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Commerce Bank Triple Crown

USA, June 3-10, 2007

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Race 2 - June 7: Reading Classic, 75 miles

T-Mobile continues undefeated Philly week

Eisel again strongest when it counts

By Mark Zalewski, North American Editor in Reading, Pennsylvania

Bernhard Eisel (T-Mobile)
Photo ©: Jon Devich
(Click for larger image)

In Lancaster it was Bernhard Eisel (T-Mobile) out of a breakaway to take the win. Today in Reading, with a much bigger climb on the course, it was Bernhard Eisel winning out of the field, breaking away in the final 500 metres to take the win by 25 metres ahead of the sprinting bunch.

"Don't ask me how I did it!" a tired but happy Eisel told Cyclingnews just after the race. "At one kilometre to go I was like the last rider of our group. And I was like, 'Oh f**k!' I must have been sleeping at the moment - I was tired as well."

"With three kilometres to go I felt I was okay, but at 1km I told myself to move up, move up," said Eisel. "At 400 to go I passed them all on the outside. With two turns to go I said, 'Okay, take all the risk in the first [turn] and if you go through you get it, and if you don't go through, you'll go to sleep!'"

Before that moment it was the Navigators Insurance team controlling the race with four riders in the lead group working for sprinter Oleg Grishkin. But Eisel surprised everyone with the early move. "My guys were working great for me but the guy from T-Mobile just attacked a little bit early," said Grishkin. "I tried to catch him but I didn't - but third is better than nothing."

Defending champion Greg Henderson, Eisel's T-Mobile teammate, was happy with his performance today, finishing off a hard first-half of the season. "I was quite surprised with myself, I was just off the back on top of the climb - when I say just, I mean just! Twenty metres, but when you are on the limit you are on the limit. I've got bloody Eisel up there so it's nothing for me to worry about - but it seems three times up is one time too many!"

Team Slipstream
Photo ©: Jon Devich
(Click for larger image)

Danny Pate (Slipstream-Chipotle), who finished third here last year, was again in the final selection at this race. But in his opinion, adding two more ascents up Mt. Penn was not enough to deter the sprinters and force a real selection. "I was up there in the top 15," said Pate. "We never went quite as hard on the climb because we had to do it three times which meant more sprinters made it over for the end. We were hoping that me and Will could get in a group if we went up the hill hard one time. But it never happened and nobody was very aggressive on the other part of the loop."

Navigators Insurance's Sergey Lagutin agreed with Pate. "Today was really hard - it was everyone climbing strong so it was difficult to make a selection," he said. "I tried to help Oleg and it was not so bad, but we hoped to do better."

Eisel is the odds on favourite to win the Triple Crown title now, and with the way he is riding would be a smart bet for the win Sunday in Philadelphia. "I am really, really happy because I felt the race was easier but the climb was just one kilometre too long for me," he said. "The team was doing a great job today, even when they are not in great shape having done half of all the races in Europe this season - they need a break but they did great!"

How it unfolded

The men head out
Photo ©: Jon Devich
(Click for larger image)

With only 75 miles (120km) of racing to determine the winner, the peloton jumped off the start line with attacks, as if they were racing on a giant criterium course. Numerous riders attempted to break from the field, but as soon as the officials took their bib numbers down they were already caught by the field.

It was not until the second of three prime sprints (also contributing to the criterium metaphor) that launched the main break of the day. Christian Meier (Symmetrics) won the prime with Colombians Javier de Jesus Zapata and Wendy Cruz (Caico) taking second and third. This trio kept it rolling up to ten seconds with Kasper Klostergaard (CSC) bridging to replace Cruz who decided to sit-up for the field. Up and over the first hill out on the course the new three had thirty seconds, with the gap slowly but surely increasing.

A few other riders tried to bridge over the next laps, but the constant speed of the peloton prevented that, as well as preventing the break for gaining much more than a minute. Halfway into the race, the average speed was just over 26 mph (42 km/h) with the speed only decreasingly slightly from this to the finish.

