Sean Passage (Unattached) 18 Randy Bramblett (Village Peddler) 0.03 19 Carson Miller (Land Rover - Orbea) 20 Ryan Parnes (Webcor Alto Velo) 21 Paul Mach (Bissell Pro Cycling) 22 William Hudak (GS Lombardi Sports) 23 Zack Sober (Wells Fargo Racing Team) 24 John Wilk (Sierra Pacific Racing) 25 Eric Losak (VRC-MS Society) 26 Lee Shuemake (Pacific State Bank Cycling Team) 27 Chris Turner (Above Category Racing) 0.04 28 Benjamin Lyon (Arete Racing) 0.05 29 Jorge Alvarado (Kahala La Grange) 30 Michael Margraf (Safeway Bicycles Plus) 31 Jackson Stewart (BMC Pro Cycling Team) 32 Keith Szolusha (Pacific State Bank Cycling Team) 0.06 33 Mark Santurbane (California Giant -Specialized) 0.07 34 Albert Gonzales (Bike Religion) 0.08 35 Eric Fischer (Safeway Bicycle Plus) 36 Ryan Eastman (All Sport-Team Swift) 0.09 37 Martin Adamczyk (SoCalCycling.com) 38 Keck Baker (Battley-Harley Davidson/Sonoma) 39 Unknown Rider 40 Bo Hebenstreit (Webcor/Alto Velo) 41 Evan Pickett (Metromint Cycling on Marin Bike) 42 Cody O'reilly (Bissell Pro Cycling) 0.11 43 Mack Chew (Arete' Racing) 0.13 44 Kalen Gruber (SugarCRM) 0.14 45 Sterling Magnell (Rock Racing) 46 Justin Laue (ZteaM) 0.16 47 Shaun Harless (Above Category Racing) 48 Jd Bergmann (BPG) 0.17 49 Sam Pickman (Specialized) 50 Joel Robertson (Sierra Pacific Racing) 51 Dillon Clapp (Bishop's Peak / Art's Cyclery) 0.18 52 John Mckeen (Team Bearclaw) 53 John Van Dyke (Bike Religion) 54 Nate Freed (Cyclepaths/Wild Cherries Racing) 55 Scott Moore (Bike Religion) 0.19 56 Blake Anton (HDR p/b Lombardi Sports) 57 Chad Beyer (BMC Pro Cycling Team) 0.20 58 Jeff Williams (Webcor/Alto Velo) 0.21 59 Sean Mcbride (HDR p/b Lombardi Sports) 0.22 60 Karta Atehortua (NA) 0.23 61 Tore Nauta (Webcor/Alto Velo) 62 Dave Fuentes (Battley Cycles/Harley Davison/) 0.24 63 Sheldon Deeny (Bissell Pro Cycling Team) 0.25 64 John Wolzmuth (Bike Religion) 65 Rand Miller (Webcor/Alto Velo) 0.26 66 David Van Orsdel (Unattached) 67 Ben Jacques-Maynes (Bissell Pro Cycling) 0.27 68 Brandon Gritters (Kahala-LaGrange) 0.29 69 Luca Ortolani (NA) 70 Osvaldo Olmos (California Giant -Specialized) 0.30 71 John Hunt (California Giant -Specialized) 72 Jesse Moore (California Giant -Specialized) 0.31 73 Greg Davis (SugarCRM) 0.35 74 Connor Spencer (Metromint Cycling) 0.37 75 Henry Kramer (Sugar CRM) 0.40 76 Guido Palma (Colavita Sutter Home p/b Cooking) 77 Patrick Briggs (California Giant -Specialized) 0.46 78 James Mattis (California Giant -Specialized) 0.47 79 Keith Miller (California Giant -Specialized) 80 Evan Huffman (HDR p/b Lombardi Sports) 81 Micah Cl0Teaux (Grent Eagle) 0.48 82 Christopher Carey (Arete' Racing) 0.50 83 Aaron Beardsley (Team Clif Bar) 84 Jason Seaver (Team Bearclaw) 0.55 85 Joao Correia (Bissell Pro