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Photo ©: Schaaf

Wachovia Cycling Series

USA, May 31-June 5, 2005

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Liberty Classic - June 5: Liberty Classic, 90.56km

Commentary by Kristy Scrymgeour with additional reporting by Mark Zalewski and Tim Maloney

Complete live report

08:44 EDT   
Welcome to the Live Coverage of the US Pro Championships and the Womenís Liberty Classic in Philadelphia, PA. Itís a beautiful morning to start a bike race. Not a cloud in the sky. By the end of the race temperature predictions are in the mid 80ís, which may be too hot for some, but will be welcomed by others. Henk Vogels (Davitamon Lotto) of Australia commented to Cyclingnews the other day that he hopes it is hot, as it will help to get rid of a lot of riders near the end.

The men will start their 250km race at 9am and head out on the 23km loop for the first of ten laps. The course heads straight along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway towards Manayunk where riders will have to have good position to negotiate a narrowing road and a couple of turn onto the famous (some would say infamous, depending on how much they have hurt riding up it) Manayunk Wall. The wall is about 1.5km long and is very steep, reaching 17% but perhaps the hardest thing about doing this climb each lap is finding your position leading into it. If you have good position at the bottom, the climb is made much easier but starting at the back means you lose your momentum and you have to chase back on over top of the wall meaning less recovery.

The descent after the wall is very fast and in the early laps of the race itís not too hard to regain contact with the group, but itís the final laps where losing touch will be the breaking point. Following the descent, the two smaller climb up Strawberry Hill and Lemon Hill have proven to be great places for attacks to go in the past, after which the race descends leading back to the wide open road to the finish and the men will complete three smaller laps which take in Lemon Hill before their finish.

The Women will begin ten minutes after the men and will therefore be on the course at the same time. They will complete four laps of the course for a total of 92 kilometers. A huge field of women will be on the start line today, ranging from the very best in the world including World Champion Judith Arndt and her Nurnberger teammate Oenone Wood who is currently leading the Women's World Cup.

08:46 EDT   
Huge crowds are already lining the course especially at the start line and at Manayunk Wall which is traditionally a great place to watch the wall. Parties line the streets and the atmosphere is one that cyclists never forget after racing here.

09:00 EDT   
Former Philly native Bobby Julich
Photo ©: Tim Maloney
Click for larger image
The men are on the line for an on time start. They are calling Bobby Julich (CSC) to the line. Bobby is definitely a crowd favourite today. Not being a sprinter it will be a tough call for him to win, but he is in amazing form right now, his teammate Lars Michaelsen commenting to Cyclingnews that his main disadvantage is that there are not many other guys out there in this race who can do what he can do out there and for him to go out there in a break, he will need some allies who can match him. Bobby has said that he really wants to win today so that he can wear the Stars and Stripes in the Tour de France this year.

09:02 EDT   
Last year's Stars and Stripes winner Freddy Rodriguez has also been called to the line. He won the title of US Pro Champion last year for the third time.

Its 69 degrees at the moment and thousands of people crowd around to watch the 23 mens teams take the start.

09:07 EDT   
The race is underway. We already have a break of three riders just slightly off the front with CSC, Subway and another rider as the riders complete a small start loop.

09:08 EDT   
The three riders have been caught already as they head out for their first of ten big laps.

09:10 EDT   
We talked to a very nervous Bobby Julich before the race to ask him how is he. Between jittering teeth, he said he is good, but he has his race face on today and we should see great things from him.

09:12 EDT   
Two other men have attacked. Its Jake Rytlewski (Jittery Joe's) and Roberto Gaggioli (Monex) have a small gap. There has already been a crash. Two Jelly Belly riders have gone down. One of them looks like Alex Candelario who is recovering from a broken collarbone. Lets hope he didn't re-break it.

09:14 EDT   
The Jelly Belly team has come back to help Candelario and the other rider back to the field. The other rider was Caleb Mannion. Both are up back on their bikes. They look to be ok but Candelario was holding his shoulder.

09:16 EDT   
The women are being called to the line now and will start very soon. This year will have a slightly different dynamic as seven time winner of the race, Petra Rossner has retired. She is here though as Director Sportif for the Nurnberger team.

It is very likely that this race will come down to a sprint as usual though, as there are so many good sprinters in the field. Oenone Wood, Regina Schleicher, Ina Yoko Teutenberg, Tina Pic, Laura Van Gilder, Gina Grain, Joanne Kiesanowski and Olga Slioussareva are all here among others.

09:18 EDT   
The huge women's field is on the line. Probably the biggest field ever for the women.... and they're off.

09:19 EDT   
In the men's race a break of two riders, Ari De Wilde (Nerac) and Nathanial Cornelius (Subway) have countered the break and have a pretty good gap.

