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Wachovia Cycling Series

USA, May 31-June 5, 2005

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Lancaster - May 31: Lancaster, PA, 147km

Complete live report

Commentary by Kristy Scrymgeour, with additional reporting from Mark Zalewski

16:26 EDT   
Welcome to the live coverage of the first race the Wachovia Cycling Series. Today’s race is called the Wachovia Invitational. It will be raced through the streets and Central Park of Lancaster, Pennsylvania and covers 13 laps of a 7-mile circuit for a total of 91 miles/147km. The course begins on Queen Street before heading onto Duke Street, continuing along Williamson and Rockford Road, passing the "Feed Zone" in Central Park before returning to the start/finish on Queen Street. The challenging course is deceptively tricky as it winds through Lancaster with many short sharp hills and tight turns.

Defending Champion, Max Vanheeswijk (Discovery) is on the start list. He won last year in a late move with half a lap to go in the race. He caught and passed Bobby Julich who looked set to win solo. He made it to the line nine seconds ahead of the chasing bunch.

16:32 EDT   
Riders are on the start line now as they do the call up. The race will start in a minute or so. Its a nice day, perhaps a little warm for a bike race, especially for the Euro's. Right now the temperature is in the low 80's but it may drop as the evening goes on. No chance of a thunder storm like last year, by the look of it. The crowds are already big here. Usually the race attracts about 15,000 people.

16:33 EDT    2km/143.6km to go
The race is underway and right from the gun Bobby Julich stretched his legs and made a bit of an attack. He took a few riders with him. A Subway rider, Health Net and McGuire. They have 20 meters on the bunch.

16:34 EDT   
The bunch is strung out now and the break has been caught. Was just a little move from Bobby to warm up his legs.

16:38 EDT   
The riders are going through a park right now. The roads are very windy and technical and the KOM sprint is within the Park. Over the KOM the descent is also technical and at the bottom there is a hard turn. If you overshoot the turn there is a convenient river that you can land in. In the past a few riders have overshot this turn and almost taken a dive into the water. The field is strung out now on the twisty roads.

16:39 EDT   
Each time they go through the park they have a KOM sprint. Also within the park is the feed zone.

16:40 EDT    6km/139.6km to go
Stefano Barberi (TIAA CREF) has attacked on the flat section and has a ten second gap. He contends with a few tight turns through the neighbourhoods where the kids have their chairs out in the front yards watching the race go by.

16:43 EDT   
Barberi has been caught and another TIAA CREF rider attacks. He is quickly caught and Monex counters. He takes a few riders with him including CSC, Discovery, and Advantage Benefits/Endeavour.

16:44 EDT   
The bunch is strung out though, not wanting to let this go and they are quickly caught as they descend a short hill.

16:46 EDT   
Another counter now with 11 riders off the front. TIAA Cref is up there, Kodak Gallery...
Alot of turns now and its all back together as they near the start finish line. Its single file as they go around a small round-a-bout.

16:49 EDT    11km/134.6km to go
Three riders are attacking through the start/finish line. 12 laps to go now.
We caught up with John Lieswyn before the race who has done this many times. He said its usually a bit of a race of attrition but this year a lot of older riders are here who have raced this before and he's hoping that they might be able to get a larger group up the road early.

16:50 EDT   
The three riders now have ten seconds on the field. They are Russell Downing (MG-Power-Litespeed), Doug Ollerenshaw (Health Net/Maxxis) and Richard England (Advantage Benefits/Endeavour). They are heading out on the flat straight section of road leading up to the climb.

16:53 EDT    16km/129.6km to go
On the KOM they have increased their gap to 20 seconds. They are now just crossing the river after the descent, 10 miles into the race.

16:54 EDT   
Other former winners of this race are Frankie Andreiu, Jakob Piil, Chris Horner, David Clinger and Trent Klasna to name a few. Of those Chris Horner is on the start line for his first race back after breaking his hip in Europe. Cyclingnews caught up with him on the start line. After having three weeks off the bike, he says he feels a lot better that his first race back is in the US.

16:57 EDT   
CSC and Colavita are on the front of the peloton now. There is a bit of a climb after the descent which took the spring out of the break a little. Their gap is now down to 15 seconds, but holding for the moment.

Downing took the KOM points from Ollerenshaw and England.

16:58 EDT   
There is an attack out of the field now. It is Ruben Lobato (Saunier Duval/Prodir). He has ten seconds on the bunch and trails the break by ten.

17:04 EDT    23km/122.6km to go
Lobato didn't make it and has been caught by the bunch. The three leaders have increased their gap to 35 seconds as they go through the start/finish line with 11 laps to go. The average speed so far is 25m/h (40km/h).

