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Commerce Bank Triple Crown

USA, June 3-8, 2008

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Race 3 - June 5: Commerce Bank Reading Classic (Men), 119.1km/74mi

Complete live report

By Sue George & Laura Weislo with additional reporting from Mark Zalewski

13:00 EDT    Hello and welcome to Cyclingnews' live coverage of the Reading Classic. The men are on the start line with the national anthem playing.

13:01 EDT    The racers are off!

13:02 EDT    They are not wasting any time. In the first kilometer, it's Gregory Henderson (Team High Road) and Richard Geng (Rite Aid Pro Cycling p/b Shebell & Shebell) going off the front.

13:03 EDT    Our first two leaders are caught. It's a hot and muggy day today - about 80 degrees. There's plenty of action at the front today.

13:05 EDT    None of the team cars are with the race in their places, so the officials are neutralizing the race. We started a little early today, and I guess everyone wasn't quite ready.

13:06 EDT    Because the race rolled off a little early, reportedly not every rider made the start. They are still neutral - maybe the missing racers will have a chance to catch up.

13:07 EDT    To dd to the confusion, there is a crash. A bunch of riders went down in the pack.

13:10 EDT    Five riders went down: Ryan Sullivan (Jittery Joes), Alberto Curtolo (Liquigas), Martyn Irvine (Pezula Racing), Ryan Sullivan (Jittery Joes), and Fred Rodriguez (Rock Racing). Needless to say, between the confusion of the start and the crash, the riders aren't happy.

13:11 EDT    The road is really bumpy. The crash was a result of one of the comm car's efforts to slow the bunch to 10 mph. The riders are still neutralized while those that missed the start and the missing team cars try to catch up.

13:13 EDT    The peloton has made their way up past the feed zone and down the descent. The comm cars let them go a bit faster than 10mph on the downhill and had to slow them back down for the ongoing neutral thereafter. Lap one is turning out to be an unplanned parade lap.

13:16 EDT    The pack passes under the start finish, ending lap one. They are still neutral, but the official word is that lap one will still count.

13:17 EDT    7miles/67miles to go They are officially started - at mile seven. That beginning had to be a bit of a buzz kill for some of the racers all warmed up, excited and ready to go from the gun.

13:21 EDT    There is some action at the front as a small group works itself off the front. The racers do ten laps; however on the three of the laps, they get to do an extension that takes them up Mount Penn for an extra challenge.

13:21 EDT    A small group is off the front with the field chasing. They are flying along, with plenty of attacks happening.

13:24 EDT    10miles/64miles to go The women raced earlier. In fact, they just finished up before the men began. At about the half-way point of the women's race, five escaped off the front. They got up to a minute gap, which was reduced to 20 seconds at the end, but they managed to hold on until the finish. Ina-Yoko Teutenberg (Team High Road) won the final five-up sprint. It's her second victory this week. She also won the Lehigh Valley Classic on Tuesday.

13:24 EDT    A group of fourteen men gets a gap of about 10 seconds, but their efforts are short-lived as a bunch of bridgers is bringing up the field.

13:25 EDT    The top five in the women's race were 1 Ina-Yoko Teutenberg (Ger) Team High Road - Women, 2 Joanne Kiesanowski (NZl) Team Tibco, 3 Laura Van Gilder (USA) Cheerwine Cycling, 4 Alison Powers (USA) Colavita/Sutter Home p/b Cooking Light, 5 Kristin Armstrong (USA) Cervelo Lifeforce Pro Cycling Team. Stay tuned to Cyclingnews for a full report, full results & photos coming soon!

13:28 EDT    12miles/62miles to go The field is together, but all strung out. Rock Racing is setting the pace going to the feed zone on this lap two. The race isn't very long today relative to many races these men do, but the humidity will take its toll. They will be sweating profusely which means it'll take a lot of water to keep them hydrated.

