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Wachovia Cycling Series

USA, June 1-6, 2004

Results    Live Report     Past winners

Wachovia USPRO Championship - June 6: Philadelphia, PA, 14.4 mile circuit, 156 miles/250 km

Neo-pro Ventoso rings the Liberty Bell in Philly

Fast Freddy takes the jersey once again

By Mark Zalewski in Philadelphia, PA

Francisco Ventoso (Prodir-Saunier Duval)
Photo ©: Jon Devich
Click for larger image

On a cloudy and cool day in Philadelphia, a new pro to the European peloton outsprinted the rest to take the biggest win of his young career. Francisco Ventoso Alberdi (Prodir-Saunier Duval) beat sprinters Antonio Bucciero, Gord Fraser and Fred Rodriguez in the 20th Wachovia USPRO Road Championships. "This is the biggest victory for me ever," Ventoso admitted. "I'm a first year professional - I'm beyond happy!"

Behind him in fourth place, American Fred Rodriguez (Acqua e Sapone) claimed is third USPRO Championship, being the highest placed American in a Euro-stacked top ten. Only Kirk O'Bee (Navigators) and Russell Hamby (Sierra Nevada) managed to crack the top ten, ninth and tenth respectively.

Even though American Tim Johnson, Ventoso's teammate, made it into an early break, he assured all that this was just as good. "It turned out to be a perfect day for us, obviously! We had two of us in the breakaway, with Gomez. And then we knew we had the sprinter also. It was a great day and tactics worked out too. Either way, we were going to have a great day."

How it unfolded

The race gets underway
Photo ©: Jon Devich
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Riders make their way up "The Wall"
Photo ©: Jon Devich
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Remnants of the break
Photo ©: Jon Devich
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Team CSC and Webcor lead the chase.
Photo ©: Jon Devich
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Bobby Julich (CSC)
Photo ©: Jon Devich
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Chris Horner (Webcor) attacks
Photo ©: Jon Devich
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"That's so cool how everything matches!"
Photo ©: Jon Devich
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Right from the gun, on the first lap, a group of 26 made a go of it - and the peloton let them have their fun, knowing that a break hardly has a chance to survive ten times up the Manayunk Wall.

Also helping matters was the fact that just about every big team was represented, with only Saeco not making the large move. Health Net had three riders in Pate, Sayers and Moninger, US Postal had two in McCarty and Creed, and Webcor and Jelly Belly also had two. American Tim Johnson and his Prodir-Suanier-Duval teammate Angel Gomez also made the break.

The group worked well together, increasing its lead quickly, up to a maximum of more than nine minutes. Monex rider Emile Abraham had a flat and couldn't catch back on, and Sierra-Nevada's Trent Klasna had a difficult time keeping contact on the Wall, eventually sitting up and waiting for the peloton.

Health Net's Danny Pate had a definite strategy for the Manayunk Wall. Lap after lap, Pate would drift to the rear of the break, taking the steep climb at his own speed. Then, using expert descending skills, he would make his way back to the pack through the following caravan, usually catching by the bottom of the descent.

Jelly Belly's Doug Ollerenshaw had an easy strategy for the Wall and Lemon Hill, get to the top first. "[Going for the KOM] was the strategy all day," a tired Ollerenshaw explained. "Paul Ellis, myself and Ernie Lechuga were hoping to get in the early break. Ernie and I ended up there and I went for it."

But towards the end the legs had a hard time turning over and Lechuga went to the front on Lemon Hill. "I was starting to come apart at that point. [Lechuga] saw that and went up there to snatch as many points as he could to keep guys from coming over the top of me." One reason could explain Ollerenshaw's fatigue... "That is the farthest I have ever raced my bike!"

Once the break neared a double digit time gap, Bobby Julich's CSC team rode to the front and turned on the gas. Soon the peloton began chipping away at the break's lead. Down to under four minutes, the break realized that it was just a matter of time. Originally, the break descended (or fell off) the wall at near 50 mph. Later, that speed dwindled to just 28 mph. It was clear that a field sprint looked to be on tap. The only attempt (that got away from CSC) to bridge up to the break was Action/ATI's Dennis Kraft, but he only managed 15 seconds.

