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Commerce Bank Triple Crown

USA, June 3-10, 2007

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Stage 2 - June 7: Reading Classic, 75 miles

Complete live report

13:41 EDT   
Thank you for joining us for the 2007 Reading Classic; the second race in the 2007 Commerce Bank Triple Crown. We have manuevered the Cyclingnews live coverage blimp into position above Reading, Pennsylvannia and have spectacular weather in which to follow the race; clear skies, mild to warm temperatures, low humidity. The men's race gets underway in about twenty minutes. The men race on a 12-kilometer circuit in and around downtown. There is little elevation change in each lap, two climbs that each gain only 40 meters in about one kilometer. In the final three laps though, the course changes routes and sends the men up a climb that gains a little more than 100-meters elevation in two kilometers with a couple of steep picthes in the middle so we should see final selections made towards the end of the race.

13:44 EDT   
The women's race finished a short time ago. Ina Teutenberg (T-Moble) won a field sprint ahead of Theresa Cliff-ryan (Verducci Breakaway Racing) and Laura Van Gilder (Cheerwine). Two of Van Gilder's Cheerwine teammates led the final lap in attempt to setup the team's key sprinter. Teutenberg marked Van Gilder and was able to kick for the her second win in the Triple Crown.

13:54 EDT   
One other note about the course - the finish is slightly uphill and extended from last year to about 250 meters long. If the men's race does end in a bunch sprint, the riders won't have an easy go of it as there is a breezy headwind into the finish.

13:59 EDT   
The riders are gathering at the start. Giro Maglia Rosa wearer and Cyclingnews diarist Marco Pinitto is lining up although he wasn't on the original start list for the race. He was originally scheduled to come over right after the Giro and compete in all three Triple Crown races but said in his diary "But the team let me go home for two days and I left only the following Wednesday to ride the Commerce Bank races. Now, I am here and it's nice to be calm and serene in Philadelphia, far away from the post-Giro climate."

13:59 EDT    121km/0km to go
And we're off.

14:01 EDT   
There will be three intermediate sprints in the race; at 9, 7 and 5 laps to go. There will be ten total laps.

14:02 EDT   
Phil Cortes of Calyon-Litespeed is taking a quick dig and has 50-meters.

14:03 EDT   
He is quickly pulled back. But three new riders take a chance on the first downhill of the course.

14:04 EDT   
They too are brought back. Which means the pace is high right from the start.

14:06 EDT   
Our peloton reporter, Mark Zalewski, caught up with a couple of riders at the start. T-Mobile's Aaron Olson, fresh from the Giro just like his teammate Marco Pinotti, said he feels really good and want to make an impact in the race today. "I feel better than I did last year after the Giro," he said. "Last year, I had my tongue hanging out in this race."

14:07 EDT   
There continues to be a lot of action at the front of the race, one rider after another rolling to the front and testing the elasticity of the bunch. But so far, things are under control and the group is all together.

14:07 EDT   
Except for Mark Cavendish (T-Mobile) who just flatted and had to take a wheel off the back of the peloton.

14:08 EDT   
Irish national champion David McCann (Colavita) is taking his chances and has 50-meters.

14:08 EDT   
Again, immediately pulled back.

14:11 EDT   
Aaron Olsen said he wants to be a help. But to whom? T-Mobile has defending Reading champion Greg Henderson. Hendserson says he's not sure about his chances to repeat his 2006 victory since he was asked to prepare for early-season success (Quatar and Tour of California) and is coming up on a much-needed break in racing. T-Mobile played Berhard Eisel with great success in the first race of the series (Lancaster Classic). Maybe Eisel has the green light again today. Maybe Pinotti will take his Giro form to the front. Maybe Henderson. Man, they have a lot of angles avaiable to them!

14:12 EDT   
The average speed of the race in lap one is 43 kilometers per hour.

14:13 EDT   
Probably thanks to the sunny weather and the international nature of the field, there are nice crowds at the key spots on the course.

14:14 EDT   
The riders are passing the start-finish line and will have nine laps to go. They are sprinting for the first sprint prime (Primium prizes not sprint points as listed earlier).

