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Tour of Louisiana

June 22, 2003

Give the boy his due

By Adam Hamza

He is young, talented, blessed, confident, and when called for, courageous. At 21 years old Mat Stephens of Gulf Coast Cycling Association is starting to make a name for himself and his team in regional races around the South Central United States.

Only two weeks after defending his Texas State Points Race Championship the boy is on a role. Just this past weekend he was instrumental in derailing Herring Gas's (out of Mississippi) strangle hold of the Tour of Louisiana. Herring Gas has won this race for the last 3 years consecutively and the majority of the last 10 years. "Our goal was to make it tough on them and see what might happen." Mat's teammate George Pou said.

After finishing 6th in the stage 1 time trial 15 seconds out of first Mat went on a tear in the second stage 68 mile road race. With riders attempting to navigate under torrential downpours that made visibility absolutely terrible George Pou of GCCA, 5th on General Classification going into the road race showed that common sense is the highest form of valor when he pulled out.

Mat used the weather to his advantage: In the first lap, Mat went off the front with a rider from Herring. Mat used his great sprint to handily beat him for the 7 seconds that went to the winner of the hot spot sprint. Then with just 1 mile to go in the race an interesting event occurred. A local cattleman decided after seeing racers pass his ranch all afternoon that it would be a good time to move his cows from one pasture to another. The race had to be stopped with just one mile to go. Here, Mat again showed that he was the fastest of the bunch and won the drag race to the line and grabbed another 10 second bonus for the winner of the stage. He was now leading the race by 2 seconds.

The third stage, a 0.8 of a mile loop in downtown Covington Louisina, showed how teamwork comes into play in bike racing. "Even though we lost our driver, our task master in George Pou, since it's a crit he can coach and give us splits from the road side. So, it's a blessing in disguise." Adam Hamza said. Mat's team mates showed true class. Herring Gas came to take the lead back, as well, as the overall. Frank Moak who lied in second overall took second on the hot lap sprint and grabbed the 5 second time bonus that came with it. He was now the virtual leader of the race by 3 seconds.

Then with 5 laps to go Brett Turner of the Texas Flyers attacked with another Herring rider "The Australian" (Troy Porter) and quickly put 10 seconds on the field. Then Mat showed true faith in his teammates. One by one they each took efforts to pull the two riders in. First Mike Orlet made an incredible pull cutting the lead down. Then Greg Bauer took his shot. Adam Hamza took a hard turn on the front with one and a half laps to go.

After the bell rung for the final lap Mike Orlet again came to the fore and just as he pulled the riders close enough he got tangled with another rider and hit the deck. All of Mat's teammates had an exceptional Criterium race and rose to the level of protecting their teammates lead. Although Bret Turner took the Stage, Mat Stephens came in third and nabbed another 5 second time bonus putting him once again 2 seconds ahead of Moak and took the 2003 Tour of Louisiana.

Now it's going to be a bit tough for Mat to sneak up on his competitors.


Final general classification
Cat. 1,2,3

1 Mat Stephens (Gcca)              3.40.01
2 Frank Moak (Herring)                0.02
3 Gary Zyriek (Herring)               0.09
4 Randy Racine (Lasport)              0.13
5 Troy Porter (Herring)               0.15
6 Brent Thompson (Maa)                0.18
7 Brent Turner (Txflyer)              0.25
8 Christan Williams (Txflyer)         0.26
9 Shawn Casey (Herring)               0.30
10 Steven Lepine (Adams)              0.34
11 Mike Orlet (Gcca)                  0.35
12 Russell Metoyer (Lasport)          0.36
13 Shane Hernandez (Cajun)            0.37
14 Calvin Partlow (Orlando)           0.39
15 Ste Tomaszewski (Nbo)              0.41
16 David Edwards (Velocli)            0.43
17 Beau Rathburn (Mmw)                0.44
18 Noel Puentes (Nbo)                 0.45
19 Shannon Graham (Ambush)
20 Jordan Jalbert (Bay Are)           0.46
21 Jaime Arrieta (Txflyer)            0.49
22 Jason Rivers (Txflyer)
23 Mark Ducot (Adams)                 0.50
24 Erich Mattei (Herring)             0.51
25 Christian Johnson (Mmw)
26 Burke David (Bayarea)              0.52
27 Malcolm Schuler (Nobc)             0.53
28 Adam Hamza (Gcca)                  0.54
29 Christian Leask (Mmw)              0.55
30 Ben Schuler (Nobc)                 0.56
31 Demarico Howard (Mmw)              0.59
32 Gregory Bauer (Gcca)               1.01
33 Kenny Bellau (Herring)
34 David Layfield (Unat)
35 Chris Alexander (Herring)          1.05
36 Joseph Wiklein (Ambush)            1.21
37 Lee Rusk (Gstenzg)                 1.24
38 Tim Regan (Herring)                1.36

