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Wachovia Cycling Series

USA, June 3-8, 2003

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Wachovia USPRO Championship: Philadelphia, PA 250km - 11 laps of 22.64km

Zaza Sprints to Philly photo finish win for Saeco

McCormack crowned USPRO champ

By Tim Maloney in Philadelphia

New USPRO champ Mark McCormack
Photo: © Jon Devich
Click for larger image

"Grande Zaza!" was the joyful cry of Stefano Zanini's Saeco teammates just after the finish of the Wachovia USPRO Championships on a cloudy and cool Sunday afternoon when, a week after his teammate Gilberto Simoni sewed up his win in the Giro d'Italia, the 34-year-old powerhouse sprinter from Olgiate Olona grabbed the winner's bouquet by a few centimeters, just ahead of fast-closing Slovenian Uros Murn (Formaggio Pinzolo). In front of a typically huge and enthusiastic Philly crowd, Saturn's solid sprinter Mark McCormack, already runner-up in Lancaster last Tuesday was an excellent fourth in Philly to capture the US title and crown a super season so far for the US team.

"I'm really happy for my first win today, my first with Saeco," Zanini told Cyclingnews. "I'm really happy to win here in Philadelphia. It's the first time I had good legs here after riding this race twice. This win has given me morale for the future. I'm going to the Tour de France this year so I hope to do well there."

Zanini was a key player of the now defunct but still legendary Mapei team but was suspended for six months last year by the Italian Cycling Federation after a syringe containing traces of insulin was found during the San Remo blitz at the 2001 Giro. Zaza's comeback win in Philly was no foregone conclusion; it took a photo finish decision by the jury to award the win to the Saeco man.

Runner-up Uros Murn told Cyclingnews, "I started my sprint late today because I had great legs for the sprint." But Murn left it too late; he passed Zanini just after the line but the experienced Italian, coming off a great lead-out from teammate Igor Astarloa, timed his sprint just right and threw his bike across the line in a perfect final move to take the Wachovia honors.

Zaza wins it
Photo: © Jon Devich
Click for larger image

Zanini was also happy about his shot at a million bucks for the Triple Crown, but was nervous about his chances in San Francisco. "I'm not sure that's a race for me; the hills are big," he said. But Zanini will likely be at the second leg of the prize chase at the New York City Cycling Championships on August 3.

Zaza's Saeco teammate Astarloa was happy with his ride at Wachovia and the talented 27-year-old from Ermua in the Basque country who finished fourth in last year's World Cup series made two key attacks today; on the last climb up Manayunk Wall and the last climb up Lemon Hill. "I'm happy to have helped my teammate to the win and how everything went today. I knew at the end that I couldn't win a mass sprint like that in the finale, so I was able to help Zanini."

In fact, it was the teamwork of Saeco, ranked world #1 by the UCI, that made the difference today. Saeco had all their men in the finale and with attacks by Juan Fuentes and Antonio Bucciero on the finishing circuits, the red riders took the pressure off their sprinter Zanini.

The break
Photo: © Jon Devich
Click for larger image

Newly crowned USPRO champ Mark McCormack was surprised he didn't get passed by any other American riders, but the Massachusetts man had great legs all week. "This is my tenth time at Philadelphia and my first time on the podium; it's great! Chris Horner gave me a fantastic lead out and I found myself on Zanini's wheel with 200 meters to go. It was unbelievable." The humble McCormack also tipped his hat to his "awesome" teammate Trent Klasna, who was out in a long break for most of the day with Jonathan Vaughters (Prime Alliance), Tristan Hoffman (CSC) and Siro Camponogara (Navigators). This quartet was away for almost 150km and Klasna dominated his break companions on the ascents of the Manyaunk Wall and won the Master Of The Mountain climbers' trophy today. Lanky Klasna is on the comeback trail from a hamstring injury and was pleased with his super ride today.