The field bears down
Photo ©: Jon Devich
(Click for larger image)

With the first seven laps in the books, the break's lead was coming down from a minute as the peloton planned to make the catch at the bottom of Mt. Penn. Like clockwork, the field caught all but Zapata at the first hairpin turn of the climb. Irish champion David McCann (Colavita-Sutter Home) was the first rider out of the peloton to attempt a bridge to the Colombian, just one kilometre from the top. But Zapata held the lead to take the first KOM points on the top, holding a slight lead down to the bottom and into the start/finish area.

The race came back together with two laps showing. On the next ascent up Mt. Penn, the climbing Colombians were at it again, with Alejandro Cortes jumping to a slight lead. His move was eventually countered by Luke Roberts (CSC) and then Gregorio Ladino (Tecos). Ladino took the maximum points this time followed by Dominique Rollin (Kodak Gallery) and Neil Shirley (Jittery Joes). Rollin then decided to go it alone, and kept a six second lead all the way through the start/finish for the final lap. Eventually, Rollin was absorbed on the final lap - setting up a similar situation to last year's final lap.

Frank Pipp (Healthnet)
Photo ©: Jon Devich
(Click for larger image)

The first move came from an unlikely source - Frank Pipp (Health Net-Maxxis). "It was a little opportunistic and I knew Rory [Sutherland] is super strong and can make it over the climb with any of these guys," said Pipp. "I thought maybe if I hit it there I could string it out and get a small group off that Rory could make. He is pretty quick too."

Pipp held a lead half-way up the climb until the climbing-savvy Cesar Grajales (Jittery Joe's) made a counter-move, taking the KOM points ahead of Bernhard Eisel (T-Mobile) and John Parra (Tecos).

The lead group over the top, like last year, was about fifteen-riders strong, led by Grajales. In the final three kilometres, Navigators Insurance moved to the front to take advantage of their strength in numbers. "I felt really good in the last climb," said Grishkin. "My team saw me in the group and began to chase the guy off the front down. I just wasn't the strongest today."

Inside of 500 metres, before the final two turns, Eisel made his move - gaining a 25 metre lead and holding it through to the line ahead of Alejandro Borrajo (Rite Aid) and Grishkin.

Teutenberg continues the T-Mobile steamroll

Ina Teutenberg takes it
Photo ©: Jon Devich
(Click for larger image)

As in the men's race, the women were once again dominated by T-Mobile - more specifically Ina Teutenberg, who was able to ride wheels all day before outsprinting the field in a tough, uphill finish to make it two wins in as many races of the Commerce Bank Triple Crown.

"It was safer but it's hard!" said Teutenberg regarding the change in distance for the final turn from last year's course. "It hurts from 300 to 150 [metres] - then it flattens out but by then you are so tired and you can't hold it. You feel like you are standing still!"

Teutenberg was hardly standing still, especially compared to the rest of the field, led by current U.S. criterium champion Theresa Cliff-Ryan (Verducci Breakaway Racing) and Laura Van Gilder (Cheerwine). "Kelly Benjamin lead out of the turn and then Brenda Lyons - Laura was third wheel and went on the inside so I went outside," said Teutenberg. "Cheerwine led the last lap and kept a good speed so that nobody could come around, which was good for us."

Theresa Cliff-Ryan (Verducci/Breakaway)
Photo ©: Jon Devich
(Click for larger image)

Van Gilder, bested by Teutenberg again, was happy with her team's performance down the stretch. "Kelly and Sarah did almost the entire last lap," she said. "Throughout the race they kept attacking to keep people working."

In the first half of the race, it seemed as if the tables would be turned for the T-Mobile team - consisting of Teutenberg and Kim Anderson. "I kept trying to get into breaks because I felt really good today," said Anderson. "I thought maybe let Ina just relax a little bit and if it came back for a sprint, save a little so she could make it happen. I always knew I had her back there. She just follows wheels and always knows where to go."

