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Nature Valley Grand Prix - NE
USA, June 12-15, 2003
Stage 1 - June 12: Iron range road race, 98/61 miles
Mayolo-Pic rules Nature Valley with iron fist; the luck of the Irish hangs over Virginia
By Kristy Scrymgeour
Tina Mayolo-Pic (Diet Rite) has won the first stage of the Nature Valley Grand Prix, taking line honours from an elite group of eight riders that formed in the last 25 kilometres of the stage. Without the support of her teammates, Mayolo-Pic was strong enough to lead out the sprint and hold off her seven companions, three of whom from the might of Team Saturn.
The Iron Range Road race was a 100km stage in the beautiful country area of Virginia, Minnesota. On the flat course with rolling hills towards the end, the wind was going to be the decisive factor in determining the race outcome.
The race began aggressively and 40 kilometers into the race, an attack formed that split the field, creating a lead group of 14 riders. Making the cut were Saturn riders Katie Mactier, Manon Jutras, and Amy Moore; Karen Bockel, Erin Willock and Melissa Holt (Rona); Sarah Ulmer and Margaret Hemsley (Nurnberger); Dotsy Cowden (T-Mobile); Megan Long (Freddie Fu); Sarah Conrad (DeFeet) and Tina Mayolo-Pic (Diet Rite).
The break stayed together for the majority of the race until 25km to go when former Australian champion Margaret Hemsley saw the opportunity to start an onslaught of attacks as the terrain became more challenging. Rona followed Hemsley's initiative and continued to attack, but it was Saturn rider Monon Jutras who managed to split the break on a small pinch with only 7 of the 13 other riders able to go with her. Mactier, Cowden, Bockel, Hemsley, Ulmer and Mayolo-Pic immediately followed Jutras, with Amy Moore bridging up to the leaders in what would be the deciding break of the day.
The seven worked well together and gained a significant time gap over the peloton. Coming into town, riders faced an intermediate sprint on the completion of the first of seven, 2.5km finishing circuits, which Katie Mactier won from Tina Mayolo-Pic and Sarah Ulmer thanks to a strong lead-out from her teammates.
Confident that Mactier could do it again at the finish line, the Saturn duo of Jutras and Moore forced the pace in the break, hoping to keep it together. However in the all important sprint of the day, Mayolo-Pic (Diet Rite) showed her ability to go the distance when she led out from the final corner to take the stage and the race lead.
"Tina rode a very smart race today," said today's race aggressor Margaret Hemsley. "She worked just enough all day and positioned herself perfectly for the finish."
Ulmer was second and Mactier third from Bockel, Cowden and Hemsley. Manon Jutras and Amy Moore came in a few seconds down having spent themselves for Mactier.
Mayolo-Pic has had a very strong season to date, winning multiple criteriums in the national criterium champion's jersey and most recently at the prestigious Housatonic Valley Classic. She was also listed by many as a favourite in the Wachovia Liberty Classic last weekend where she placed 9th.
Tomorrow the riders face a double day of racing with the Mesabi Trail 10km time trial in the morning and an evening criterium in downtown Minneapolis.
Irishman Ciaran Power (Navigators) who showed off his sprinting prowess in the 156 kilometre men's event to take the stage from his two breakaway companions. With the help of a misguided chasing group, the three held off a class field of bike riders and finished the race with a minute to spare.
The men's race began in a similar vein to the women's race with a very aggressive start and an early break of four riders setting the scene for the day. Henk Vogels (Navigators), Adam Bergman (Jelly Belly), Tom Danielson (Saturn) and Murray Carter (Flanders/Minnesota Racing) made the first cut and were later joined by five others: newly crowned US Pro Champion Mark McCormack (Saturn), Ciaran Power (Navigators), Oscar Pineda (7UP-Maxxis), Doug Ollerenshaw (Broadmark) and Paul Erris.