After 123.5 miles in the legs, the field finally reeled in the 23 remaining riders, and the reduced peloton kept the pace high, with US Postal helping five CSC riders at the front of the field. The effects of driving the pace at such a high speed could be seen in the shrinking size of the field. Subway/Express' Todd Cornelius gave a good account of the speeds. "Coming down on Kelly Drive, CSC was going 38 mph, and I was like, 'OK, we'll go 38!'"

Soon after the break was caught, another large group rode off the front, once again including Tim Johnson and several Prodir teammates, and American Bobby Julich. However, this move was caught at the base of the final ascent up the Wall - with the large amount of spectators well lubricated by this point!

This time is was Chris Horner's turn, as he led the field over the top of the Wall. Joining the Webcor rider was Fast Freddy himself, along with Kirk O'Bee (Navigators) and Michael Barry (US Postal). Horner continued to lead the break as the others looked around to assess the situation. "I knew I was one of the strongest guys in the field, and I had to cover the move," Rodriguez explained. "After missing the early break, I knew my team depended on it. I spent a little energy there, but I didn't dig too deep because Horner was driving it - it was in his best interest to drive and try to re-counter us there. That's where it always breaks apart and I had to be a player."

When Horner finally swung off, none of the other three were willing to work. Horner moved to the front again, but when he was done, so was the break. Rodriguez had the help of two teammates to keep his position at the front, as the peloton (or whatever you call the thirty-odd riders remaining at the front) moved on to the finishing circuits.

With Prodir-Suanier-Duval driving the field Chris Horner attacked again. Possibly a bit early, as two more climbs of Lemon Hill remained, but the field wasn't going to sit still. Three riders, Eric Wohlberg, Jonathan Page and Siro Camponogara launched a chase with Health Net rider Brice Jones in tow. The group caught up to Horner, making it five.

CSC again put the hammer down and brought the five back into the fold. It was to be a field sprint, and that was that. Saeco didn't make the early move, nor any of the other moves, and they weren't about to go home without at least a little TV time. Juan Fuentes gave it a go the final time up Lemon Hill, gaining about seven seconds on the field. Down the descent, the fast moving pack still had field sprint on the mind, and Fuentes was swallowed up and spat out the back.

The easily recognizable Prodir yellow massed at the front, with the Navigators also moving up on the inside. Around Logan Circle for the final time, the pack was curb-to-curb. Down to the line, Prodir kept the middle of the field yellow, delivering first-year pro and team sprinter Jose Ventoso to the line first. "The team led me to the sprint, so I could win," Ventoso said. "They led me all week!"

With his arms in the air, everyone knew Ventoso had won - but the race for the stars and stripes was too close to call. The announcers thought maybe Danny Pate, but going to the photo-finish, it was Fast Freddy again!

Third-place Gord Fraser, frustrated with always being a bridesmaid this week, ran down the sprint. "First of all, it was a pretty good fight for Fred's wheel. I let van Heeswijk have it. Then for some reason, [van Heeswijk] dropped his chain or something, and I had to close the gap to Fred. I was boxed in then - completely enclosed. I wasn't even sprinting. I was just waiting for a hole, and it wouldn't come. I'm sitting there, sitting pretty and just couldn't move. Then a hole opened up with ten meters to go and I made up a couple of guys there. It was frustrating, I just couldn't unleash the sprint."

Rodriguez admitted it is getting harder to win in Philly because fewer riders are having as much difficulty with the course, some of which wish was made harder. "[The competition] is always getting better and better. Being cold allowed for a lot of guys to finish. It makes it harder for me to win. I thought I had it in the finish, but I got...blocked." And even though Rodriguez gets to be Captain America in the European peloton for the next year, placement on the Olympic team is no longer assured with this honour. With a new selection process, riders must race the Olympic trials race in California later this summer.

Regardless of anything else, one thing is clear: a new pro has quickly made his mark, and he is certainly happy about it.


