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Wachovia USPRO Championship - 1.2

USA, June 6, 2004

Main page    Start list    Results

USPRO Championship - 14.4 mile circuit, 156 miles/250 km

Commentary by Jeff Jones and Chris Henry, with additional reporting from Mark Zalewski and Rob Karman

Complete live report

Live coverage starts: 9:00 EDT
Estimated finish time: 15:00 EDT

08:46 EDT
Weclome to Cyclingnews' live coverage of the Wachovia USPRO Championships in Philadelphia. This year marks the 20th time that the USPRO race has been held in Philly, and once again we can expect a big one. The defending US champion is Mark McCormack, who actually finished fourth in the race last year behind foreigners Stefano Zanini, Uros Murn and Julian Dean. McCormack is riding for Colavita Olive Oil this year, and hopes to be a factor in the finale once again.

McCormack faces some tough opposition though, with two-time USPRO champion Fred Rodriguez eager for a third title. Rodriguez won the Wachovia Classic in Trenton this week, and is definitely a man in form. Also watch for Chris Horner (Webcor), Antonio Cruz and Max van Heeswijk (USPS-Berry Floor), Bobby Julich and Lars Michaelsen (Team CSC).

The weather today has been a little damp with some early morning rain making the course wet, although it's expected to all clear up by noon. Surprisingly, in 20 years this race has never been held in the rain. The temperatures are in the low 20s/60s (Celsius/Farenheit) so it's not too bad for racing.

09:04 EDT
The race starts with a neutral section consisting of three laps of a half mile loop, and there will actually be a NASCAR leading the caravan around these neutral laps. Everyone is hoping that it won't slip on the wet roads on the climb!

Cyclingnews' Mark Zalewski spoke to top favourite Fred Rodriguez at the start, and the Acqua e Sapone sprinter said that "I'm obviously one of the strongest riders and one of the favourites today. But look what happened to the leader yesterday [referring to Smarty Jones, a Philly horse that started as the favourite but got beaten on the line in a big race here yesterday]. So I'll just have to stay alert and hang at the front."

09:18 EDT 10km/240km to go
The men are still on their 3 semi-neutral laps, which do count as part of the race but are more to get the crowd geed up. The women's Liberty Classic will start as soon as the men get onto the main 14.6 mile circuit, where they will do 10 laps.

Cyclingnews' Rob Karman spoke to six time Liberty Classic winner Petra Rossner (Nurnberger) before the start today, and the German sprinter said that I feel a bit better today - I've been sick in bed since the end of the Tour of Montreal. It's always a good race in Philly and I always really enjoy it here. It's my last time so it will be a bit special."

09:29 EDT 17km/233km to go
The riders are approaching the Manayunk Wall for the first time, and already some of the smaller teams have tried to attack. Michael House (Sharper Image-Matthis) had a go and got 10 seconds before he was brought back by the pack. Then we had Gordon McCauley (Monex) and Aaron Smathers (Sharper Image-Matthis) launching themselves into a move, but that met with similar success.

The peloton is now strung out over the Manayunk Wall, with Colavita and Jittery Joes riders leading over the top.

09:34 EDT 20km/230km to go
We spoke to Canadian Michael Barry (USPS-Berry Floor) this morning before the start of the race. Barry said that jetlag was a bit of a problem for the European-based riders, particularly for the races last week as there is a six hour difference between here and Europe. "I'm feeling good but I know for a lot of the Euros, the time change is a problem," he said. "When it was 4:00pm in Trenton on Thursday, most of us are normally sleeping."

One of the better known Europeans is CSC's Jakob Piil, a past winner of this race. He told Cyclingnews that "I'm most concerned about the race not being hard enough today."

09:36 EDT 24km/226km to go
A group of about 20 riders has formed after the Wall, following an attack by four riders. The group includes Doug Ollerenshaw (Jelly Belly), Danny Pate (Health Net) and Adam Livingston (Sea Silver) and they have about 15 seconds lead on the peloton.

09:45 EDT 32km/218km to go
We now have a 26 rider break that has established itself at 1'10 in front of the main field. Most of the main teams are represented, including CSC, Health Net, Colavita, US Postal, Sierra Nevada, CCC-Polsat, Jelly Belly and Acqua e Sapone.

