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Commerce Bank Triple Crown

USA, June 4-11, 2006

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Race 1 - June 4: Tom Bamford Lancaster Classic, 91 miles

Commentary by Kristy Scrymgeour with additional reporting from Mark Zalewski

Complete live report

14:58 EDT   
Welcome back across the Atlantic to the Commerce Bank Triple Crown series. The Philadelphia week racing hasnít been known as the triple crown since 1993 when Lance Armstrong won and became USPRO champion at the same time. This year, the Stars and Stripes are not up for grabs, but the racing goes on starting with the Tom Bamford Lancaster Classic.

The women have just finished their race which was a 25 mile criterium starting where the menís race is just about to start. The menís course is 13 laps of an 11.3km circuit for a total of 147km. Itís relatively flat but on the back side, it goes over a small narrow climb as they traverse Central Park. The climb is not long but does hurt the legs after so many laps. The descent from the climb is very fast with a sharp 90 degree turn at the bottom.

Usually this race is fast from the start and very much a sprinters course. Last year we saw a breakaway stay out there but the group was primarily made up of sprinters. Kiwi Greg Henderson (Health Net pb Maxxis) won the sprint from Freddie Rodriguez out of the 13 person break to set Health Net up for a week of victory. Henderson is not on the start list this year but Health has a strong showing. Karl Menzies in particular has been riding well. The man to watch though today is very likely to be Toyota Unitedís Juan Jose Haedo who has proven to be Americaís fast man this year.

15:04 EDT   
There is no neutral start and the race has just got underway. The Targetraining team gets straight on the front as they head into the park. Already there is a crash in the field.

15:05 EDT   
They are just over the climb for the first time today. Two riders are slightly off the front but they are caught on the descent and it's all back together as they take the sharp turn at the bottom.

15:07 EDT    5.5km/140.1km to go
The riders involved in the crash are on back in the field now. We have attacks already and it's single file but it's all still together at this point.

15:11 EDT    8km/137.6km to go
We have a group of about seven riders slightly off the front at the moment but its not going anywhere. They are going over some small rollers.

15:13 EDT   
We have a break now of what looks like about ten riders. We can see Health Net in there, Navigators. Chris Wherry is in there and is currently on the front pushing the pace.

15:14 EDT    11km/134.6km to go
TIAA Cref also has someone in the break. They've got about ten seconds now as they head through the start finish line for the first time.

15:15 EDT   
They're not totally organised in there yet. A couple of guys look around to make sure everyone comes through to help out up front. The field is curb to curb on this wide street. They're not really chasing too hard at this point.

15:20 EDT   
In the break is Valeriy Kobzarenko (Navigators), along with Chris Wherry (Toyota United), Victor Rapinski (Colavita Sutter Homes), Mike Sayers and Jeff Louder (Health Net), Dustin MacBurnie (Targetraining). We have some riders bridging out of the field over this climb but it all looks like it's going to come back together.

15:21 EDT   
Now it's all back together as they go over the bridge across a river and we have a counter attack immediately.

15:23 EDT    17km/128.6km to go
A group of eight guys are up front now over these rollers coming out of the park. It's going to be attack after attack until all the majority of the teams are satisfied with the break.

15:26 EDT   
The group is six strong with another four riders bridging ten seconds behind them with another few seconds to the field.

15:29 EDT   
They are working well on this downhill section towards the finish now. In the lead group is Valeriy Kobzarenko from Navigators again, as well as Aleajandro Acton (Targetraining), Robbie King (Priority Health), Todd Herriott (Colavita Sutter Homes), Kirk O'Bee (Health Net) and JJ Haedo (Toyota United).

15:30 EDT    22km/123.6km to go
Ivan Dominguez (Health Net) has just bridged across. Another break with a few good sprinters. The gap is 15 seconds as they go through the finish line after two laps.

15:33 EDT   
They are in the park again now. There is no KOM on the climb this year as there has been in previous years. There feed zone is still here though and it's definitely the best place to watch the race because of the narrow climb and technical descent.

15:34 EDT   
The break looks like it's going to get caught again here at the bottom of the descent. Perhaps there were too many sprinters in the group.

And it has been caught.

15:36 EDT   
No immediate counter attacks this time and the pace is slow over the rollers with the bunch spread across the road.