14:15 EDT   
Michael Dietrich (Kodak Gallery) has jumped in an attempt to grab the prime.

14:18 EDT   
A break seems to be forming now. Alejandro Cortez (Caico Cycling Team) bridged to Dietrich first. A group of five other riders is attempting to join them.

14:20 EDT    14.1km/106.9km to go And the group is all back together again.

14:22 EDT   
Back to quotes from the start line: former Canadian national champion Francois Parisien says his Slipstream teammates are working for Danny Pate. "Danny really wants to win this race," he said. Pate featured in a break late in the Lancaster race that setup Eisel for the eventual win so he seems to have the legs for a late-lap surge.

14:26 EDT   
On the second climb of the second lap, teams Jelly Belly, Health Net and Kelly Benefit Strategies are working the front and keeping the pace up. Setting up for a break? Keeping it together for their chances in a sprint? I wonder.

14:27 EDT   
Luca Damiani (Colavita) is taking a try and has 100 meters on the field after the feed zone; about a 12-second advantage. That's the second Colavita rider to try and pull a break out the bunch.

14:30 EDT   
The Navigators team is chasing but Damiani has ten seconds as the race passes through the start/finish line for a second time. Keith Norris (AEG-Toshiba) has bridged.

14:31 EDT   
Michale Blaudzun (CSC) and Clearan Power (Navigators) are trying to bridge but they are pulling the field with them.

14:32 EDT   
Them the BMC and Health Net teams pulled the break back together. Nothing is getting away today. Maybe the riders are worried about how short the race is and want things to be settled on the final three laps (the ones with the extra elevation in them).

14:39 EDT   
It shouldn't be surprising that the pace is so high - this is a quality field. There are seven championship jerseys in the race: Sergey Lagutin (Navigators) is the Uzbekistan national champion. David McCann (Colavita) is the Irish national champion. Martin Gilbert (Kelly Benefits Strategies) is the Pan-American champion. Domonique Rollin (Kodak Gallery) is the Canadian national champion. Emile Abraham (Priority Health) is national champion of Trinidad and Tobago. Svein Tuft (Symmetrics) is the UCI America's Tour leader. Allan Johansen (CSC) in Denmark's national champion.

14:42 EDT    31km/90km to go The riders are coming up on the start/finish line where they will have seven laps to go. There is a prime sprint at the line for cash.

14:43 EDT   
And the group is all together 500-meters from the line so we (hopefully) will be seeing the first real sprint of the day.

14:44 EDT   
A symmetrics rider is sprinting...

14:46 EDT   
Christian Meier (Symmetrics) won the prime. Javier de Jesus Zapata (Caico) took second and Wendy Cruz (Caico) took third. The sneaky three also pulled themselves ten seconds ahead of the pack.

14:47 EDT   
Kasper Klostergaard (CSC) bridged while Cruz dropped back so we still have three away; twenty seconds ahead at the top of the first climb.

14:49 EDT    36km/85km to go The trio have thirty seconds advantage now.

14:51 EDT   
Forty seconds.

14:53 EDT   
There is a rider down in the field - Nick Reistad (Jelly belly)

14:54 EDT   
While we wait for word on the downed rider, Jonathan Sundt (Kelly Benefits Strategies) is attempting to bridge to the break and is dangling 40-seconds behind the leaders.

14:55 EDT   
Reistad is back on his bike and rolling; trying to get back in the peloton.

14:57 EDT   
The field is a full minute behind the break now as Ryan Dewald (Rite Aid) tries to bridge.

15:01 EDT   
Of the rider's in the break, Christian Meier was most active in Monday's Lancaster classic. He was part of an early break but flatted and fell out of it. He then initiated the later break that contained eventual winner Bernhard Eisel.

15:02 EDT    45km/76km to go The leaders have grown their advantage to 1:10 as they pass the start/finish line. They have six laps remaining.

15:05 EDT   
Dewald has come back to the peloton. Sundt is holding on at 35 seconds; still hoping to get across to the three-man break. But Klostergaard is doing the lion's share of pacemaking and keeping the throttle all the way open at the front.

15:11 EDT   
The feed zones are now open and the riders in the break take fluid and food as they pass through it. The three have been taking long pulls at the front of their small group.

