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Commerce Bank Triple Crown

USA, June 3-10, 2007

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Race 1 - June 3: Tom Bamford Lancaster Classic, 85 miles

Eisel grabs rain-soaked Lancaster win

12:35 EDT
Welcome to Cyclingnews' coverage of the 2007 Commerce Bank Triple Crown. Coverage of the first of the three Triple crown prize races, the Tom Bamford Lancaster Classic, starts at 3pm EST (US) and we have fired up the US-based blimp and will fly it above Lancaster (Pennsylvannia) to bring you all the action live.

14:52 EDT   
The riders are gathering at the start and the race looks like it will go off at 3pm as planned. There is a light summer rain falling; remnants of Tropical Storm Barry that is soaking the southeastern portion of the United States today. Online weather forecasts call for the rain to grow heavy toward the end of the race.

14:55 EDT   
Women's race wrap-up: Ina Tuetenburg (T-Mobile) won the women's race at the 2007 Lancaster Classic a few moments ago, beating Laura Van Gilder (Cheerwine) and Catherine Powers (Aaron's Corporate Furnishings) at the line.

15:01 EDT   
Van Gilder won the CSC Invitational on Saturday becoming the only person to have won the race three times. Even though she is one of the most powerful sprinter's in the domestic women's peloton, she initiated and won the CSC race out of a long breakaway with Rebecca Larson (Aaron's Pro Cycling).

15:03 EDT   
Riders are listening to the national anthem. We should be underway in a moment.

15:05 EDT    137km/137km to go
And there off for the first of twelve laps of the 11.5 km circuit.

15:07 EDT   
According to the promoter, "the course begins and ends on Queen Street and heads onto Duke Street. Racers continue along Williamson and Rockford Roads and pass the “Feed Zone” in Lancaster County Central Park. The course is deceptively tricky as it winds through Lancaster with many sudden short hills and sharp turns."

15:08 EDT   
You can view a map by clicking on the Stage Details link at the top of the page.

15:09 EDT   
The riders are all together up the first climb of the day.

15:10 EDT   
The group is strung out on the descent as the speed begins to pick up.

15:14 EDT   
Team BMC is at the front of the race but it doesn't look like an attempt to get away. In fact, from the blimp, it looks like the peloton is being cautious in the early going of this race. They in for three hours of work and with the fresh rain making the roads slippery, it is probably smart decision to keep things under control for now.

15:16 EDT   
88 David Veilleux of Jittery Joes has jumped off the front and has a 50-meter gap at the top of Hershey Ace climb.

15:18 EDT   
The group is heading downhill towards the start/finish line now and five riders are off the front.

15:19 EDT   
There are some shifting turns in the final kilometer - including one sweep through a roundabout.

15:20 EDT   
The break was caught at the start/finish line but one rider immediately countered and five other riders went right after him.

15:21 EDT   
All together agian.

15:23 EDT   
The killer wrapped up the Giro D'Italia today - in case you're intersted in non-domestic racing :). Check out our coverage of the final stage.

15:27 EDT   
The race is up and down the first hill of the second lap. BMC, Kodak and Navigators are all swapping turns at the front.

15:28 EDT   
Keith Norris (AEG Toshiba) and Jeremy Powers (Jelly Belly) led over the top of the climb.

15:31 EDT   
James Meadley (Jelly Belly) has slipped off the front. Jorge Martinez (Caico Cycling Team) is chasing him on the climb up Hershey Avenue.

15:32 EDT   
The two breakaway riders have been caught and the peloton is all back together on the back side of the Hershey Avenue climb.

15:35 EDT   
The average speed of the race is 25.5 mph (41 km) with two laps in the books.

15:36 EDT   
A counterattack has spun off after the race entered the third lap. One of the riders is Michael Sayers (BMC). His breakmate, Sterling Magnell (Rock Racing) has dropped back to the group already.

15:36 EDT   
So Sayers comes back as well and the entire group slows and rides curb-to-curb.

15:38 EDT   
They are entering the park which contains the circuits first hill. The skies are noticable darker than when the race started - maybe the heavy rain is coming in after all.

15:41 EDT   
THe group is strung our in a long line after descending the climb in Lancaster County Central Park.

15:44 EDT   
Ben Raby (Kodak Gallery) and Michael Creed (Slipstream) led over the top of the second climb.

15:44 EDT   
Slipstream must have been a late addition to the race since they don't appear on our official start list.

15:46 EDT   
Colvita has moved to the front - seems like every team wants to spend a few minutes in the lead. Maybe to get a chance to ride out of the spray of a hundred other riders wheels and deal only with clean rain for a while.

15:47 EDT   
Christian Meier (Symmetrics), Tim Johnson (Health Net) and Mike Creed (Slipstream) are off the front.

15:48 EDT   
Johnson and Creed are powerful veteran riders. If they like their breakmate, we could be seeing the day's first successful break forming.