Kiwi Julian Dean of Team CSC was not so pleased; he was hoping to make it three out of three for the TT1 Danish squad, who won the first two legs of the Wachovia Cycling Series this week and came close today. But things didn't exactly as planned for the Computer Scientists. "I was isolated in the finale and didn't have any teammates in the sprint, so I wasn't in the best position. Plus Jakob (Piil) broke his chain when we entered the finishing circuits, so he wasn't there either." Dean will head back to his home in Spain tomorrow and although not selected for the Tour de France team, the friendly Kiwi rider hopes to do well in the second half of the season.

Rodriguez and Dean
Photo: © Jon Devich
Click for larger image

Two time USPRO champ Fred Rodriguez was hungry for the win today and his third Captain America tunic, but maybe the Vini Caldirola rider was too hungry. Although his team was solid all day, Rodriguez may have burned his last match in the final attack on Lemon Hill, where he and Dean followed Astarloa. "I wasted too much energy today," Fast Freddy told Cyclingnews. "It was a slow race and the early break (that gained six minutes halfway through the race) screwed up the strategy for a lot of teams. With the cool weather and slow pace, there was just not enough attrition and the course wasn't hard enough." But Rodriguez wasn't that disappointed, as he has the Tour de France to look forward to in a few weeks.

USPS-Berry Floor had a disappointing day at the Wachovia USPRO Championships. Former USPRO champ George Hincapie was not on the starting line for the first time in nine years, as he is in Europe preparing for the Tour. His presence was missed by the Postal squad, as despite numerous attacks in the final by mighty Matt White and Michael Barry, Postal's sprinter Van Heeswijk was only fifth in the rush to the line.

Next stop for Zanini after the Tour de France will likely be the New York City Cycling Championships on August 3 in Manhattan's financial district, where Zaza will hope to make it two in a row in his bid for the $1 Million Triple Crown prize.