Some of the names in the break: Doug Ollerenshaw (Jelly Belly), Danny Pate (Health Net), Ben Stafford (Webcor), Mike Creed and Patrick McCarty (US Postal), Tim Johnson and Angel Gomez (Saunier Duval), Jake Rosenbarger (Jittery Joe's) Todd Herriott and Juan Jose Haedo (Colavita Olive Oil), Alessandro Donati (Acqua e Sapone), Jimmi Madsen (CSC), Kirk Albers (Jelly Belly).

09:51 EDT
An update on the Liberty Classic, where the women have just completed their first lap minus about a quarter of the field, which was dropped on the first ascent of Manayunk. The Genesis Scuba girls Candice Blickem and Tina Pic drove it into the base of the climb while over the top, it was Rona setting the pace. Erinne Willock got a 100m gap at the top but was brought back, and the field is pretty much all together across the start/finish line (except for the quarter that was dropped).

10:01 EDT 42km/208km to go
The break is heading up the Manayunk Wall for the second time with a 1'50 lead on the peloton. Trent Klasna (Sierra Nevada) is suffering, and has left a small gap over the top but he gets back on.

Some more names in this break of 26: Doug Ollerenshaw and Kirk Albers (Jelly Belly), Danny Pate, Mike Sayers, Scott Moninger (Health Net), Ben Stafford and Justin England (Webcor), Mike Creed and Patrick McCarty (US Postal), Tim Johnson and Angel Gomez (Saunier Duval), Jake Rosenbarger (Jittery Joe's) Todd Herriott and Juan Jose Haedo (Colavita Olive Oil), Alessandro Donati (Acqua e Sapone), Jimmi Madsen (CSC), Trent Klasna and Glen Mitchell (Sierra Nevada), Vasily Davidenko (Navigators).

10:10 EDT 48km/202km to go
The break is just heading up to Lemon Hill at the end of lap 2 and now has a sizeable lead of 3'40 over the peloton. This could be dangerous as with so many teams represented there is not that much incentive to chase.

Emile Abraham (Monex) has suffered a rear flat, and is now chasing to get back onto the break.

10:17 EDT
The women are on the second time up the wall, and it's still strung out. Erinne Willock (RONA) attacks again over the top of the climb and gets a small gap.

Lyne Bessette had a bike change through the start/finish at the end of lap 1, but unfortunately was caught up in a crash just before the Wall. She is chasing back on through the caravan now with Megan Elliot.

Cyclingnews spoke with Norwegian sprinter Anita Valen (SATS) today before the women's race. "It's the first time I've done Philly and I'm really impressed by the atmosphere. It felt like the World's with the tension at the start, the team boxes and the high calibre field. I'm feeling pretty good and am anxious to see how it goes."

10:21 EDT 54km/196km to go
The men are now on lap three, and the break passes the main peloton going the other way as it comes off Lemon Hill. The gap is now up to 5'35 and still growing. Saeco is the only big team that has missed the move, it looks like.

Emile Abraham is still chasing after his puncture, but is not having much luck getting back on.

The roads are drying up fairly well now after this morning's rain and the temperatures are starting to warm up a little.

10:32 EDT 64km/186km to go
The break is working well together and is now 6'55 in front of the main peloton. There are now 25 riders in front, as Emile Abraham (who punctured) is 4'20 back and will be joined by the peloton soon.

Tim Johnson has dropped back and is talking to the Saunier Duval team car. Even though there's a long way to race, this move is going to take some bringing back as it has so many riders in it. We'll see at the end of the day who still has the legs.

10:37 EDT 67km/183km to go
As they charge up the Manayunk Wall for the third time, Mike Creed (USPS) puts in an attack, followed by Mike Sayers (Health Net) and Doug Ollerenshaw (Jelly Belly), the latter who is going for KOM points as he was first up last time. The three have a bit of a gap going down the other side.

Trent Klasna (Sierra Nevada) is dangling off the break again, but he catches back on on the descent.

10:43 EDT
Women's update. They're now on the third of four laps, but haven't reached the Wall yet. Lyne Bessette (Quark) got back on after her crash, helped by teammate Megan Elliot. In the meantime there were a few solo moves, with T-Mobile's Lara Kroepsch getting away for a third of a lap, gaining 30 seconds before she was reeled in again.