09:20 EDT   
De Wilde comes through to do his turn and the pair are working well together.

09:24 EDT   
Hugh Moran (Aerospace Engineering) is trying to bridge to the break and has about 5" on the field at the moment.

09:26 EDT   
The men's break has entered Main St ready to turn onto the climb. Health Net and Jittery Joe's are on the front of the peloton. Moran is 15" behind the two leaders at the moment.

09:28 EDT   
The men are on the climb for the first time. Moran has caught the leaders but the field is closing in too. They are now caught and the field is all together.

09:29 EDT   
The crowds are all setting up for a big day on the wall. Health Net are charging up the hill.

09:30 EDT    17km/233km to go
Its pretty strung out! A Health Net rider has a small gap on the field as they go over the top of the climb.

09:32 EDT   
Mike Jones (Health Net) is the rider off the front. He has been climbing well and may be going for the KOM classification today. About 30 riders have a sizeable gap off the front of the men's field. The are flying down this descent. The gap will most likely come back together as they head into Strawberry Fields.

09:33 EDT   
Discovery is on the front now setting the pace in the mens race.

09:35 EDT   
Thirty Five riders have a gap of 25" at the moment in the men's race.

In the women's race T-Mobile are on the front as they head onto the climb for the first time. They are working for Teutenberg today. She is right up there next to World Champion Judith Arndt.

09:36 EDT   
Matti Breschel (CSC) just stopped for a wheel change and meanwhile in the break Timmy Duggan (TIAA Cref) is attacking the break of 35 riders and has a small gap.

09:38 EDT   
Most of the teams are represented in the break. Duggan has been caught again and he sits at the front of the break now.

09:42 EDT    27km/223km to go
A group of four riders are slightly off the front of the break which still has 20" on the field as they enter the start/finish circuit. But they are getting caught straight away.

09:45 EDT   
Up in the men's break, Team Seasilver and Discovery are setting the pace. The break is back up to 30" again. The field is completely strung out. They can see each other as they pass on the finishing circuit. There is a chase of 14 riders behind the main break.

09:48 EDT   
Navigators is leading the break now as they pass the finish line and head back out onto Ben Franklin Drive for their second main lap.

Meanwhile the women are all together and the pace is high at the moment. With so many riders in the field, many attacks will be attempted today but with so many strong sprinters teams, I'm imagining it will be to get away.

09:48 EDT   
Now the women have a break of about 12 riders with T-Mobile heavily represented. Nurnberger are on the front of the field chasing.

09:50 EDT    32km/218km to go
In the mens field Health Net and Jittery Joe's chased hard and brought back the break on the fast open stretch of Ben Franklin Drive. The average speed at this point is 26m/h (41km/h).

09:51 EDT   
Another TIAA CREF has attacked the men's field. It is Bryan Smith.
Two riders, Jeremy Powers (Jelly Belly/PooGel) and Roberto Gaggioli (Monex) have bridged to him.

09:53 EDT   
The women have a 13 riders group off the front with T-Mobile and Nurnberger. Quark is on the front of the chase but the gap is up to a minute now.

09:58 EDT   
A few riders in the women's break: Christine Thorburn (Webcor), Kristen Armstrong and Kimberly Bruckner (T-Mobile), Kristin LaSasso (Lipton) and Annette Beutler (Quark). Behind Nurnberger are chasing hard with Quark sitting in just behind them. The chase bunch is only about 40 riders now and they are at 1'00" with the rest of the field another minute behind.

09:59 EDT    40km/210km to go
T-Mobile seem to have the upper hand in this break now!

10:00 EDT   
In the men's race, the break of three riders are slowly getting caught as they head up Manayunk Wall for the second time. So far Adam Livingston (Seasilver) has been taking the KOM points.

10:04 EDT   
Also in the women's break is Ina Teutenberg which is why Nurnberger want to bring this back. She has her two teammates working hard for her.
Joanne Kiesanowski (Nobili) is up there too as well as Erinne Willock (Webcor) and Zoe Owens (Lipton).

10:06 EDT   
The break was caught in the men's race on the climb and Adam Livingston took the KOM points again. Now Health Net are attacking again.

In the women's race the gap is about 25 seconds with Nurnberger still on the front of the chase. 11 riders are in the break.

10:09 EDT   
In the men's race the large group got caught but another group of about 30 are off the front again. Horner is in the group, as is VanDen Broeck and Ryder Hesjedal from Discovery, Roger Hammond also.

10:14 EDT    50km/200km to go
A third of the field are in the front bunch in the men's field and they have a gap of 53" as they go over Lemon Hill on their second lap. There is a chase group of 14 guys who are trailing by 25" but they are not very organised.

10:15 EDT   
The temperature is 77 degrees at the moment on the course.

