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Pomona Valley Stage Race - 2.4
San Dimas, California, March 18-21, 2004
Stage 1 - March 18: San Dimas Hospital Circuit Race, 90/115 mins
Gensis Scuba on a winning streak, Men refuse to race
By Kristy Scrymgeour and Rob Karman
Continuing a streak of success for the Genesis Scuba Team, Laura Van Gilder took today's circuit race to start the four-day tour in Pomona on top. It was the men's race however that caused upsets with no eventual winner.
Reminiscent of the first stage of the Sea Otter Classic last year, the men decided not to race today's circuit race which was meant to kick of the Pomona Valley Stage Race. After the women had successfully completed their race, which involved some crashes, it was the men's turn to line up. Lap one of their race, apparently resulted in quite a few riders coming down on a 180 degree turn, leading to the peloton's decision not to race soon thereafter. On lap five the men stopped en masse to tell the organizers that they would continue to ride around for the remainder of the race, but they would not actually race.
The circuit race is set on a 3.5mile course within the confines of Bonelli Park. According to Nicole Demars of Victory Brewing, she felt like a "squirrel running through the woods" on the course as the roads are very narrow with tight turns. There were some crashes in the women's race as well, however with a smaller field, the women obviously felt it was safe enough for them to complete.
In the women's race, the field was aggressive, but it was only one late breakaway attempt that was able to pull away from the field significantly. The break involved Genesis Scuba rider Kori Seehafer and Quark's Sarah Uhl. The pair stretched the gap out to 45 seconds with about two laps to go but were gradually reeled in, getting caught with one kilometre remaining in the race.
To finish the race, positioning was key, as the course climbs a steep power climb before turning right for the final 200 meters to the finish. Van Gilder managed to get herself into the best position and won the sprint from Magen Long (OBRU/The Bicycle Store) and Quark's Lyne Bessette.
The women agreed that the course was pretty hairy but for a smaller field it was safe enough to race. Victory Brewing however lost out, when one of their riders Johanna Buik, got caught up in a crash with her whole team going back to help her. They brought her back, but with added mechanical problems she was not able to stay in the bunch and the whole team finished in the second bunch.
After the men's non-race, Cyclingnews caught up with a few of the riders after they rolled across the line and straight into their team vans to head home. They needed no warm down after such an easy day in the saddle. Webcor rider Chris Horner simply said that it was too dangerous. "We are all professional riders and nobody wants to crash and get hurt. We just wanted to keep things safe," he said. "If it was a smaller field it may have been ok, but with a field of 150 riders it makes it hard."
Cyclingnews diarist John Lieswyn (Health Net/Maxxis) backed up Horner's statements when we caught up with him post race. "Everyone in the pack decided it was a bit too dangerous," he said. "It wasn't any one person. We all just freaked out when we came to two fast 90-degree turns at the bottom of an 80km/h descent. There was no harm done, he added. There weren't a lot of spectators anyway. Tomorrow's another day and it will be a good one."
Race organisers really could say much about the way the day eventuated. The rider just refused the race. They did say however that every rider must finish the shortened race of ten laps to be able to continue racing in the tour. The race was completely neutralized and no prizes or KOM points were awarded.
Images by Rob Karman/www.roadbikephotos.com
