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Results and Reports from the USA
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Boulder Koppenburg Race
Boulder, CO, April 3, 2005
Friel, Reeves on top at Boulder Racing's Koppenberg Circuit
Plenty of sun and mild temperatures greeted the record number of racers that chose to do battle on the "other" Koppenberg climb this Sunday. While hundreds of rabid cycling fans lined the more notorious Koppenberg climb at this year's Ronde Van Vlaanderen in Belgium, a slightly smaller but no less vocal crowd was on hand at Boulder's adopted Koppenberg to witness Gretchen Reeves (Rocky Mountain) and Dirk Friel (Vitamin Cottage) take the wins in the elite women and men's races respectively.
The elite women, who completed four laps of the 5.5 mile course which took in 2.5 miles per lap of rutted and pothole strewn dirt road were put under pressure early by a lead group of four riders containing Gretchen Reeves (Rocky Mt/Business Objects), Molly Hummel (Colorado Premier Training), Megan Monroe and Lisa Matlock (Tamarac). These four worked together until MTB Marathon National Champ Reeves, who is coming off a win in the marathon race at the first NORBA National, turned the screws on the final 20% grade climb of the Koppenberg and sprinted home for the win. Molly Hummel, who raced in the Lookout Mountain Hillclimb collegiate race that same morning and is seeing her form come around for the Collegiate National Championships in Kansas City in just over a month's time, was able to hang on to second place. Monroe and Matlock rounded out the podium.
Unlike last year, the elite men's field stayed relatively intact for the first half of the eight lap race despite what eventual winner Friel would describe as "the worst road conditions this race has seen". Just like the women's race earlier in the day, a veteran mountain biker would create the final split when Jay Henry (Ford/Specialized) surged ahead on the rough run-in to the climb. Latching on over the top were 2002 Koppenberg winner Dirk Friel, Michael Carter (Denver Spoke) and the young Clayton Barrows (RMCEF), who also raced the morning collegiate race for the University of Wyoming. The 15-strong chase group stayed within site of these four for the remainder of the race, but was unable to bring them back. The only split up front came when Carter dropped his chain with two to go and was forced to run the climb. The cagy veteran made a successful bridge to the leaders, however, setting up a four man slugfest up the steep slopes of the Koppenburg into the finish. Barrows, who is fine tuning his form for the Collegiate Nationals as well, led out the final 150-metre sprint, but Friel edged past on his left to take the win by half a wheel. Carter claimed the final podium spot with Henry rolling in for a well deserved fourth place.
Friel, who seemed to be inspired by his team Vitamin Cottage's strong third place team standing at the Redlands Bicycle Classic, which took place on this same weekend, said "I didn't attack all day, it was just a matter of positioning going into the climb. I tried to stay in the top five going in and had no problem following all the moves". Friel's strong showing belies the fact that he had just returned from competing in the Iron Man South Africa two weeks ago where he posted a very respectable time of 10:45. "I really think the swimming is helping my riding. I haven't felt this good on the bike in a couple years". For complete results visit www.boulderracing.com.
Elite Men 1 Dirk Friel (Vitamin Cottage) 2 Clayton Barrows (RMCEF) 3 Michael Carter (Denver Spoke) 4 Jay Henry (Ford/Specialized) 5 Michael Gibson (Team Einstein's) 6 Chad Hartley (TIAA-CREF /5280) 7 Frank Overton (Al's Barber Shop) 8 Michael Larson (Pro Peloton Racing) 9 Joseph Cooper (Team Louisville Cyclery) 10 Chuck Coyle (Vitamin Cottage) Elite Women 1 Gretchen Reeves (Rocky Mountain) 2 Molly Hummel (Colorado Premier Training) 3 Egan Monroe (unattached) 4 Lisa Matlock (Tamarac) 5 Maatje Benasi (Excel Sports) 6 Jilayne Lovejoy (Excel Sports) 7 Anne Lannan (Colorado Velo - Denver Spoke) 8 Jennifer Martin (Southern Mortgage) 9 Erin Huck (Southern Mortgage) 10 Kelly Murphy (CU Cycling)
Local results 2004