10:20 EDT   
Navigators, Health Net and Prodir are on the front on the men's break which has about a minute on the field right now. They are riding tempo but the peloton seem to be riding faster.

Back in the field Matti Breschel was brought down in the feed zone by an Advantage Benefits rider. Breschel was a little angry and got up and through a water bottle!

10:21 EDT   
Meanwhile on Manayunk there is a manhole cover with a big hole in it and they are trying to fix it before the men come back around for their third lap.

10:23 EDT   
Victory Brewing just had a mechanical in the women's race and the team car has stopped.

10:24 EDT    59km/191km to go
T-Mobile riders are still leading the break in the women's race. They gap is still at about one minute.

10:27 EDT   
Actually now the gap in the women's field is coming down as they approach the finish line at the end of their second lap.

10:29 EDT   
An update for the women's break. Judith Arndt and their top sprinter Regina Schleicher are both in that break and it looks like Nurnberger are trying to protect that break from behind.

10:31 EDT   
T-Mobile and Nurnberger therefore have their protected riders in the break in Regina Schleicher and Ina Teutenberg. This means that the break has a good chance to stay away, but Quark will be wanting to chase. They have Beutler in there but they down have the strong numbers like T-Mobile and Nurnberger. Nobili have their top sprinter in the group with Kiesanowksi so they won't chase.

10:31 EDT   
In the mens field Henk Vogels has flatted and is getting a wheel from Mavic Neutral support.

10:33 EDT   
The women have come through the finish line now after their second lap, so they have two laps remaining now. The gap is increasing again now.

In the men's race, the front group of 40 riders have 2'30" on the next group.

10:37 EDT   
Arndt actually briged to the break on the last time up Manayunk, to be up there to help our Regina. Not many other riders in this peloton would be able to do that. Arndt is in amazing form right now and whats very cool about her is that she is World Champion and undoubtedly one of the strongest women in the world but she prefers working for her teammates than actually winning herself.

10:41 EDT   
Mari Holden is also in the women's break. Thats four riders for T-Mobile. They are really working hard for Teutenberg. Back in the peloton Vic Brewing and Colavita are chasing. A few Nurnberger riders have actually pulled out of the race, but their top riders are up there.

10:42 EDT   
It also looks like Nurnberger have Wood up there so they also have three in the break. Amy Moore is in the break for Victory Brewing, but she is outnumbered. Vic Brewing will want to bring this back for their sprinter Gina Grain who came second last year.

10:47 EDT   
The men's break has increased the gap and it now sits at 3'35". The pace is fast now and some of the top riders are in that break including Horner and Vogels. Freddy Rodriguez is not up there.

10:49 EDT   
In the women's field Ina Teutenberg is looking very good. She doesn't have to do any work in this break with her three teammates doing the work and she can sit in and rest. She was a bit off last week in bed with fever but she still managed to take two second place's and a win, so she has good form.

10:52 EDT   
Henk Vogels had to chase for a while to get back on after his flat. Breschel is not yet back on after his altercation in the feed zone but he is in a chase group of three riders with one other CSC rider.

10:55 EDT   
Lampre-Cafitta boys
Photo ©: Tim Maloney
Click for larger image
In the men's field some of the riders in the break are Chris Horner, Henk Vogels, Danny Pate, Ivan Dominguez, Chris Horner, Jeff Louder (Navigators), Schleck is up there, a couple of Liquigas riders and Lampre including Glomser. Jittery Joe's are the only main team that have missed this break and they are chasing on the front of the peloton.

11:02 EDT   
Mari Holden is on the front now driving the women's break. Webcor just attacked the sprint at Lemon Hill and caused a slight split in the break.

11:03 EDT   
It will all come back together now as they come back down to Ben Franklin Drive towards the finish where they'll see one lap to go. T-Mobile are back on the front driving it again with Mari Holden working very hard.

11:06 EDT   
Lynn Gaggioli is also in the women's break. She is a good sprinter too so we have quite a few good sprinters in this break.

11:08 EDT   
The men are on the climb again and cowbells are going bezerk.

There is an attack at the start/finish line in the women's break. Its Tina Pic, but they are all on her. The break are all together and the gap to the peloton is 55" with Colavita and Vic Brewing chasing. The peloton is split and the second chase group sits at 1'25".

11:15 EDT   
Its Laura Van Gilder in the women's break, not her teammate Pic. Van Gilder has won three races in the past week and is very excited to be in this race and likes her chances. She has been second and third before but has always lost out to Rossner. She is a good chance today except that she doesn't have any teammates with her.

11:17 EDT   
Bruckner, now known as Baldwin after getting married, comes through to do a turn in this break as they head along Ben Franklin Drive towards the wall for the last time.

