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Wachovia Cycling Series

USA, May 31-June 5, 2005

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Trenton - June 2: Trenton, NJ, 147km

Health Net makes it two in Trenton

Julich and CSC clear the pipes for Sunday

By Mark Zalewski in Trenton, NJ

Gord Fraser (Health Net) salutes
Photo ©: Jon Devich
Click for larger image

Bobby Julich may not have come to Trenton today to win, but he sure put on a good show for the crowds and his CSC sponsors. The veteran American pro rolled off the front of a fifteen rider break to go after a prime and just kept going with only Mark McCormack (Colavita Olive Oil/Sutter Home) coming along. "I wasn't here to win the race," admitted Julich. "Obviously it's going to come down to the sprint every year. I was just here to empty the tanks a little bit to get ready for Sunday -- blow out the pipes."

After leading for half the race, the duo was finally caught by the quick-moving field with the sprinters all shuffling for the usual Trenton mad-dash to the line. In this shuffle was the green-clad sprinters from Health Net as well as USPRO champion Fred Rodriguez (Davitamon-Lotto) led by his lead-out specialist Henk Vogels. These two battled down the final straight with Vogels launching Rodriguez to the line. Unfortunately for the U.S. champ, the Canadian champ Gord Fraser was close behind, choosing to crash the Davitamon-Lotto lead-out instead of relying on his team.

"When you have one of the best lead-out men with one of the best sprinters in the world, that was the best place to be," said Fraser. "I just abandoned the rest of my team and it paid off. I actually gave Fred a bike length just so I could have a run-up on him before I made a move into the wind. I was fortunate to get around Fred, which isn't the easiest thing to do." Fraser came across the line with hands raised while Rodriguez held on for second followed by a strong finish from Lars Michaelson (CSC).

The winning conditions for Fraser were polar opposites from his win here back in 2000. "The difference was back in 2002 it was pouring rain and the conditions were horrible -- the course was shortened after a traffic fatality -- it was quite an evening of racing. Today was beautiful weather, they actually repaved some of the roads!"

Bobby Julich (CSC)
Photo ©: Jon Devich
Click for larger image

Finishing as a bridesmaid again this week was Rodriguez. "I didn't actually expect Health Net to do the majority of the lead-out, because they got stuck with the majority of the work chasing, so I knew it was going to be a scattered lead-out. My team was still suffering from jet lag -- they tried to chase early on but blew up, so Henk and I were left to see what happened -- he even tried attacking at one point on the hill to try to bring [the break] back."

But Davitamon-Lotto did not have enough clubs in the bag today with Vogels spending so much energy on the final lap. "For the lead out, Henk was really motivated for this week -- he had a good Giro helping Robbie McEwen, and he really wanted to help me today and Sunday," said Rodriguez. "Towards the finale he did the majority of the work for me -- he basically piloted me around the last lap, wasting a lot of energy. I think we needed one more guy to get Henk up to speed. When I jumped I saw Gord jump around me and I wasn't able to get up the speed enough to pass him. As soon as he came by me he had a lot more speed than I did."

Interestingly, Fraser was not the chosen sprinter for the day. Before the race, he told Cyclingnews that he was not feeling one hundred percent, and that the team would be working for one of the other three strong sprinters. "We were going to set-up Ivan Dominguez, but he told me he wasn't feeling well," explained Fraser. So with a quarter-lap to go he was setting tempo on the front for me. It's a nice luxury to have all these cards to play."

Freddy Rodriguez (Davitamon Lotto)
Photo ©: Jon Devich
Click for larger image

Rounding the final few turns, Fraser had a decision to make -- follow his lead-out train, being led by the young Tyler Farrar or dump the plan and stick to Fast Freddy's wheel. "Tyler was actually on Fred's wheel in the last corner and I just asked him if I could have it. And being the youngster that he is he gave me the best spot behind Freddy, because he had Henk Vogels ahead of him."

Fast Freddy had high regards for the domestic squad of Health Net. "When it comes to a sprint team, Health Net has one of the best sprint teams. If they could race in a Pro Tour level, in a race like this, I would say they would be really competitive."