Images by Jonathan Devich/www.wachoviacycling.com

Images by Zui Hanafusa/miyashojicycling.com

Images by Gianmarco Cilli

Images by Jim Snyder

Images by Kristy Scrymgeour/Cyclingnews

Images by Celia Cole

Images by Aron Kansal/www.USWebPro.com

Images by Michael Doupe/RedRoseRaces.com

Results - 250 km

1 Stefano Zanini (Ita) Saeco                                  5.56.21 (42.09 km/h)
2 Uros Murn (Slo) Formaggi Pinzolo Fiavé 
3 Julian Dean (NZl) Team CSC 
4 Mark McCormack (USA) Saturn Cycling Team
5 Max Van Heeswijk (Bel) US Postal Service presented by Berry Floor
6 Massimiliano Mori (Ita) Formaggi Pinzolo Fiave'
7 Kevin Monahan (USA) 7UP / Maxxis
8 Henk Vogels (Aus) Navigators
9 David Clinger (USA) Prime Alliance Cycling Team
10 Mike Sayers (USA) Health Net Cycling Team
11 Igor Astarloa (Ita) Saeco
12 Alex Candelario (USA) Prime Alliance Cycling Team
13 Vassili Davidenko (Rus) Navigators
14 Oscar Pineda (Gua) 7UP / Maxxis 
15 Chris Horner (USA) Saturn Cycling Team 
16 Thomas Bruun Eriksen (Den) Team CSC
17 John Lieswyn (USA) 7UP / Maxxis 
18 Adam Livingston (USA) Schroeder Iron Cycling Team 
19 Matthew White (Aus) US Postal presented by Berry Floor 
20 Tim Larkin (USA) Ofoto-Lombardi Sports 
21 Eddy Mazzoleni (Ita) Vini Caldirola - Sidermec
22 Viktor Rapinski (Blr) Saturn Cycling Team
23 Jeff Louder (USA) Navigators
24 Cezary Zamana (Pol) Mróz
25 Chann McRae (USA) Schroeder Iron Cycling Team
26 Kazimierz Stafiej (Pol) Mróz
27 Mariano Friedick (USA) Jelly Belly
28 Simon Kessler (USA) Sportsbook.com Cycling Team
29 Fred Rodriguez (USA) Vini Caldirola - Sidermec
30 Scott Guyton (Aus) Flanders - IteamNova.com
31 David McKenzie (Aus) Flanders - IteamNova.com
32 David O'Loughlin (Irl) Ofoto - Lombardi Sports
33 Geert Van Bondt (Bel) Team CSC
34 Bert Scheirlinckx (Bel) Flanders - IteamNova.com
35 Paul Martin (USA) West Virginia Cycling Team
36 Chris Baldwin (USA) Navigators
37 Zbigniew Piatek (Pol) Mróz
38 Michael Barry (USA) US Postal Service presented by Berry Floor
39 Patrick Calcagni (Ita) Vini Caldirola - Sidermec
40 Andy Bajadali (USA) Ofoto - Lombardi Sports
41 Jimmi Madsen (Den) Team CSC
42 Matt Decanio (USA) Prime Alliance Cycling Team 
43 Alan Iacuone (Aus) Flanders - IteamNova.com
44 Oleg Grishkine (Rus) Navigators
45 Steffen Kjaergaard (Nor) US Postal Service presented by Berry Floor
46 Antonio Bucciero (Ita) Saeco
47 Michael Jones (USA) West Virginia Cycling Team
48 Dominique Perras (Aus) Flanders - IteamNova.com               0.08
49 Jamie Drew (Aus) Flanders - IteamNova.com                     0.20
50 Danny Pate (USA) Prime Alliance Cycling Team                  0.27
51 Juan Fuentes Angullo (Spa) Saeco                              0.32
52 Jason Lokkesmoe (USA) Health Net Cycling Team                 3.45
53 James Mattis (USA) Webcor Cycling Team 
54 Trent Klasna (USA) Saturn Cycling Team
55 Jason Bausch (USA) Schroeder Iron Cycling Team
56 Cameron Hughes (Aus) Schroeder Iron Cycling Team
57 Scottie Weiss (USA) West Virginia Cycling Team
58 Russell Hambey (USA) Ofoto - Lombardi Sports
59 Lars Michaelsen (Den) Team CSC
60 Andrea Tafi (Ita) Team CSC 
61 Roman Peter (Swi) Ofoto-Lombardi Sports 
62 Staf Scheirlinckx (Bel) Flanders - IteamNova.com
63 Brice Jones (USA) 7UP / Maxxis
64 Jonathan Sundt (USA) The Jittery Joe's cycling Team
65 Chris Pic (USA) 7UP / Maxxis
66 Derek Wilkerson (USA) Jelly Belly
67 Aaron Olsen (USA) Schroeder Iron Cycling Team
68 Kirk Albers (USA) Jelly Belly
69 Eric Wohlberg (Can) Saturn Cycling Team
70 Marco Gili (Ita) Sidermec

Subaru Mountain Competition
Trent Klasna (USA) Saturn
Best Young Rider
Viktor Rapinski (Blr) Saturn

Past Winners

2002 Mark Walters (Can) Navigators         251 kms in 5.54.24 (42.57 km/h)
2001 Fred Rodriguez (USA) Domo-Farm Frites 251 kms in 5.57.56 (42.15 km/h)
2000 Henk Vogels (Aus) Mercury-Viatel      251 kms in 5.52.11 (42.76 km/h)
1999 Jacob Piil (Den) Acceptcard           251 kms in 6.04.44 (41.30 km/h)
1998 George Hincapie (USA) US Postal       251 kms in 6.06.35 (41.08 km/h)
1997 Massimiliano Lelli (Ita)              251 kms in 5.54.50 (42.44 km/h)
1996 Eddy Gragus (USA)
1995 Norm Alvis (USA)
1994 Sean Yates (GBr)
1993 Lance Armstrong (USA)
1992 Bart Bowen (USA)
1991 Michel Zanoli (Ned)
1990 Paolo Cimini (Ita)
1989 Greg Oravetz (USA)
1988 Robert Gaggioli (Ita)
1987 Tom Schuler (USA)
1986 Thomas Prehn (USA)
1985 Eric Heiden (USA)

Past winners courtesy of Bob Schwartz

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