Though the uphill sprint was a little harder, and the call at the line was a little closer than the race in Lancaster, Teutenberg was confident across the line. "It was close but I put up my arms - in the last 50 metres I felt myself pulling away."

Teutenberg will face much stiffer competition in Sunday's Liberty Classic, with teams and racers coming down from Le Tour du Grand Montréal - including last year's winner Regina Schleicher. But her first job is to avoid getting hit by a car, which happened last year while on a training ride the day before the race. "Yes, I hope I can avoid that this time," she said, laughing.


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us

Images by Kurt Jambretz/www.actionimages.cc

Images by Michael Kirk/www.MLKimages.com



1 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) T-Mobile                              2.48.54 (41.77 km/h)
2 Alejandro Alberto Borrajo (Arg) Rite Aid                          
3 Oleg Grishkin (Rus) Navigators Insurance                          
4 Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Navigators Insurance                         
5 Charles Dionne (Can) Colavita-Sutter Home                         
6 Kayle Leo Grande (USA) Rock Racing                                
7 Rory Sutherland (USA) Health Net - Maxxis                         
8 John Freddy Parra (Col) Tecos De La Universidad                   
9 Martin Pedersen (Den) Team CSC                                    
10 Caleb Manion (USA) Toyota-United                                 
11 Benjamin Brooks (USA) Navigators Insurance                       
12 Neil Shirley (USA) Jittery Joe's                                 
13 Luke Roberts (Aus) Team CSC                                      
14 Cesar Augusto Grajales (Col) Jittery Joe's                       
15 Andrew Bajadali (USA) Jelly Belly                                
16 Chris Wherry (USA) Toyota-United                                 
17 Edward King (USA) Priority Health P/B Bissel                     
18 Svein Tuft (Can) Symmetrics Cycling Team                         
19 Marco Pinotti, (Ita) T-Mobile                                    
20 Dominique Rollin (Can) Kodak Gallery P/B Sierra Nevada           
21 Eric Wohlberg (Can) Symmetrics Cycling Team                      
22 Mark Walters (Can) Kodak Gallery P/B Sierra Nevada               
23 Anthony Colby (USA) Colavita-Sutter Home                         
24 Justin Spinelli (USA) Kelly Benefit/Medifast                     
25 Christopher Jones (USA) Nerac                                    
26 Michael Grabinger (USA) Successfulliving.com                     
27 Alexander Gonzalez (Col) Caico                                   
28 Danny Pate (USA) Slipstream P/B Chipotle                         
29 David Vitoria (Swi) BMC Racing Team                              
30 Greg Henderson (NZl) T-Mobile                                    
31 David O'Loughlin (Irl) Navigators Insurance                      
32 Valery Kobzarenko (Ukr) Navigators Insurance                 0.23
33 Jackson Stewart (USA) BMC Racing Team                            
34 Allan Johansen (Den) Team CSC                                    
35 Hector Hugo Rangel (Mex) Tecos De La Universidad             0.32
36 Benjamin Jacques-Maynes (USA) Priority Health P/B Bissel         
37 Gregorio Ladino (Col) Tecos De La Universidad                    
38 Frank Pipp (USA) Health Net - Maxxis                         0.57
39 Michael Blaudzun (Den) Team CSC                                  
40 Jesse Anthony (USA) Kodak Gallery P/B Sierra Nevada          1.02
41 Daniel Holt (USA) Nerac                                          
42 Kasper Klostergaard Larsen (Den) Team CSC                        
43 Ben Day (Aus) Navigators Insurance                               
44 Jake Rytlewski (USA) Rite Aid                                    
45 Nicholas Waite (USA) Kelly Benefit/Medifast                      
46 Francois Parisien (Can) Slipstream P/B Chipotle                  
47 Herberth Gutierrez (Col) Tecos De La Universidad                 
48 Alejandro Ivan Cortes (Col) Caico                                
49 Emile Abraham (Tri) Priority Health P/B Bissel                   
50 Scott Nydam (USA) BMC Racing Team                                
51 William Frischkorn (USA) Slipstream P/B Chipotle                 
52 Kirk O'Bee (USA) Health Net - Maxxis                             