How it unfolded

The predictive Trenton race held true to form for the first parts of the race, with many little breaks trying to gain some time on the field. But with such a flat and fast course, the strong teams had no problem shutting down anything that didn't mesh with their plans.

Finally with less than ten laps to go, fifteen riders rode off the front through the feed zone. This large contingent was comprised of just about every major team in the race -- and therefore the field gave little effort to chasing this move down. Of particular note in this group was Bobby Julich and Andy Schleck (CSC), former USPRO champ Mark McCormack and Arron Olsen (Colavita Olive Oil/Sutter Home), John Lieswyn (Health Net) and Leif Hoste (Discovery Channel) among others.

Health Net pb Maxxis and Prodir/Saunier Duval
Photo ©: Jon Devich
Click for larger image

"It was a long breakaway," said McCormack. "At first I thought that the big group was just going to keep rolling around and around. "With the primes and the hill some guys would miss holding the wheels. Bobby jumped pretty hard for a prime one lap -- I couldn't tell if he was just going for a prime because he got a pretty substantial gap, so I went across -- I got there and he and I just committed to the effort."

Julich, coming off a five week break from racing, was antsy to get some good training laps in before Sunday. "The prime motivated me to do an interval, and then I looked back and saw only Mark coming up and decided to drill it because I didn't like how big the breakaway was," said Julich. "I told Mark we had to hit them on the hill and get the group a little smaller because some guys were just happy to be there and some guys thinking tactical. Honestly, I'm just too old to be thinking tactics so I just wanted to go full gas and get ready for Sunday."

The two riders pushed their lead to more than two minutes as the rest of the break turned into a chase group. Then the officials got involved -- but not in a good way. A miscalculation by the officials caused the lap cards to be miscounted, and the break was shown three to go when the officials thought it should have been four. "What really killed us was with three laps to go, the official came up to us and said they added a lap back into the race, so you should have had four to go," said McCormack. "So Bobby and I were like there is no way we could do that. We were calibrating our effort for what we had. They told us in the park, so by the time we got all the way around they showed two to go, and we started going again. But by then the gap was down, and it motivates the field to go a little harder."

Riders blur past
Photo ©: Jon Devich
Click for larger image

Even though Julich knew he was unlikely to win, he was still annoyed with the problems. "They corrected it, but that's just amateur to tell a breakaway they have one more lap than they should and to change it back again -- and let all these cars on the course. It totally killed our momentum. For three quarters of a lap there Mark and I were like screw it. Then they told us it is two to go.... but what can you do, that's racing."

With new life, the field inched closer to the pair. "For three-quarters of a lap Mark and I were just soft pedaling, we were very upset that they would mess up the lap cards," said Julich. "Then they came back and said it was two laps to go -- and that definitely let a let a little air out of the balloon." The two managed to hold off the pack into the last lap, but damage was already done.

"I thought the break was going to work, until I saw Bobby and Mark get away," said Rodriguez. "As soon as I saw that I knew it was going disintegrate, because there were too many teams that were going to lose out." Into the final turns the sprinters took over and with Fraser moving into position behind the Davitamon-Lotto mini-train. Down the stretch it was Fraser able to jump out of the field at the right moment to take the repeat win away from Rodriguez. "I really didn't have the time to wind it up," admitted Rodriguez. "The best man won today."

For Bobby Julich and CSC, the chips seems to be falling into place nicely -- for Sunday and beyond -- though he admits that it will hardly be a walk in the park. "Unfortunately the USPRO falls at a really bad time in my calendar, coming off of five weeks of no racing -- four weeks in the mountains training in altitude where the weather wasn't super this year -- I didn't get exactly the sort of training I wanted to get. After a tough spring I needed a break. But that jersey is always important for an American rider and I know I am not getting any younger so it is important take my chance when I can. But I have to let the cards fall where they may, to win the jersey would be fantastic and an absolute dream, but my plans are a little farther down the road with the Tour and after."