13:31 EDT    They pass through the start finish on Penn Street - wrapping up lap two. Eight laps to go. These first laps will fly by quickly as they don't climb Mountain Penn until the final three circuits. Two riders are off the front.

13:32 EDT    Matthew Crane (Health Net p/b Maxxis) and Cameron Evans (Symmetrics Cycling Team) get a slight gap, with three others chasing them in front of the field.

13:33 EDT    14miles/60miles to go They all come back together again.

13:34 EDT    Earlier today, the amateur racers and the elite women raced a shorter course, in downtown with each lap about 1.8 miles. They overlapped with the elite men's race on Court Street, 6th street, Cherry Street, Penn Street and part of 5th Street.

13:37 EDT    A Tecos - Trek rider attacks. It's Bernardo Colex. Erik Barlevav (Time Pro Cycling) is trying to bridge.

13:39 EDT    10 seconds separates the two leaders. The field is back at 25 seconds and the gap is growing quickly.

13:40 EDT    18miles/56miles to go The gap grows to 40 seconds. The peloton is not chasing as the ascend the feed zone hill.

13:47 EDT    21miles/53miles to go The peloton is starting lap four. Dark clouds are rolling in. Around here this time of year that often means a thunderstorm is brewing. It's still a little on the early side, so racers have a good chance of finishing up in time - nice and dry.

13:48 EDT    Our bridger, Erik Barlevav (Time Pro Cycling), is in process of getting caught by the peloton. His likely return is spawning a flurry of attacks. He is caught!

13:52 EDT    Leader Bernardo Colex (Tecos/Trek) toils on. The Mexican racer is still riding solo off the front. Some of you may recognize his name - last month, he placed second in stages three and five of the Doble Sucre Potosi G.P. Cemento Fancesa in Bolivia where he finished ninth overall.

13:53 EDT    Three bridgers, Thomas Soladay (Time Pro Cycling), Philipp Mamos (Team Sparkasse), and Bradley White (Successfulliving.com presented by Parkpre) are trying to make their way across.

13:54 EDT    No luck for them. They are caught by the peloton.

13:58 EDT    Colex is getting caught steadily. His gap is dropping - it's down to 10 seconds.

13:59 EDT    The race is all back together as the Liquigas team leads the peloton back into the heart of downtown Reading. They're single file and the pace is hot hot hot!

14:00 EDT    There are gaps forming all up and down the bunch as they scream into the start finish area for the start of lap five. Liquigas is still at the front, and Backstedt is about fifth wheel looking big and strong as always.

14:02 EDT    The gap has let go, and now it's HIgh Road, Liquigas and domestic pro David Guttenplan of Time Pro Cycling. Slipstream has made the bridge with Martijn Maskaant.

14:03 EDT    Glen Chadwick of Team Type 1 is up there now, as is Phillipp Mamos (Sparkasse) who is HURTING to hold the lead. Things are changing up front constantly. Mamos now has a Health Net rider on his wheel.

14:05 EDT    Things have come back together somewhat, as they head out with six laps to go. They'll have three more laps without Mt. Penn, but on the 8th, 9th and 10th laps they will face that nasty climb.

14:08 EDT    Stephen Cozza (Slipstream) launches a move, but he's quickly brought back by the active front of the bunch. Also up front is Ryan Sullivan (Jittery Joe's) and Matt Crane (Health Net) along with Liquigas' Maciej Bodnar.

14:10 EDT    Crane is very aggressive today, putting another dig that had a Tecos rider scrambling to maintain contact. The action has the pace up to a 28mph average - that's fast! But now they've decided that someone else can take charge of making the race hard. The bunch has gone from single file to spread all the way across three lanes in just a few seconds.

14:11 EDT    Perhaps the reason for the lull is this is the first lap for feeding. It's a pretty warm day, especially for the Europeans who have been having a cool, wet spring.

14:13 EDT    A CSC rider is happy that the field has eased somewhat as he gets a quick wheel change and then sets off chasing. He's got company from Amore & Vita's Soren Nissen of Denmark.