53 Roger Hammond (GBr) T-Mobile                                     
54 Curtis Gunn (USA) Successfulliving.com                       1.32
55 David Mccann (Irl) Colavita-Sutter Home                      1.48
56 Christian Valenzuela (Mex) Successfulliving.com              1.51
57 Cameron Evans (Can) Symmetrics Cycling Team                      
58 Matthew Rice (Aus) Jelly Belly                                   
59 Tyler Wren (USA) Colavita-Sutter Home                        2.15
60 Dominique Perras (Can) Kelly Benefit/Medifast                    
61 Javier De Jesus Zapata (Col) Caico                           2.21
62 Jorge Martinez (Col) Caico                                   2.36
63 Trent Wilson (Aus) Jittery Joe's                                 
64 Michael Friedman (USA) Slipstream P/B Chipotle               3.11
65 Stefano Barberi (Bra) Toyota-United                              
66 Davide Frattini (Ita) Colavita-Sutter Home                   3.14
67 Eric Baumann (Ger) T-Mobile                                  3.32
68 Ciaran Power (Irl) Navigators Insurance                          
69 Aaron Olson (USA) T-Mobile                                       
70 Matt Shriver (USA) Jittery Joe's                             4.07
71 Sean Sullivan (Aus) Toyota-United                                
72 Greg Reain (Can) Calyon - Litespeed                          6.26
73 Christian Meier (Can) Symmetrics Cycling Team                    
74 Todd Yezefski (USA) Nerac                                        
75 Christopher Frederick (USA) Aeg-Toshiba-Jetnetwork               
DNF Daniel Bowman (USA) Kelly Benefit/Medifast                      
DNF Martin Gilbert (Can) Kelly Benefit/Medifast                     
DNF Dave Mccook (USA) Kelly Benefit/Medifast                        
DNF Ryan Roth (Can) Kelly Benefit/Medifast                          
DNF Jonathan Sundt (USA) Kelly Benefit/Medifast                     
DNF Sebastian Alexandre (Arg) Rite Aid                              
DNF Eudaldo Asencio (PuR) Caico                                     
DNF Ian Ayers (USA) Rite Aid                                        
DNF Rahsaan Bahati (USA) Rock Racing                                
DNF Clayton Barrows (USA) Rite Aid                                  
DNF Alessandro Bazzana (Ita) Successfulliving.com                   
DNF Zachary Bell (Can) Symmetrics Cycling Team                      
DNF Ryan Belliveau (Can) Calyon - Litespeed                         
DNF Adam Bergman (USA) Colavita-Sutter Home                         
DNF Heath Blackgrove (NZl) Toyota-United                            
DNF Eric Boily (Can) Eva                                            
DNF Brooke Boocock (Can) Calyon - Litespeed                         
DNF Alex Candelario (USA) Jelly Belly                               
DNF Mark Cavendish (GBr) T-Mobile                                   
DNF Aidan Charles (USA) Nerac                                       
DNF Phil Cortes (Can) Calyon - Litespeed                            
DNF Chuck Coyle (USA) Successfulliving.com                          
DNF Michael Creed (USA) Slipstream P/B Chipotle                     
DNF Wendy Cruz (Dom) Caico                                          
DNF Luca Damiani (Ita) Colavita-Sutter Home                         
DNF Ryan Dewald (USA) Rite Aid                                      
DNF Michael Dietrich (USA) Kodak Gallery P/B Sierra Nevada          
DNF Joel Dion-Poitras (Can) Eva                                     
DNF Alec Donahue (USA) Nerac                                        
DNF Jason Donald (USA) Slipstream P/B Chipotle                      
DNF Evan Elken (USA) Jittery Joe's                                  
DNF Richard England (Aus) Priority Health P/B Bissel                
DNF Jacob Erker (Can) Symmetrics Cycling Team                       
DNF Ricardo Escuela (Arg) Successfulliving.com                      
DNF Fausto Marcelino Esparza (Mex) Tecos De La Universidad          
DNF Yosvani Falcon (Cub) Aeg-Toshiba-Jetnetwork                     
DNF Agustin Font (PuR) Caico                                        
DNF Mariano Friedick (USA) Rock Racing                              
DNF Jos-Manuel Garcia (Mex) Toyota-United                           
DNF Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) Team CSC                              
