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USA, June 1-6, 2004
Wachovia Classic - June 3: Trenton, NJ, 146km - 14 laps of 6.5 miles, 91 miles/147 km
Rodriguez makes it two in Trenton, Fraser just misses
By Mark Zalewski in Trenton, NJ
Fred Rodriguez (Acqua y Sapone - Caffe Mokambo) kept his sprinting form on track today on the other side of the Atlantic, beating Canadian Gord Fraser (Health Net/Maxxis) in a powerful field sprint to take the second race in the 2004 Wachovia Cycling Series.
Rodriguez hasn't had the easiest time so far in this year's series. In Tuesday's race in Lancaster, he suffered from stomach problems. "We just had some food poisoning," said Rodriguez. "I'm so used to eating pasta! It was just hotel food -- but combined with the flight and a fast race -- it caused some stomach cramps. " Then in today's race, his seat gave him more problems. "My seat height was too low on the trainer, so we set it higher. Then it was too high, so I was trying to fix it in the race." Rodriguez spent the first laps of the race either hanging on to the team car with a mechanic making adjustments, or Rodriguez getting off the bike completely (twice) on top of the feed climb and then chasing back on to the field.
But in the end, nothing was going to stop Fast Freddy from taking a field sprint, not even a hard charging Gord Fraser. "He obviously has good form -- he's sick on Tuesday and has problems today but still finds a way to win," Fraser said about the final sprint. "That's the mark of a true champion and true sprinter. He doesn't let adversity get to him, and his team did a good job for him too."
How it Unfolded
On a flat and fast course that many call the fastest circuit they have ever seen, people joke about breakaways. But for smaller domestic teams that are trying to make their presence known on the racing scene, a breakaway is about the only way to do it. So on the first lap of the 6.5 mile course, Jonny Sundt (Jittery Joe's Coffee), Nicklaus Kiernan (Shaper Image/Mathis Brothers) and David McCook (McGuire) took off. The trio held nearly thirty seconds on the field at one point, until a chase group of three more riders formed, consisting of Piotr Chmielewski (Action/ATI), Scott Zwizanski (Ofoto) and Mike Sayers (Health Net/Maxxis).
The leading trio waited for the fresh legs to join them and continued on, while the field sat content. The group of six gained more than a minute on the field when three more riders made a jump. Ernesto Lechuga (Jelly Belly-Aramark), Siro Camponogara (Navigators) and Chris Horner (Webcor). However, having Chris Horner anywhere up the road is like a signal flare to the peloton to turn on the juice -- just as CSC and Health Net proceeded to do -- dooming the breakaway.
After a short time on the front, CSC and US Postal made it one happy family again. Only the speed was so high that the field strung out... and strung out some more... until a group of more than twenty riders came around the bend seemingly as another break -- when in fact it was just the high speed causing the field to shatter into pieces. It took another half-lap for the pieces to come back together.
On the field hill, Hoop/ CCC Polstat rider Rodoslaw Romanik attacked and longtime American rider John Lieswyn went with him second nature. "The Polish guy went off on the feed hill and I just kind of instinctually went with it," explained Lieswyn. "When I looked back we had a huge gap. I was almost like, 'This is a loooong way to go for just two guys,' but I was like maybe if it gets to three minutes... because the gap went up quick."
The pair stayed away for the majority of the remaining laps, with Lieswyn racking up points in the sprint category. Then the gap began to fall when CSC got on the front. "But when it held at a minute and a half I knew we were done for. When CSC started, that is when the race started and it was very hard and very fast."
Lieswyn and Romanik were being sucked back into the field when the Health Net rider surged ahead to gain a few more sprint points -- and Jelly Belly's Ernesto Lechuga went with him. "I just went to the front, and got a little gap -- caught up to Lieswyn and I thought, 'What am I doing up here!' The field just let up and we got away."
