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Ecology Center Classic - NE

Missoula, Montana, USA, May 23-26, 2003

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Stage 1 - May 23: Pintler Road Race, 92 miles

Swindlehurst, Broeder take first stage of Ecology Center Classic

On a day filled with flats, Burke Swindlehurst (Navigators) and Becky Broeder (Intermountain Cycling) came up with performances that were anything but flat to win the opening stage of the four-day Ecology Center Classic, the 92-mile Pintler Road Race.

The rugged 92-mile circuit race, held on a 40+ mile circuit southeast of Missoula, was enough of a challenge by itself. However, a seven-mile stretch of the course had just been graded within the past week, leaving it strewn with rocks, some of which were golf ball-sized. The end result was flat tires - a lot of them, says Health Net pro Rusty Beall, who was one of the lucky racers not to puncture: "There were guys all over the road with flats, like 25 at once. A former teammate of mine, Kiefer Hahn, had three today and lost over half an hour." As a result, the Pro/1/2 Men's race was shortened by nearly half its distance, due to the support staff running out of spare wheels. However, no one would dispute that the best man won today, as Navigators professional Burke Swindlehurst soloed up the final climb to a commanding 40 seconds over Colby Pearce (5280/Subaru Development), with Beall third at 1:54.

The action began early in the day, as a four-man breakaway group of Jason Bethel (Aurora Cycling Club), Eric Pardyjak (First Endurance/Contend), Mick Walsh (Saturn for Seattle), and Matt Weyen (unattached). Though the quartet built up a lead of nearly three minutes before hitting the gravel; Walsh and Weyen made it through unscathed, but the other two weren't quite so fortunate, and were soon caught by the pack. However, as they were going backwards, Pearce- a former U.S. National Time Trial Champion- was streaking to the head of affairs, and would catch and pass the two remaining leaders on the way up the feed hill the first time. And then the riders found out that, instead of having another 42 miles of racing, they had just six miles- something that entirely changed the face of the race, as Swindlehurst pointed out: "Instead of leaving him out there, I knew we had to start chasing hard at that point." So the Navigators professional squad took up the chase, eating up most of Pearce's advantage and then sending Swindlehurst up the road, with just two riders in his wake. The first disappeared quickly, but the second- former second overall finisher Beall- hung on until about halfway up the climb, when he too came off ("Burke was just too strong today", said Beall afterwards). By the finish, Swindlehurst had passed Pearce and ridden in to a fine victory, one that puts him and his three Navigators mates- Ryan Guay, Jeff Louder, and Glen Mitchell- in excellent position to win the overall.

Punctures had an effect on the Women's Open race as well, with about half the 22 starters ending up along the side of the road waiting for neutral support. As a result, there were only ten women left in the front group when it reached the feed zone; it was at that point that Becky Broeder (Intermountain Cycling) launched an attack that took her clear of the rest. Though she was joined a few minutes later by Eva Karau (Team Stampede/Five Valley Velo), Sima Trapp (Team Goldy's), and Intermountain Cycling teammate Liza Rachetto, it was clear who the strongest woman was on this day, and Broeder ended up finishing 2:58 up on Rachetto, with Karau coming in third at 3:09. With four other Intermountain Cycling racers in the peloton, Broeder should be able to defend her lead, barring unforseen circumstance.

The Ecology Center Classic continues on Saturday with the Burke & Associates, CPAs Perma Road Race.


