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Commerce Bank Triple Crown
USA, June 3-10, 2007
Race 2 - June 7: Reading Classic, 75 miles
T-Mobile continues undefeated Philly week
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!"
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!"
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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Images by Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us
Images by Kurt Jambretz/www.actionimages.cc
Images by Michael Kirk/www.MLKimages.com
Men 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 Women 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