17:05 EDT   
As the break goes up the climb, which is very narrow and twisty, they have increased their lead to 40seconds. Behind the field is curb to curb, not in too much of a hurry.

17:08 EDT   
We talked to Kirk Albers (Jelly Belly) on the start line, who says his team thinks this race is one of the hardest of the season.

17:09 EDT    26km/119.6km to go
As the riders exit the park, the gap is down slightly to 35". Downing took the KOM again as they went over in the same order as last time.

17:15 EDT   
Ollerenshaw taking his turn on the front now. The three are working well together as they go over the short rise on Hershey Ave. They have increased their lead again to 52 seconds.

17:21 EDT    34km/111.6km to go
We have passed the finish line with the lap board reading 10 laps to go. The gap in increaing slightly and the Health Net team car is requesting permission to go up to the break.

Back in the field Lampre and Webcor are on the front but there is no urgent chase at the moment.

17:26 EDT   
Deniele Colli (Liquigas) has attacked out of the peloton on the climb and has about ten seconds on the field. The three riders went over the KOM in the same order again. They must have made some sort of agreement there. Downing followed by Ollerenshaw and England. The gap is coming down a bit. Its now 40 second and Colli has been caught.

17:28 EDT    37km/108.6km to go
Break has gone up to 50 seconds again.

17:33 EDT   
Columbian Carlos Vargas (Monex) has attacked off the front and has a ten second gap, 40 seconds behind the break, who are still working together. Vargas rode very well last year at Super Week battling it out with Harm Jansen. This year he rides for Monex.

17:38 EDT    48km/97.6km to go
Ryan Dewald (Snow Valley) has attacked out of the bunch now. Vargas still hanging out there. The gap from the break to the main field is 52 seconds. The last time they went through the finish line they saw nine laps to go.

17:39 EDT   
Snow Valley has one of their biggest results yesterday at the Tour of Somerville, with Kyle Wamsley taking his first ever NRC win.

17:40 EDT   
So far Richard England (Advantage Benefits/Endeavour) is winning the sprint competition and Russell Downing (MG-Power-Litespeed) is winning the KOM comp.

17:42 EDT   
Dewald has been caught already but Vargas is still out there 20 seconds behind the leading trio. The bunch is at 50".

17:48 EDT    51km/94.6km to go
The riders in the field are out of the saddle right now, going up a few small rises as they head back towards town. The break is still working very well and the gaps are holding. Vargas is also powering away solo, not making that much of an impression on the break but also not losing any time to the peloton at this point.

17:51 EDT   
We spoke to Roger Hammond (Discovery) on the start line who has had a "disappointing" spring. He is recovering from a crash where he hurt his ankle. He has decided that he can now concentrate on the second half of the season now with his eye on the World Championships.

17:53 EDT    53km/92.6km to go
We are going through the finish line with eight laps to go. So far the riders have been doing 16 minute laps. The break has a 1 minute lead now and Vargas is falling behind a little, now sitting 30 seconds back.

17:57 EDT   
Vargas has all of a sudden made up some time on the break and is getting close to them as they approach the climb in the park. He is 15" off them now. There is another 45" to the field now.

Back in the caravan, the Aerospace Engineering team car had to pull out of the caravan to go and get gas! Perhaps they'll pick up some slurpies for the rest of the team DS's whilst they're there.

17:58 EDT   
The break looks behind to see Vargas coming and they sit up a little to wait for him. The more man power the better at this point.

18:02 EDT   
For those of you wondering how we got "Hindenberg IV" across the Atlantic so quickly after the Giro? Yes, we did get our hands on an unusually large supply of CO2 and water vapor and were able to launch ourselves over here in record time.

18:04 EDT   
Vargas has been sitting on the break for a while now recovering from his solo effort. The other three are now looking around at his now signalling that its now time for him to come through and do some turns.

Ollerenshaw took the KOM points last time up the hill.

18:05 EDT    62km/83.6km to go
The gap has increased its lead to 1'15" as the Advantage Benefits/Endeavour team move in behind the break. Former Postal rider Robbie Ventura sits in the drivers seat as DS for the team.

18:08 EDT    64km/81.6km to go
1'25" is the gap now as they pass through the finish line with 7 laps to go. Just under half way through the race.

The Advantage Benefits car had to pull off the road momentarily to tighten up a bike that was flying about up there.