Gord Fraser (Health Net pb Maxxis) salutes
Photo ©: Jon Devich
Click for larger image

Nonetheless, CSC's directeur sportif Scott Sunderland is happy with the effort and results from today. "Today we just wanted to open up the legs and see how his fitness was. And I think it's pretty well clear that he is in shape. But Sunday is a long day too, 250 kilometers with a climb every lap." And when asked by Cyclingnews if he felt Bobby would end up winning the sprint competition today, Sunderland joked, "I don't think he was sprinting for it, I just think he was rolling over the line at the right time!"


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us

Images by Don Varley/www.cquad.com

Images by Dennis Smith/www.dennisbike.com


1 Gordon Fraser (Can) Health Net - Maxxis                    2.57.59
2 Fred Rodriguez (USA) Davitamon Lotto                              
3 Lars Michaelsen (Den) Team CSC                                    
4 Roger Hammond (GBr) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team            
5 Tyler Farrar (USA) Health Net - Maxxis                            
6 Chris Horner (USA) Suanier Duval - Prodir                         
7 Alex Candelario (USA) Jelly Belly-Pool Gel                        
8 Ivan Stevic (Scg) Aerospace Engineering                           
9 Rashaan Bahati (USA) McGuire Pro Cycling                          
10 Marco Zanotti (Ita) Liquigas-Bianchi                             
11 Greg Henderson (NZl) Health Net - Maxxis                         
12 Vassili Davidenko (Rus) Navigators Insurance                     
13 Emile Abraham (Tri) Team Monex                                   
14 Ciaran Power (Irl) Navigators Insurance                          
15 Charles Dionne (Can) Webcor Cycling Team                         
16 Hank Vogels (Aus) Davitamon Lotto                                
17 Sebastian Alexandre (Arg) Colavita / Sutter Home                 
18 Jackson Stewart (USA) Kodak Sierra Nevada                        
19 Kyle Wamsley (USA) Snow Valley - Seal On                         
20 Manuele Mori (Ita) Suanier Duval - Prodir                        
21 Luciano Pagliarini (Bra) Liquigas-Bianchi                        
22 Oleg Grichkine (Rus) Navigators Insurance                        
23 Karl Menzies (Aus) Advantage Endeavour                           
24 Jeff Hopkins (Aus) Jittery Joe's                                 
25 Russell Hamby (USA) Kodak Sierra Nevada                          
26 Kyle Gritters (USA) Team Seasilver                               
27 Evan Oliphant (GBr) recycling.co.uk/MG-XPower/Litespeed          
28 Sterling Magnell (USA) Team Monex                                
29 Brian Sheedy, (USA) Advantage Endeavour                          
30 Kirk Albers (USA) Jelly Belly-Pool Gel                           
31 Chad Hartley (USA) TIAA CREF                                     
32 Marty Nothstein (USA) Navigators Insurance                       
33 Juan Jose Haedo (Arg) Colavita / Sutter Home                     
34 Gustavo Artacho (Arg) Colavita / Sutter Home                     
35 Carlos Vargas (Col) Team Monex                                   
36 Russell Downing (GBr) recycling.co.uk/MG-XPower/Litespeed        
37 David O-Loughlin (Irl) Navigators Insurance                      
38 Jonathan Dewald (USA) Snow Valley - Seal On                      
39 Curtis Gunn (USA) Team Seasilver                                 
40 Cameron Hughes (Aus) Subway-Express                              
41 Adam Hodges Myerson (USA) NERAC.COM                              
42 Marco Righetto (Ita) Liquigas-Bianchi                            
43 David Richter (USA) Subway-Express                               
44 Thomas Bruun Eriksen (Den) Team CSC                              
45 Jason Bausch (USA) Team Seasilver                                
46 Ryan McKenzie (Can) Subway-Express                               
47 Daniele Colli (Ita) Liquigas-Bianchi                             
48 Matti Breschel (Den) Team CSC                                    
49 Max Vanheeswijk (Ned) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team         
50 Samuele Marzoli (Ita) Lampre Caffita                             