15:12 EDT    52km/69km to go Sundt seems to have sat up after the feed zone.

15:13 EDT   
He's been trying to bridge for a while and making no progress. He probably needs to save himself for the rest of the race.

15:14 EDT   
Clayton Barrows (Rite Aid) has abandoned.

15:16 EDT    54km/67km to go The average speed of the race is still relatively high; 26.1 mph (42 kph). The racers are averaging 15:43 laps.

15:17 EDT   
The leaders are through the start/finish line with five laps to go.

15:20 EDT   
From the break, Meier took the final sprint prime, followed by Klostergaard then Zapata. Once the race moves into lap seven, the final two miles of the course change to include additional climbing. A KOM prize is introduced for those three laps as well.

15:23 EDT   
The teams of the peloton seem to be cooperating nicely; the gap to the three leaders hasn't changes for a lap and remains at 1:10.

15:29 EDT   
Alejandro Borrajo (Rite Aid) is on the ground.

15:32 EDT   
The leaders are one kilometer from the start/finish line at which time they will have four laps to go (and one lap until the course change and extra climbing). They are holding the gap at 1:15. BMC and Priority Health are setting pace at the front of the main pack.

15:34 EDT   
There is an attack out of the main group. Fourteen riders are chasing.

15:40 EDT    70km/51km to go The large chase group was swallowed back into the main group. The intensity didn't erase the break's margin and the three breakaway riders are still over a minute ahead of the peloton.

15:40 EDT   
Emile Abraham (Priority Health) is not discouraged though and is attempting to break from the main pack.

15:45 EDT   
A new group is attempting to get away from the peloton and bridge to the leaders. Mike Sayers (BMC), Michael Grabinger (Successfulliving.com), Eric Wohlberg (Symmetrics), Kyle Gritters (Health Net/Maxxis), Oleg Greshkin (Navigators).

15:45 EDT   
But, no sooner do we type their names than they get caught.

15:45 EDT   
The break still has a one-minute lead.

15:47 EDT   
With one kilometer to the start/finish line, the leaders have 51-seconds advantage. There will be three laps to go when they cross the line.

15:54 EDT    76km/45km to go Scott Ziwanski (Priority Health) must have been involved in a tangle - he's abandoned with broken handelbars - aparantly damaged in a crash.

15:55 EDT   
And down they go agian - there has been a crash in the peloton. a large group of riders are affected and they are picking up and getting back on their bikes as quick as possible.

15:56 EDT    81km/40km to go Slipstream has put four riders on the front of the field, no doubt looking to position Pate for a jump in the final two laps. The gap to the three leaders is at 48 seconds.

15:57 EDT   
Colavita has contributed riders to the chase.

15:58 EDT   
The gap is coming down; at 25 seconds now. The main group is within sight of the leaders on the road.

16:00 EDT   
Through the feed zone (just before the newly-added per-lap climb), the gap is down to 15 seconds.

16:01 EDT   
Zapata is at the front of the break on the climb. There are KOM points (5, 3, 1) for the first three riders in these last three laps.

16:01 EDT   
Navigators and T-Mobile are leading the chase.

16:01 EDT   
Zapata is now alone as Meier and Klostergaard start to slip backwards.

16:02 EDT   
There is 1-kilometer remaining on the climb.

16:03 EDT   
David O'Laughlin has slipped off the front of the main pack on the climb but Zapata still leads the race.

16:03 EDT    85km/36km to go Klostergaard has been caught by the peloton.

16:04 EDT   
200-meters to the KOM and Zapata still has the lead.

16:05 EDT   
And he takes it. Gregorio Ladino (Tecos) and Will Frischkorn (Slipstream) take the other available KOM points out of the main pack.

16:07 EDT   
With 1-kilometer to the start/finish, Zapata is dangling off the front with a five second lead. The radce will have only two laps to go once the riders cross the line.

16:08 EDT   
David McCann (Colavita) has bridged to Zapata.

16:09 EDT   
There has been another crash in the peloton. Riders from AEG-Toshiba and Health Net/Maxxis are on the ground just as Zapata is caught by the group.