14:14 EDT    After the feedzone, the Colavita team put the hammer down and split a group of 12 from the front of the bunch. They're heading back to the start/finish with five laps to go! Two more laps before they head to Mt. Penn.

14:16 EDT    There are two riders trying to bridge now, and they've got a nice gap - this looks like a pretty solid breakaway - we'll try to get some names for you.

14:19 EDT    Here's our promising move of the day: Michael Friedman (Slipstream/Chipotle p/b H30), Vicente Reynes Mimo (Team High Road), Andreas Schillinger (Team Sparkasse), Matthew Goss (Team CSC), Michael Creed (Rock Racing), Ivan Santaromita (Liquigas), Luca Damiani (Colavita-Sutter Home), Doug Ollerenshaw (Rock Racing), Ian MacGregor (Team Type 1), Miguel Martinez (Amore & Vita-McDonalds), Ben Jacques-Maynes (Bissell). They've opened up 30 seconds on the field, and there are a couple chasers.

14:21 EDT    Nick Frey (Time Pro Cycling), Daniel Vaillancourt (Toshiba - AEG) and Jake Rytlewski (Rite Aid Pro Cycling p/b Shebell & Shebell ) are trying to chase, as are Michael Stevenson (Amore & Vita-McDonalds), Mike Sayers (BMC Racing) and John Murphy (Health Net p/b Maxxis)

14:24 EDT    All of our bridgers have been caught, but our group up front is working smoothly together, holding that 30 second gap. We've got Creed and Ollerenshaw of Rock Racing looking very green. Ollerenshaw is pedaling squares to keep the pace going, while Friedman pulls through looking a bit like he's on a motorcycle in comparison.

14:25 EDT    38miles/36miles to go We're about halfway through the race, and this break is looking good for now. All are taking even pulls, although some are finding the pace harder than others. Luca Damiana initiated the break after attacking out of the feed zone, and he's pushing a gigantic gear for such a small guy.

14:26 EDT    The break heads through the feed zone hill, this time Damiani lets his group get some cold water, which Creed promptly dumps over his head. They're heading up a small rise now, but then turn right and get a nice little descent.

14:28 EDT    Matt Goss (CSC) is no stranger to the Triple Crown. He heled JJ Haedo to the win in Philadelphia last year.

14:28 EDT    Even though the break is working well, the field is not interested in letting them go - their gap is falling down.

14:30 EDT    40miles/34miles to go The sun is shining brightly now, and the first of a massive heat wave is beginning here in Pennsylvania. It's supposed to be nearly 35C/95F on Sunday for the Philadelphia race! Here in Reading, it's not hot in the shade, but if you're a bike racer struggling with this single-file pace??? Hot!

14:31 EDT    They head through the finish line with four laps to go - one more short lap and then we add in the hill. The break is in sight of the field now - they're starting to look around as Reynes takes the front and picks up the pace.

14:32 EDT    Creed and Ollerenshaw are trying to keep this rolling, but the peloton is getting bigger behind them now. It's just about all over!

14:33 EDT    Ollerenshaw doesn't want to give up and he counters! He opens up a decent sized gap, but uh-oh - here is where the heat kicks in and saps the strength from the legs and it's like riding through tar. The counters come and fly past.

14:35 EDT    There is a bit of indecisiveness in the pack, and they spread out across the road waiting to see who will make a move. Meanwhile, the back of the field is being decimated from the hard chase of that last lap. Riders are dropping like flies.

14:36 EDT    Team High Road is at the front hoping to score double wins today - Ina Teutenberg won for the women this morning. Will Bernhard Eisel repeat his win of last year today? Michael Stevenson (Amore & Vita) doesn't think so, and he attacks!

14:37 EDT    Stevenson is one of two Swedes in the race - he and Magnus Backstedt represent that country. He is now caught, but there are gaps behind a group of about 15 at the head of the race.

