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2nd San Francisco GP - 1.3

USA, September 15, 2002

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Something To Prove: Dionne Wins San Francisco Grand Prix

By Tim Maloney

Click for larger image
Photo: © R.Karman

When 7-Up / NutriFig rider Charles Dionne woke up this morning, the talented 23 year old from the tiny village of St.Redemteur, just east of Quebec felt he had something to prove today. “I know I’m a good sprinter,” Dionne told Cyclingnews after winning the San Francisco GP, “but I had good legs today and I proved I’m not just a sprinter. I can climb too and this is the biggest race in the US. So it’s great to win.”

Like Canadian Mark Walters, who won the First Union USPRO championships in June, the ebullient Dionne is the latest on a long line of excellent Canadian road racers. The Quebec rider continued, “We had a great race today; the 7-Up team rode great and I know I showed I can match the biggest guys. I hope this is gonna open ups some doors for me…” Dionne burst on to the scene in 2000, winning the prestigious U23 4 Bridges of Elgin and the Canadian national championship and turned pro for the 7-Up / NutriFig squad last season.

Although the USPS had huge billboards plastered up around SF with a picture of Lance Armstrong and the slogan “Fast, Reliable, Unbeatable”, the tag line didn’t quite match the race scenario at this year’s SFGP. Defending winner George Hincapie (USPS) finished out of the top ten today after an audacious solo move on the last climb of the daunting Fillmore St. hill, which put him half a minute ahead entering the last 5 finishing circuits. “My body felt good today; my injury (a crash in last months Clasica San Sebastian) didn’t play a big part today.”

Click for larger image
Photo: © R.Karman

But Hincapie’s mega move made the difference today; forcing a a desperate chase behind him in the final 45km of the race that exploded the field and eventually springing the race winning move with 3 laps to go, containing 4 time Tour De France winner Lance Armstrong, his USPS teammate Slava Ekimov, Dionne, Vogels, Tom Leaper (Navigators) Chris Horner (Prime Alliance), Italian Massimo Giunti (Acqua & Sapone) and an excellent ride by Will Frishkorn (Saturn), US National U23 champion. Eki rode his heart out on the final circuits trying to crack the break and set up Armstrong for a solo move, but the remarkable Dionne just covered every move over the steep climb of Taylor St. in his 39X25 and sped to victory with a deadly sprint on the Embarcadero.

Today’s runner-up Henk Vogels (Mercury) recounted what the final laps were like in the SFGP. “The last couple of miles, Lance and Eki made some great attacks. Lance went and then he was caught and Eki went, but he was covered. There was a headwind in the sprint and since I had two flats today, I wasn’t sure about my wheel. I started my sprint in the 12 and when I went in the 11, Charles (Dionne) just blew by me.”

Huge crowds again lined the SFGP course on a beautiful early fall Sunday in the City by the Bay. This spectacular race, which in it’s 2nd year has already become a world class, equal to any major event in Europe. The rapid success of the SFGP shows the tremendous growth that cycling is currently enjoying in America. Aqua & Sapone’s third place rider Massimo Giunti of Italy was blown away by his first race in America. “Sure, we knew that Armstrong and USPS were going to be good, but I was surprised how many strong riders there were. We wanted to do well here because our bike sponsor Specialized is from so I was very happy with third place.”

Click for larger image
Photo: © R.Karman

As for Lance Armstrong, the SFGP was his last race of the season and 4 time Tour champion will fly straight from San Francisco to Washington DC to attend the first meeting of the President's Cancer Panel, then head back to Austin, Texas for some well needed r&r before starting his preparation for his 2003 season, including his quest for a 5th straight Tour De France win in the prestigious centenary edition of the race. Next year, the SFGP probably won’t be the Texans last race of the season. “I haven’t seen the (Hamilton, Ont.) road course,” said Armstrong in the post-race press conference. I hear it’s a hard course. It would be nice to race the Worlds in North America.” But for the time being, Armstrong is looking forward to getting back to his wife and three kids in Austin.

As for Charles Dionne, he has something different on his mind for the season. Like a good Quebecois, Dionne responded, “to have some poutine is my only motivation for the end of the season…for people who don’t know, poutine is French Fries with gravy and cheese. It’s the best stuff…in the winter it gets so cold in Eastern Quebec you need a little bit of fat to keep you going. I can’t wait to go home to have some.” Dionne may have to wait for his fries, gravy and cheese; although the young Canadian isn’t slated to ride the U23 Worlds in Zolder in 4 weeks time, if he can maintain his form and Cycling Canada selects him, Dionne could be a favourite for the rainbow title in Belgium.