51 Geoff Kabush (Can) Jittery Joe's                                 
52 Nico Mattan (Bel) Davitamon Lotto                                
53 Fumyuki Beppu (Jpn) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team           
54 Gerrit Glomser (Aut) Lampre Caffita                              
55 Ben Haldeman (USA) Webcor Cycling Team                           
56 Marco Marzano (Ita) Lampre Caffita                               
57 Clemente Cavaliere (Ita) Aerospace Engineering                   
58 Nathan Miller (USA) Team Monex                                   
59 John Lieswyn (USA) Health Net - Maxxis                           
60 Lars Bak (Den) Team CSC                                          
61 Matej Mugerli (Slo) Liquigas-Bianchi                             
62 Kjell Carlstrom (Fin) Liquigas-Bianchi                           
63 Jake Rytlewski, (USA) Advantage Endeavour                        
64 Frank Pipp (USA) Advantage Endeavour                             
65 Wim Devocht (Bel) Davitamon Lotto                                
66 Bart Dockx (Bel) Davitamon Lotto                                 
67 Andy Schleck (Lux) Team CSC                                      
68 Jason Allen (NZl) McGuire Pro Cycling                            
69 Ben Brooks (Aus) Jelly Belly-Pool Gel                            
70 Todd Herriott (USA) Colavita / Sutter Home                       
71 Patrick McCarty (USA) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team         
72 Richard England (Aus) Advantage Endeavour                        
73 Jonny Sundt (USA) Jittery Joe's                                  
74 Tim Johnson (USA) Jittery Joe's                                  
75 Alessandro Ballan (Ita) Lampre Caffita                           
76 Glenn Fant (USA) Team Monex                                      
77 Bryan Smith (USA) TIAA CREF                                      
78 Bobby Julich (USA) Team CSC                                      
79 Dan Bowman (USA) TIAA CREF                                       
80 Kirk O'Bee (USA) Navigators Insurance                            
81 Ryan Dewald (USA) Snow Valley - Seal On                          
82 Danny Pate (USA) Jelly Belly-Pool Gel                            
83 Devon Vigus (USA) McGuire Pro Cycling                            
84 Colin Beardsley (USA) McGuire Pro Cycling                        
85 Scott Zwizanski (USA) Kodak Sierra Nevada                        
86 Remi McManus (USA) Subway-Express                                
87 Marc Collard (USA) Webcor Cycling Team                           
88 Bernard Van Ulden (USA) Webcor Cycling Team                      
89 Gert Steegmans (Bel) Davitamon Lotto                             
90 James Mattis (USA) Webcor Cycling Team                           
91 Brice Jones (USA) Jelly Belly-Pool Gel                           
92 Tim Duggan (USA) TIAA CREF                                       
93 Mike Norton (USA) NERAC.COM                                      
94 Todd Cornelius (USA) Subway-Express                              
95 Josh Carter (USA) Subway-Express                                 
96 Allen Johansen (Den) Team CSC                                    
97 Chris Wherry (USA) Health Net - Maxxis                           
98 Ivan Dominguez (Cub) Health Net - Maxxis                         
99 Eddy Hilger (USA) Advantage Endeavour                            
100 Tim Larkin (USA) Kodak Sierra Nevada                            
101 Francisco Ventoso (Spa) Suanier Duval - Prodir                  
102 Erik Saunders (USA) McGuire Pro Cycling                         
103 Siro Camponogara (Ita) Navigators Insurance                     
104 Adam Livingston (USA) Team Seasilver                            
105 Lucas Euser (USA) Webcor Cycling Team                       0.37
106 John Kelly (USA) Webcor Cycling Team                            
107 Peter Baker (USA) Snow Valley - Seal On                         
108 Trent Lowe (Aus) Jittery Joe's                                  
109 Craig Lewis (USA) TIAA CREF                                     
110 Chris Frederick (USA) Aerospace Engineering                     
111 John Delong (USA) Snow Valley - Seal On                         