10:52 EDT 77km/173km to go
The lead break of 25 is rolling through the start/finish line at the end of lap three with a nice lead of 8'22 over the main peloton. We still have a good 180 km to race, but the bunch will have to start thinking about chasing soon if it wants to see these guys again. 25 riders is a fairly substantial sized break, so there is plenty of time for recovery after each rider does their turn.

10:56 EDT
The women have now gone over the Wall for the third time, staying together after Quark drove it to the base of the climb. Amy Moore tried a solo attack, which lasted approximately 5 seconds. On the descent it was strung out with a group of 20 or so getting a small gap, but it should come back together.

11:07 EDT 88km/162km to go
There is a little more action in the main field now, with attacks coming from US Postal and a few other teams, including Sharper Image-Matthis Brothers. There's still a lot of riding to do in this race with 100 miles/160 km to go.

11:14 EDT 92km/158km to go
For the first time, the gap has come down a little between the peloton and the break, which is now nearing the end of lap 4. The last time check was 7'45 between the leaders and the bunch.

The women are on their last lap, and it should be a real sprint on the Manayunk Wall to try and break things up.

11:17 EDT
The women are approaching the final climb of Manayunk, and the field is being driven by Quark, T Mobile and Genesis, who are trying to set up their leaders for the last uphill assault. There are a couple of tight right hand bends just before the bottom, which means that positioning is critical, otherwise you lose all your momentum.

11:24 EDT
In the women's race, Dede Demet-Barry (T-Mobile) has crashed and is chasing desperately, but doesn't look like she'll make it back on before the climb. Anna Milkowski (Rona) and Emma Rickards (Victory Brewing) tried to attack, but didn't get far.

Quark and Genesis are leading the pack into the Manayunk Wall for the last time.

11:27 EDT
Demet-Barry has made it onto the back of the pack, and is threading her way through the bunch.

The crowds are thick on Manayunk (two to three deep), and there is a lot of drinking going on. The sun is coming out and starting to burn off the clouds.

At the top of the climb, it's strung out but there is no split. Could be a field sprint coming up.

11:35 EDT 105km/145km to go
Back to the men's race now, and the break has come back to 7'11. The full composition (25 riders) is as follows: Doug Ollerenshaw and Kirk Albers (Jelly Belly), Danny Pate, Mike Sayers, Scott Moninger (Health Net), Ben Stafford, Marc Hangenlocher and Justin England (Webcor), Mike Creed and Patrick McCarty (US Postal), Tim Johnson and Angel Gomez (Saunier Duval), Jake Rosenbarger (Jittery Joe's), Todd Herriott and Juan Jose Haedo (Colavita Olive Oil), Alessandro Donati (Acqua e Sapone), Jimmi Madsen (CSC), Trent Klasna, Ben Jaques-Maynes and Glen Mitchell (Sierra Nevada), Michael Lange (Sharper Image), Siro Camponogara and Vasily Davidenko (Navigators), Joroslaw Zarebski (CCC), Adam Livingston (Seasilver).

The women's race is very close to the finish now with Judith Arndt (Nurnberger) driving the peloton to try and set her teammate Petra Rossner up for a seventh win. Quark and T Mobile are also up there.

11:37 EDT
In the women's race they're at Lemon Hill, and the peloton is about 50-60 strong. Dede Demet is in a back group trying to get onto the peloton, but it doesn't look good for her.

11:41 EDT
One of our readers, Gregor Brown has pointed out that Mike Creed, Patrick McCarty and Tim Johnson, who are all in the break, share the same apartment in Gerona, Spain. There's a bit of trivia for you.

11:47 EDT
Judith Arndt (Nurnberger) and Katrina Grove (Rona) attacked on Lemon Hill in the women's race, but were brought back. However, Nurnberger still had the firepower to lead out Petra Rossner for her seventh Liberty Classic win. Gina Grain (Victory Brewing) took second. "I'm very very happy and I couldn't have done it without my teammates," an ecstatic Rossner told Cyclingnews directly after the finish.