DNF Kyle Gritters (USA) Health Net - Maxxis                         
DNF Matthew Guse (Can) Calyon - Litespeed                           
DNF Juan Jose Haedo (Arg) Team CSC                                  
DNF Sebastian Haedo (Arg) Rock Racing                               
DNF Alex Hagman (USA) Aeg-Toshiba-Jetnetwork                        
DNF Ken Hanson (USA) BMC Racing Team                                
DNF Chad Hartley (USA) BMC Racing Team                              
DNF Peter Hatton (Aus) Colavita-Sutter Home                         
DNF Todd Henriksen (USA) Aeg-Toshiba-Jetnetwork                     
DNF Sergio Hernandez (USA) Rock Racing                              
DNF Graham Howard (USA) Priority Health P/B Bissel                  
DNF Alex Howes (USA) Slipstream P/B Chipotle                        
DNF Timothy Johnson (USA) Health Net - Maxxis                       
DNF Brice Jones (USA) Jelly Belly                                   
DNF Michael Jones (USA) Jelly Belly                                 
DNF Eric Keim (USA) Aeg-Toshiba-Jetnetwork                          
DNF Omer Kem (USA) Priority Health P/B Bissel                       
DNF Stephen Kincaid (USA) Rite Aid                                  
DNF Austin King (USA) Jittery Joe's                                 
DNF Peter Lopinto (USA) Kodak Gallery P/B Sierra Nevada             
DNF Erik Lyman (Can) Calyon - Litespeed                             
DNF Ian Macgregor (USA) Slipstream P/B Chipotle                     
DNF Luis Fernando Macias Hernandez (Mex) Tecos De La Universidad    
DNF Juan Pablo Magallanes (Mex) Tecos De La Universidad             
DNF Sterling Magnell (USA) Rock Racing                              
DNF Alexi Martinez (USA) Successfulliving.com                       
DNF Bryce Mead (USA) Jelly Belly                                    
DNF James Meadley (Aus) Jelly Belly                                 
DNF Karl Menzies (Aus) Health Net - Maxxis                          
DNF Shawn Milne (USA) Health Net - Maxxis                           
DNF Scott Moninger (USA) BMC Racing Team                            
DNF John Murphy (USA) Health Net - Maxxis                           
DNF Adam Myerson (USA) Nerac                                        
DNF Tommy Nankervis (Aus) Jittery Joe's                             
DNF Rudolph Napolitano (USA) Rock Racing                            
DNF Keith Norris (USA) Aeg-Toshiba-Jetnetwork                       
DNF Cody O'Rielly (USA) Kodak Gallery P/B Sierra Nevada             
DNF Garrett Peltonen (USA) Priority Health P/B Bissel               
DNF Jakob Piil (Den) T-Mobile                                       
DNF Andrew Pinfold (Can) Symmetrics Cycling Team                    
DNF Predrag Prokic (USA) Aeg-Toshiba-Jetnetwork                     
DNF Ben Raby (USA) Kodak Gallery P/B Sierra Nevada                  
DNF Andrew Randell (Can) Symmetrics Cycling Team                    
DNF Viktor Rapinski (Blr) Navigators Insurance                      
DNF Nick Reistad (USA) Jelly Belly                                  
DNF Jacob Rosenbarger (USA) BMC Racing Team                         
DNF Mathieu Roy (Can) Eva                                           
DNF Mike Sayers (USA) BMC Racing Team                               
DNF Nikola Smutny (Cze) Nerac                                       
DNF Cody Stevenson (Aus) Jittery Joe's                              
DNF Ivan Stevic (SCG) Toyota-United                                 
DNF Adam Switters (USA) Rock Racing                                 
DNF Joshua Taylor (USA) Rite Aid                                    
DNF Dan Timmerman (USA) Kodak Gallery P/B Sierra Nevada             
DNF Mathieu Toulouse (Can) Eva                                      
DNF Frank Travieso (Cub) Aeg-Toshiba-Jetnetwork                     
DNF Raphael Tremblay (Can) Eva                                      
DNF Jose Carlos Valdez (Mex) Tecos De La Universidad                
DNF Charly Vives (Can) Calyon - Litespeed                           
DNF Maxime Vives (Can) Calyon - Litespeed                           
DNF Henk Vogels (Aus) Toyota-United                                 
DNF Patrick Walsh (USA) Nerac                                       
DNF Ryan Yee (USA) Successfulliving.com                             
DNF Scott Zwizanski (USA) Priority Health P/B Bissel                