The group worked well for most of the race and held off strong chases from both Shroeder Iron and US Postal, two teams missing unrepresented in the break. At one stage the chasers closed the gap to 30 seconds, but persistence paid dividends with the gap widening soon thereafter.
The decisive move came at the 100 kilometre mark when McCormack, Power and Bergman powered away and quickly built a lead of over a minute. Behind, groups started reforming and at one stage a group of 14 looked likely reeling in the leading group of three. Fortunately for the break, the chasers took a wrong turn and when they eventually got back on track, they found themselves behind the main peloton and a long way from the leaders - who had stretched their lead to 1'10" as they reached the town of Virginia to begin their first laps on the finishing circuit.
Saturn's Mark McCormack won the intermediate sprint on the first lap into town, and for the remaining laps, the break was content to ride together and save themselves for the final sprint. In the dash to the line, it appeared Bergman and McCormack, who was quietly confident from his performance last weekend at the Wachovia US Pro Championships, underestimated the speed of Ciaran Power who surprised the local crowd with an impressive sprint victory.
A minute later, Marty Northstein, perhaps more famous for his results on the track, won the bunch sprint for fourth place in front of Ivan Dominguez from Saturn.
Ciaran Power takes opening stage
By James Lockwood
Newly crowned U.S. National Champ Mark McCormack defended his jersey well today, but not well enough to hold off a determined Navigators squad who were out to show that they are just as strong as the might of Team Saturn. Riding a three-man break into Virginia, Minn., in inaugural Iron Range Road Race - the first stage of the Nature Valley Grand Prix - Ciaran Power found his legs in the final sprint to beat Mark McCormack, who finished third right behind newly turned professional Adam Bergman of Jelly Belly in the 96-mile race from the shores of Lake Superior.
"My third place was not what I was hoping for, obviously," McCormack said. For Power, though, the day was right on target. "It worked out pretty good for me," said the winner of the 2002 Milk Ras.
While Power claimed the spoils of the day, at the finish it sounded like the race actually belonged to Bergman, a Minnesota native who just signed with Jelly Belly on Monday. In his first professional race, he actually led into the last corner trying to outsprint the two seasoned professionals.
"It was obvious he was really, really strong," Power said. "It took a lot for me to get around him. He's got a good future in American racing if he sticks with it," McCormack said. "It's great to see someone like that stick his neck out there. He could have sat in a lot more, but he didn't."
The crowd - and Bergman - took the second-place finish as a victory.
"It really means a lot to me," Bergman, of Lino Lakes, said. "It gives me a lot of confidence for the rest of the weekend."
The race started out on a slow climb from Two Harbors, Minn., a small shoreline community just up the road from the shipping port of Duluth. With a 2-percent grade, the riders slogged their way through the first 17 miles to the first sprint. At that point, Bergman, Navigators' Henk Vogels, Saturn's Tom Danielson and Murray Carter of the Twin Cities amateur team Flanders Bros. broke from the pack, with Vogels taking the points.
The four stayed away, joined soon after the sprint by Power, McCormack, 7-Up/Maxxis' Oscar Pineda, Bianchi/Grand Performance's Paul Ellis and Broadmark Capital's Doug Ollerenshaw. With two Saturns and two Navigators in the break, the nine stayed out for most of the race, building a lead of 1:30 halfway through the race.
The decisive break came with 20 miles left as the group entered the only hilly part of the course in Evelth, Minn., with their lead back down to around 40 seconds. "It was inevitable," McCormack said of the break, describing the other six riders as tired. "I figured it was better to get the situation under control."
"I saw McCormack jump and then Power, and I just tried to sit in and hang on," Bergman said.
By the time the trio entered Virginia for 7 laps on the 1.6-mile finishing circuit, their lead was back to 70 seconds, and they weren't letting it drop. McCormack said he thought he had to the legs to win, but a cramp in his right leg on the back stretch of the last lap prevented him from finding his form.
