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Stages & Results






John Lieswyn diary

First Union Invitational
First Union Classic & USPRO

2001 results


First Union USPRO Championships - 1.2

USA, June 9, 2002

Main page    Results

Complete live report

Start time: 9:00 PDT
Estimated finish time: 15:00 PDT

8:55 PDT

Fred Rodriguez
Photo: © Rob Karman
Click for larger image

Welcome to Cyclingnews' live coverage of the 2002 USPRO Championships. It's a beautiful morning in Philly for the race which will decide who will wear the stars and stripes jersey for the next 12 months. Temperatures are about 70 degrees Farenheit, with an expected maximum in the low 80's. There is a light NW wind and high cloud cover.

It's a wide open race today. In the lead up races, no rider really shown themselves to be stronger than the others. George Hincapie and David Clinger (US Postal), and two-time defending champion Fred Rodriguez (in his plain Domo kit) are the big favourites, with Fred looking to be the first rider to win three consecutive USPRO titles. The Navigators team is really looking to have a big breakthrough in this race, as is Prime Alliance. For the foreigners, Gian Paolo Cheula (Mapei), and Sebastian Matozza (Colnago-Landbouwkrediet) are worth keeping an eye on. As always it's very nervous.

The race is three small laps of 1 mile, followed by 10 large laps of 14.4 miles and three finishing circuits of 3 miles for a total of 156 miles/250 km. The key feature of the course is the notorious Manayunk Wall, with a steep 17% grade. The riders have to tackle this 10 times during the large laps.

9:45 PDT - 30 km/225 km to go

It hasn't been an easy start in the 250 kilometre race, with a number of attacks going early. On the first time up the climb, a group of 28 riders split off the front, driven by Mercury and Navigators. They have about a 30 second lead on the peloton, which is being driven by five US Postal riders. Chann McRae is doing a lot of work.

10:05 PDT - 46 km/209 km to go

US Postal Service rode hard tempo and brought that group back in time for the second time up the Manayunk Wall. But the same thing happened on the climb, when Saturn attacked and another big group of 27 got away. Clark Sheehan (7Up) attacked off the front of this group, and has about 10 seconds lead, and 30 seconds on the peloton.

10:25 PDT - 60 km/195 km to go

The riders are a quarter of the way through the third lap, just approaching the climb of Manayunk for the third time (of 10 in total). After the prime on the last lap, the big group got pulled back. But clearly, there is a lot of action early on in this race, and that will surely take its toll as we hit 200 kilometres. It's still cool and windy.

Rob Karman has sent in a few photos from the sign on. Click here to view them.

10:43 PDT - 73 km/182 km to go

Going up the Manayunk Wall the third time, there was an attack by Navigators. But Lotto-Adecco's Glenn D'Hollander countered on the descent and now has a 30 seconds lead on Kelly Drive.

Fred Rodriguez' Domo-Farm Frites team has had some bad luck: Jans Koerts has crashed and is out of the race and Max Van Heeswijk punctured and had a hard chase back on.

11:02 PDT - 86 km/169 km to go

The first two hours of the race saw 52.6 miles/84.8 km covered, so they haven't been idling. The leading riders are now Glenn D'Hollander and Eugen Wacker (Mroz) who bridged up to him. However, the pair only have a 35 seconds lead.

For those interested in what's happening in Europe, brief results are in for the final stage of the Tour of Germany and even briefer results are available for the prologue of the Dauphine Libere. We'll have full results in the coming hours.

11:20 PDT - 99 km/156 km to go

With 6 big laps remaining, Eugen Wacker and Glenn d'Hollander still have about 20 seconds lead. Wacker took the $1500 prime sprint on the last big lap. There is a counter attack off the front by Scott Moninger (Mercury), Dylan Casey (USPS) Soren Petersen (Saturn) and Russell Stevenson (Prime Alliance). They catch d'Hollander, but Wacker still has a 10 seconds lead. However, the peloton is only 20 seconds behind this group.