15:40 EDT   
Now we have another attack. Two riders are up the road. One of them is Danny Pate (TIAA Cref). Another four riders are briding but the field is not far behind.

15:42 EDT    33km/112.6km to go
A small group of three has caught the front two and they still have a slight lead but it's getting caught.

15:44 EDT   
They've just gone under the start finish banner for the third time. Another counter now with about seven guys but the peloton is right on it. They don't like this one. Targetraining are in this again. They're being very active today.

15:47 EDT   
It's all back together and it has slowed down. Health Net is on the front. It's not an easy course. Although it is relatively flat, there are small rollers all day.

There doesn't seem to be as many people out to watch this year which is surprising as it's a Sunday and last year the race was on a Tuesday. Probably because it wasn't until couple of months ago that the race was announced to be definitely happening.

15:48 EDT   
As they go along the river after the descent we have two riders off the front. There is a Toyota United guy and a Navigators rider. They only have a small gap and the field is coming back up to them now.

15:49 EDT   
Another two riders go up the road. Health Net attacked and a Navigator's rider is sitting on as they go up a 500m hill between two cemetaries.

15:52 EDT   
But they've been caught and the bunch sits up a little bit on this downhill. Now a counter goes. A TIAA Cref rider goes with it and a Jelly Belly rider. A CSC rider is on the front of the peloton as they go up a small rise and the break gets caught.

15:55 EDT   
We don't have all that many international riders here this year as compared with years past. CSC is here, mainly because they hosted the CSC Invitational in Arlington yesterday. Bobby Julich is going back to Europe after today's race for a pre Tour de France training camp. Other than that, we have a Dutch National Team, a Columbian team, the Barloworld team and the German Sparkasse team. The other 13 teams are all North American.

15:57 EDT    44km/101.6km to go
A solo attack now from Targetraining. He has ten seconds on the field and he'll be hoping that some riders bridge to him as it's too fast a race to be out there solo. He goes under the start finish banner at the end of the fourth lap.

15:58 EDT   
The solo rider is Frank Pipp (Targetraining). He is a very strong rider but he'll still need some help out here.

16:04 EDT    47km/98.6km to go
Pipp is about to get caught as they reach the park again. The entrance to the park is interesting. There is a narrow off-camber turn and you go through two big stone gates. A Navigator rider is on the front as they go over climb and it's all together as they cross the Conestoga River. A Navigator guy is still on the front. Everyone just seems to be looking around wondering where the next attack is going to come from.

16:04 EDT   
Health Net now has three guys on the front. A Colavita rider launched an attack but it was immediately covered. A Toyota rider is countering that move as they crest another small climb. He has about five riders with him trying to form a group.

16:06 EDT   
In the group we have Health Net, Kodak Gallery, Colavita, Toyota United and TIAA CREF. There is another group dangling in the middle trying to bridge up and they look like they will make it making the group about 11 riders with a six second gap to the field.

16:06 EDT   
The peloton is moving quickly though and it doesn't look like this group will make it either.

16:08 EDT   
Chris Wherry was in that group and as it got caught he looked around a bit frustrated that the group didn't work well to get established. It's single file with Health Net on the front and still really fast. No counters from that last move yet.

16:09 EDT   
It's really fast and little gaps have formed in the field. We have an attack from Jelly Belly but Toyota United jumped on that pretty quickly and it didn't go anywhere.

16:12 EDT    56km/89.6km to go
TIAA CREF is active at the front again as they go through the finish and see 8 laps to go.

16:17 EDT   
The pace has slowed and the bunch is spread across the road again as they head into the park.

16:19 EDT   
It's still all together. A bit of a quiet lap this one.

16:21 EDT   
No I spoke to soon. We now have a split in the field and a large group has gone off the front.

16:24 EDT   
This has come back together too and another counter goes. Seven riders have a small gap on the field. An eighth rider is bridging.

16:26 EDT    62km/83.6km to go
The gap is ten seconds and the bridging rider has been caught as they go through the finish line for the sixth time. Seven laps to go.

16:29 EDT   
Kirk O'Bee (Health Net) is up there again with Tony Cruz (Toyota United), Jonathan Page (Colavita Sutter Homes), Caleb Manion (Jelly Belly), Scott Zwizanski (Kodak Gallery Sierra Nevada), Mark Walters (Navigators) and Mike Friedman (TIAA CREF). They're gap is growing as they enter the park.