Images by Jon Devich/www.epicimages.us

Images by Mark Zalewski/Cyclingnews.com

Images by Dennis Smith/www.densphoto.com

Results, 156 miles/250 km

1 Francisco Jose Ventoso Alberdi (Spa) Prodir Saunier Duval              5.53.13
2 Antonio Bucciero (Ita) Team Saeco                                             
3 Gordon Fraser (Can) Health Net presented by Maxxis                            
4 Fred Rodriguez (USA) Acqua y Sapone - Caffe Modambo                           
5 Plamen Stoyanov (Bul) Hoop CCC - Polsat                                       
6 Alberto Loddo (Ita) Prodir Saunier Duval                                      
7 Piotr Chmielewski (Pol) Action ATI                                            
8 Lars Michaelsen (Den) Team CSC                                                
9 Kirk O'Bee (USA) Navigators Insurance                                         
10 Russell Hamby (USA) Sierra Nevada Cycling                                    
11 Arkadiusz Wojtas (Pol) Hoop CCC - Polsat                                     
12 Mark McCormack (USA) Colavita Olive Oil                                      
13 Ben Brooks (Aus) Jelly Belly / Aramark                                       
14 Alex Candelario (USA) Jelly Belly / Aramark                                  
15 Brice Jones (USA) Health Net presented by Maxxis                             
16 Radoslaw Romanik (Pol) Hoop CCC - Polsat                                     
17 Chris Wherry (USA) Health Net presented by Maxxis                            
18 Kazimierz Stafiej (Pol) Action ATI                                           
19 Dennis Kraft (Ger) Action ATI                                                
20 Eric Wohlberg (Can) Sierra Nevada Cycling                                    
21 Erik Saunders (USA) Ofoto                                                    
22 Chris Horner (USA) Webcor Cycling Team                                       
23 Antonio Cruz (USA) US Postal Service presented by Berry Floor                
24 Henk Vogels (Aus) Navigators Insurance                                       
25 Jonathan Page (USA) Hoop CCC - Polsat                                        
26 Charles Dionne (Can) Webcor Cycling Team                                     
27 Michael Barry (Can) US Postal Service presented by Berry Floor               
28 Max Van Heeswijk (Ned) US Postal Service presented by Berry Floor            
29 Damon Kluck (USA) US Postal Service presented by Berry Floor                 
30 Brian Sheedy (USA) Team Seasilver                                            
31 William Frischkorn (USA) Colavita Olive Oil                                  
32 Tim Larkin (USA) Ofoto                                                       
33 Steven Cate (USA) Sharper Image-Mathis Bros.                                 
34 Bobby Julich (USA) Team CSC                                                  
35 Dominique Perras (Can) Ofoto                                                 
36 Ruggero Marzoli (Ita) Acqua y Sapone - Caffe Modambo                         
37 Manuele Mori (Ita) Prodir Saunier Duval                                      
38 Mark Walters (Can) Navigators Insurance                                      
39 Jakob Piil (Den) Team CSC                                                    
40 Jason Bausch (USA) Ofoto                                                     
41 Vikor Rapinski (Blr) Navigators Insurance                                    
42 Tristen Hoffman (Ned) Team CSC                                               
43 Ruggero Marzoli (Ita) Acqua y Sapone - Caffe Modambo                         
44 Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) Acqua y Sapone - Caffe Modambo                       
45 Ciaran Power (Irl) Navigators Insurance                                  0.07
46 Adam Bergman (USA) Jelly Belly / Aramark                                     
47 David Mc Kenzie (Aus) Navigators Insurance                                   
48 Rubens Bertogliati (Swi) Prodir Saunier Duval                            0.11
49 Aaron Olson (USA) Colavita Olive Oil                                     0.14
50 Juan Fuentes Angullo (Spa) Team Saeco                                        
51 Davide Frattini (Ita) Team Monex                                         0.28
52 John Lieswyn (USA) Health Net presented by Maxxis                            
53 Guennadi Mikhailov (Rus) US Postal Service presented by Berry Floor          
54 Christopher Baldwin (USA) Navigators Insurance                           0.35
55 Jason Mccartney (USA) Health Net presented by Maxxis                     0.46