18:13 EDT   
A hard right and a hard left and back into the park on the way to the KOM again. They are at the feed zone now. We have a Paris Hilton sighting in the feed zone. At the top of this small climb where the feed zone is, they go down a little before climbing back up to the actual KOM sprint. We also have a couple of BBQ's going on with the spectators on the side of the course. The scent of cooking sausages would probably not be turning on the riders, but I'm guessing the DS' and the mechanics in the caravan would be starting to get hungry now.

18:16 EDT   
The gap is back down to a minute now. Robbie Ventura just went back to Com 2 car to get an update on the sprint points so far. Advantage Benefits are obviously hoping to win the sprint category.

18:17 EDT   
The break is really coming down now with CSC and Jittery Joe's doing the chasing back in the bunch. They now only have 25 seconds. The break seem to realise this and they are looking back.

Its all CSC on the front now.

18:18 EDT   
Lars Bak (CSC) is doing the work on the front right now.

Bobby Julich has an almost-win here last year. He was away solo, right up until the very last moment when Vanheeswijk made the winning move.

18:20 EDT   
Attacks are coming out of the bunch.
Patrick McCarty (Discovery), Danny Pate (Jelly Belly) and Alessandro Ballan (Lampre) are briding tot he front guys. Ballan attacked and McCarty covered.

18:23 EDT   
In that shuffling Vargas was dropped and came back to the field and now the three original break members have been joined by Lars Bak (CSC) and Danny Pate (Jelly Belly) and the break of five riders have 30 seconds on the field.

18:26 EDT   
The new life in the break has sparked things up and the gap has increased to 40" now as they head on the long straight back to the park. When they went through the finish line they had six laps to go.

18:27 EDT    78km/67.6km to go
The gap is increasing. Now at 45" as they hit the climb again.

18:31 EDT   
Deniele Colli (Liquigas) is trying again. He has attacked and taken John Lieswyn (Health Net/Maxxis) with him. Davide Frattini (Colavita Olive Oil - Sutter Home) is bridging to them.

18:33 EDT    81km/64.6km to go
Lieswyn and Colli have made it to the break. Lieswyn went straight to the front. He is pushing the break really hard and even has a gap on them at this point.

18:35 EDT   
Discovery hit the front of the peloton and have really brought the gap down. Lieswyn still trying to push it hard but its only 5 seconds. Finally Lieswyn gave a wave of his hand in disgust and sat up. The break has been caught. Gruppo Compatto!!!

18:36 EDT   
CSC have countered. Its Matti Breschel. He has about 250m on the field. Discovery is reacting.

18:37 EDT   
Three riders have a small gap in chase of Breschel. But the bunch is moving up on them.

18:39 EDT    86.4km/59.2km to go
They have all been caught again now as they head to the finish. Five laps to go. A Prodir is on the front and a small group of five have a small gap.

18:40 EDT   
Its Horner on the front. The bunch is strung out single file. The CSC riders take over keeping the pace high.

18:40 EDT   
Another break now. Eight riders have about 9 seconds on the field.

18:42 EDT   
Chris Horner (Prodir) was in that as well as Patrick McCarty (Discovery). Its all back together now though as they hit the base of the climb again.

18:46 EDT   
CSC have a rider launching out of the peloton. It is Andy Schleck from Luxemberg. Another couple are bridging to him.

18:48 EDT   
Looks like Jelly Belly and a Health Net rider. It Lieswsyn again with Australian Caleb Mannion. Manion trying to drive it but nobody going with him and it looks like they'll get caught.

18:49 EDT   
Another counter. Two Health Net riders are up there, CSC, Navigators, a Jelly Belly and a Lampre. Its all strung out snaking along Hershey road.

18:50 EDT   
Only four laps to go when they hit the start/finish this time.

18:51 EDT   
The break is ten riders. Health Net are driving the break. Horner is in there and moves to the front.

18:51 EDT   
They have a good gap now. Its about 15 seconds.

18:52 EDT    96km/49.6km to go
Making a left onto the final straight of Queen street. Horner still on the front. There's two Prodir riders in that group. The gap goes up to 20 seconds.

18:59 EDT   
In the break: Fred Rodriguez (Davitamon Lotto), Ivan Ravaioli and Chris Horner (Saunier Duval), Marco Marzano (Lampre), Allen Johansen (CSC), Ivan Dominguez, Greg Henderson, John Lieswyn and Chris Wherry (Health Net), Karl Menzies and Frank Pipp (Advantage Benefits/Endeavour) and Danny Pate and Caleb Mannion (Jelly Belly).

The break is really moving. Health Net obviously driving it with eight riders present. THey are up over a minute on the field now.