12:00 EDT 123km/127km to go
Back to the men's race for the remainder of the day, and the situation is that we have a break of 25 riders with a six minute gap to the peloton. The break is on its sixth of 10 laps of the main circuit.

Trent Klasna, who has been suffering all day, has been dropped by the break. There are now 24 riders in front.

12:02 EDT
We spoke with Health Net's Jason McCartney (who is in the peloton) this morning, as he is one of his team's main riders for today. "I feel good and I was used up mostly in Lancaster as a worker, but today I have more of a chance to go for it. I'm most concerned about the entrance to the Wall because it's really wide then all of a sudden it gets really narrow."

12:17 EDT
We've just received word that second place in the women's race, Gina Grain, has lodged a protest against the winner Petra Rossner. More details as the become available...

12:27 EDT
One more update on the women's race: Laura Van Gilder (Genesis Scuba FFcc) took third place in the sprint. No update on Grain's protest year but for now the podium stands with Rossner ahead of Grain and Van Gilder.

In the men's race, the break's advantage is dropping steadily, down now to 4'30. US Postal is leading the chase in the main field, while Health Net has three men at the head of the break trying to keep the move alive.

12:30 EDT
For those interested in finding out the results of the Dauphiné Libéré prologue, click here .

12:38 EDT
A new chase group of seven riders is trying to establish itself, currently with a gap of about 15" over the main field which is still under the control of US Postal.

12:49 EDT
The big breakaway continues to plug away, though the persistent chase from US Postal is beginning to seal the leaders' fates. If the break is caught soon, the big teams will have to remain attentive for inevitable counter-attacks, though most of the heavy favourites know that the crucial moves rarely go before last few climbs of the Manayunk wall.

12:54 EDT
Health Net's Danny Pate has been doing the lion's share of the work to keep the breakaway rolling, though in recent laps he has started to show the strain of the continued effort. Essentially it's Health Net in the break vs. US Postal leading the peloton.

13:11 EDT 172km/78km to go
The varying levels of commitment in the breakaway are being displayed with the arrival (or not) of the team cars. Health Net is quite intent on continuing to work, as the team has been all day, while US Postal is obviously less concerned since it is leading the main field. The Sharper Image and Sierra Nevada cars are also making regular appearances at the front. Most riders are taking on additional food and drinks now after the Lemon Hill climb.

The gap has held steady, even if it's come down a few seconds in the last 15 minutes, and the break has 4'15 on the main field.

13:17 EDT
Things are starting to get serious now. As the break approaches the Manayunk wall, there are three more trips to be made up the hill, followed by the small finishing circuit over Lemon Hill. The break is cruising toward Main Street in Manayunk at 27-28mph, while the peloton is rapidly picking up steam behind. The gap is below four minutes now.

13:23 EDT
The break has crested the Manayunk wall, for the most part intact. Webcor's Ben Stafford was tailed off the back of the group but rejoined on the fast descent which follows the climb. Danny Pate (Health Net) has also been dangling at the back but still staying in contact.

The break is shutting down steadily now that Health Net is working less at the front. They plunged down the 'fall from the wall' at 50mph earlier in the race, but this lap barely topped 35mph.

13:27 EDT
Glen Mitchell (Sierra Nevada) had a puncture but has put in a quick chase and rejoined the breakaway.

Meanwhile, Dennis Kraft (Action ATI Poland) has jumped clear of the main field in a solo move. He has just a few seconds in hand.

13:33 EDT
Kraft briefly held 15" on the field but has been reeled in.

Big crowds are cheering the riders on Lemon Hill. The crowds are bigger here than on the wall, given the proximity to the finish and the finale which comes on the small laps at the end.

The break's advantage is hovering between 2'20 and 2'35.

13:38 EDT
It's atypical weather for the USPRO race, which has enjoyed perfect spring/summer conditions almost every year. With temperatures barely hitting 20 degrees celsius, the riders aren't finding themselves too tempted by the sprinkler at O'Brien's water hole, a fixture every year on the wall.

No doubt the same quantities of beer are being consumed...

13:42 EDT 190km/60km to go
After making the U-turn and heading back out the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the break saw the peloton pass on the other side of the road. The writing's on the wall now...

CSC has taken over the chase with Tristan Hoffman leading four of his teammates. Tucked behind are two US Postal riders. Tony Cruz is up there for Postal.