11:35 PDT - 110 km/145 km to go

On the fifth time up the wall, the persistent Eugen Wacker was caught by the group of five chasers: Moninger, Casey, Petersen, Stevenson and d'Hollander. The group has a 50 second lead on the peloton, which is being led by Prime Alliance and Mercury, who don't want to close the gap to these riders. So far in this race there has been a lot of action.

There's an enormous crowd on the Manayunk Wall - perhaps 70,000 people. The weather is still cool and it is perfect for racing.

11:51 PDT - 122 km/133 km to go

Rossner, again
Photo: © Rob Karman
Click for larger image

We're coming to four big laps to go, and we have a six man breakaway group with 2'48 on the peloton. It contains Dylan Casey US Postal), Scott Moninger (Mercury), Eugen Wacker (Mroz), Glenn d'Hollander (Lotto-Adecco), Soren Petersen (Saturn), Stevenson (Prime Alliance).

In the women's Liberty Classic, Petra Rossner (Saturn) has just claimed her 6th victory in a row in the event (7 all together). No World Cup points though this year.

12:07 PDT - 137 km/118 km to go

USPS chases early
Photo: © Rob Karman
Click for larger image

As they head up the Wall for the sixth time, the gap is still 2'50. Nothing serious yet as we head into the second half of the race. The average speed so far in the first three hours has been 43.84 km/h - they are flying. Eugen Wacker, a former Sun Tour winner from Kyrgzistan, has got great legs today and he's been going for all the sprint primes.

In the Euskal Bizikleta that finished today, there was a change in the general classification after the final tough stage. Brief results

12:25 PDT - 151 km/104 km to go

The breakaways (Wacker, Moninger, Casey, Petersen, Stevenson and d'Hollander) are riding up Lemon Hill for the sixth time. The Navigators team, which does not have a man in the break, has brough the gap down to 1'07 through a really hard chase. This suits the teams like US Postal, who are all riding very smart today. When the race starts to break up on the final laps, look out for Hincapie.

12:40 PDT - 162 km/93 km to go

Eugen Wacker drops back to the bunch - he's done his work for the day and made quite a bit of cash in primes. The break has nearly been caught by the Navigators chase as they head up the Manayunk Wall for the 7th time. Again, Postal is in the boxed seat but there are still about 100 riders left in the peloton.

Official results of the women's Liberty Classic: 1. Petra Rossner (Saturn), 2. Laura Van Gilder (Trek Plus Volkswagen), 3. Dede Demet-Barry (Talgo Amercia)

12:56 PDT - 172 km/83 km to go

The break was caught halfway up the Manayunk Wall (7th time) as Danny Pate (Prime Alliance) put the hurt on the peloton. Only Soren Petersen (Saturn) managed to stay with him. They were joined by a big chase group on the descent, and along Riverside Drive near the end of the seventh lap, there are two big groups about 20 seconds apart. This is one of the fastest and most aggressive USPRO championships ever.

13:10 PDT - 182 km/73 km to go

There's 49 riders in the front group now on the eighth lap, approaching the Manayunk Wall. There's a lot of Postal, Navigators, Saeco, Colnago - it's hard to tell who's missed it and who's made it. Cristian Pepoli (Saeco) attacked over Lemon Hill and really strung them them out.

The chasing group is now about 50 riders, but are nearly a minute behind so it looks as though this is a crucial split.

13:24 PDT - 192 km/63 km to go

The situation approaching the end of Lap 8 is that there is a big group of 49 in front. Mercury got caught out in the back group and have had to close the gap, which is now down to 25 seconds and not coming down very fast. After 4 hours, the average speed is still 43.5 km/h.

Cristian Pepoli (Saeco) has won the last two primes and has thus ensured a bit of prize money for his team.

13:38 PDT - 202 km/53 km to go

The race has exploded from behind, with the leading group now increasing to 52 riders. George Hincapie (USPS) and two others got across at just the right time and Postal and Mercury have now put the hammer down. The gap to the second peloton is now out to a minute on the ninth lap, and Pepoli continues to win the sprint primes on the Wall.