Cycling Team) 0.57 86 Tyler Wertenbruch (SLO Nexus - Arbor Home Mortgage) 87 Adam Switters (California Giant -Specialized) 1.04 88 Neil Harrington (Webcor/Alto Velo) 1.35 89 John Tzinberg (Bike Religion) 1.39 90 Thomas Novikoff (Webcor/Alto Velo) 3.42 91 Peter Rennie (NOW-MS) 92 Chris Coble (The Olympic Club) 6.14 93 Paul Kundrat (Wells Fargo Racing Team) 8.10 94 Ted Willard (LiquidFitness.com/1031market) 14.56 95 Vince Owens (HDR p/b Lombardi Sports) 14.57 96 Paul Penn (wells fargo team) 18.04 97 Nick Schaffner (Cyclepaths/Wild Cherries Racing) DNS Kris Lunning (Above Category) DNS Ian Tuttle (Above Category Racing) DNS Jonathan Garcia (BMC Pro Cycling Team) DNS Scott Nydam (BMC Pro Cycling Team) DNS Jared Barrilleaux (California Giant -Specialized) DNS Brandon Trafton (Central Valley Cycling) DNS Aaron Olson (Colavita Sutter Home p/b Cooking) DNS Russell White (Davis Bike Club) DNS Zachary Wick (Davis Bike Club) DNS Kevin Klein (KLEIN Real Estate) DNS Dan Martin (Safeway/Bicycle Plus) DNS Matthew Obregon (Safeway/Bikes Plus) DNS Kirt Fitzpatrick (Sexual Camel) DNS Tim Granshaw (Sierra Pacific) DNS Richard Pego (Team Helens) DNS Justin Fraga (Webcor / Alto Velo) DNS Peter Cazalet (Webcor/Alto Velo) DNS Lucas Binder (ZteaM) DNS Steve O'mara (ZteaM) DNF Jeremy Vennell (Bissell Pro Cycling) DNF Timothy Farnham (Bissell Pro Cycling) DNF Omer Kem (Bissell Pro Cycling) DNF Jan Weissenberger (Active Athlete/Squadra Ovest) DNF Steve Holmes (AretÃ© Racing) DNF Pat Caro (Bike Religion) DNF Yacov Spivak (Chico Corsa Cycling Team) DNF Michael Cordova (Chico Corsa PB Sierra Nevada) DNF Luis Amaran (Colavita Sutter Home p/b Cooking) DNF Davide Frattini (Colavita Sutter Home p/b Cooking) DNF Alex Wick (Davis Bike Club) DNF Charlie Alexander (Davis Bike Club) DNF Chris Morales (Davis Bike Club) DNF Chris Stastny (Davis Bike Club) DNF Greg White (Davis Bike Club) DNF Sassan Golafshan (Form Fitness) DNF Tyler Brandt (HDR p/b Lombardi Sports) DNF Jesse Mendonca (HDR p/b Lombardi Sports) DNF Spencer Smitheman (NOW - MS Society) DNF Todd Hennings (Pacific State Bank Cycling Team) DNF Graham Howard (Bissell Pro Cycling) DNF Danny Finneran (Rock Racing) DNF Mark Shimahara (Team Clif Bar) DNF Fabrice Dubost (Webcor alto velo) DNF Chris Crawford (Webcor/Alto Velo) DNF Graham Simpson (Webcor/Alto Velo) DNF Brian Buchholz (Webcor/Alto Velo) DNF Ryan Prsha (Webcor/Alto Velo) DNF Billy Crane (Webcor/Alto Velo) DNF Mark Deterline (Wells Fargo Racing Team) DNF Peter Graf (Wells Fargo Racing Team) DNF Channing Chen (Fusion Sport USA) DNF Ricardo Escuela (Successful Living) DNF Nathaniel English (ZteaM) DNF Hendrik Pohl (Fusion Sport USA) DNF Rahsaan Bahati (Rock Racing) DNF Ariel Herrmann (Unattached) DNF Freddie Rodriguez (Rock Racing)