16:32 EDT    65km/80.6km to go
The gap is 17 seconds as they ride along the river after the climb. Zwizanski is on the front of the break doing a turn. They're working well together.

16:36 EDT   
The gap is increasing. Tony Cruz has just done a turn. They're all out of the saddle working well over a small climb. It's about 40" now.

16:38 EDT   
It's mostly downhill to the finish line now. It's a residential area and people are sitting out the front of their houses watching the race.

16:41 EDT    71.8km/73.8km to go
Six laps to go now as they head through the start finish with a 45" second lead. Friedman from TIAA CREF rolls through for his turn. The working in the break is pretty even.

16:45 EDT   
Heading down towards the park again now where they cross the river, take a sharp turn through the stone gates into the park. The guys in the break are out of the saddle over the climb. It's not all that steep and it's short. It goes up and then dips down again because kicking up slightly again. It's about a kilometer of climbing in total.

16:51 EDT   
Notably missing from this break which now has 50 seconds on the field, is the Targetraining team who have been so active in the first part of the race. Three riders from the peloton have just attacked in an attempt to bridge to the break.

16:55 EDT    80.9km/52.1km to go
Ivan Dominguez (Toyota United) and Sergey Lagutin (Navigators) are both part of that trio with one other rider that we haven't yet identified. Meanwhile the gap between the break and the peloton is 1'10". As it's over a minute, the team cars will be able to move up in between the gap to be there for their breakaway riders if needed.

16:57 EDT    84km/49km to go
We go through the start finish again now and the riders see 5 laps to go.

16:59 EDT   
Back into the park and out of the saddle on these inclines. There are quite a few vocal spectators yelling out something about Penn State. Perhaps one of the riders in the break is from around here and goes to Penn State University.

17:01 EDT    87km/46km to go
Caleb Manion goes over top of the climb first.
After the descent TIAA CREF Director Jonathan Vaughters moved up to speak to his rider in the break. All of the riders are still taking very even pulls.

17:04 EDT   
The three bridging riders didn't make it anywhere and have been absorbed by the peloton. The Health Net team car now moves up to talk to O'Bee. The break is single file now taking longer pulls now that it's all been established and they've settle into a rhythm.

17:10 EDT    92.6km/40.4km to go
A couple of readers have written in to inform us that it's actually Mike Friedman in the break who went or still in fact goes to Penn State and did a lot of track racing with the University team.

The break has gone through the start/finish line and see four laps to go. Back in the field, a few CSC riders are on the front but they're not chasing too hard just yet. The gap is holding 1'10".

17:13 EDT   
Another chase group of nine riders has formed and has 15 seconds on the main field. Kasper Klostergaard (CSC) is one of them. Five riders have joined them to make the chase group 14 riders strong.

17:15 EDT   
Ben Brooks (Navigators) and Robbie King (Priority Health) are both also in that chase group.

In the break Tony Cruz leads on a descent. Jonathan Page is shaking his legs a bit, perhaps he was cramping a bit.

17:17 EDT    98km/35km to go
The chase group has been caught by the field and the gap between the break and the peloton has increased slightly to 1'20".

17:19 EDT   
Well, it seems that time check was wrong. The latest check from the officials is 45". It's unlikely that this break is going to stay out here.

17:22 EDT    100km/33km to go
The field can see the break ahead of them now on this long stretch. So by the time they reach the start/finish at the end of this lap the break will be pretty much over.

17:24 EDT   
The gap is down to 24 seconds now with a 2km to the start/finish. The bunch will be gearing up for the counter attacks and the sprinters teams will be looking to keep it together from here on in.

17:26 EDT    103km/30km to go
As they go through the finish line the gap is 15 seconds. The guys in the break know it's all over and they're sitting up.

17:28 EDT   
The field looks really small. It seems a lot of riders have been dropped and a laughing bunch has formed. Most of the riders in the Dutch National team pulled out. They are all younger riders.

17:29 EDT   
The break has been caught on the climb. We'll be looking for some counter attacks now with less than 30km to go.

17:32 EDT   
Here comes the counter. It's a solo riders but it's not getting anywhere. On the front of the peloton are a few Toyota riders. They'll be wanting to control this for Haedo at the finish.

