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Commerce Bank Triple Crown
USA, June 3-10, 2007
Race 1 - June 3: Tom Bamford Lancaster Classic, 85 miles
Eisel strongest in rain-soaked Lancaster
By Mark Zalewski, North American Editor in Lancaster, Pennsylvania
The forecast called for "tropical rain" as the remnants of tropical storm Barry floated up the Atlantic seaboard - though it was hardly a tropical setting around the streets of Lancaster, a city rebounding from economic downturns over the years, in the first race of the Commerce Bank Triple Crown. But that did not deter the racers from riding hard, with many breaks forming all day long. Out of the final break, which formed with just four laps of the 11.5km circuit remaining, came a hard-charging Bernhard Eisel (T-Mobile) who made his decisive solo move up the main climb and lasting to the finish, even with Sergey Lagutin (Navigators Insurance) catching him within the final kilometre.
"It's unbelievable how hard three-hour racing can be!" Eisel told Cyclingnews as he rolled to the team cars. "It's completely different compared to a ProTour race. It's like a national race - everyone attacking and wanting to be in the first group. In Europe the final of a race is like three hours long, and here the entire race is that - everyone is still fresh. It's harder that way, to control the bunch with only six riders. It's a bit different for us but it's still good, hard racing."
The racing was made even harder with the on-and-off rain all day, culminating in heavier showers on the final lap. "Normally I'm not a rider for the rain," explained Eisel, "but it was pretty warm today."
Navigators' Lagutin, who is the defending Triple Crown champion, seems to do well in the rain, having won the International Rheinland-Pfalz Rundfahrt in similar conditions. "I don't like the rain but I seem to be more strong in it!" he joked.
Lagutin was the only rider strong enough to make it up to Eisel after the race split apart on the final lap. "I was pretty sure I would attack there to make the group smaller," continued Eisel. "I saw nobody could follow me. Lagutin is a time trial champion so I was pretty sure that if anyone could follow me it was him or Danny Pate. I was waiting for [Lagutin] actually so that I could relax a bit and keep my muscles. He knew if he finished with me he could at least get second."
Back in the break, the rest of the riders tried attacking each other to get away, but also to stay away from the field which was closing in. In the final turn, Health Net-Maxxis' Frank Pipp took a page out of last year's Lancaster winner's tactics to take the third podium spot. "I hit them at the last turn," Pipp recalled, "just like Jackson Stewart did last year."
Eisel is not sure if he will now become the 'team leader' for the race, but is sure that his team will be even stronger for the upcoming races in Reading and Philadelphia. "The problem was we had two less guys here because they are still doing the Giro - Marco Pinotti and Aaron Olsen. And Hammond and Cavendish just arrived yesterday so they are a bit jet-lagged. Plus this is how our team works, every guy has a turn."
How it unfolded
The first lap of the 11.5km circuit was taken at a slower pace than usual, with riders feeling out the technical course under the wet conditions. But with one lap complete the attacks started right away. Soon a significant break was able to form and get more than a minute on the peloton.
The UCI America Tour leader, Svein Tuft (Symmetrics) led the break with Eric Baumann (T-Mobile) Matt Guse (Caylon-Litespeed), Nicholas Wait (Kelly Benefits Strategies), Stephan Kincaid (Rite Aid), Christian Meier (Symmetrics), Tim Johnson (Health Net), Mike Creed (Slipstream), Brice Jones (Jelly Belly), Scottie Weiss (AEG-Toshiba) and Caleb Manion (Toyota United).
Initially, the break was a little disorganised, with Baumann sitting on the back while his team chased in the peloton. But eventually the break managed to organize, and Baumann pitched into the effort. The gap went up to more than a minute until some bad luck hit. First Manion had a rear flat on one of the small uphills coming back into town. Almost immediately Meier rear flatted as well, but had to roll a little longer while waiting for Mavic to finish with Manion. Manion made it back into the break but Meier was less lucky due to the delay. On the next lap, Tim Johnson had a flat in the exact same section of the course, and was unable to chase back on.