56 Caleb Manion (Aus) Jelly Belly / Aramark                                     
57 David Loosli (Swi) Team Saeco                                                
58 Jeff Louder (USA) Navigators Insurance                                   1.24
59 Vassili Davidenko (Rus) Navigators Insurance                             5.36
60 James Mattis (USA) Webcor Cycling Team                                       
61 Michael Creed (USA) US Postal Service presented by Berry Floor               
62 Glen Mitchell (NZl) Sierra Nevada Cycling                                    
63 Neil Shirley (USA) Team Seasilver                                            
64 Jonathan Erdelyi (USA) Ofoto                                                 
65 John Hygelund (USA) Sierra Nevada Cycling                                    
66 Juan Jose Haedo (Arg) Colavita Olive Oil                                     
67 Scottie Weiss (USA) Subway Express                                           
68 Ben Jacques-Maynes (USA) Sierra Nevada Cycling                               
69 Cameron Hughes (Aus) Subway Express                                          
70 Imanol Ayestaran Odriozola (Spa) Webcor Cycling Team                         
71 Doug Ollerenshaw (USA) Jelly Belly / Aramark                                 
72 Tim Johnson (USA) Prodir Saunier Duval                                       
73 Kyle Gritters (USA) Team Monex                                               
74 Joroslaw Zarebski (Pol) Hoop CCC - Polsat                                    
75 Jonathan Patrick McCarty (USA) US Postal Service presented by Berry Floor    
76 David Wenger (USA) Sharper Image-Mathis Bros.                                
77 Frank Hoj (Den) Team CSC                                                     
78 Jimmi Madsen (Den) Team CSC                                                  
79 Peter Knudsen (USA) Team Seasilver                                           
80 Angel Gomez (Spa) Prodir Saunier Duval                                       
81 Adam Wadecki (Pol) Action ATI                                                
82 Kirk Albers (USA) Jelly Belly / Aramark                                      
83 Juan Gomis Lopez (Spa) Prodir Saunier Duval                                  
84 Cesar Grajales Calle (Col) Jittery Joe's Coffee                              
85 Jesse Lawler (USA) Jittery Joe's Coffee                                      
86 Seweryn Kohut (Pol) Hoop CCC - Polsat                                        
87 Ernesto Lechuga (Mex) Jelly Belly / Aramark                                  
88 Thad Dulin (USA) Colavita Olive Oil                                          
89 Jacob Erker (Can) Team Seasilver                                             
90 Adam Livingston (USA) Team Seasilver                                         
91 Jackson Stewart (USA) Ofoto                                                  
92 Scott Moninger (USA) Health Net presented by Maxxis                          
93 Andy Bajadali (USA) Ofoto                                                    
94 Michael Jones (USA) Health Net presented by Maxxis                           
95 Ivan Dominguez (Cub) Colavita Olive Oil                                      
96 Giosu Bonomi (Ita) Team Saeco                                                
97 Gordon Mccauley (NZl) Team Monex                                             
98 Alessandro Donati (Ita) Acqua y Sapone - Caffe Modambo                       
99 Roman Kilun (USA) McGuire Pro Cycling                                    9.00
100 Todd Herriott (USA) Colavita Olive Oil                                      
101 Justin England (USA) Webcor Cycling Team                                    
102 Burke Swindlehurst (USA) Navigators Insurance                               
103 John Kelly (USA) Webcor Cycling Team                                        
104 Jacob Rosenbarger (USA) Jittery Joe's Coffee                                
105 Michael Kehrberg (USA) Subway Express                                       
106 Matt Dubberley (USA) Sierra Nevada Cycling                                  
107 Karl Bordine (USA) Team Monex                                               
108 Steve Larsen (USA) Webcor Cycling Team                                      
109 Benjamin Haldeman (USA) Webcor Cycling Team                                 
110 Michael Lange (USA) Sharper Image-Mathis Bros.                              
111 Mike Taylor (USA) McGuire Pro Cycling                                       