13:56 EDT 200km/50km to go
The peloton has turned up the gas and reeled in the big early break just before the 200km mark. It's a whole new race now with 50km left to the finish.

14:02 EDT
The peloton didn't stay in one piece for long, as shortly after the big move was brought back, Tim Johnson and several Saunier Duval-Prodir teammates launched a fresh move. Quick to follow was fellow American Bobby Julich, with several teammates of his own.

Julich is eager to make something of this break and he's waving his arms at the group trying to get the others to pull through and cooperate.

14:08 EDT   
Julich has teammate Jimmy Madsen driving the break, while Saunier Duval's Tim Johnson has made into this move as well. They have about 25" on the main field which is being led by Navigators, Webcor, and US Postal.

14:23 EDT   
Julich's break was caught just before the final climb of the wall. The group is together for the climb but several riders are itching to start something on the second half of the hill.

Chris Horner is now leading the field to the top of the hill, forcing the pace in the main field.

14:25 EDT   
Fred Rodriguez crested the hill in fourth position, looking strong. A small break is forming, with Rodriguez, Horner (Webcor), Michael Barry (US Postal), and Kirk O'Bee (Navigators)

Horner leads the charge but they're looking over the shoulders and looking to each other to continue the work.

14:38 EDT    235km/15km to go
The four man break has been caught. Rodriguez is still at the front with several teammates. US Postal's Patrick McCarty has moved up as well.

The field is passing through Logan Circle, leaving just three laps of the 5km finishing circuit to go.

14:41 EDT   
A selection of about 30 riders constitutes the head of the race, with the remainder of the peloton a bit further back. The winning move will likely come from this first split.

At the moment Health Net has one man setting the pace but four Saunier Duval riders are tucked in behind, along with Rodriguez and two of his Acqua & Sapone teammates.

14:47 EDT    240km/10km to go
Two laps to go now. A small break tried to go clear on Lemon Hill, including Davide Frattini (Monex) and Jeff Louder (Navigators), but this move was short-lived.

Saunier Duval continues to drive the field. Health Net, CSC, and Acqua & Sapone are all well placed at the head of the peloton.

14:50 EDT   
Horner has attacked on Lemon Hill and so far nobody has answered the move. He's got 5" on a four man chase group, including one rider from Saunier Duval. It might be a bit early for Horner, but then again his chances in a big bunch sprint are not quite as good against the likes of Rodriguez. Don't forget US Postal's Max Van Heeswijk, either, who is as dangerous or moreso than Fast Freddy given his recent form.

14:51 EDT    245km/5km to go
Horner is keeping a few seconds on the chase, which includes John Lieswyn, Jonathan Page, Eric Wohlberg and a fourth rider.

They've caught Horner so it's a lead group of five right now. They're working well together as they enter the final lap. The bell rings and they've got just 5km to race.

14:52 EDT   
The field is not going to let a move like this get away, and through the start/finish line the quintet has been sucked up by the CSC-led pack.

14:53 EDT   
Will Lemon Hill decide the race or are we heading to a big bunch finish? If Horner has anything left he may give it another go on the hill. Naturally he's not the only one with that idea...

14:54 EDT    247km/3km to go
Saeco's Juan Fuentes has attacked on Lemon Hill. He's got about six seconds. Saeco was the only team not represented in the big early break today.

14:57 EDT    249km/1km to go
Fuentes is caught and it's all together into Logan Circle!

14:59 EDT   
Into the final straight it's one big group churning to the line. The man with the fastest kick is Spain's Jose Ventoso (Saunier Duval-Prodir), who takes the sprint!

It's a very close call, and Danny Pate may have taken second place and the USPRO jersey, but this is unconfirmed.

15:05 EDT   
Evidently it was not Danny Pate up there for the jersey, rather Fast Freddy himself. If so, this would be Fred's third jersey in Philly, his third go-round as Captain America.


1 Jose Ventoso Alberdi (Spa) Saunier Duval-Prodir
2 Antonio Bucciero (Ita) Saeco
3 Gord Fraser (Can) Health Net-Maxxis
4 Fred Rodriguez (USA) Acqua & Sapone
USPRO Champion: Fred Rodriguez

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