With less firepower driving it, and with the CSC team working the front of the peloton, the break was brought back to within 30 seconds. Not wanting to make the catch too soon and allow counter attacks to have an easy chance at escaping, the peloton let the break dangle. Finally, with about 40 kilometres left to race, the break was finished off across the start/finish line.
High speeds initially deterred any counter-attacks from forming, but Christian Meier, likely frustrated by his poor luck in the first break, attacked with Marin Pederson (CSC) marking him. With a slight gap finally established, Pederson eventually pulled through. On the other side of the climb Eisel and a few others tried to bridge across, but were not successful. Eventually, the bridge attempts brought the peloton up to the break.
A few kilometres later, Eisel tried it again and brought Sergey Lagutin (Navigators), Jonathan Garcia (BMC), Trent Wilson (Jittery Joes), Svein Tuft (Symmetrics), Frank Pipp (Health Net-Maxxis) and Frank Travieso (AEG-Toshiba) with him. Tuft definitely earned the strong-man award for the day, with his all-white UCI leader's jersey soaked and browned from the road grime collected from riding in the breaks all day.
"That's a tough course... constant!" Tuft said. "You have to accelerate so much out of the corners because everyone slows down so much. [The breakaways] would take a little while for guys to really commit, but when they did it worked well.It's better to be off the front in this race because it yo-yos so much. I like to be off the front where I can keep it steady."
This break managed to make some progress on the peloton, with enough of the main teams represented. Alejandro Borrajo (Rite Aid) was able to bridge across rather easily followed by Danny Pate (Silpstream-Chipotle), but with much more effort required. The next two laps, Trent Wilson took the lead up the main climb, keeping the pace high by staying out of the saddle.
On the last lap, Wilson again set the pace up the climb with Borrajo on his wheel. "It was opportunity to drop a few of the sprinters," said Wilson. "I ended up sitting up and Eisel just rode away over the top."
"I didn't know who the T-Mobile guy was initially," said Pipp, who was sitting on the back of the break up the climb, saving his legs for the sprint. "But when I found out it was Eisel I knew just from results I've seen that he is fast and strong. He was sitting going into the park and I knew he was going to launch, but sometimes there is just nothing you can do. He went and nobody could do anything about it."
On the smaller climbs coming back into town, Sergey Lagutin managed to do something about it, riding away from the remnants of the break in a solo effort to catch Eisel. The former U23 world champion finally did at about 700 metres, with Eisel actually sitting up to wait for him. The two then swapped a few pulls through the final turn at 300 metres where the sprinting began, with Eisel much stronger and fresher.
Teutenberg sticks to winning formula
T-Mobile teammates Ina Teutenberg and Kim Anderson repeated their tactics and strategy from last year's Lancaster race with precision today. Anderson patrolled the peloton, covering moves while Teutenberg rode in the breaks and sprinted to the win ahead of Laura Van Gilder (Cheerwine) and Catherine Powers (Aaron's Pro Cycling).
"Cover as much as I can and [Ina] always manages to get into a break," said Anderson. "Then just cover stuff trying to get across. With three to go almost four got across. Then we almost caught them at the finish, and then I would have had to sprint! I'd rather lay down across the road!" Anderson laughed.
"The group wasn't working too well together, it was mainly Laura and me in the last two laps," said Teutenberg. "I wanted to make the others work at the end. [Powers] made a really good attack at the top of the hill, it really surprised us. We caught her at 200 metres to go, but it was tough."
"I knew they were faster than me, especially Teresa Cliff-Ryan," said Powers. "I saw Ina and Laura looking at each other and I just went so hard. It's the best I could do."
