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New York City Cycling Championship - NE

USA, August 4, 2002

Live coverage    Women's results    Amateur results    Results    Photography

Dominguez Sprints To NYC Victory

Lancemania Comes To Manhattan

By Tim Maloney, European editor

Hounded by fans
Photo: © Jonathan Devich
Click for larger image

In front of massive crowds assembled in Manhattan's Financial District for the inaugural New York City Cycling Championship, Cuban sprinter Ivan Dominguez (Saturn) sprinted to his biggest win ever, while Lance Armstrong was bombarded by vibes of adoration from mobs of people hungry for a rare, in-person stateside look at America's newest big time sports hero.

Although today's 100km criterium in the baking concrete canyons was a nice event, above all, the throngs came to see Lance Armstrong up close and personal. Armstrong flew in Sunday morning from Europe and arrived at the Wall St. circuit a half-hour before the race start. As the quadruple TdF champ did his warm-up laps, a spontaneous wave of cheers and adulation swept along the course as Lance rode by wearing his number one dossard. "It's like putting a marathon runner in a sprint. I'm a little bit out of my element, but the main objective was to stay out of trouble and ride a good race. (This) is a totally different type of racing (than the TdF)", said Armstrong in a post-race press conference.

A female NYPD Lieutenant sang a beautiful rendition of the Star Spangled Banner, a touching moment with the World Trade Center's Ground Zero just a stone's throw from the start/finish line. Once the hoopla was over, the gun went off and the 67 riders took to the hot, hot streets, where temperatures on the asphalt were over 100 degrees for the 60 lap crit.

After a few early attacks, Andy Crater (Ofoto-Lombardi) took the first prime after 15 laps. Frank McCormack (Saturn) made an attack and was quickly joined by Tony Cruz (USPS), Aussies Henk Vogels (Mercury) and Hilton Clarke (Schroder Iron) and two Navigators, Italian Siro Camponogara and Chris Baldwin. This sextet got 15 seconds when lanky Mariano Fredick (Jelly Belly) bridged solo and with seven guys away from the major teams, it looked like smooth saling for the septet.

Catching the break - unbelievable!
Photo: © Jonathan Devich
Click for larger image

Cruz and Vogels both had great legs and traded off of for the big bucks cash primes. The breaks lead continued to grow and at the halfway point with 30 laps remaining, the gap was 50 seconds, about a half lap ahead of the disorganized peloton. Saturn, Mercury and USPS were controlling the race well and with 18 laps left to race, the break had a lead of 1.20 and looked like they might lap the ever-diminishing bunch. Vogels was working hard and had led the break across the line enough times to take the points lead from his fellow Aussie, clever Hilton Clarke.

With the late afternoon heatwaves wafting along Water St., Lance went to the front with 12 to go and upped the tempo. "In the middle, I suppose I was trying to control the field a little," said Armstrong. " It was going faster when (others) were attacking and since we had a guy in the breakaway, I tried to even out the speed."

It looked like the break was going to stay away, but when Vogels made one of his patented leg-breaker attacks with 10.5 laps to go and won the subsequent prime, something was up in the field. Yellow and black Saturn jerseys had amassed at the front behind Armstrong and joined the USPS man in upping the tempo. It looked like Saturn wasn't going to bet that McCormack could bring home the win so it was time to ride. "Jim Copeland, (Saturn) team manager told us to ride 100 percent behind the break," said a tired but satisfied Trent Klasna post race. "At that point in the race, whoever was left, if they had anything, they had to put it on the line. Personally I didn't have very much left so I pulled for maybe three laps."

With five laps to go, the break was still away, but the yellow and black Saturn attack had cut the lead to in half. Tony Cruz powered to yet another prime win, this time worth a grand, but the lead was only 15 seconds. With the massive crowd bellowing for a sprint finale, Saturn reeled in the break with three laps to go. Team Mercury powered on the front trying to put Gord Fraser in position to win, but that old winning magic had deserted them. Instead, it was Cuban Dominguez who rode a tremendous come-from-behind sprint to power to victory, a wheel ahead of Navigators Vassili Davidenko.

Came from way behind
Photo: © Jonathan Devich
Click for larger image

"I can't believe the break got caught - unbelievable!," an astonished USPRO Champ Chann McRae told Cyclingnews. "Saturn started to ride, but the thing was that the break had a minute lead at one point."

The exhausted, emotional Dominguez told Cyclingnews, "I really don't know what happened in the sprint - you just wait for the (right) moment. I came from way behind - like sixth place." Dominguez powered past Fraser and Davidenko with a fabulous finishing rush, while highly touted trackie Marty Nothstein had a respectable ride to finish 17th, and Armstrong was 28th.

As Dominguez collected his considerable winnings, Armstrong made a brief stop at a post-race press conference, then headed for a dinner with the US Postmaster General before returning to his home and family in Gerona, Spain. Armstrong's next race is the Clasica San Sebastian next weekend.


Images by Jonathan Devich

Images courtesy David Ho

Images by Andy Shen

Results - 98.6 km

1 Ivan Dominguez (Cub) Saturn Cycling Team                        2.06.38 (46.71 km/h)
2 Vassili Davidenko (Rus) Navigators Cycling Team 
3 Gordon Fraser (Can) Mercury Cycling Team 
4 Alex Candelario (USA) Prime Alliance 
5 Kevin Monahan (USA) 7Up-Nutrafig 
6 Roberto Gaggioli (Ita) Schroder Iron 
7 Antonio Cruz (USA) Us Postal Service 
8 Mark McCormack (USA) Saturn Cycling Team 
9 Ernesto Lechuga (Mex) Mercury Cycling Team 
10 Chad Gerlach (USA) Sierra Nevada-Cannondale Cycling Team  
11 Jackson Stewart (USA) Ofoto-Lombardi Sports 
12 Andrew Crater (USA) Ofoto-Lombardi Sports  
13 Kirk Albers (USA) Jelly Belly 
14 David Mccook (USA) Prime Alliance Cycling Team  
15 James Paolinetti (USA) Schroeder Iron Pro Cycling Team  
16 Corrado Serina (Ita) Index-Alexia 
17 Marty Nothstein (USA) Navigators Cycling Team 
18 Eddy Gragus (USA) Sierra Nevada 
19 Ciaran Power (Irl) Navigators Cycling Team                         0.03
20 Graeme Miller (Nzl) Mercury Cycling Team 
21 Josh Hall (Can) Sympatico-Jet Fuel Coffee                          0.05
22 Joe Guiliano (Can)
23 Remi Mcmanus (USA) Jelly Belly 
24 Harm Jansen (Ned) Saturn Cycling Team                              0.09
25 Chann Mcrae (USA) Us Postal Service 
26 Robert Ventura (USA) Us Postal Service                             0.10
27 Henk Vogels (Aus) Mercury Cycling Team                             0.12
28 Lance Armstrong (USA) Us Postal Service                            0.16
29 Siro Camponogara (Ita) Navigators Cycling Team 
30 Chris Wherry (USA) Mercury Cycling Team                            0.23
31 Mike Sayers (USA) Mercury Cycling Team                             0.26
32 Peter Lopinto (USA) Ofoto-Lombardi Sports                          0.40
33 Dirk Friel (USA) Jittery Joe'S-Choco-Andean Eco Coffee             0.44

Starters: 68

Finishers: 33