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Commerce Bank Triple Crown

USA, June 4-11, 2006

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Race 2 - June 8: Reading Classic, 75 miles

Live Commentary by Kristy Scrymgeour with additional reporting from Mark Zalewski

Complete live report

13:58 EDT   
Welcome back to East coast USA from where we bring you the second race of the Triple Crown Series. Today’s race is on a new course and takes place in the Pennsylvanian town of Reading. Again the women have just finished a criterium over a two mile course in Reading and the men are signing in ready to start. The course is a relative unknown to the riders but officials say it is very technical with lots of turns on narrow roads. The guys will race thirteen laps of a loop of just under 11km with the last lap adding an extra loop over a difficult one mile climb.

We just talked the winner of Race 1, which was held in Lancaster on Sunday. Jackson Stewart from Kodak Sierra Nevada was the man that day. He took a surprise win whilst trying to lead out his team mate. He opened up a gap in the last kilometer and managed to hold off the chase of the sprinters for the win. Kodak Gallery will now be working for Stewart to try and get him some more points in the Series. The rider with the most points after the race this coming Sunday will take home a new Mercury car.

14:00 EDT   
The race is now underway and we already have attacks. A Targetraining rider has opened up a slight gap on the field already for the first attack of the day. It doesn't look like he'll last long though.

14:04 EDT   
The first Targetraining rider was caught as they reached a tough right turn and we have a counter. It's another Targetraining rider, Aleajandro Acton away now. He has opened up quite a big lead and has about 12 seconds already.

14:07 EDT   
Apparently a lot of the schools in town are shut down today for the race. Acton has been caught and there is a counter attack as the road kicks up at the feed zone on the edge of Constitution Park. Five riders have a slight advantage on the field but they're all just looking at each other.

14:10 EDT   
The small group off the front has increased to eight now with another small group trying to bridge. It's likely we'll see counter after counter here until a group gets away. The Kodak Gallery Sierra Nevada team will be on the lookout to try to keep things close. They seem to think the race will eventually come down to the last climb on the last lap and Stewart was telling us before the start that they're aim is to have three of their guys over the climb so that they ahve horsepower for the sprint.

14:14 EDT    10.7km/109.3km to go
One lap down now and the group off the front is about 20 riders but they only have seven seconds on the field at this point. One rider is attacking the break, which is just about to be reeled in by the bunch. The solo rider is Irish National Champion David O'Loughlin (Navigators). He powers over the hill but now he sits up. There is a beautiful old church at the top of the hill with an equally old cemetary next to it. It's very pretty.

14:16 EDT   
O'Loughlin has been caught and three riders counter on the downhill towards the really hard right turn. There was a little bit of rain at the start of the race but the streets are drying up now. The three riders didn't go anywhere. TIAA Cref rider Rasaan Bahati is on the front of the field as one of his teammates attacks on the other side of the road.

14:19 EDT    16.5km/103.5km to go
It's Brad Huff (TIAA CREF) off the front. He has had some practice at long breakaways as he was in the 80km breakaway at the CSC Invitational last weekend. Now he has about 15 seconds and he's solo. The field has not reacted as off yet. They are spread across the road letting him go. He has 18 seconds as he takes a left hand turn to go down a steep hill to a tunnel under the railway tracks.

14:22 EDT   
Huff now has 24 seconds on the field as he heads to the feed zone. He is out of the saddle on this 8% gradient. He looks good but I'm sure he wishes he had someone else with him.

14:24 EDT   
Christian Valenzuela (Monex) is trying to bridge to Huff. The field is responding and it's strung out. A group of six have a slight advantage on the field and the gap between Huff and the field is down to about 15 seconds again after that piece of action.

14:28 EDT    22km/98km to go
Huff is still away as he goes through the finish line after the seconds lap. He is holding a gap but sits up a little to wait for a small group to join him. Five riders reach him but they all seem to be sitting up a little bit on this climb up to the church.