19:02 EDT   
Evan Oliphant and Russell Downing (MGPower-Litespeed) are also in that break. One minute is the gap. Its a good gap because the break is out of site of the peloton. Out of sight, out of mind.

19:04 EDT    97km/48km to go
Dominguez is sitting on the back at this stage, resting his legs for the next sprint prime. He comes off a big win at the CSC invitational at Arlington on the weekend. Brilliant race.

19:07 EDT   
Another update to the break. Ivan Stevic (Aerospace Engineering) is also in the group. This guy in on fire this year.

19:09 EDT   
So we have 16 riders in the group in total. Back in the peloton, Discovery, Navigators and CSC are chasing. There are just too many Health Net riders in the break for their liking.

19:12 EDT   
The gap is growing to 1'20" now. A bit of a break just went off the front of the peloton but that was absorbed. Health Net are manning the front of the peloton to keep things under control. They are hitting the KOM now.

19:14 EDT    111km/34.6km to go
Freddy Rodriguez goes over the climb in last wheel of the break. He's holding his hip a little. Not sure what that means. Health lead the way over the top.

19:16 EDT   
Chris Wherry took the KOM points for this lap. They are now riding through the suburbian streets again on the way back to the finish line. When they cross the line this time they'll have two laps remaining.

19:20 EDT   
Still going up, this gap. It is at 1'35". A few bridging attempts from the peloton but everything getting absorbed immediately.

19:22 EDT   
Now a couple of riders are trying to bridge. Its Chris Baldwin (Navigators) and a Jelly Belly rider.

19:24 EDT   
Correction to the break. Pate was not in the break. It is him now bridging to the break with Baldwin.

19:25 EDT    119km/26.6km to go
Baldwin and Pate have been caught by the bunch.

19:27 EDT   
Navigators now setting the pace in the peloton having missed the break. We are now on the climb again. The gap is still 1'35" at this point with only a lap and a half remaining.

19:31 EDT    123km/22.6km to go
The break has dropped slightly to 1'20" as the sun starts to go down and the temperature drops.

19:33 EDT   
John Lieswyn took the last sprint points and Chris Wherry took the KOM points. The break is working well together but behind Navigators are chasing and the gap has come down to 1'10".

19:36 EDT    127km/18.6km to go
Navigators are doing their time trial on the front of the peloton and Health Net do their time trial on the front of the break. Dominguez sitting on in the break for Health Net. We are going to see one lap to go when we go through the finish line this time.

19:37 EDT   
Mannion leading the break now, doing his turn. Left turn onto Queen street through the round-a-bout past the monument and onto the straight. There goes the bell. One lap to go.

19:40 EDT   
1'05" is the latest split. Health Net still setting the pace. Freddy tightening up his shoe now getting ready for the sprint. He won this race back in 2000.

19:42 EDT    131km/14.6km to go
Horner's gone back to his team car to speak to his DS. 1km to the final KOM now.

19:43 EDT   
Everybody out of the saddle. CSC driving it. Frank Pipp falling off a little bit on the climb but he makes it over and catch up on the descent.
There's bound to be some attacks now as there are a few good sprinters in this group and the non sprinters will not want to wait till the end.

19:45 EDT   
Johansen took the KOM points. He is now soft pedaling waiting for something to happen. Wherry on the front followed by Horner is second wheel. Rodriguez sitting comfortably in fourth wheel as they go over this small rise. Pipp struggling to hang on again.

19:46 EDT   
Just coasting along now. The gap is 1'20" still. It doesn't look like this is going to get caught, but the bunch are starting to watch each other.

Attack on the left. Its Horner.

19:48 EDT   
Health Net on the front again with Johansen right on him. Horner was quickly reeled in. All the Health Net riders are taking their turn. Dominguez is sitting on Horner's wheel though.

19:49 EDT   
The big sprinters in this: Rodriguez, Dominguez, Henderson are all excellent.

The Lampre rider, Marzano, attacked but he didn't go anywhere. Health Net shutting everything down. Health Net have their train going already, keeping the pace high and everything under control.

19:50 EDT   

19:50 EDT   
Ivan Ravaioli from Prodir trying to move up a little with Horner.

19:53 EDT   
Inside 1km to go now. Health leading out. One of them rolled off. Rodriguez trying to come around Health Net but he can't make it. Henderson takes the win, followed by Rodriguez and it looks like Dominguez in third.

Results

Provisional

1 Greg Henderson (Health Net/Maxxis)
2 Freddy Rodriguez (Davitamon Lotto)
3 Ivan Dominguez (Health Net/Maxxis)

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