13:53 PDT - 210 km/45 km to go

Just an hour to go in the USPRO championships, and the sun has come out and the temperature has increased. Cristian Pepoli is now in the lead in the KOM due to his consistency on the climbs. There are a lot of attacks in the 52 man lead group, with Postal countering Mercury. We've got one and a half big 14.4 miles laps to go, followed by three small 3 mile laps.

14:05 PDT - 218 km/37 km to go

We're in the final big lap, and Cristian Pepoli is raging on the Lemon Hill KOM. Boonen is riding well today, setting the tempo for US Postal. Still a big group of riders - could we see a bunch sprint today?

Defending Fred Rodriguez has pulled out at the end of lap 9. He was caught in the second group and couldn't make it across.

14:15 PDT - 226 km/29 km to go

Soren Petersen (Saturn) has attacked again, and has about 30 seconds lead on the peloton. Tom Boonen is still there working for Hincapie, who looks good.

14:26 PDT - 234 km/21 km to go

Finally, the group has been reduced in size on the last time up the climb. Michael Barry and George Hincapie are there for USPS. Mark McCormack (Saturn), Danny Pate (Prime Alliance) and Henk Vogels (Mercury) are also in the group, which is 13 strong.

14:32 PDT - 240 km/15 km to go

The lead group of 13 is as follows: Henk Vogels, Chris Wherry (Mercury), George Hincapie, Mike Barry, Chann McRae (USPS), Damon Kluck, Mark McCormack (Saturn), Kirk O'Bee, Mark Walters (Navigators), Thomas Gronqvist (Amore e Vita), Zbigniew Piatek (Mroz), Danny Pate (Prime Alliance), and Mariano Friedick (Jelly Belly).

They've just reached the end of the big laps, and now have three 3 mile circuits to come. The chase group is at 30 seconds, but is disorganised.

14:40 PDT - 244 km/11 km to go

Two laps to go. O'Bee and Barry attacked coming into the first finishing circuit, but they were brought back on the climb of Lemon Hill.

The chase group is about 33 riders, and is half a minute behind the 13 leaders who are looking at each other, waiting for another move.

14:42 PDT - 245 km/10 km to go

There are huge crowds out as usual - it looks like Chann McRae is riding a good tempo for Hincapie. O'Bee and Kluck are also near the front. The chase group can see them, and have upped the speed, but are 1 minute behind. Mapei, Colnago and Saeco are trying to get something going, but Saturn is covering most of the moves.

14:48 PDT - 249 km/6 km to go

We're coming up to 1 lap to go, and it's still status quo. A group of 13 riders is in the lead with a 1 minute gap to 33 chasers. The group is Henk Vogels, Chris Wherry (Mercury), George Hincapie, Mike Barry, Chann McRae (USPS), Damon Kluck, Mark McCormack (Saturn), Kirk O'Bee, Mark Walters (Navigators), Thomas Gronqvist (Amore e Vita), Zbigniew Piatek (Mroz), Danny Pate (Prime Alliance), and Mariano Friedick (Jelly Belly).

Vogels, Hincapie and O'Bee are good sprinters.

14:50 PDT - 250 km/5 km to go

One lap to go, and George Hincapie pulls them through. It's a headwind sprint. Look out also for Friedick (Jelly Belly), who is a good track sprinter.

14:52 PDT - 252 km/3 km to go

3 km to go and the leaders have turned onto Lemon Hill for the last time. They're still together, Mercury is leading.

14:54 PDT - 253 km/2 km to go

McRae attacked on Lemon Hill, with Pate and Walters right on his wheel. Wherry and Vogels are trying to chase him back. They can't do it.

14:56 PDT - 255 km/0 km to go

Canadian Mark Walters (Navigators) wins it! Chann McRae was second and is USPRO champion, third was Danny Pate.

Full results, report and photos will be posted here. Thanks for watching our live coverage!

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