Photos by Rob and Renna Karman/roadbikephotos.com

Images by Charlie Cartolano

Photos by Jonathan Devich/thefastrack.com

Photos by Linda Locke

Photos by AFP/Andy Kuno

Results - 176 km

1 Charles Dionne (Can) 7Up / Nutra Fig                   4.18.49 (40.80 km/h)
2 Henk Vogels (Aus) Mercury Cycling Team
3 Massimo Giunti (Ita) Acqua & Sapone-Cantina Tollo
4 Vjatceslav Ekimov (Rus) US Postal Service
5 Tom Leaper (Aus) Navigators Cycling Team
6 Lance Armstrong (USA) US Postal Service
7 William Frischkorn (USA) Saturn Cycling Team
8 Harm Jansen (Ned) Saturn Cycling Team                     0.03
9 Chris Horner (USA) Prime Alliance Cycling Team            0.05
10 Jesus Zarate (Mex) Mercury Cycling Team                  1.17
11 Kevin Livingston (USA) Mixed Team 1
12 Soren Petersen (Den) Saturn Cycling Team
13 Tim Johnson (USA) Saturn Cycling Team
14 Floyd Landis (USA) US Postal Service
15 George Hincapie (USA) US Postal Service
16 John Lieswyn (USA) 7Up / Nutra Fig                       4.27
17 Ben Jacques-Maynes (USA) Sierra Nevada - Cannondale C    4.34
18 Plamen Stoyanov (Bul) Mercury Cycling Team               4.39
19 Ted Huang (USA) USA
20 Siro Camponogara (Ita) Navigators Cycling Team           4.41
21 Gordon Fraser (Can) Mercury Cycling Team
22 Ciaran Power (Irl) Navigators Cycling Team
23 Lorenzo Cardellini (Ita) Acqua & Sapone-Cantina Tollo
24 Danny Pate (USA) Prime Alliance Cycling Team
25 Guiseppe Ribolzi (Swi) Jura Suisse-Nippon Hoddo
26 Tim Larkin (USA) Ofoto-Lombardi Sports
27 Damon Kluck (USA) Saturn Cycling Team
28 John Peters (USA) Prime Alliance Cycling Team
29 Russell Stephenson (USA) Prime Alliance Cycling Team
30 Kevin Monahan (USA) 7Up / Nutra Fig
31 Ryan Barrett (USA) Schroeder Iron Pro Cycling
32 Trent Klasna (USA) Saturn Cycling Team
33 Dylan Casey (USA) US Postal Service
34 Chann Mcrae (USA) US Postal Service
35 Jacob Erker (Can) Schroeder Iron Pro Cycling
36 Mariano Friedick (USA) Mixed Team 1
37 Eric Wohlberg (Can) Saturn Cycling Team
38 Greg Sieniewicz (Can) Ofoto-Lombardi Sports
39 John Hunt (USA) Sierra Nevada - Cannondale Cycling Team
40 Svein Tuft (Can) Prime Alliance Cycling Team
41 Mark Walters (Can) Navigators Cycling Team
42 Chris Wherry (USA) Mercury Cycling Team                  4.51
43 Christopher Baldwin (USA) Navigators Cycling Team
44 Mark Mccormack (USA) Saturn Cycling Team                 4.57
45 Ivan Dominguez CUB Saturn Cycling Team                   7.23
46 Chris Fisher (USA) Saturn Cycling Team                   7.48
47 Gerardo Castillo (Mex) (Mex)
48 Justin Spinelli (USA) Saeco-Longoni Sport                8.04
49 Mike Sayers (USA) Mercury Cycling Team                   9.57
50 Justin Morgan (USA) Sierra Nevada - Cannondale Cyclin   11.34
51 Cesar Grajales (Col) Jittery Joes-Choco-Andean Eco Coffee
DNF Pavel Padrnos (Cze) US Postal Service
DNF Robbie Ventura (USA) US Postal Service
DNF Kenny Labbe (USA) US Postal Service
DNF Tom Danielson (USA) Mercury Cycling Team
DNF Scott Moninger (USA) Mercury Cycling Team
DNF Phil Zajicek (USA) Mercury Cycling Team
DNF Francisco Garcia  (Spa) Acqua & Sapone-Cantina Tollo
DNF Michele Scarponi (Ita) Acqua & Sapone-Cantina Tollo
DNF Agustin Pena (Spa) Acqua & Sapone-Cantina Tollo
DNF Filippo Simeoni (Ita) Acqua & Sapone-Cantina Tollo