14:31 EDT   
It's all back together now on this climb and we have some more counter attacks but nothing strong enough to open up a gap. It's getting warm now and you might like to know that the church is not actually a church. At a closer look it is just a huge gated entry to the cemetary. Quite impressive.

On the downhill now and there is another attack. It looks like Hugh Moran (Aerospace Engineering). He has a small gap but it looks like it will get caught.

14:37 EDT   
Gruppo Compatto again now and waiting for another attack. The pace is pretty fast. Sunday's race was so tough that only 50 riders actually finished.

Another attack now. It's Brian Jensen (Jelly Belly) and Rasaan Bahati (TIAA CREF) and Kyle Wamsley (Colavita) but they have been caught again. The bunch is now on the climb up through feed zone and it's all together again.

14:38 EDT   
We have a couple of riders attacking on the descent now. The speeds are so high on this descent now that they will get caught pretty soon.

14:44 EDT    34km/86km to go
David O'Laughlin has attacked again but he is getting caught on the climb to the cemetary on the third lap of the day.

14:46 EDT   
John Hamblen (Nerac.com) has attacked on the crest of the hill at the cemetary, but again the field is too fast on this descent that he won't be able to hold the lead. He now has a rider with him but the bunch is right on their heels.

14:49 EDT   
Chad Hartley (TIAA CREF) is attacking now. A Kodak rider covers the break bringing the field up with him and it's all back together again. They are on a small incline before the very fast downhill to the railway. Another rider is slightly off the front but not going anywhere.

14:51 EDT   
A lot of people have been asking about the women's race. Because the first two women's races of the series are criterium's we have not been doing a live report, but we will of course be doing a live of the women's report on Sunday. Today Katharine Carroll of Victory Brewing Cycling Team attacked mid way into the race and Ina-Yoko Teutenberg bridged across. Carroll managed to catch her wheel and the pair gradually increased their lead over the field each lap. Teutenberg led into the final corner and went wide and Carroll wasn't able to hold her wheel. Teutenberg took her second win of the Triple Crown with Carroll taking second. Rochelle Gilmore won the sprint for third place.

14:52 EDT   
Back to the men's race and we have another rider away. He has 100m on the field as he goes through the feed zone. This is the first lap that feeding is allowed.

14:58 EDT    40.5km/79.5km to go
The solo rider is Francisco Colorado (Colombian National Team). Another rider is bridging to him. It's Christian Valenzuela (Monex).

Back in the field Dan Schmatz (Kodak) and Erick Lyman (Canton Litespeed) have been involved in a crash.

14:58 EDT   
Bad luck for Schmatz as he just started racing again last week after being hit by a car at Tour de Georgia.

15:01 EDT   
Francisco Colorado and Christian Valenzuela have 22 seconds now. There is a bridging rider now in between the break and the bunch. Peter Hatton (Jittery Joe's) is the rider in the middle.

15:05 EDT    50km/70km to go
A few other riders also tried to bridge to the group but now all of the break riders have been caught by the field. A Monex rider Devon Vigus has a flat tyre.
We have a counter attack but it's not going anywhere. The field is moving quickly now. It's all strung out with 50km of racing completed.

15:11 EDT    53.6km/66.4km to go
The pace has slowed down a little after that onslaught of attacks. The Colombian Team is getting a lot of support from the Colombian community here in Reading. There is a Colombian sandwich shop called the Colombiano and there is a big crowd outside it watching the race. This has prompted an attack by one of the Colombian National Team riders. It's Jairo Salas and he now has a 20 second lead on the field as he heads towards the start/finish. He'll see six laps to go when he gets there. A Targetraining rider is trying to bridging up but the gap is coming down.

15:14 EDT   
The last kilometer of the race consists of lots of turns and narrow roads. If it ends up as a full bunch sprint it could be a little dicey.

Hugh Moran (AEG) is trying to bridge to Salas and the Targetraining rider. He is getting them on the climb but the field is also very close.

15:21 EDT    60km/60km to go
We have a break of 20 riders now led by a Jelly Belly rider. They have a ten second lead. It looks like this one could go away.