Women 1 Laura Van Gilder (Genesis Scuba/FFCC) 1.15.46 2 Magen Long (OBRU/The Bicycle Store) 3 Lyne Bessette (Quark Cycling) 4 Mari Holden (Team T-Mobile) 0.03 5 Sue Haywood (Team T-Mobile) 6 Bridget Evans (Ffast) 0.05 7 Tina Pic (Genesis Scuba/FFCC) 8 Catherine Powers (Velo Club La Grange) 9 Amy Moore (Quark Cycling) 10 Helen Kelley (Team Rona) 11 Lara Kroepsch (Team T-Mobile) 12 Kim Anderson (Team T-Mobile) 13 Andrea Hannos (Team Rona) 14 Magali Le Floch (Quark Cycling) 15 Susan Palmer-Komar (Genesis Scuba/FFCC) 16 Karen Bockel (TDS-Schwalbe High Speed Team) 0.13 17 Cindy Carroll (Dewars) 0.15 18 Julie Hutsebaut (Terry Precision) 0.18 19 Kori Seehafer (Genesis Scuba/FFCC) 0.30 20 Kristin Drumm (Morgan Stanley/Specialized) 21 Betsy Bloom (Velo Club La Grange) 22 Rook Campbell (Genesis Scuba/FFCC) 23 Jennifer Stevens (Red 5 Racing) 24 Erinne Willock (Team Rona) 25 Candice Blickem (Genesis Scuba/FFCC) 26 Carla Hukee (Team Kenda Tire) 27 Helene Drumm (Morgan Stanley/Specialized/24Hrfit) 28 Sandra Kolb (Bicycle Johns Serious Cycling) 29 Sandy Espeseth (Victory Brewing) 30 Kathryn Curi (Team Rona) 31 Nicole Demars (Victory Brewing) 32 Kelly Benjamin (ABD Cycling Team) 33 Brooke Ourada (Victory Brewing) 34 Brenda Lyons (ABD Cycling Team) 35 Joan Davies (TDS-Schwalbe High Speed Team) 36 Grace Fleury (Genesis Scuba/FFCC) 37 Kristin Armstrong (Team T-Mobile) 38 Erin Mirabella (Red 5 Racing) 39 Sarah Uhl (Quark Cycling) 40 Kate Sherwin (Team Kenda Tire) 41 Jessica Phillips (Quark Cycling) 42 Hiroko Shimada (Velo Bella) 43 Jenny Eyerman (Red 5 Racing) 44 Andrea Ratkovic (TDS-Schwalbe High Speed Team) 45 Laura Downey (Velo Club La Grange) 46 Kristin Johnson (Team Basis) 47 Chrissy Ruiter (Team Basis) 48 Anna Milkowski (Team Rona) 49 Kerry Soraci (Mesa Cycles Racing) 50 Lisa Magness (Wellsfargo/Ragatz) 51 Melissa Sanborn (Wells Fargo/Ragatz) 52 Lisa Hunt (The Olympic Club) 53 Nicole Brandt (Velo Club La Grange) 54 Megan Elliott (Quark Cycling) 1.11 55 Johanna Buick (Victory Brewing) 1.46 56 Elizabeth Begosh (Velo Bella) 57 Carla Koehler (Velo Club La Grange) 2.04 58 Julia Whiteside (Paramount Racing) 2.09 59 Erin Carter (TDS-Schwalbe High Speed Team) 2.12 60 Ashlee Zimmer 2.18 61 Shawn Heidgen (TDS Schwalbe High Speed Team) 2.21 62 Eszter Horanyi 3.47 63 Alisha Little (ABD Cycling Team) 4.17 64 Sarah Tillotson (ABD Cycling Team) 4.54 65 Emma Rickards (Victory Brewing) 4.57 66 Elizabeth Morse (OBRU/The Bicycle Store) 4.59 67 Lauren Franges (Victory Brewing) 68 Laura Schmidt (Terry Precision) 69 Lauren Gaffney (Team Basis) 70 Kirsten Robbins (Victory Brewing) 71 Becky Broeder 72 Jill McLaughlin (Palo Alto Bicycles Women's Cycling Team) 73 Stephanie Hannos (Team Basis) 74 Susan Cooper (Bicycle Johns Serious Cycling) 75 Maggie Shirley (Genesis Scuba/FFCC) 76 Megan Monroe (TDS-Schwalbe High Speed Team) 5.06 77 Chloe Black (Terry Precision) 78 Desira Utzig 79 Rebecca Stengel 80 Maggie Luciano-Williams (Landis/Trek/Vw) 81 Emily Gloeckner (TDS-Schwalbe High Speed Team) 82 Anne Samplonius (TDS-Schwalbe High Speed Team) 83 Gina Grain (Victory Brewing) 84 Sophie St-Jacques (Victory Brewing) 85 Heather Woodhouse (Team Kenda Tire) 86 April Henderson Anderson (Red 5 Racing) 5.17 87 Heidi Stamm (Wells Fargo/Ragatz) 5.21 88 Amanda Lawrence 89 Carli Figueroa (Paramount) 8.26 90 Crystal Yap (9th & 9th - SLC) 8.39 91 Jennifer Franklin (Amgen Cycling) 8.41 92 Rosie Garlapow (Terry Precision) TC Shayla Waite (Bicycle Johns Serious Cycling) DNF Alison Littlefield (9th & 9th - SLC) DNF Rachel Couch (America's Dairyland) DNF Suzanne Macht (Kappa) DNF Jennifer Todd (Red 5 Racing) DNF Emilie Roy (Team Rona) DNF Lynn Gaggioli (Team T-Mobile) Mountains classification 1 Lyne Bessette (Quark Cycling) 30 pts 2 Nicole Demars (Victory Brewing) 30 3 Kori Seehafer (Genesis Scuba/FFCC) 30 4 Sarah Uhl (Quark Cycling) 25 5 Kristin Armstrong (Team T-Mobile) 5