Teutenberg and Anderson will be back at it on Thursday in Reading, and likely with more T-Mobile reinforcements like last year. And like last year, Teutenberg is certainly the race favourite.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us
Men 1 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) T-Mobile 3.18.41 2 Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Navigators Insurance 3 Frank Pipp (USA) Health Net - Maxxis 0.15 4 Danny Pate (USA) Slipstream p/b Chipotle 5 Svein Tuft (Can) Symmetrics Cycling Team 6 Trent Wilson (Aus) Jittery Joe's 7 Alejandro Alberto Borrajo (Arg) Rite Aid 8 David Vitoria (Swi) Bmc Racing Team 9 Frank Travieso (Cub) Aeg-Toshiba-Jetnetwork 1.23 10 Jorge Martinez (Col) Caico 1.59 11 Michael Blaudzun (Den) Team CSC 2.04 12 Todd Henriksen (USA) Aeg-Toshiba-Jetnetwork 13 Jacob Erker (Can) Symmetrics Cycling Team 14 Shawn Milne (USA) Health Net - Maxxis 15 Andrew Pinfold (Can) Symmetrics Cycling Team 16 Emile Abraham (Tri) Priority Health p/b Bissel 17 Martin Pedersen (Den) Team CSC 18 Luke Roberts (Aus) Team CSC 19 Ken Hanson (USA) Bmc Racing Team 20 Zach Bell (Can) Symmetrics Cycling Team 21 Alejandro Ivan Cortes (Col) Caico 22 Matt Shriver (USA) Jittery Joe's 23 Cameron Evans (Can) Symmetrics Cycling Team 24 Kayle Leo Grande (USA) Rock Racing 25 Alex Hagman (USA) Aeg-Toshiba-Jetnetwork 26 Alex Candelario (USA) Jelly Belly 27 Jackson Stewart (USA) Bmc Racing Team 28 Cody Stevenson (Aus) Jittery Joe's 29 Edward King (USA) Priority Health p/b Bissel 30 Charles Dionne (Can) Colavita-Sutter Home 31 Evan Elken (USA) Jittery Joe's 32 Justin Spinelli (USA) Kelly Benefit / Medifast 33 Andy Guptill (USA) Colavita-Sutter Home 34 Sergio Hernandez (USA) Rock Racing 35 Benjamin Brooks (Aus) Navigators Insurance 36 Ian Macgregor (USA) Slipstream p/b Chipotle 37 Anthony Colby (USA) Colavita-Sutter Home 38 Martin Gilbert (Can) Kelly Benefit / Medifast 39 Francois Parisien (Can) Slipstream p/b Chipotle 40 Eric Wohlebert (Can) Symmetrics Cycling Team 41 Jake Rytlewski (USA) Rite Aid 42 Taylor Tolleson (USA) Slipstream p/b Chipotle 43 Viktor Rapinski (Blr) Navigators Insurance 44 Daniel Bowman (USA) Kelly Benefit / Medifast 45 John Freddy Para (Col) Tecos De La Universidad 46 Dominique Rollin (Can) Kodak Gallery p/b Sierra Nevada 47 Mark Walters (Can) Kodak Gallery p/b Sierra Nevada 48 Yosvani Falcon (Cub) Aeg-Toshiba-Jetnetwork 49 Hector Hugo Rangel (Mex) Tecos De La Universidad 50 Oleg Grishkin (Rus) Navigators Insurance 51 Ben Day (Aus) Navigators Insurance 52 Jason Donald (USA) Slipstream p/b Chipotle 53 James Meadley (Aus) Jelly Belly 54 Kyle Gritters (USA) Health Net - Maxxis 55 Valery Kobzarenko (Ukr) Navigators Insurance 56 Michael Creed (USA) Slipstream p/b Chipotle 57 Roger Hammond (GBr) T-Mobile 58 Neil Shirley (USA) Jittery Joe's 59 Austin King (USA) Jittery Joe's 60 Daniel Vaillancourt (USA) Colavita-Sutter