14:39 EDT    44miles/30miles to go Just 30 miles to go (48km) and Kelly Benefit Strategies finds their way to the front to see what the road looks like. One of the KBS riders attacks - and is covered by a Pezula rider. There is still a split behind a large group.... but it's not quite a breakaway yet!

14:40 EDT    It looks like more than 20 riders up front and the field is falling further and further behind. They're about 20 seconds behind this big group with two High Roads at the front. Liquigas is in there as is Pezula, Symmetrics, Colavita, Slipstream...

14:41 EDT    Pezula doesnt' like the size of the group and attacks. They hit the feed zone - Health Net is up there with Slipstream... we have another attack!

14:43 EDT    It's Slipstream on the move - he's got about 10m on the rest of that break. Looks like it could be Frischkorn? He doesn't make it - Symmetrics chases him down, but he keeps driving it to try and split the group.

14:43 EDT    Sebastian Frey (Sparkasse) has a flat - too bad, because the peloton is single file and just about to make contact with the big group up front - and they're screaming into downtown Reading for the end of lap 7 at a breakneck pace.

14:45 EDT    Liquigas counters! He's opening a nice gap ahead of a TT1 rider, but the scrappy man hustles it up to the Italian's wheel and the pair have a small lead with gaps in the single file field all behind them. Three laps to go!

14:47 EDT    49miles/25miles to go Now four more riders bridge across - and then a few more struggle up to the front. We've got seven riders now and some good representation. CSC, Liquigas, Toyota, Health Net, TT1, Symmetrics, and five more coming across with Slipstream, Amore & Vita and more CSC.

14:51 EDT    So we had a big group off the front - lots of guys: Roger Hammond (Team High Road), Kasper Klostergaard Larsen (Team CSC), Jeffry Louder (BMC Racing), Tyler Farrar (Slipstream/Chipotle p/b H30), Richard England (Bissell), Alejandro Alberto Borrajo (Colavita-Sutter Home), Rory Sutherland and Kari Menzies (Health Net p/b Maxxis), Nicholas Reistad (Jelly Belly), David O'Loughlin (Pezula Racing), Fred Rodriguez and Oscar Sevilla (Rock Racing), Mark Walters and Francois Parisien (Team R.A.C.E. Pro), Eric Baumann (Team Sparkasse), John Fredy Parra (Toshiba - AEG), Dominique Rollin and Ivan Stevic (Toyota - United Pro Cycling Team). They were off the front and guys were bridging left and right, so the smart men decided to break things up a bit. Now eight men are surviving in the break.

14:52 EDT    50miles/24miles to go We've got last year's winner, Eisel, up at the front in the group of eight, with the big group behind and one bridger. The main peloton is 25 seconds back with 24 miles to go.

14:53 EDT    The group of chasers is not well organized - they are attacking each other instead of working together. 15" to the chasers, 30" to the field and we've got more riders trying to bridge.

14:55 EDT    Three riders are bridging the gap to the leaders - two are together, and one is just behind trying to get on terms. It's Roger Hammond hoping to get up to his teammate Eisel, and David O'Loughlin (Pezula) trying to bridge.

14:56 EDT    Meanwhile, Dan Timmerman (R.A.C.E) has sat up and gone back to the chasing bunch.

14:57 EDT    They hit the climb for the first time and Sevilla attacks!

14:58 EDT    It was just a probing move - he looks around to see how much pain he's caused to his companions. Now he is setting the pace, waiting.

15:00 EDT    The speed on this climb is well down as Sevilla sets a steady tempo. The peloton is starting the climb below, and it's stee-eeeep. 10mph in parts!

15:02 EDT    Hammond and O'Loughlin have made the juncture, so our group up front has grown to 14 now! Bernhard Eisel and Roger Hammond (Team High Road), Kasper Klostergaard Larsen and Lasse Bochman (Team CSC), Maciej Bodnar (Liquigas), William Frischkorn (Slipstream/Chipotle p/b H30), Alejandro Alberto Borrajo and Luis Amaran Romero (Colavita-Sutter Home), Rory Sutherland (Health Net p/b Maxxis), Oscar Sevilla (Rock Racing), Svein Tuft (Symmetrics Cycling Team), Darren Lapthorne (Team Sparkasse), Caleb Manion and Dominique Rollin (Toyota - United Pro Cycling Team) are our men up front.