Cat. 4

1 Scott Mitchell (Lasport)         3.56.47
2 Brian Loflin (Lasport)              0.39
3 Peter Simms (Cyclesp)               0.47
4 Trent Stephens (Gcca)               0.48
5 Brennan Percy (Nobc)                1.10
6 Bain Foote (Twincty)                2.15
7 Stephen Mcmillan (Unat)             2.28
8 Leonard Otoole (Mercy)              2.39
9 Jeff Perry (Txflyer)                2.42
10 John Fell (Unat)                   2.44
11 Jerry Burckel (Nobc)               2.50
12 Darryl Williams (Wfw)              2.53
13 Brian Bowes (Lasport)              2.59
14 Nick Burckel (Lasport)             3.00
15 Fred Ramos (Nobc)                  3.04
16 David Lorrison (Unat)              3.27
17 Alan Moore (Lasport)               4.57
18 Jeff Foote (Twincty)               7.42
19 Brian Anderson (Lasport)          11.05
20 Shontell Gauthier (Sfire)         13.12
21 Todd Crooks (Lasport)             13.45
22 Jaro Jurenka (Unat)               15.08
23 Marshall Stout (Lasport)          19.05
24 Joe French (Lasport)              19.51
25 Michael Matthews (Unat)           25.27
26 Damen Sistrunk (Unat)             38.57

Cat. 5

1 Kyle Boudreaux (Unat)            3.04.09
2 Johnny Harrison (Unat)              0.21
3 Davis Donald (Unat)                 0.30
4 Jay Bookman (Lsu)                   0.42
5 Scott Gurganus (Lasport)            0.44
6 James Stinson (Unat)                0.46
7 Michael Roper (Lsu)                 0.48
8 Jorge Perera (Earthqu)              0.52
9 Andrew Lasswell (Unat)              0.54
10 Charlie Kearns (Lsu)               0.58
11 David Moeller (Unat)
12 Joe Long (Unat)                    1.02
13 Destry Lebrun (Unat)               1.04
14 Paul Norton (Lasport)              1.10
15 Nath Faulkenberry (Unat)           1.14
16 Britt Drummond (Lsu)               1.16
17 David Simon (Nobc)
18 Ernie Mahlmann (Unat)              1.24
19 Daniel Marsalone (Unat)            1.37
20 Ben Lea (Unat)                     1.37
21 Michael Winniford (Iowa Ct)        1.40
22 Walter Avererett (Unat)            3.14
23 Jim Rozycki (Unat)                 3.40
24 Rob Hanemann (Earthqu)             4.38
25 Allen Brown (Lasport)              4.53
26 James Greenawalt (Firstco)         7.44
27 Logan Stephenson (Unat)           38.16

Master 35+

1 James Sanders (Mmw)              4.01.46
2 Steve Martin (Nobc)                 0.37
3 Richard Raspet (Mmw)                0.38
4 John Stimpson (Unat)                0.46
5 Larry Carbonneau (Breaker)          0.52
6 Kevin Callaway (Woodlnd)            0.57
7 Chuck Moore (Mfs)                   1.00
8 Lonnie Kennedy (Dogfish)            1.02
9 Robert Balcer (Gcc)                 1.03
10 Butch Sims (Mmw)                   1.07
11 Joe Ingram (Jmc)                   1.08
12 Robert Mcneely (Twincty)           1.27
13 Justin Marsilia (Unat)             2.00
14 John Mclachlan (Mmw)               2.10
15 Tom Harbourt (Mfs)                 4.53
16 Luke Ponseti (Nbo)                 5.39
17 Hamerick Selby (Nobc)             12.49
18 Jay Megginson (Olympus)           21.32
19 Peter Stephens (Lakesho)          25.50
20 Chris Thibodeau (Violet)          32.38
21 Joseph Noack (Wcc)                34.18


1 Josephine Babin (Mfs)            3.29.13
2 Sandra Taylor (Lasport)             0.51
3 Sheri Mcneely (Twincty)             1.04
4 Tina Eakin (Unat)                   1.39
5 Julie Mitchell (Lasport)            3.16
6 Caroline Owen (Mfs)                 6.09
7 Cindy Hale (Mfs)                   26.20


1 Kurt Weisinger (S Elite)         3.28.09
2 Dylan Jason (Mfs)                   0.41
3 Fra Asprodites (Nobc)               2.01 

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