DNF Alex Candelario (USA) Prime Alliance Cycling Team
DNF Jonas Carney (USA) Prime Alliance Cycling Team
DNF Michael Creed (USA) Prime Alliance Cycling Team
DNF Matt Decanio (USA) Prime Alliance Cycling Team
DNF John Walrod (USA) Prime Alliance Cycling Team
DNF Vassili Davidenko (Rus) Navigators Cycling Team
DNF Brian Sheedy (USA) Navigators Cycling Team
DNF Glen Mitchell (NZl) Navigators Cycling Team
DNF Burke Swindlehurst (USA) Navigators Cycling Team
DNF Ryan Guay (USA) Navigators Cycling Team
DNF Douglas Ziewacz (USA) 7Up / Nutra Fig
DNF Oscar Pineda (Gua) 7Up / Nutra Fig
DNF Hayden Godfrey (NZl) 7Up / Nutra Fig
DNF Kirk Albers (USA) Mixed Team 1
DNF Ernesto Lechuga (Mex) Mixed Team 2
DNF Brent Dawson (Aus) Mixed Team 3
DNF Chris Mcgovern (USA) Mixed Team 4
DNF Brian Forbes (USA) Mixed Team 5
DNF Jason Mccartney (USA) Mixed Team 6
DNF Remi Mcmanus (USA) Mixed Team 7
DNF Luca Belluomini (Ita) Jura Suisse-Nippon Hoddo
DNF Francesco Cipolletta (Ita) Jura Suisse-Nippon Hoddo
DNF Bruno Nella (Can) Jura Suisse-Nippon Hoddo
DNF Yasuhiro Yamamoto (Jpn) Jura Suisse-Nippon Hoddo
DNF George Neumann (Can) Jura Suisse-Nippon Hoddo
DNF Damiano Cunego (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport
DNF Alessandro Del Sarto (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport
DNF Oscar Mason (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport
DNF Christian Wegmann (Ger) Saeco-Longoni Sport
DNF Brad Davidson (Aus) Saeco-Longoni Sport
DNF Chris Pic (USA) Jittery Joes-Choco-Andean Eco Coffee
DNF Dirk Friel (USA) Jittery Joes-Choco-Andean Eco Coffee
DNF Mike Ley (USA) Jittery Joes-Choco-Andean Eco Coffee
DNF Bradley Saul (USA) Jittery Joes-Choco-Andean Eco Coffee
DNF Jessie Lawler (USA) Jittery Joes-Choco-Andean Eco Coffee
DNF Erik Saunders (USA) Ofoto-Lombardi Sports
DNF Colby Pearce (USA) Ofoto-Lombardi Sports
DNF Jackson Stewart (USA) Ofoto-Lombardi Sports
DNF Colby Farrell (USA) Ofoto-Lombardi Sports
DNF Jon Van Heel (USA) Ofoto-Lombardi Sports
DNF Peter Lopinto (USA) Ofoto-Lombardi Sports
DNF Russell Hamby (USA) Ofoto-Lombardi Sports
DNF Jamie Paolinetti (USA) Schroeder Iron Pro Cycling
DNF Michael Johnson (USA) Schroeder Iron Pro Cycling
DNF Ken Toman (USA) Schroeder Iron Pro Cycling
DNF Jason Bausch (USA) Schroeder Iron Pro Cycling
DNF Pete Knudsen (USA) Schroeder Iron Pro Cycling
DNF Andy Jacques-Maynes (USA) Sierra Nevada - Cannondale Cycling Team
DNF Troy White (USA) Sierra Nevada - Cannondale Cycling Team
DNF Chad Gerlach (USA) Sierra Nevada - Cannondale Cycling Team
DNF Jason Klikna (USA) Sierra Nevada - Cannondale Cycling Team
DNF Matt Dubberley (USA) Sierra Nevada - Cannondale Cycling Team
DNF David Fuentes (USA) Sierra Nevada - Cannondale Cycling Team
DNF Chris Baumann (USA) Sierra Nevada - Cannondale Cycling Team
DNF Siddharta Camil (Mex) Mexico
DNF Octavio Corona (Mex) Mexico
DNF Cuitlahuac Ayala (Mex) Mexico
DNF Eduardo Juarez (Mex) Mexico
DNF Alexander Soto (Mex) Mexico
DNF Victor Ayala (Mex) Mexico
DNF James Mattis (USA) USA
DNF Patrick Heaney (USA) USA
DNF Marc Hagenlocher (USA) USA
DNF Darren Baker (USA) USA
DNF Greg Drake (USA) USA
DNF Jason Lokkesmoe (USA) USA
DNF Tracy Colwell (USA) USA
DNF Montague Breakwell (USA) USA
DNF Patrick Briggs (USA) USA