112 Lief Hoste (Bel) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team             
113 Josh Goodwin (USA) Team Monex                               0.46
114 Jonathan Page (USA) Colavita / Sutter Home                      
115 Ivan Ravaioli (Ita) Suanier Duval - Prodir                      
116 Ruben Lobato (Spa) Suanier Duval - Prodir                       
117 Mark McCormack (USA) Colavita / Sutter Home                 0.56
118 David McCook (USA) Jelly Belly-Pool Gel                     1.08
119 Glen Mitchell (NZl) Kodak Sierra Nevada                         
120 Paul Manning (GBr) recycling.co.uk/MG-XPower/Litespeed      1.18
121 Aaron Olsen (USA) Colavita / Sutter Home                        
122 Andy Jacques-Maynes (USA) Webcor Cycling Team               1.53
123 Shawn Milne (USA) Navigators Insurance                      1.56
124 Matt Dubberley (USA) McGuire Pro Cycling                        
125 Zach Walker (USA) McGuire Pro Cycling                           
126 Hayden Godfrey (NZl) Kodak Sierra Nevada                    2.06
127 Michael Creed (USA) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team          
128 Matty Rice (Aus) Jelly Belly-Pool Gel                       2.19
129 Rob Hayles (GBr) recycling.co.uk/MG-XPower/Litespeed            
130 Caleb Mannion (Aus) Jelly Belly-Pool Gel                    2.34
131 Davide Frattini (Ita) Colavita / Sutter Home                2.44
132 Brent Brookwalter, (USA) Advantage Endeavour                2.47
133 Ben Greenwood (GBr) recycling.co.uk/MG-XPower/Litespeed         
DNF Michael Beers (USA) Snow Valley - Seal On                       
DNF Aaron Brown (USA) NERAC.COM                                     
DNF Nathaniel Cornelius (USA) Subway-Express                        
DNF Ari De Wilde (USA) NERAC.COM                                    
DNF Christopher Deluise (USA) Aerospace Engineering                 
DNF Thad Dulin (USA) Jittery Joe's                                  
DNF Evan Elken (USA) Jittery Joe's                                  
DNF Peter Femal (USA) Subway-Express                                
DNF Roberto Gaggioli (Ita) Team Monex                               
DNF Angel Gomez (Spa) Suanier Duval - Prodir                        
DNF Zachary Grabowski (USA) TIAA CREF                               
DNF John Hanson (USA) NERAC.COM                                     
DNF Ben Jacques-Maynes (USA) Kodak Sierra Nevada                    
DNF Mike Jones (USA) Health Net - Maxxis                            
DNF Roman Kilun (USA) McGuire Pro Cycling                           
DNF Michael Lange (USA) TIAA CREF                                   
DNF Russell Langley (USA) Snow Valley - Seal On                     
DNF Jesse Lawler (USA) Jittery Joe's                                
DNF Victor Laza (Scg) Aerospace Engineering                         
DNF Andreas Matzbacher (Aut) Lampre Caffita                         
DNF Gennady Mikhaylov (Rus) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team      
DNF Hugh Moran (USA) Aerospace Engineering                          
DNF Eric Murphy (USA) Aerospace Engineering                         
DNF Garret Peltonen (USA) Advantage Endeavour                       
DNF Dario Pieri (Ita) Lampre Caffita                                
DNF Oscar Pineda (Gua) NERAC.COM                                    
DNF Marco Pinotti (Ita) Suanier Duval - Prodir                      
DNF Cody Powell (USA) NERAC.COM                                     
DNF Daniel Ramsey (USA) Team Seasilver                              
DNF Mike Sayers (USA) Health Net - Maxxis                           
DNF Neil Shirley (USA) Team Seasilver                               
DNF Shaun Snodden (GBr) recycling.co.uk/MG-XPower/Litespeed         
DNF Burke Swindlehurst (USA) Team Seasilver                         
DNF Zachary Taylor (USA) TIAA CREF                                  
DNF Jurgen Vandenbroeck (Bel) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team    
DNF David Werling (USA) NERAC.COM                                   
DNF Ryan Yee (USA) Team Seasilver                                   

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