15:23 EDT   
The break actually doesn't look all that organised yet but the field is not reacting either so the gap is still going up. Two Jelly Belly riders are driving the break as they enter the feed zone.

15:27 EDT    65km/55km to go
The gap is 35 seconds and growing. There is a rider bridging in the middle as they come up towards the finish line to see five laps remaining. Two Targetraining guys are up at the front of the break now. It's getting more organised now. They're all single file doing long pulls as they reach the start/finish.

15:29 EDT   
A Navigators rider has attacked the break now. Perhaps he's trying to thin this out. He looks back to see if anyone is going to come with him. A TIAA CREF rider is bridging up to him. They have about a six second gap to the rest of the break.

15:30 EDT   
They hit the cemetary climb again. A Health Net rider pulls through. Six riders have a small gap on the rest of the break now but it's closing again.

15:31 EDT   
Two riders have countered that and countered off the break. They have a good 12 seconds on the rest of the break now. It's a Jelly Belly rider with a Navigators guy.

15:35 EDT   
Valeriy Kobzarenko (Navigators) and Andy Bajadali (Jelly Belly) are the two riders off the front of the break. Kobzarenko was very active in the Lancaster race too. They have over 20 seconds on the rest of the break now. They are taking pretty even turns and nicely establishing this gap.

15:41 EDT   
The riders in the rest of the break are Heath Blackgrove, Tony Cruz and JJ Haedo (Toyota United), Gord Fraser and Kyle Gritters (Health Net), Jonathan Page, Todd Herriott (Colavta), Yovanny Torres (Colombian National Team), Lars Michaelsen (CSC), Kirk Albers and Matty Rice (Jelly Belly), Robbie King (Priority Health) and Bill Elliston (Targetraining).

15:45 EDT   
Chad Hartley and Mike Friedman (TIAA CREF) are also in the main break.

The two leaders however are really powering away here. The latest time gap is 37 seconds on the rest of the break.

15:45 EDT   
That time through the finish line they saw four laps to go.

15:50 EDT    80km/40km to go
The field is coming down on the main break group now as they go through the tunnel. It will be caught soon leaving only Kobzarenko and Bajadali up the road. A shame for Toyota and Health Net who both had their sprinters in that break.

15:54 EDT   
Kobzarenko and Bajadali are coming up to the feed zone again and continue to increase their lead to the peloton. It's 45 seconds now. The course has so many turns in it that the field can't see the two breakaway riders which gives the break a slight advantage.

15:58 EDT   
The two lead riders are working well together taking even pulls as they go though the plethera of turns before the finish. They keep looking back to see if the bunch is behind them but it's not. They will see three laps to go when they go through the start finish. That is two regular laps and then the last lap which starts the same but when they reach the top of the feed zone they'll take a right turn instead of a left and head up a steep switchback climb which is about a mile long before heading down to the finish.

16:03 EDT    88km/32km to go
At the finish line the gap is 1'05". These guys are really opening it up. Still a long way to go but they're looking good so far.

Back in the bunch, a group of seven riders has attacked. In the group is Tony Cruz again with his Toyota United teammate Ivan Stevic, Diego Montoya (Colombian National Team), Frank Kwanten (Dutch National Team), Robbie King (Priority Health), Matt Shriver (Targetraining) and Rahsaan Bahati (TIAA CREF).

16:04 EDT    91km/29km to go
The group of seven have now been caught again by the bunch as the lead pair continues to make up time.

16:13 EDT   
Back in the feed zone now. Kobzarenko and Andy Bajadali still look good with their gap up at 1'20" now. They are taking about 30 second turns.

Back in the field Ivan Stevic (Toyota United) just had a wheel change due to a flat tyre. He's back in the field again.

Almost another lap down now. When they get to the finish they'll see two laps to go.

16:14 EDT   
Back in the field Wilson Marentes (Colombian National Team) has attacked and is in between the leaders and the bunch. The Colombian's have been very active today.