Home 61 Jesse Anthony (USA) Kodak Gallery p/b Sierra Nevada 62 Andrew Randell (Can) Symmetrics Cycling Team 63 Chris Wherry (USA) Toyota-United 64 Christian Meier (Can) Symmetrics Cycling Team 65 Eric Baumann (Ger) T-Mobile 66 Caleb Manion (Aus) Toyota-United 67 Mike Sayers (USA) Bmc Racing Team 68 Brice Jones (USA) Jelly Belly 69 Rory Sutherland (Aus) Health Net - Maxxis 70 Gregorio Ladino (Col) Tecos De La Universidad 71 Javier De Jesus Zapata (Col) Caico 2.32 72 Rudolph Napolitano (USA) Rock Racing 2.51 73 Matthew Guse (Can) Calyon - Litespeed 3.02 74 Scott Zwizanski (USA) Priority Health p/b Bissel 3.29 75 Nick Reistad (USA) Jelly Belly 76 Fausto Marcelino Esparza (Mex) Tecos De La Universidad 3.49 77 Matthew Rice (Aus) Jelly Belly 3.55 78 Henk Vogels (Aus) Toyota-United 79 Andrew Bajadali (USA) Jelly Belly 80 Karl Menzies (Aus) Health Net - Maxxis 81 Charles Bradley Huff (USA) Slipstream p/b Chipotle 82 Juan Pablo Magallanes (Mex) Tecos De La Universidad 3.59 83 David Veilleux (Can) Jittery Joe's 9.17 DNF Alejandro Acton (Arg) Colavita-Sutter Home DNF Gustavo Artacho (Arg) Colavita-Sutter Home DNF Eudaldo Asencio (PuR) Caico DNF Ian Ayers (USA) Rite Aid DNF Rahsaan Bahati (USA) Rock Racing DNF Ryan Belliveau (Can) Calyon - Litespeed DNF Brooke Boocock (Can) Calyon - Litespeed DNF Mark Cavendish (GBr) T-Mobile DNF Aidan Charles (USA) Nerac DNF Hilton Clarke (Aus) Navigators Insurance DNF Eduardo Colon (PuR) Caico DNF Phil Cortes (Can) Calyon - Litespeed DNF Wendy Cruz (Dom) Caico DNF Ryan Dewald (USA) Rite Aid DNF Michael Dietrich (USA) Kodak Gallery p/b Sierra Nevada DNF Alec Donahue (USA) Nerac DNF William Elliston (USA) Rite Aid DNF Richard England (Aus) Priority Health p/b Bissel DNF Agustin Font (PuR) Caico DNF Christopher Frederick (USA) Aeg-Toshiba-Jetnetwork DNF Mariano Friedick (USA) Rock Racing DNF Jos-Manuel Garcia (Mex) Toyota-United DNF Alexander Gonzalez (Col) Caico DNF Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) Team CSC DNF Cesar Augusto Grajales (Col) Jittery Joe's DNF Herberth Gutierrez (Col) Tecos De La Universidad DNF Juan Jose Haedo (Arg) Team CSC DNF Chad Hartley (USA) Bmc Racing Team DNF Peter Hatton (Aus) Colavita-Sutter Home DNF Greg Henderson (NZl) T-Mobile DNF Daniel Holt (USA) Nerac DNF Graham Howard (USA) Priority Health p/b Bissel DNF Alex Howes (USA) Slipstream p/b Chipotle DNF Allan Johansen (Den) Team CSC DNF Timothy Johnson (USA) Health Net - Maxxis DNF Michael Jones (USA) Jelly Belly DNF Eric Keim (USA) Aeg-Toshiba-Jetnetwork DNF Stephen Kincaid (USA) Rite Aid DNF Robbie King (USA) Priority Health p/b Bissel DNF Kasper Klostergaard_Larsen (Den) Team CSC DNF Peter Lopinto (USA) Kodak Gallery p/b Sierra Nevada DNF Erik Lyman (Can) Calyon - Litespeed DNF Luis Fernando Macias Hernandez (Mex) Tecos De La Universidad DNF Sterling Magnell (USA) Rock Racing DNF David Mccann (Irl) Colavita-Sutter