11:17 EDT   
Sigrid Corneo is also doing some work for her teammate and sprinter Joanne Kiesanowski. Holden moves back to the front.

11:20 EDT   
Teutenberg looks good and is actually chatting to her rival Regina Schleicher in the break right now. Looking relaxed but I'm sure very nervous. These two have been racing against each other for many years in Germany, since they were juniors. Both are very good sprinters and most have predicted that it will be a battle between the two of them if it comes down to s sprint.

I'm thinking that T-Mobile will use Kristin Armstrong later this lap to attack and make the other teams chase. It will be hard for them to get anything away from World Champ Judith Arndt. In fact she may be the one attacking!

11:22 EDT   
Livingston took another KOM up Manayunk so he is increasing his lead in the KOM competition. A lot of feeding going on in the men's field now as its getting warm.

11:23 EDT   
The women are on the Manayunk wall for the last time. Webcor on the front. Its Christine Thorburn.

11:24 EDT   
Thorburn leading and she'll me trying to make it fast so as the attacks don't go. Pucinskaite is also in this break. She is a former World Champ as well. We have three in this bunch. Arndt, Holden and Pucinskaite.

11:25 EDT   
Thorburn sprinted at the KOM but no other attacks eventuated. They are descending now.

11:26 EDT   
They are very relaxed in the women's break now as they hit the bottom of this hill. Its the calm before the storm, the sprinters will be getting nervous.

11:28 EDT   
In the mens race, four rider are trying to bridge. They are Lobato (Prodir), Michaelsen and Breschel (CSC) and Marzano (Lampre) and have been in no man's land for quite a while now.

11:29 EDT   
T-Mobile on the front of the women's break. It really doesn't look like the chase is going to get them so the winner will be out of this break.

11:29 EDT   
Its Baldwin on the front. Her and Holden have been doing all the work keeping this break away for Teutenberg.

11:32 EDT   
Pucinskaite comes through to do her turn. She is setting things up for Kiesanowski. Tina Pic is on her wheel. It has been difficult trying to figure out all the riders in this break. It seem more have joined it. Pic and Van Gilder are both up there for Quark it seems.

11:36 EDT   
Holden is on the front now in the break. Arndt sitting second from the back. She is just keeping things in check from the back, perhaps waiting to attack but very likely waiting for the lead out she'll be doing in a bit.

11:37 EDT   
A total of 13 riders are up there in that break. Amy Moore from Vic Brewing is sitting in fourth wheel. Her team couldn't bring this back so its up to her now for them. Gaggioli has been sitting in all day. She is a good sprinter and could be a threat here.

11:39 EDT   
The last time up Lemon Hill now. Thorburn is going for the sprint again and will likely take the KOM competition for today. She keeps the pace high after the sprint as they head back onto Ben Franklin drive for the home stretch.

11:40 EDT   
Arndt has attacked!!!!! She is an amazing time trialer and has a good gap. They will have to put all their horse power into getting her.

11:40 EDT   
She has been caught though. They were on the ball. Gaggioli is on the front now and the pace is not high. Its going to be cat and mouse now.

Arndt goes again!!!

11:41 EDT   
Nobili right on here though. Thorburn goes, but they are on her too.

11:41 EDT   
The sprinters sitting in trying to find their place. Arndt at the back. She might even go for one more attack. 1km to go.

11:42 EDT   
Armstrong on the front for T-Mobile. Its not an easy finish because its wide open and you can see the finish for ages. Have to be careful not to go too early.

11:42 EDT   
Pic leading out, Van Gilder on her wheel with Teutenberg just behind.

11:43 EDT   
Teutenberg goes around with Schleicher on her wheel. Its a drag race- can Schleicher come around???

11:43 EDT   
Ina Teutenberg (T-Mobile)
Photo ©: Jon Devich
Click for larger image
No - Teutenberg holds her off!!!!

11:44 EDT   
T-Mobile are very excited. Teutenberg has a grin from ear to ear. She has been aiming for this win after having worked so hard for Rossner and Bessette in the past!

11:44 EDT   
Taking second was Schleicher, followed by Van Gilder.

11:54 EDT    118km/132km to go
Back to the men's race now and we are at the 118km mark. The gap has increased to over six minutes at this point.

11:56 EDT   
We talked to Teutenberg on the finish line who is very excited. "I'm really happy. It's really nice to win a big bike race like this."

"T-Mobile was amazing today. They did such an amazing job. I felt really good all day. I didn't have to do a thing. It was a good situation that the break went up the road. It made things much safer and I felt comfortable. I was worried the last time up the climb but its seems everyone was tired so nothing went."

Women's Results

Provisional
1 Ina Yoko Teutenberg (T-Mobile)
2 Regina Schleicher (Nurnberger)
3 Laura Van Gilder (Quark)

 

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