"I was trying to stay away for the points," said Lieswyn. "I'm not sure if Ernesto knew what I was trying to do. I certainly wasn't trying to say, 'Never say die!' because I knew they were coming back. But if I stayed away a little longer I could ensure the sprint points." The unlikely duo managed to breath a little more life into the break -- just enough to get a few more points.
Into Caldawader Park on one of the ensuing laps, American Tim Johnson, Suanier-Duval's leader for Sunday's USPRO Championship, ended up on the ground. "It was just a 10/kph crash," Johnson explained. But serious enough to end his day -- and a foreshadow of problems to come.
Entering the final lap, the stage was set for the usual Trenton field sprint. Into the park for the last time, the much quicker-moving peloton suffered another crash, this time involving Ofoto's Scott Zwizanski. But the head of the pack, containing the sprinters, remained unaffected.
Passing the start/finish in the opposite direction for the final time, many teams were present at the front, including Navigators, Health Net, Jelly Belly and Rodriguez's Aqua & Sapone/Caffe Mokambo team. Coming back into the setting sun, the field swept around the bending course at 500 meters. "[My team] tried to keep the speed up on the last couple of laps for me," Rodriguez said.
"I was on Lars' wheel and I was hoping he would jump [Rodriguez]," said second place Gord Fraser. "But by the time I started I had left it too late, just like in Arlington [Clarendon Cup]. I had a lot of speed on him, but just left it too late -- same ($%#^) thing."
Fast Freddy raised his arms in victory just ahead of the line at forty-plus miles per hour, knowing he had the win (even if by mere inches.)
Even though Fraser had less of a lead-out than ususal, with Lieswyn spent from a long breakaway, he summed up his feelings over the last couple of races. "I've got to make my own luck. I've been relying on the other sprinters in the last two races, and when you do that sometimes you lose. And I've been losing way too close -- it's really frustrating. When I make mistakes against a guy like that, I'm going to pay for it."
Rodriguez summed up his chances this weekend, "I believe that my legs are strong [ for Sunday]."
Images by Jon Devich/www.epicimages.us
Images by Mark Zalewski/Cyclingnews.com
1 Fred Rodriguez (USA) Acqua e Sapone - Caffe Mokambo 3.00.03 2 Gordon Fraser (Can) Health Netpresented by Maxxis 3 Lars Michaelsen (Den) Team CSC 4 Alberto Loddo (Ita) Prodir Saunier Duval 5 Benjamin Brooks (Aus) Jelly Belly / Aramark 6 Michael Barry (Can) US Postal Service presented by Berry Floor 7 Jonas Carney (USA) Jelly Belly / Aramark 8 Antonio Cruz (USA) US Postal Service presented by Berry Floor 9 Juan Jose Haedo (Arg) Colavita Olive Oil 10 Joroslaw Zarebski (Pol) Hoop CCC - Polsat 11 Plamen Stoyanov (Bul) Hoop CCC - Polsat 12 Adam Wadecki (Pol) Action ATI 13 Dennis Kraft (Ger) Action ATI 14 Charles Dionne (Can) Webcor Cycling Team 15 Francisco Jose Ventoso Alberdi (Spa) Prodir Saunier Duval 