1 Ina-yoko Teutenberg (Ger) T-Mobile                        1.02.57 (38.35 km/h)
2 Theresa Cliff-Ryan (USA) Verducci/Breakaway                      
3 Laura Van Gilder (USA) Cheerwine                                 
4 Sarah Caravella (USA) Aaron's Corporate Furnishings              
5 Laura Yoisten (USA) Webcor Builders                              
6 Christina Dekraay (USA) HT Naturals/Bicycle                      
7 Brenda Lyons (USA) TEAm Lipton                                   
8 Laura Bowles (USA) Advil ChapStick                               
9 Shannon Hutchinson-Krupat (USA) Aaron's Corporate Furnishings    
10 Rebecca Larson (USA) Aaron's Corporate Furnishings              
11 Erica Allar (USA) Juice Plus                                    
12 Jennifer Bodine (USA) ABRT/Latitude                             
13 Heather Labance (USA) Advil ChapStick                           
14 Heidi Woolever (USA) ABRT/Latitude                              
15 Robin Farina (USA) Targetraining                                
16 Jenette Williams (USA) Hub Racing                               
17 Dale Tye (USA) Hub Racing                                       
18 Rushlee Buchanan (Can) Jazz Apple                               
19 Catherine Powers (USA) Aaron's Corporate Furnishings            
20 Kimberly Geist (USA) TEAm Lipton                                
21 Kim Sawyer (USA) BMW-Bianchi                                    
22 Ann Turner (USA) Land Rover                                     
23 Kathryn Clark (USA) Harris Teeter Natura                        
24 Mara Miller (USA) Advil ChapStick                               
25 Leslie Jennnings (USA) ABRT/Latitude                            
26 Andrea Leubbe (USA) Juice Plus                                  
27 Natalie Klemko (USA) Advil ChapStick                            
28 Sarah Bamberger (USA) Cheerwine                                 
29 Kelly Benjamin (USA) Cheerwine                              0.18
30 Kim Anderson (USA) T-Mobile                                 0.27
31 Sarah Uhl (USA) Cheerwine                                   0.39
32 Diane Castor (USA) C3/ADG/Joe's Bike Shop                   0.45
33 Nina Santiago (USA) Targetraining                           0.47
34 Tricia Camila (USA) Verducci/Breakaway                      1.18
35 Jacquelyn Crowell (USA) Cycle Science                       2.16
36 Michele Bote (USA) Hub Racing                               4.18
37 Becky Broeder (USA) Hub Racing                                  

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