Power will take the leader's red jersey into the 6-mile time trial along the newly created Mesaba Trail from Gilbert to Virginia Friday morning before heading for a circuit race in downtown Minneapolis Friday evening. Vogels, Power's teammate, will wear the sprinter's jersey while Bikesource/Whole Foods' Steve Tilford will wear the white jersey for the best amateur.
The Nature Valley Grand Prix continues on Saturday with a road race in Winona, Minn., and finishes in Stillwater, Minn., on Sunday with a criterium.
Men 1 Claran Power (Irl) Navigators 3.10.54 2 Adam Bergman (USA) Jelly Belly 3 Mark Mcmormack (USA) Saturn Cycling Team 4 Marty Nothstein (USA) Navigators 0.35 5 Ivan Dominguez (Cub) Saturn Cycling Team 6 Henk Vogels (Aus) Navigators 7 Siro Camponogara (Ita) Navigators 8 Robbie Ventura (USA) US Postal presented by Berry Floor 9 Viktor Rapinski (Blr) Saturn Cycling Team 10 Steve Tilford (USA) Bikesource/Whole Foods 11 Jason Waddell (USA) Mathis Brothers 12 Cabrel Boucher (USA) Team Manitoba 13 Roberto Gaggioli (Ita) Monex 14 Frank Pipp (USA) ABD Cycling Team 15 Ryan Guay (USA) Navigators 16 Gus Carrillo (Gua) Bianchi/ Grand Performance 17 Glen Mitchell NZl Navigators 18 Cameron Evans (USA) Broadmark Capital 19 Bill Stolte (USA) HRR 20 Michael Olheiser (USA) Veloclips 21 Dan Schmatz (USA) 7-Up/Maxxis 22 Christopher Flood (USA) 05 Orbitel 23 Eric Pardyjak (USA) First Endurance/Contender 24 Jeremy Sartain (USA) Bianchi/ Grand Performance 25 Jason Snider (USA) Orbea/MoEx 26 Trent Klasna (USA) Saturn Cycling Team 27 Aaron Olson (USA) Schroeder Iron 28 Tim Johnson (USA) Saturn Cycling Team 29 David Metza (USA) Spring Street Sports 30 Fred Feirn (USA) Orbea/MoEx 31 John Lieswyn (USA) 7-Up/Maxxis 32 Mike Johnson (USA) Spring Street Sports 33 Steve Cate (USA) Mathis Brothers 34 Jacob Erker (USA) Schroeder Iron 35 Cameron Hughes (Aus) Schroeder Iron 36 Tom Danielson (USA) Saturn Cycling Team 37 Paul Holm (USA) Bianchi/ Grand Performance 38 Matthew Gates (USA) Nature Valley 39 Stuart Gillespie (USA) Harvard University Cycling 40 Brian Koeneman (USA) Nature Valley 41 Tone Coughlin (USA) Mortgage Solutions/ DMOS 42 Justin Spinelli (USA) Navigators 43 Doug Ollerenshaw (USA) Broadmark Capital 44 Craig Wilcox (USA) Broadmark Capital 45 Adam Livingston (USA) Schroeder Iron 46 Terry Beenken (USA) Mortgage Solutions/ DMOS 47 John (Jack) Seehafer (USA) Pro Peloton Velo 48 Paul Ellis (USA) Bianchi/ Grand Performance 49 John Olney (USA) Mercy/Cannondale 50 Jason Bausch (USA) Schroeder Iron 51 Erik Tomlinson (USA) Grove Dental Cycling Team 52 Rod Raymond (USA) Flanders-IteamNova.com 53 Ryan