16 Dan Schmatz (USA) Health Netpresented by Maxxis 17 Chad Hartley (USA) Jittery Joe's Coffee 18 Kazimierz Stafiej (Pol) Action ATI 19 Denis Bertolini (Ita) Acqua e Sapone - Caffe Mokambo 20 Jason Waddell (USA) Sharper Image-Mathis Bros. 21 Russell Hamby (USA) Sierra Nevada Cycling 22 Caleb Manion (Aus) Jelly Belly / Aramark 23 Chris Horner (USA) Webcor Cycling Team 24 Max van Heeswijk (Ned) US Postal Service presented by Berry Floor 25 David McCook (USA) McGuire Pro Cycling 26 Alex Candelario (USA) Jelly Belly / Aramark 27 Damon Kluck (USA) US Postal Service presented by Berry Floor 28 Jakob Erker (Can) Team Seasilver 29 Marty Nothstein (USA) Navigators Insurance 30 Brice Jones (USA) Health Netpresented by Maxxis 31 Jonathan Page (USA) Hoop CCC - Polsat 32 Jason Bausch (USA) Ofoto 33 Thomas Bruun Eriksen (Den) Team CSC 34 Mark McCormack (USA) Colavita Olive Oil 35 Dominique Perras (Can) Ofoto 36 Gordon McCauley (NZl) Team Monex 37 Peter LoPinto (USA) Ofoto 38 Tim Larkin (USA) Ofoto 39 Jimmi Madsen (Den) Team CSC 40 Chris Wherry (USA) Health Netpresented by Maxxis 41 Matt Dubberley (USA) Sierra Nevada Cycling 42 Bobby Julich (USA) Team CSC 43 Frank Hoj (Den) Team CSC 44 Josh Goodwin (USA) Team Monex 45 Ivan Dominguez (Cub) Colavita Olive Oil 46 Jonathan Sundt (USA) Jittery Joe's Coffee 47 Imanol Ayestaran Odriozola (Spa) Webcor Cycling Team 48 Geuennadi Mikhailov (Rus) US Postal Service presented by Berry Floor 49 Viktor Rapinski (Blr) Navigators Insurance 50 Arkadiuisz Wojtas (Pol) Hoop CCC - Polsat 51 Eric Wohlberg (Can) Sierra Nevada Cycling 52 Kyle Gritters (USA) Team Monex 53 Ben Jaques-Maynes (USA) Sierra Nevada Cycling 54 Mike Sayers (USA) Health Netpresented by Maxxis 55 Henk Vogels (Aus) Navigators Insurance 56 Piotr Chimielewski (Pol) Action ATI 57 Robbie Ventura (USA) US Postal Service presented by Berry Floor 58 Cameron Huges (Aus) Subway Express 59 Matthew Gilbert (NZl) Team Monex 60 David Richter (USA) Subway Express 61 Giosue Bonomi (Ita) Saeco 0.23 62 Gabriele Balducci (Ita) Saeco 63 Jacob Rosenbarger (USA) Jittery Joe's Coffee 64 Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) Acqua e Sapone - Caffe Mokambo 65 Adam Bergman (USA) Jelly Belly / Aramark 66 Eugen Wacker (Kgz) Action ATI 67 David Loosli (Swi) Saeco 68 Jason Klikna (USA) Sierra Nevada Cycling 69 Jon Erdeyli (USA) Ofoto 70 John Lieswyn (USA) Health Netpresented by Maxxis 71 Neil Shirley (USA) Team Seasilver 72 James Mattis (USA) Webcor Cycling Team 73 Michael Creed (USA) US Postal Service presented by Berry Floor 74 Vassili Davidenko (Rus) Navigators Insurance 75 Omer KEM (USA) Subway Express 76 John Hygelund (USA) Sierra Nevada Cycling 77 Michael Jones (NZl) Health Netpresented by Maxxis 78 Glen Mitchell (NZl) Sierra Nevada Cycling 79 Siro Camponogara (Ita) Navigators Insurance 80 Adam Hodges Myerson (USA) Sharper Image-Mathis Bros. 81 Christopher Pic (USA) Jittery Joe's Coffee 82 Tristan Hoffman (Ned) Team CSC 83 Alessandro Donati (Ita) Acqua e Sapone - Caffe Mokambo 0.35 84 Manuele Mori (Ita) Prodir Saunier