112 Gustavo Artacho (Arg) Colavita Olive Oil                                    
113 David Richter (USA) Subway Express                                          
DNF Emil Abraham (Tri) Team Monex                                               
DNF Gabriele Balducci (Ita) Team Saeco                                          
DNF Colin Beardsley (USA) McGuire Pro Cycling                                   
DNF Denis Bertolini (Ita) Acqua y Sapone - Caffe Modambo                        
DNF Nieko Biskner (USA) Ofoto                                                   
DNF Thomas Bruun Eriksen (Den) Team CSC                                         
DNF Jonas Carney (USA) Jelly Belly / Aramark                                    
DNF Patrick Carro (USA) Team Monex                                              
DNF Mirko Celestino (Ita) Team Saeco                                            
DNF Juan Jose Cobo Acebo (Spa) Prodir Saunier Duval                             
DNF Nathaniel Cornelius (USA) Subway Express                                    
DNF Tracy Cundiff (USA) Sportsbook.com                                          
DNF Jamiel Danesh (USA) McGuire Pro Cycling                                     
DNF Drew Deters (USA) Team Seasilver                                            
DNF Patrick Dunaway (USA) McGuire Pro Cycling                                   
DNF Paul Ellis (USA) Jelly Belly / Aramark                                      
DNF Dario Falquier (USA) Webcor Cycling Team                                    
DNF Chris Foster (USA) Subway Express                                           
DNF Christian Foster (USA) Subway Express                                       
DNF Matthew Gilbert (NZl) Team Monex                                            
DNF Josh Goodwin (USA) Team Monex                                               
DNF Chad Hartley (USA) Jittery Joe's Coffee                                     
DNF Greg Henderson (NZl) Health Net presented by Maxxis                         
DNF Mike Herdman (USA) Team Monex                                               
DNF Mike House (USA) Sharper Image-Mathis Bros.                                 
DNF Omer Kem (USA) Subway Express                                               
DNF Nicklaus Kiernan (USA) Sharper Image-Mathis Bros.                           
DNF Trent Klasna (USA) Sierra Nevada Cycling                                    
DNF Jason Klikna (USA) Sierra Nevada Cycling                                    
DNF Aleksandra Klimenko (Ukr) Action ATI                                        
DNF Peter Lopinto (USA) Ofoto                                                   
DNF David Mccook (USA) McGuire Pro Cycling                                      
DNF Remi Mcmanus (USA) Subway Express                                           
DNF Adam Myerson (USA) Sharper Image-Mathis Bros.                               
DNF Nathan O'neill (Aus) Colavita Olive Oil                                     
DNF Danny Pate (USA) Health Net presented by Maxxis                             
DNF Lawrence Perera (USA) Sharper Image-Mathis Bros.                            
DNF Christopher Pic (USA) Jittery Joe's Coffee                                  
DNF Jeremy Powers (USA) Jelly Belly / Aramark                                   
DNF Matthew Sadauckas (USA) Team Seasilver                                      
DNF Mike Sayers (USA) Health Net presented by Maxxis                            
DNF Aaron Smathers (USA) Sharper Image-Mathis Bros.                             
DNF Ben Stafford (USA) Webcor Cycling Team                                      
DNF Jonathan Sundt (USA) Jittery Joe's Coffee                                   
DNF Robbie Ventura (USA) US Postal Service presented by Berry Floor             
DNF Devon Vigus (USA) McGuire Pro Cycling                                       
DNF Eugen Wacker (Kgz) Action ATI                                               
DNF Jason Waddell (USA) Sharper Image-Mathis Bros.                              
DNF Nichole Wangsgard (USA) Basis Aude                                          
DNF Troy White (USA) Sierra Nevada Cycling                                      
DNF Tyler Wren (USA) Colavita Olive Oil                                         
DNF Robert Yost (USA) Subway Express                                            
DNF David Zabriskie (USA) US Postal Service presented by Berry Floor            
USPRO Champion: Fred Rodriguez (USA) Acqua & Sapone
King of the Moutnains: Doug Ollerenshaw (USA) Jelly Belly-Aramark

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