Nenninger (USA) ABD Cycling Team 54 Dylan Sebel (USA) Broadmark Capital 55 Bryce Mead (USA) Bianchi/ Grand Performance 56 Ryan Ramos (USA) Higher Gear - Lemond 57 Cory Steinbrecher (USA) Jelly Belly 58 Shawn Brick (USA) Birchwood/GIS 59 Chris Doig (USA) Flanders Brothers Cycles/MBRC 60 Peter Knudsen (USA) Schroeder Iron 61 David Sachs (USA) Alberto's sport 62 Oscar Pineda (Gua) 7-Up/Maxxis 63 Dale Sedgwick (USA) Bianchi/ Grand Performance 64 Peter Maxwell (USA) Birchwood/GIS 65 Andrew Powell (USA) Orbea/MoEx 66 Aaron Johnson (USA) Nature Valley 67 Pete Hanna (USA) Bianchi/ Grand Performance 68 Timmer Mulrooney (USA) Flanders Brothers Cycles/MBRC 69 Matt Henry (USA) Nature Valley 70 Kenny Labbe (USA) US Postal presented by Berry Floor 71 Barrett Zoltai (USA) Orbea/MoEx 72 John Puffer (USA) ABD Cycling Team 73 Joshua Tack (USA) Mercy/Cannondale 74 Murray Carter (USA) Flanders Brothers Cycles/MBRC 75 Daniel Arden (USA) Birchwood/GIS 1.04 76 Banning Ostrow (USA) Orbea/MoEx 1.34 77 Michael Dietzman (USA) Flanders Brothers Cycles/MBRC 1.43 78 Karl Stover (USA) Grove Dental Cycling Team 3.21 79 Andy Malcom (USA) RCR 3.47 80 Lee Venteicher (USA) Mercy/Cannondale 4.15 81 Frank Dierking (USA) ABD Cycling Team 82 Luke Winger (USA) Orbea/MoEx 83 Mark Dykes (USA) Birchwood/GIS 84 Brian Jensen (USA) Bikesource/Whole Foods 5.45 85 Andrew Minier (USA) SHA 86 Mike Eberts (USA) ABD Cycling Team 87 Josh Crow (USA) HRR 5.50 88 Aaron Rukgaber (USA) Mercy/Cannondale 89 Brent Binkowski (USA) Birchwood/GIS 6.42 90 Calvin Allan (USA) Broadmark Capital 34.20 91 Evan Elken (USA) Broadmark Capital DNF Brent Dawson (Aus) Jelly Belly DNF Rigoberto Merza (Mex) Schroeder Iron DNF Miguel Meza (Mex) Schroeder Iron DNF Rob Jungles (USA) ABD Cycling Team DNF Todd Campbell (USA) Grove Dental Cycling Team DNF Brian Dziewa (USA) Grove Dental Cycling Team DNF Scott Walters (USA) Grove Dental Cycling Team DNF Aron Huerta (USA) Mathis Brothers DNF Nick Kiernan (USA) Mathis Brothers Women 1 Tina Mayolo-Pic (USA) Diet Rite 2.24.56 2 Sarah Ulmer NZl TDS 3 Katie Mactier (Aus) Saturn Cycling Team 4 Karen Bockel (Ger) Rona-Esker 5 Dotsie Cowden (USA) T-Mobile 6 Margaret Hemsley (Aus) Equipe Nurnberger 7 Amy Moore (USA) Saturn Cycling Team 8 Manon Jutras (Can) Saturn Cycling Team 9 Melissa Holt NZl Rona-Esker 0.20 10 Megan Long (USA) Jamba Juice 3.50 11 Erinne Willock (Can) Rona-Esker 12 Jennifer Eyerman (USA) VANIQA/Red 5 Racing 13 Sarah Konrad (USA) Basis 14 Kerry Cohen (USA) ABD Cycle Club 15 Jo Kiesanowski NZl Diet Rite 5.20 16 Tania Duff-Miller NZl Diet Rite 17 Gina Grain (Can) Victory Brewing/Amoroso's 18 Lara Kroepsca (USA) T-Mobile 19 Erin Carter (Can) TDS 20 Megan Elliott (USA) Saturn Cycling Team 21 Helen Kelly (Aus) TDS 22 Kori Kelly (USA) Diet Rite 23 Brooke O'connor (USA) Colavita-Bolla Racing 24 Ina Teutenberg (Ger) Saturn Cycling Team 25 Jennifer Leonard (USA) Bianchi/Grand Performance 26 Carrie Tuck (USA) Rona-Esker 27 Nicole Freedman (USA) Basis 28 Catherine Walberg (USA) Jamba Juice 29 Katrina Grove (USA) T-Mobile 30 Christina Ruiter (USA) T-Mobile 31 Laura Vangilder (USA) Saturn Cycling Team 32 Rook (USA) Hi Tech Bikes/Harbour Lights 33 Kate Sherwin (USA) Jamba Juice 35 Petra Rossner (Ger) Equipe Nurnberger 36 Stacy Peters (USA) T-Mobile 37 Becky Broeder (USA) ICO (intermountain Cycling Org) 38 April Henderson Anderson (USA) Helens/Trek/VW 39 Melissa Sandborn (USA) ICO (intermountain Cycling Org 40 Sarah Tillotson (USA) ABD Cycle Club 41 Laura Schmidt (USA) Terry Precision 42 Anne Samplonius (Can) TDS 43 Anne Grabowski (USA) Nature Valley 44 Lyne Bessette (Can) Saturn Cycling Team 44 Cybil Diguistini (Can) Diet Rite 45 Lauren Franges (USA) Victory Brewing/Amoroso's 46 Jessica Phillips (USA) Saturn Cycling Team 47 Andrea Hannos (Can) Rona-Esker 48 Lynn Gaggioli (USA) 49 Amanda Lawrence (USA) CCB 50 Lauren Gaffney (USA) Basis 51 Felicia Greer (USA) VANIQA/Red 5 Racing 5.37 52 Madeleine Lindberg (Swe) Equipe Nurnberger 53 Michelle Beltran (USA) VANIQA/Red 5 Racing 54 Brooke Ourada (USA) Team Goldy's 55 Erika Schwarz (USA) VANIQA/Red 5 Racing 56 Elizabeth Morse (USA) Ford Racing Team/ Orlando Velo 57 Shawn Heidgen (USA) TDS 58 Kristin Johnson (USA) T-Mobile 59 Debbie Dust (USA) Jamba Juice 60 Crystal Yap (USA) Jamba Juice 61 Laura Resor (USA) VANIQA/Red 5 Racing 62 Anne Meyer (USA) ABD Cycle Club 63 Elisa Gagnon (USA) Terry Precision 64 Jennifer Stevens (USA) VANIQA/Red 5 Racing 65 Betsy Bloom (USA) VANIQA/Red 5 Racing 66 Cory Page (USA) VANIQA/Red 5 Racing 67 Lindsay Wetzel (USA) Mercy/Cannondale 68 Kathleen Jones (USA) ICO (intermountain Cycling Org) 5.45 69 Kristen Lasasso (Can) Rona-Esker 70 Megan Mcquaid (USA) VANIQA/Red 5 Racing 71 Sophie St. Jacques (Can) Victory Brewing/Amoroso's 5.50 72 Kelly Benjamin (USA) ABD Cycle Club 5.56 73 Laurel Sundberg (USA) MCT/Tonka Cycle 7.03 74 Rachel Eichers (USA) America's Dairyland 7.46 75 Rebecca Loney (USA) America's Dairyland 8.09 76 Andrea Mugge (USA) Mercy/Cannondale 77 Megan Monroe (USA) America's Dairyland 40.00 78 Allison Dwyer (USA) America's Dairyland DNF Joan Wilson (USA) TDS DNF Jamie Surges (USA) America's Dairyland DNF Erin Syth (USA) America's Dairyland DNF Courtney Bollman (USA) Jamba Juice DNF Meredith Miller (USA) Team Basis