16:09 EDT   
Todd Henrickson (AEG-Toshiba) and Karl Menzies are the downed riders.

16:10 EDT   
And while they sort themselves out, counter-attacks are starting at the front of the race. Michale Friedman (Slipstream) and David O'Laughlin (Navigators) are away with David McCann (Colavita) right on their heels.

16:11 EDT   
They are immediately countered and three new riders move seven seconds off the front.

16:12 EDT   
BMC is working to bring it back.

16:14 EDT   
And the race is all together again leading into the second-to-last time up the big climb.

16:18 EDT    97km/24km to go The field is all sitting up and riding together. In the crowd, there are some kids holding a sign that says "throw tour bottles please!"

16:19 EDT   
Teams CSC and Health Net/Maxxis are setting pace. The race has almost made it to the feed zone. The climb begins shortly after.

16:21 EDT   
Alejandro Cortes attacked into the feed zone and has a six-second lead. There are three riders chasing him.

16:24 EDT   
Cortes was caught. And the small lead group is attacking on the climb. First, Luke Roberts (CSC) attacked then Gregorio Ladino (Tecos) countered and he is on his own with 200-meters to the KOM.

16:27 EDT   
The KOM winners were Ladino, Domonique Rollin (Kodak Gallery) and Neil Shirley (Jittery Joes). The group came back together on the downhill.

16:28 EDT    103km/18km to go Rollin took advantage of his position at the front of the pack though and made a quick jump. He has a six-second lead.

16:29 EDT   
The race has made it onto the bell lap - passing the start/finish line, Rollin is still away and an attempt to bridge to him failed. He has ten seconds.

16:31 EDT   
The riders are on the first climb of the last lap. Rollin is out of the saddle trying to keep his pace high. Caleb Manion (Toyota United) is trying to bridge.

16:32 EDT   
Cameron Evans (Symmetrics) is leading the chase.

16:33 EDT   
Rollins has been absorbed. The front of the peloton is stretched out.

16:35 EDT    108km/13km to go The group is all back together and sitting up. Looks like we'll see a final-climb shootout or a bunch sprint.

16:37 EDT   
The additional climbing has brought the average speed of the race down slightly - to 41 kph as T-Mobile, Navigators, Slipstream and Jelly Belly police the front of the group.

16:38 EDT   
Eric Baumann (T-Mobile) is sitting at the front setting pace.

16:40 EDT   
The entire field is still together into the feed zone for the final time. There's only the climb, a descent and a wicked slightly uphill sprint into a headwind left to decide the race.

16:41 EDT   
Frank Pipp is taking his chances and has 25-meters on the field.

16:42 EDT   
On the climb, Pipp is caught. Sergey Lagutin (Navigators is giving it a go.

16:43 EDT   
Cesar Grajales (Jelly Belly) rider attacks. A Tecos rider goes.

16:44 EDT   
Grajales has 50-meters and three riders are chasing.

16:45 EDT    112km/9km to go The four are over the top of the climb and the entire pack is coming together on the descent.

16:45 EDT   
Grajales took the KOM followed by Bernhard Eisel (T-Mobile) and John Parra(Tecos).

16:46 EDT   
There are 2-kilometers to go in the race (guess the race is shorter than published?). A group of fifteen are leading the main peloton by ten seconds.

16:47 EDT   
Navigators are leading the chase at the 1km banner.

16:47 EDT   
The lead group is caught at the final turn.

16:48 EDT   
The pack is winding up for a sprint but a T-Mobile rider has jumped and has 25-meters.

16:48 EDT   
Bernhard Eisel wins it on a flyer!

16:55 EDT   
We're waiting to hear who was able to nose out of the peloton for second and third. We'll post it here first then, of course, check back on Cyclingnews for complete results, photos and a race report from Reading.

16:55 EDT   
Oleg Grishkin (Navigators) finished third.

16:56 EDT   
Alejandro Borrajo (Rite Aid) finished second.

16:58 EDT   
And that wraps it up. Thanks for tuning it. Check back later for the full scoop. And tune in Sunday morning about 11am EST for full live coverage of the third race in the 2007 Triple Crown; the Philadelphia International Classic. Can Eisel go three-for-three?

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