Another counter attack goes know. It look like Mark McCormack (Colavita) who won the CSC Invitational yesterday and Richard Faltus (Sparkasse). A few riders are trying to bridge to up on this small climb. But it looks like they're all going to get caught.

17:35 EDT    109km/24km to go
Yep, they've all been caught and a Navigators rider counters He has about eight seconds on the bunch. It's Valeriy Kobzarenko again. He's been in a lot of break attempts today.

17:37 EDT   
A Barloworld rider tried to bridge but he is caught and Kobzarenko is just about to get caught too. The field is really small. It's only about 40 riders. Kobzarenko doesn't like the idea of getting caught and notches it up a little to open up the gap again. He already have ten seconds and he's working hard on a slight uphill.

17:42 EDT    112.5km/20.5km to go
They've reached the start finish line for two laps to go. Kobzarenko is sitting up now realising that he's not getting very far and it's going to be too hard alone. Cyclingnews correspondent Chris Baldwin has just let me know that Konzarenko's nickname or "klichka" (in Russian) is Kobza. The obvious one for his name is "Koba", but that's what Stalin used to be called, so Valeriy goes by "Kobza" instead.

17:43 EDT    116km/17km to go
Anyway, he's been caught. On the front of the peloton the CSC has a few riders setting the pace. Jelly Belly also has riders up there. A Toyota United rider has just launched an attack but he has been covered straight away by Navigators They are on the climb now in the park.

17:46 EDT   
A columbian National team rider has attacked and has a five second gap as he heads towards the bridge. There is no reaction as of yet from the field.

17:50 EDT   
It's Diego Montoya up the road. He has three riders joining him. Sergey Lagutin (Navigators) is one of them, with Davide Frattini (Colavita) and Justin England (Toyota United). They actually caught and dropped him.

17:52 EDT   
Three riders bridged and one of them was Mark Walters, which made two Navigators riders. The others saw this and sat up so Lagutin attacked solo and is still away.

17:54 EDT    121km/12km to go
Riders are attacking out of the field but no-one is going anywhere at the moment. It's just Lagutin out there solo with 12 seconds on the field. There is not a lot of organisation in the field to chase just yet. As he goes under the start/finish riders he has 16 seconds on the field.

17:57 EDT   
So that was the bell lap. Only one lap to go now. Lagutin is not looking back. He's down in the drops and going over these rollers. The peloton really doesn't seem to be chasing very hard yet. They'll have to start soon to bring this back. The sprinters teams would be looking at each other to start the chase.
He's on the downhill towards the river and he has 28".

17:58 EDT    126km/7km to go
He's out of the saddle now climbing the hill. There's no feeding this lap. He gets to the top and sits down again for the descent.

18:00 EDT   
The chase has started and the gap has come down to 9 seconds with two riders bridging up to him.

18:02 EDT   
Three riders have caught Lagutin as they hit another small climb. They have eight seconds to the field. The field is strung out and it looks like this small break will get caught pretty soon. Caleb Manion is one of the riders who bridged and he is now leading the break.

18:03 EDT   
Four other riders have bridged up but the field is not far behind. Another Navigators rider has attacked out of the break. He was one of the riders who bridged across but they are on him.

18:06 EDT   
It's actually Kobzarenko again who was away solo before, but he has been caught by a group of five. The Toyota rider, Ivan Stevic, in the break has attacked. He was covered by Manion and we have five riders left in the break.

18:08 EDT   
The Health Net rider has attacked but the field has caught the rest of the break and he will get caught too.

He has been caught with Kodak Gallery on the front with 1km to go!

18:09 EDT   
The sprint is on and a Kodak rider goes early and opened up a good gap. It's Jackson Stewart and nobody can come around him. It looks like he's going to take it! And he does Jackson Stewart takes the win.

18:10 EDT   
It looks like a Toyota rider took second.

18:16 EDT   
Haedo took second and Sergey Lagutin third. Great lead out from the Kodak Team.

Thanks for tuning in. We'll be back on Thursday for the Reading Classic.


1 Jackson Stewart (USA) Kodak Gallery Sierra Nevada
2 Juan Jose Haedo (Arg) Toyota United
3 Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Navigators

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