16:15 EDT    99km/21km to go
Marentes has been caught again however so it's now just Kobzarenko and Bajadali out there with a gap of 1'20".

16:18 EDT   
Two laps to go now. One normal lap and then the abnormal one with the tough climb in it. At the very bottom of the descent after the final climb, there is a very sharp turn that could be nasty.

16:23 EDT    104km/16km to go
The lead guys still look really good taking their even 30 second pulls. They are on the steep descent towards the railway tunnel. Their gap is 1'15". Their two team directors are chatting out the window of their team cars behind.

There really doesn't seem to be a very determined chase behind.

16:25 EDT   
We're getting close to the feed zone again on the penultimate lap. This is the last change the riders will get to grab a feed. The gap has dropped slightly to 1'05".

16:27 EDT   
The peloton is really going to have to jack up the speed to bring these guys back. They still have enough time but they'll have to get organised pretty soon.

16:30 EDT    108km/12km to go
One lap to go now. The crowds are pretty good at the finish line for a week day. The gap is now coming down now. The CSC team have some riders on the front. The sky is starting to get a little dark now too. Looks like they'll just finish this race before the rain comes.

16:32 EDT   
The latest time gap is 30 seconds. The chase is certainly on and it's unlikely these guys will make it but they're certainly going to try.

16:33 EDT    111km/9km to go
The leaders are on the cemetary climb. They're both out of the saddle going over the top. They don't seem to be pushing the pace down the hill though. They're taking a drink. I think they know it's over for them.

16:35 EDT   
Kobzarenko seems a little more interested in keeping this break out there. He's probably trying to make sure they don't get caught until the climb to prevent counters when they get caught. They have Davidenko and Ben Brooks as sprinters.

16:37 EDT    114km/6km to go
The field can see the lead riders now which will motivate them. It's not single file in the chase yet but it's not slow either. Kobzarenko and Bajadali are back into a rhythm and taking even pulls again. They keep looking around expecting the peloton to come up to them at any moment. They do still have 22 seconds.

16:39 EDT   
The riders in the break are taking the hard right, the field is coming up on them. It's only about 12 seconds now. Toyota has riders on the front in the chase. It's all over. They're shaking hands.

16:40 EDT   
As they get caught as they get to the feed zone now. There's no feeding. They make a hard turn at the top onto a very steep 180 degree turn and it immediately kicks up. On the front of the field are Navigator's and Toyota riders.

16:41 EDT   
Lagutin (Navigators) is attacking. Nobody is going with him. He's attacking hard. CSC has riders on the front. It reaches about 12% here.

16:42 EDT   
Lagutin has a 12 second gap already. It's smooth road with lots of trees and very twisty. He's back in the saddle climbing. He looks back to see where the group is. It kicks up harder here. A CSC rider is bridging up to him.

16:44 EDT   
Lagutin still has a gap. If he has it over the top, he could very well take this because it's fast and twisty to the finish.

16:45 EDT   
Three riders bridged to Lagutin at the top. It's very fast downhill now and very technical.

16:46 EDT   
They are still on the downhill. With Lagutin is Chris Wherry (Toyota).

16:47 EDT   
Danny Pate (TIAA Cref) is also up there as is Facci Mauro (Barloworld). They are all looking at each other. It has been shattered on this climb.

16:47 EDT    119.5km/0.5km to go
Riders are joining them. It's a group of 12 riders. A CSC rider is attacking with only 500m to go.

16:49 EDT   
Wherry is leading out the sprint with 250m to go and they come up to the final turn. Health Net is up there. It looks like the Health Net rider is going to take this. It's Greg Henderson taking the win.

16:51 EDT   
Taking second place was Lagutin with Danny Pate (TIAA CREF) taking third place.

16:55 EDT   
Thanks for tuning in. Full results, report and photos will be posted shortly and we'll be back on Sunday for the final race.

1 Greg Henderson (NZl) Health Net p/b Maxxis
2 Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Navigators
3 Danny Pate (USA) TIAA CREF 

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