15:03 EDT    They hit the KOM, and Sevilla rocketed away to take the points. KOM #1 Results: 1 Oscar Sevilla (Spa) Rock Racing, 2 Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Liquigas, 3 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Team High Road

15:04 EDT    The little Mexican climber Moises Aldape (Team Type 1) made the bridge to the leaders, so it's 15 up front as they head through downtown Reading for the start of two laps to go.

15:07 EDT    55miles/19miles to go The leaders have 35 seconds on the field which appears to have absorbed the chasing group. The break is rotating smoothly as they head out for another trip up Mt. Penn.

15:10 EDT    Jittery Joe's has missed this move, and they've got a guy trying to bridge now. We can't imagine the riders in this break will be happy to have both Hammond and Eisel up there. Even the High Road riders will be watching Toyota's Rollin, who has demonstrated that he's not afraid of the ProTour designation that team carries.

15:12 EDT    Health Net has Rory Sutherland up here, and he's got a strong helper in John Murphy. However, the lead is shrinking and it's down to 15 seconds. Hang on for counter attacks!

15:13 EDT    The break is too big to last, and now they've realized it's futile and sit up to catch their breath and wait for the counters, which are inevitable.

15:14 EDT    It's all back together now as they head toward the second KOM. Bissel puts in a dig, but it's covered easily.

15:14 EDT    Mike Creed (Rock Racing) told Mark Zalewski that his team will be working for Oscar Sevilla today. He is reportedly flying. He will try to lead the squad up the last climb. The race today will be to the top of the last climb - from there, it's all downhill to the finish.

15:16 EDT    High Road heads back to the front. They'll be trying to keep the race together for any of their sprinters - they have a few. Eisel, Hammond - and the Points Competition winner from Georgia, Greg Henderson. Greg Henderson told Mark Z this morning that the conditioning for him and a lot of the guys has been really good, but they've been really affected by all the travel this week. Tuesday was hard on them. Every day, one guy is good and another guy is bad, but hopefully today they can get it together. He won this race two years ago in 2006.

15:16 EDT    As they head into the trees for the KOM, Tecos launches an attack. He gets a nice gap as KBS covers the front. Nobody is coming after him for now - they know the real race is for the last KOM, not this second one.

15:18 EDT    It's Bernardo Colex (Tecos), and he's on the climb now looking strong. The peloton is nowhere in sight!

15:18 EDT    Michael Stevenson (Amore & Vita-McDonalds) is chasing, but he can't see Colex on the twisty, turny climb.

15:19 EDT    1km to go to the KOM for Colex, who is still looking quite strong despite the effort. He's in the small ring powering through the steepest part of the hill.

15:20 EDT    200m to go and Colex will get this KOM, and Stevenson will take second - the two are separated by 10 seconds, with the peloton 25 seconds behind the leader.

15:20 EDT    Whoops! We spoke too soon, and Glen Chadwick (Team Type 1) rocketed past Stevenson on the hill.

15:22 EDT    Colex is still rocking, Stevenson was caught before the top, and Chadwick is leading the field as it hits the quick descent from Mt. Penn. Colex is ripping it through the turns fearlessly.

15:23 EDT    Results of KOM #2: 1 Bernardo Colex (Tecos de la Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara), 2 Oscar Sevilla (Rock Racing) 3 Gregorio Ladino (Tecos de la Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara)

15:24 EDT    Colex is nearing the 1km to go and has some company! Moises Aldape (Team Type 1), Valery Kobzarenko (Team Type 1) and Oscar Sevilla (Rock Racing) have made it across!

15:24 EDT    There's a crash in the field - and now Colex is struggling to stay with his new friends. Sevilla is having trouble keeping up with the Team Type 1 duo, too! They're heading into the last lap!