15:49 EDT   
Ideally though, they would get a little more help from the group to be sure they had a chance after working in a break that has a real chance of staying away from a peloton trying to settle things in a sprint.

15:50 EDT   
Ah, no sooner said than done; five riders are trying to get across. We'll have those names in a moment.

15:51 EDT   
And just to correct some misinformation from early in our live coverage, there are 13 laps not 12 in the race. The race is at ten-laps-to-go.

15:55 EDT   
The riders in the break are: Svein Tuft (Symmetrics), Matt Guse (Caylon-Litespeed), Nicholas Wait (Kelly Benifits 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).

15:57 EDT   
The break has opened up to 55 seconds and is out of sight of the main peloton now. The rain has also abated. For now.

16:00 EDT   
T-Mobile lacks a rider in the break and is setting tempo at the front of the main group.

16:02 EDT   
Actually, T-Mobile does have a rider in the break - Eric Baumann - but he is sitting on and not working at all while his team chases.

16:05 EDT   
The race is about to pass through the start/finish line and will have nine laps to go. The final straightaway is only 300-meters long and immediately follows at tricky turn through a roundabaout.

16:06 EDT   
Baumann is working in the break now. The gap to the main group is 1:05.

16:10 EDT   
Rain is falling lightly again as the break expands its lead to 1:30.

16:13 EDT    49km/90km to go
Baumann is being very active now that he has been given the go-ahead to work with the break, taking more than his fair share of turns up front.

16:18 EDT   
The spirit of Rob McKenna from the Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy must be pleased with the weather in Lancaster today. The rain has started agian; still light but threatening. Rob McKenna, of course, was minor character in the book sometimes referred to as a rain god - he was an "ordinary lorry driver who could never get away from rain and had a book of 233 types to prove it" (from wikipedia).

16:19 EDT    52km/85km to go
The race has passed the start/finish line again and has eight laps to go. The feed zone, located about halfway through the course, is open now so the break and the chase wil be getting some lunch shortly.

16:22 EDT   
The ride is headed back into Central Park.

16:23 EDT   
Mike Creed has moved to the front of the break on the climb in the park.

16:24 EDT   
The break's gap is dropping. At 1:10 now.

16:27 EDT   
Svein tuft (Symmetrics) is wearing the UCI Americas Tour leader's jersey.

16:29 EDT   
CSC is leading the main group and seems to be responsible for the diminishing gap to the break (now at 1:06).

16:30 EDT   
Caleb Manion (Toyota United) has flatted and slipped off the break for a wheel change.

16:32 EDT    61km/76km to go
The gap is down to 55 seconds with plenty of racing left in the day.

16:33 EDT   
Manion is back in the break after his wheel change.

16:34 EDT   
The break is heading through the start/finish line and will have seven laps to go in the race.

16:37 EDT   
A Symmetrics rider (Christian Meier we think) also flatted out of the break. He ever made it back though and is no with the main group.

16:38 EDT    66km/71km to go
The gap is down to 30 seconds and the break is within striking distance of the main pack.

16:42 EDT   
Trees obscured our view from the blimp - Meieir did not fall all the way back to the main group but it stuck in the gap to the break - at 15 seconds and still chasing. You have to admire his determination.

16:44 EDT   
CSC, who had been driving the chase, settled their tempo and have allowed the break to regain ten seconds of their lost advantage. With more than fifty kilometers to go, they may not want to take the break back only to see a counterattack go away and are opting to manage the gap and bring the break back closer to the finish.

16:45 EDT   
Tim Johnson has flatted and is getting a wheel - on the same part of the course as the two riders from last lap! There must be a seam in the road or a pothole.

16:46 EDT   
The gap is back to 1:10.

16:56 EDT    77km/60km to go
We have a modification to our list of break members from race radio - Eric Baumann (T-Mobile), Stephan Kincaid (Rite Aid), Caleb Manion (Toyota United), Mike Creed (Slipstream), Valeriy Kobzarenko (Navigators), Nicholas Wait (Kelly Benifits Strategies) and Scott Zwizanski (Priority Health). When it first got away, there was some shifting and the original group lost and gained a couple of riders before it was fully established. Those darn sneaky bike rider!

17:01 EDT   
Johnson and Baumann are putting pressure on the break, leading over the top of the climb in Central Park.

17:01 EDT   
Conditions are improving as well; the rain has stopped agian and the roads are beginning to dry.

17:02 EDT   
Waite and Kincaid are falling from the break.

17:05 EDT   
The break is through the start/finish line. There are five laps to go. The break is holding on to a 35-second advanatage to a chaser (we'll try to identify him).

17:07 EDT   
The peloton is at 42 seconds.

17:12 EDT   
The race is back through Central Park but rapidly coming back together. There will be four laps to go when the race makes it around the circuit this time and only 50 kilometers left to race.

17:15 EDT   
From the blimp, it looks like the main group can close the gap on the hills on the streets of Lancaster. The peloton is all single file and the gap is down to 15 seconds.

17:16 EDT    91km/46km to go
And the race is all together at 91 kilometers on the climb up Hershey Avenue.

