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Raleigh News and Observer Criterium - NE

Raleigh, North Carolina, USA, May 27, 2005


Freedman and Peltonen grab the cash in Raleigh

The sponsor's products work
Photo ©: Robery Harvey
Click for larger image

Nicole Freedman and Garrett Peltonen were the victors in the inaugural News and Observer Twilight Criterium in Raleigh, North Carolina this weekend. Several thousand spectators lined the course to watch this event, and it seemed the town was hungry for a bike race as businesspeople came up in the dozens to offer cash primes up in their company's name on top of the already generous $15,000 purse! The frequent primes made for very exciting racing in both the women's and the men's races.

In the women's race, local girl Alisha Lion (Ford-Basis) showed her stuff to friends and family with an early race breakaway, but decided that a 30 mile solo TT wasn't in her Friday training plan. It wasn't long before Victory Brewing went on the attack with Lauren Franges going away with Daniele Staskal (BMW-Bianchi). However, frequent primes kept the pack from getting complacent, and it was gruppo compacto for much of the race. Sherry Stedje (BBC) and Victory Brewing took several primes, and then it was again Lauren Franges on the attack, this time gaining nearly 30 seconds on the pack. It looked as if Franges would stay away for good until Ford-Basis sent their team to the front to pull Franges back. Alisha Lion took a monsterous pull that brought Franges within shouting distance, and then BMW-Bianchi's Mandy Lozano closed the final gap. Aggressive throughout the race, Robin Kavan (BBC) took a solo flyer with four to go, and when she was caught two laps later, her teammate Sherri Stedje countered to take the gambler's prime. It was an all-out drag race to the finish with Nicole Freedman (Ford-Basis) outsprinting Gina Grain (Victory Brewing) for the win, and Brooke Blackwelder (Team Tamarack) putting in a strong finish for third.

In the men's race, the Aerospace Engineering and Advantage Benefits Group/Endeavor teams looked to have the strongest squads on the line, but it was Team Seasilver's Curtis Gunn who made the first move going solo early in the race and staying out for what must have seemed like an eternity. Fortunately for him, Aerospace and Endeavour sent some emissaries up to the break, putting Ivan Stevic and Karl Menzies into what looked to be a sure bet. The break of three stayed away for nearly 30 laps until Hincapie Sporswear/Bianchi's Chris Harkey tried to bridge the gap. Harkey got within a dozen seconds of the break when he suffered massive back spasms from the effort and had to pull out of the race.

Daryl Tulimieri, promoter of the race
Photo ©: Robery Harvey
Click for larger image

His teammate Scottie Weiss was then helped by Health Net's Justin England in a huge late race effort that managed to reel in the break with 5 laps to go. Weiss immediately launched a counter-attack, but his earlier effort had sapped his strength. When Weiss was caught, Advantage Benefits Group/Endeavor and Aerospace Engineering took the opportunity to make what turned out to be the winning move of the day, with Garrett Peltonen and Eric Murphy (Advantage Benefits Group/Endeavor) taking local hero Charlie Storm (Inland/BTD) with them. The trio fended off the peloton even in the face of a $600 gambler's prime, and shared the work until the final 200 meteres when Peltonen rocketed away from Murphy to take the win. Storm had to be content with third, while Dave McCook (Jelly Belly) took the field sprint over Aussies Karl Menzies and Richard England, both of Advantage Benefits Group/Endeavor.


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Robery Harvey/

Images by Jim Faller/


Women Pro/Am
1 Nicole Freedman (Ford-Basis)                       
2 Gina Grain (Victory Brewing)                       
3 Brooke Blackwelder (Team Tamarack)                 
4 Shannon Hutchison (Aaron's/L5 Flyers)              
5 Christina DeKraay (Team Fuji)                      
6 Lauren Franges (Victory Brewing)                   
7 Jenette Williams (HPC)                             
8 Leigh Valletti (Travelgirl)                        
9 Sherri Stedje (BBC)                                
10 Mandy Lozano (BMW-Bianchi)                        
11 Nancy Lux (BMW-Bianchi)                           
12 Dani Dembrak (Defeet)                             
13 Sarah Caravella (Team Fuji)                       
14 Holli Steelman (Defeet)                           
15 Patty Shoaf (BMW-Bianchi)                         
16 Lauren Gaffney (Ford-Basis)                       
17 Susan Hefler (HPC)                                
18 Elizabeth Morse (Team Fuji)                       
19 Daniele Staskal (BMW-Bianchi)                     
20 Janet Edgerton (BMW-Bianchi)                      
21 Deborah Borden (Travelgirl)                       
22 Brenda Lyons (Victory Brewing)                    
23 Jana Repulski (Team Tamarack)                     
24 Lisa Matlock (Team Tamarack)                      
25 Robin Kavan (BBC)                                 
26 Nicole Bossie (Team Fuji)                         
27 Laura Bowles (Inland/BTD)                         
28 Kathleen Billington (Diet Cheerwine)              
29 Shannon Mathis (Piedmont Pedalers)                
30 Cara McCauley (BMW-Bianchi)                       
Men's Pro/Am
1 Garrett Peltonen (Advantage Benefits Group/Endeavor)    
2 Eric Murphy (Aerospace Engineering)                
3 Charlie Storm (Inland/BTD)                         
4 Dave McCook (Jelly Belly/Pool Gel)                 
5 Karl Menzies (Advantage Benefits Group/Endeavor)        
6 Richard England (Advantage Benefits Group/Endeavor)     
7 Ivan Stevic (Aerospace Engineering)                
8 Radisa Cubric (Aerospace Engineering)              
9 Jason Bausch (Team Seasilver)                      
10 Diego Garavito (                
11 Owen Nielsen (Manulife)                           
12 Aaron Frahm (Advantage Benefits Group/Endeavor)        
13 Curtis Gunn (Team Seasilver)                      
14 Frank Pipp (Advantage Benefits Group/Endeavor)         
15 Shane Weaver (Hincapie Sports/Bianchi)            
16 Rich Harper (Cane Creek)                          
17 Scottie Weiss (Hicapie Sports/Bianchi)            
18 Gregory Wolf (Jittery Joes/Kalahari)              
19 Shawn Willard (GS Gotham)                         
20 Corey Fisher (Pactimo Cycling Team)               
21 James Schneider (Nalley Automotive)               
22 Solomon Kobes (Spin Cycle/Fat Sound Guitars)      
23 John Green (AG Edwards/Roswell Velo)              
24 Phil Wikoff (Cane Creek)                          
25 Victor Laza (Aerospace Engineering)               
26 James Badia (Manulife)                            
27 Joey Coddington (Cane Creek)                      
28 David Guttenplan (Nalley Automotive)              
29 Daryl Tulimieri (Spin Cycle/Fat Sound Guitars)    
30 Lawrence Perera (Fiordifrutta)                    
31 John Kavan (JC Investors)                         
32 Justin England (Health Net- Maxxis)               
33 Brandon McKeever (Rio Grande/Monsoon)             
34 Daniel Corum (Just Fresh-Clif Bar)                
35 Matt Lorenz                                       
36 Jay Charles (John Deere)                          
37 Jonas Petterson                                   
38 Darby Harris (Cane Creek)                         
39 Rick Creed (Smith Barney)                         
40 Boyd Johnson (Meredith Group)                     
41 David LeDuc (Mercy Cycling Team)                  
42 Chad Gibson (                   
43 Kris Stein (Spin Cycle/Fat Sound Guitars)         
44 Hugh Moran (Aerospace Engineering)                
45 Mark Griffin (GVC)                                
46 Cavaliere Clemente