Men Pro/1/2
1 Burke Swindlehurst (Navigators)                    2.30.09
2 Colby Pearce (5280/Subaru Development)                0.40
3 Rusty Beall (Health Net)                              1.54
4 Ryan Guay (Navigators)
5 Cameron McKnight (Edmonton Road and Track)            2.04
6 Glen Mitchell (Navigators)                            2.13
7 Marc Bomhof (Ciclismo/Headwinds)
8 Robert Veroba (Bicisport Calgary)
9 Zak Grabowski (Hot Tubes Cycling Team)                2.18
10 Andrew Minier (Share the Roads Racing)               2.28
11 Eric Pardyjak (First Endurance/Contend)              2.34
12 Jesse Gordon (First Endurance/Contend)               2.49
13 Ian MacGregor (Duane Duggan ReMax/Pake)              3.03
14 Brian Rinckenberger (Recycled Cycles Racing)         3.26
15 Jeffrey Austin (Construction Zone Racing)            3.42
16 Kacey Chamberlin (Saturn for Seattle)                3.56
17 Scott Herzig (Montana Velo)                          4.09
18 Mick Walsh (Saturn for Seattle)                      4.09
19 Rankin Holmes (Northern Rockies)                     4.33
20 Joe Arnone (Team Hammer Gel)                         4.42
21 Evan Lawrence (Team Hammer Gel)                      4.42
22 Jonathan Baker (Pro Peloton Velo)                    5.32
23 Brent Cannon (Newmoon Media)                         6.03
24 Frank Overton (Pro Peloton Velo)                     6.12
25 Jim Rucker (Saturn for Seattle)                      6.37
26 Kevin Radzinski (RMCC)                               7.04
27 Jason Bethel (Aurora Cycling Club)                   7.04
28 Eric Flynn (Sambucca Cycling)                        7.52
29 Jamul Hahn (Northern Rockies)                        9.12
30 Jeff Louder (Navigators)                             9.48
31 Angetti Sheldrake (5280/Subaru Development)         10.17
32 Timmy Duggan (Duane Duggan ReMax/Pake)              11.55
33 Tom Crawford (Broadmark Capital)                    11.55
34 Rob Van Kirk (Idaho Cycling Enthusiasts)            12.14
35 Christian Johnson (First Endurance/Contend)         12.17
36 Matt Weyen (unattached)                             12.44
37 David Richter (Recycled Cycles Racing)              13.01
38 Jeremy Smith (New Moon/Utah Premier)                13.12
39 Geoff Proctor (Montana Velo)                        15.10
40 Kevin Rowe (Saturn for Seattle)                     17.53
41 Kale Keltz (Construction Zone Racing)               18.15
42 Steven Williams (Recycled Cycles Racing)            19.06
43 Mark Rodel (Endurance/Contend)                      21.32
44 Dave Hartman (Northern Rockies)                     26.47
45 Joel Biederman (Share the Roads Racing)             29.22
46 John Behrens (Share the Roads Racing)               29.22
47 Ian Pritchard (Schwab Cycles/Torelli)               29.26
48 Kiefer Hahn (Northern Rockies)                      30.37
49 Troy Critchlow (Super Squadra/Grande Ciclismo)      31.38
50 Mikkel Bossen (Team Oregon)                         32.24
DNF Anton Jackson (Broadmark Capital)
DNF Kelly Williamson (Team iOmega/Orbea)
DNF Gary Casella (Team iOmega/Orbea)
DNF Tad Hamilton (Team iOmega/Orbea)
DNF Justin Mayfield (Team iOmega/Orbea)
DNF Eric Ransom (Team iOmega/Orbea)
Women Open
1 Becky Broeder (Intermountain Cycling)              2.46.53
2 Liza Rachetto (Intermountain Cycling)                 2.58
3 Eva Karau (Team Stampede/Five Valley Velo)            3.09
4 Mary Kneeland (Intermountain Cycling)                 3.12
5 Sima Trapp (Team Goldy’s)                             4.11
6 Katheryn Curi (Los Gatos Bicycle Racing Club)         5.21
7 Joy Shaffer (Los Gatos Bicycle Racing Club)           7.09
8 Suz Weldon (Ashmead/King)
9 Kim Sawyer (Nalley Automotive Group)                  7.32
10 Eryn Hanna (Los Gatos Bicycle Racing Club)           8.18
11 Heidi Stamm (Intermountain Cycling)                  8.33
12 Carolyn Eller (Recycled Cycles Racing)               8.51
13 Renee Eastman (Vitamin Cottage Cycling)             10.54
14 Marianne Holt (Nalley Automotive Group)             15.05
15 Kathleen Jones (Intermountain Cycling)              15.18
16 Allison Beall (                       15.50
17 Martha Meyer (Vitamin Cottage Cycling)              21.48
18 Troy Watson (Cycle Couriers of San Francisco)       31.32
19 Elizabeth Nettles (Recycled Cycles Racing)
20 Michele Conrad (Recycled Cycles Racing)             42.36
21 Margie Legg (Team Stampede/Five Valley Velo)        42.41