Home DNF Dave Mccook (USA) Kelly Benefit / Medifast DNF Bryce Mead (USA) Jelly Belly DNF Scott Moninger (USA) Bmc Racing Team DNF John Murphy (USA) Health Net - Maxxis DNF Adam Myerson (USA) Nerac DNF Keith Norris (USA) Aeg-Toshiba-Jetnetwork DNF Michael Norton (USA) Rite Aid DNF Scott Nydam (USA) Bmc Racing Team DNF Kirk O'Bee (USA) Health Net - Maxxis DNF Cody O'Rielly (USA) Kodak Gallery p/b Sierra Nevada DNF Jakob Piil (Den) T-Mobile DNF Predrag Prokic (USA) Aeg-Toshiba-Jetnetwork DNF Ben Raby (USA) Kodak Gallery p/b Sierra Nevada DNF Greg Reain (Can) Calyon - Litespeed DNF Jacob Rosenbarger (USA) Bmc Racing Team DNF Ryan Roth (Can) Kelly Benefit / Medifast DNF Brian Sheedy (USA) Priority Health p/b Bissel DNF Ivan Stevic (SCG) Toyota-United DNF Sean Sullivan (Aus) Toyota-United DNF Jonathan Sundt (USA) Kelly Benefit / Medifast DNF Adam Switters (USA) Rock Racing DNF Dan Timmerman (USA) Kodak Gallery p/b Sierra Nevada DNF Jose Carlos Valdez (Mex) Tecos De La Universidad DNF Bradley Viera (USA) Rite Aid DNF Charly Vives (Can) Calyon - Litespeed DNF Maxime Vives (Can) Calyon - Litespeed DNF Nicholas Waite (USA) Kelly Benefit / Medifast DNF Patrick Walsh (USA) Nerac DNF Kyle Wamsley (USA) Navigators Insurance DNF David Wiswell (USA) Nerac DNF Todd Yezefski (USA) Nerac DNF Tom Zirbel (USA) Priority Health p/b Bissel Women 1 Ina-yoko Teutenberg (USA) T-Mobile Pro Cycling Team 55.10 2 Laura Van Gilder (USA) Cheerwine 3 Catherine Powers (USA) Aaron's Corporate Furnishings 4 Theresa Cliff-ryan (USA) Verducci Breakaway Racing 5 Tillotson Sarah (USA) Colavita Racing Inc 0.03 6 Sarah Caravella (USA) Aaron's Corporate Furnishings 7 Erica Allar (USA) Juice Plus 8 Kelly Benjamin (USA) Cheerwine 9 Dickey MacKenzie (USA) Colavita Racing Inc 10 Shannon Hutchinson-krupat (USA) Aaron's Corporate Furnishings 11 Jenette Williams (USA) Hub Racing 12 Christina Dekraay (USA) Ht Naturals/Bicycle Sport 13 Tricia Camila (USA) Verducci Breakaway Racing 14 Cromwell Tiffany (Aus) Colavita Racing Inc 15 Rebecca Larson (USA) Aaron's Corporate Furnishings 16 Leigh Valletti (USA) Targetraining 17 Rushlee Buchanan (Can) Jazz Apple Cycling Team 18 Marinez Veronica (Arg) Jazz Apple Cycling Team 19 Laura Bowles (USA) Advil Chapstick 20 Lisa Jellett (USA) Verducci Breakaway Racing 21 Wellons Rebecca (USA) Verducci Breakaway Racing 22 Kacey Mandefield (USA) Verducci Breakaway Racing 23 Jessie Maclean (USA) Verducci Breakaway Racing 24 Mara Miller (USA) Advil Chapstick 25 Kathryn Clark (USA) Harris Teeter Naturals 26 Kimberly Geist (USA) Team Lipton 27 Natalie Klemko (USA) Advil Chapstick 28 Yarden Golan (USA) Targetraining 29 Andrea Leubbe (USA) Juice Plus 30 Sarah Bamberger (USA) Cheerwine 31 Sarah Uhl (USA) Cheerwine 32 Lenore Imhof (USA) Colavita Racing Inc 33 Dale Tye (USA) Hub Racing 34 Kim Anderson (USA) T-Mobile Pro Cycling Team 35 Robin Farina (USA) Targetraining 0.08