15:25 EDT    65.5miles/8.5miles to go One to go one to go one to go for our leading four Two riders are coming across to the leaders as High Road leads the bunch through the start/finish.

15:27 EDT    Looks like Darren Lill (BMC) and Rory Sutherland went down. Our four men up front are not exactly motors on the flats - they're all pretty small climber types. They're about to be joined, perhaps, by the two chasers, Frank Pipp (HNM) and Christian Meier (Symmetrics).

15:29 EDT    High Road and CSC are back in the field trying to set up the sprint for Eisel and Breschel, while up front Sevilla is pushing the pace. The peloton is waiting a bit to close this gap down.

15:29 EDT    The two chasers have given up their efforts, and the steady pace of High Road is keeping the leaders from extending their gap.

15:31 EDT    Justin Spinelli is the next victim of a flat tire. There have been a lot of those today, perhaps due to last night's heavy rains washing debris onto the road. But now it's dry and warm for the riders who are well into the last lap.

15:31 EDT    The break is beginning to waiver - Sevilla and Kobzarenko are doing most of the work. They were holding 20 seconds and now?

15:33 EDT    The gap is down to 15 seconds, and now Colex musters some strength to take a pull. But the TT1 duo is putting in the bulk of the pacemaking with Sevilla.

15:34 EDT    68miles/6miles to go They've got six miles to go, or about 10km - but the field is sitting up! They're spread all across the road waiting to pounce.

15:35 EDT    Toyota United will be getting Dominique Rollin into position, while High Road will be setting up Eisel or perhaps Henderson. Slipstream will be getting Tyler Farrar into the mix. Up front, Colex gives up the wheel as Sevilla drives it, attacking up a small rise to break up the TT1 duo.

15:36 EDT    They're on the feed zone hill now, and Sevilla attacked and only Aldape could hold on. They've dropped Colex and Kobzarenko in a big way.

15:36 EDT    Sevilla goes again! Aldape is not able to hold the wheel and Sevilla is alone at the front!

15:37 EDT    Sevilla is on the final KOM all by himself - could this be a solo win for Rock Racing?!

15:38 EDT    1km to go to the top, and then only 2.5 miles from the top to the line - and Sevilla is absolutely killing it up this climb!

15:39 EDT    Sevilla is just drilling it, out of the saddle and big-ringing the climb: 20mph up this section with 200m to go.

15:40 EDT    The chasers are now 20 seconds behind Sevilla, who is on the descent and giving absolutely everything he's got left in the tank. Throttle open with 3km to go!!!

15:40 EDT    The field is 30 seconds back! It will be close, but can the little Spaniard get it? Can he hold off the chase?

15:41 EDT    He's sprinting out of the saddle and pumping the pedals with all his might - tongue hanging out and in the drops: all signs of a man who is working very, very hard.

15:42 EDT    THe sun is shining down on Sevilla as he hurtles out of one of the last turns and nearly goes up on the curb. He's got to win this one - there is no way the field can get this rider - he's possessed! 1km to go!

15:42 EDT    He takes a look back expecting to see the field, but into the last turn there is nobody there!

15:43 EDT    Second to last turn, rather - still one more turn to go and he'll see the finish.

15:43 EDT    500m to go, and no peloton in sight, the Rock Racing team will get its biggest win of the year here in Reading!

15:43 EDT    Out of the saddle and into the home straight, Sevilla has plenty of time to celebrate as he takes the win!

15:44 EDT    Looked as if a High Road rider might have escaped the field to take second -yes, it was the young Norwegian Edvald Boassen Hagen. But that's little consolation for the team of the defending champion.

15:47 EDT    Thank you for tuning in to Cyclingnews' live coverage of the Commerce Bank Triple Crown! Check back soon for the results, report and photos for both the men's and women's race. Please also join us on Sunday, June 8 for live coverage of the Philadelphia International Classic.

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