Duval 85 Rubens Bertogliati (Swi) Prodir Saunier Duval 86 Paul Ellis (USA) Jelly Belly / Aramark 0.41 87 Mike Taylor (USA) McGuire Pro Cycling 88 Davide Frattini (Ita) Team Monex 89 David Zabriskie (USA) US Postal Service presented by Berry Floor 90 Gustavo Artacho (Arg) Colavita Olive Oil 91 Jakob Piil (Den) Team CSC 92 Kirk Albers (USA) Jelly Belly / Aramark 0.46 93 Ciaran Power (Irl) Navigators Insurance 0.51 94 Bo Hamburger (Den) Acqua e Sapone - Caffe Mokambo 1.03 95 David Mc Kenzie (Aus) Navigators Insurance 1.42 96 Devon Vigus (USA) McGuire Pro Cycling 1.57 97 Justin England (USA) Webcor Cycling Team 98 John Kelly (USA) Webcor Cycling Team 99 Karl Bordine (USA) Team Monex 2.59 DNF Emil Abraham (Tri) Team Monex DNF Andy Bajadali (USA) Ofoto DNF Colin Beardsley (USA) McGuire Pro Cycling DNF Antonio Bucciero (Ita) Saeco DNF Patrick CARRO (USA) Team Monex DNF Steven Cate (USA) Sharper Image-Mathis Bros. DNF Juan Jose Cobo Acebo (Spa) Prodir Saunier Duval DNF Nathaniel Cornelius (USA) Subway Express DNF Jamiel Danesh (USA) McGuire Pro Cycling DNF Drew Deters (USA) Team Seasilver DNF Patrick Dunaway (USA) McGuire Pro Cycling DNF Chris Foster (USA) Subway Express DNF Will Frischkorn (USA) Colavita Olive Oil DNF Juan Fuentes Angullo (Spa) Saeco DNF Angel Gomez (Spa) Prodir Saunier Duval DNF Juan Gomis Lopez (Spa) Prodir Saunier Duval DNF Cesar Augusto Grajales (Col) Jittery Joe's Coffee DNF Ben Haldeman (USA) Webcor Cycling Team DNF Greg Henderson (NZl) Health Netpresented by Maxxis DNF Todd Herriott (Arg) Colavita Olive Oil DNF Mike House (USA) Sharper Image-Mathis Bros. DNF Tim Johnson (USA) Prodir Saunier Duval DNF Michael Kehrberg (USA) Subway Express DNF Michael Kehrberg (USA) Subway Express DNF Nicklaus Kiernan (USA) Sharper Image-Mathis Bros. DNF Roman Kilun (USA) McGuire Pro Cycling DNF Trent Klasna (USA) Sierra Nevada Cycling DNF Peter Knudsen (USA) Team Seasilver DNF Seweryn Kohut (Pol) Hoop CCC - Polsat DNF Michael Lange (USA) Sharper Image-Mathis Bros. DNF Jesse Lawler (USA) Jittery Joe's Coffee DNF Ernesto Lechuga (Mex) Jelly Belly / Aramark DNF Adam Livingston (USA) Team Seasilver DNF Ruggero Marzoli (Ita) Acqua e Sapone - Caffe Mokambo DNF Remi McManus (USA) Subway Express DNF Kirk O'Bee (USA) Navigators Insurance DNF Daniel Ramsey (USA) Team Seasilver DNF Rodoslaw Romanik (Pol) Hoop CCC - Polsat DNF Matt Sadauckas (USA) Team Seasilver DNF Erik Saunders (USA) Ofoto DNF Brian Sheedy (USA) Team Seasilver DNF Benn Stafford (USA) Webcor Cycling Team DNF Matthew Svatek (USA) Sharper Image-Mathis Bros. DNF David Wenger (USA) Sharper Image-Mathis Bros. DNF Robbie Yost (USA) Subway Express DNF Scott Zwizanski (USA) Ofoto
2003 Julian Dean (NZl) Team CSC 146.0 kms in 2.55.49 (49.82 km/h) 2002 Gord Fraser (Can) Mercury 1.45.08 2001 Julian Dean (NZl) US Postal Service 2000 Fred Rodriguez (USA) Mapei-Quick Step 147.5 kms in 3.04.16 (47.00 km/h) 1999 George Hincapie (USA) US Postal 146.5 kms in 3.07.07 1998 Jan Svorada (Cze) Mapei-Bricobi 150.0 kms in 2.50.14 1999 Jay Sweet (Aus) ZVVZ-Giant-AIS