17:19 EDT   
The counterattacks are beginning.

17:21 EDT   
But nothing is getting away yet as the overall speed remains very high through the start/finish line. There are now four laps to go in the race.

17:21 EDT   
Christian Meier, who flatted out of the original break, is attacking. Martin Pedersen (CSC) is coming with him.

17:23 EDT   
The pair have a fifteen second advantage and the field is noticably slowing.

17:27 EDT   
Over the climb in Central Park, Meier and Pederson are still away.

17:28 EDT   
Down the back side of the climb, the field is strung out.

17:31 EDT   
The rain has started again. A brief, three-man chase containg T-Mobile's Bernhard Eisel tried to get across but on the next climb, the man group all came back together. Pederson and Meier remain in front at 15-seconds.

17:32 EDT    101km/36km to go
Now they are caught.

17:35 EDT   
The peloton is two kilometers from the start/finish line and there are four riders trying to get away in the latest of a flurry of counterattacks. They have a 50-meter advantage.

17:36 EDT   
Two more riders have joined on as the group passes the finish line. There are three laps to go in the race. The six riders have a meager five-second advantage.

17:38 EDT   
The break has ten seconds but we're worried we might jinx them if we name them too soon.

17:39 EDT   
But here they are anyway: Sergey Lagutin (Navigators), Jonathan Garcia (BMC), Trent Wilson (Jittery Joes), Svein Tuft (Symmetrics), Bernhard Eisel (T-Mobile) and Frank Travieso (AEG-Toshiba)

17:40 EDT   
The break has 25-seconds as the race moves into Central Park for the tenth time.

17:41 EDT   
A light rain still plagues the race.

17:43 EDT   
Alejandro Borrajo of the Rite Aid team bridged across to the break.

17:44 EDT   
At the bottom of the descent of the climb in Central Park, the break has a 40-second gap over the main field.

17:52 EDT   
The break is through the start/finish line. There are two laps to go.

17:54 EDT   
Two riders have committed to a chase and broken off the front of the main pack.

17:56 EDT   

17:57 EDT   
Trent Wilson led the break over the climb in Central Park.

17:59 EDT   
Danny Pate of Slipstream is trying to bridge out of the main pack. He is 50-meters in front of the main group.

18:01 EDT   
The rain, whi has fluctuated in volume all day, has soaked the words pretty well for the final lap. With the tricky final corner and a short straightaway for sprinting, we might see a few tumbles in the last kilometer.

18:02 EDT   
The team cars are between the main group and the break though - maybe the race organizers and the teams believe the break can stay away. Which may lead to a safer final lap.

18:02 EDT    122km/15km to go
Pate has bridge successfully and is now with the break.

18:08 EDT   
The break is through the start/finish line and there is now only one lap remaining.

18:10 EDT   
The gap has opened up to 1:45 with less than one lap to go. There are a couple of climbs to get over and enough firepower in the break that it may succeed.

18:11 EDT   
The leaders are entering Central Park. Trent Wilson is leading the group to the climb with Lagutin and Barrajo on his wheel. Frank Pipp is in the break (we missed him earlier).

18:12 EDT   
Eisel is sprinting for the top of the climb.

18:12 EDT   
Frank Travieso fell behind on the climb but is crawling back into the group.

18:13 EDT   
Jonathan Garcia (BMC) lost his line and ended up in the grass at the side of the road for a few moments but was able to muscle his way back onto the road and is still with the break.

18:14 EDT   
Bernhard Eisel (T-Mobile) is off the front by ten seconds after making a push on the climb in Central Park..

18:16 EDT   
Eisel is out of the saddle trying to keep his advantage.

18:17 EDT   
Between the climbs in Central Park and Hershey Avenue, there are a number of small power climbs.

18:18 EDT   
Eisel is on Hershey Avenue now - which starts out flat but contains the last significant climb of the day. Eisel is 3-kilometers away from the finish.

18:19 EDT   
One rider is trying to bridge from the original break.

18:19 EDT    135km/2km to go
Two kilometers to go. The rain is really coming down now.

18:20 EDT   
The second rider has caught Eisel and the pair have only one kilometer to go. It looks like a Navigators jersey from the blimp. It could be Lagutin!

18:21 EDT   
The pair have fifteen seconds over the remnants of their breakaway group. There are 500-meters from the finish; negotiating the tricky final turns.

18:22 EDT   
No games on the finishing straight, the pair are straight-up sprinting.

18:22 EDT    137km/0km to go
And Eisel gets it!

18:22 EDT   
Lagutin takes second.

18:29 EDT   
Well, the Commerce Bank Triple Crown got off the wet and speedy start. Check back later tonight on Cyclingnews for a full race report, results and photos from Lancaster. We need to get the blimp on the ground and out of the rain (although the good news about being rained on all day is that the blimp won't need a wash). We'll be back with full Live coverage of the second race in the Tripe Crown; the Reading Classic on June 7th.

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