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Barclay's Global Investors Grand Prix - 1.HC
USA, September 4, 2005
Wegmann pounces on late-race win in San Fran
Lieswyn and McCartney left holding second and third
By Mark Zalewski, North American Editor in San Francisco
Gerolsteiner's team leader Levi Leipheimer knew that he and the other race favourites would have a tough time slipping away from the field at the Barclays Global Investors Grand Prix, so he tipped a teammate to take advantage of being a less-known rider in the American peloton. "It's tough for guys like George, Horner and me to do anything because everybody watches us," Leipheimer told Cyclingnews after the race. "But I told Fabian for the last three weeks that San Francisco has got your name written all over it!" If it didn't before, it does now - on a check for fifteen thousand dollars as Wegmann out-sprinted John Lieswyn (Health Net-Maxxis) and Jason McCartney (Discovery Channel) for a calculated win.
Up until the final Taylor Street climb, it was the former teammates Lieswyn and McCartney riding together ahead of the rest. But waiting patiently was Wegmann and his teammate Andrea Moletta who had been chasing thirty seconds behind for much of the final laps. On the final ascent up Taylor Wegmann used the last of Moletta's energy to launch himself the rest of the way. "The hill is very hard," Moletta said. "I worked for Fabian and on the last lap I gave it all!"
"Without [Moletta] I couldn't do this," Wegmann admitted. "He was really strong today and he gave much. He went full from the climb and then I went full and catch them." The twenty-five year old winner of the 2004 Giro d'Italia KOM jersey then used the final descent down the water to rest and plan his attack. Half-way down his face showed the pain of the race, but he quickly turned that around and attacked.
"I was watching John, I thought he was the strongest," McCartney explained. "The Gerolsteiner rider... I think he was playing! I just raced with him in Germany where he had the King of the Mountains for a day or two. I know it was touch-and-go and I know his teammate was working hard. We had been out there a long time."
Responding to Wegmann's attack was Lieswyn, who was in his final race as a professional and wanting to go out on a high note. "I got his wheel and I was looking for J to fly by at that moment," said Lieswyn. "If J had... and I'll be second guessing this for the rest of my life because it's my last major race, if he had hit it down the hill it would have forced Wegmann to go and lead it out. I should have just waved him by. I was coming back on and [Wegmann] sat-up."
Rounding the corner the trio began playing with Lieswyn being forced to lead the long sprint. All three were hurting and not wanting to have to lead as well. "I'm a good sprinter but normally I want to go earlier on the hill and ride away from them. It was not possible so I had to sprint. I know that they were good riders but they did a long time in front." Wegmann jumped at the last possible moment and got enough of a gap to hold off Lieswyn and McCartney, who had to settle for second and third.
The race is a bitter pill for the two former teammates and friends, with Lieswyn retiring and McCartney finishing high most years but not winning. "I've been close a number of times here - to get so close and... I guess I was watching the wrong guy for the sprint," said McCartney. "It was great riding with John. I wish it could have been just me and him for the sprint. I'm sorry I let the team down today - I know it's a big race for them. I'll just keep coming back next year."
"I'm pretty disappointed," Liewsyn told Cyclingnews after the race. "I knew [McCartney] was going to do everything he could to win, but at the same time he wasn't going to screw around with me because I helped him win the Olympic trials last year and we're good friends. I was doing everything I could to keep us away from the Gerolsteiner guys and I thought that guy wasn't going to make it back. We messed around a bit - maybe a little too much. I was trying to play a tactical game out there and it came back to get me."
How it unfolded
None of the pre-race favourites had a chance to really shine today with big moves going early. Fred Rodriguez was riding for the U.S. National Team and had his now usual run of bad luck racing on home soil. "I got something caught in my wheel, I think it was my radio wire, and I stopped to take it out," Rodriguez explained. "Then I looked up and a motorcycle was coming straight at me! I jumped out of the way and it ran over my bike!" Freddie got a spare bike from Mavic, but then had even more troubled near the finale. "I got [the Mavic bike] then my chain got caught up on the last hill."
George Hincapie was absent from the front due to the fact that three of his teammates were up the road in the breaks - McCartney, Ryder Hesjedal and Michael Creed. Creed, who had had a rough year on Discovery fighting illness and was in his last race with the team. The young rider was extra-motivated to prove that he deserved to be here. "It's my final race with Discovery," Creed said. "I was sick in the beginning of the year and I never felt like I had a chance - or maybe I did have that chance, and I didn't take advantage of it, so maybe I was a little mad at myself. I don't blame Discovery and have no ill will but it doesn't mean I'm not disappointed. Today was about showing them and proving something to them and mostly to me that I am a good bike racer."
The young rider attacked out of a large breakaway just forty kilometres into the race in a solo effort. While some riders attempted to bridge Creed just kept his head down and drove the pace, even though his director suggested he wait. "One time they told me to wait for the two guys behind me, but I didn't," Creed admitted. "If they could catch me then they should catch me. Another time the director rode up next to me and said, 'Man, you look pissed!' I just looked at him and said, 'Yeah. I am pissed!'"
Creed stayed away for the majority of the large laps which included the scary climb up Filmore Street - and every time he made it over a climb he thrust his fist in the air in triumph. Even when the chase group behind massed forty riders, he held his advantage of nearly 45 seconds. When the officials told him his time gap, he joked, "What, forty guys and they still can't catch me?"
Eventually, Lieswyn, McCartney, Ryder Hesjedal and Kodak Gallery-Sierra Nevada's Glen Mitchell organized themselves out of numerous chase groups to join the lone leader. Creed hung on for a short while then sat-up and waited for one of the chase groups. The next time cresting the Taylor Street climb Creed dismounted his Trek and raised it in the air to salute the huge crowds.
At this point in the race the peloton was replaced by a number of chase groups, ranging from two to forty. In the lead group it was Discovery Channel with the numeric advantage. However, this was soon negated when Hesjedal was dropped on the Taylor Street climb. Back in the chase groups it was Gerolsteiner and Colavita-Sutter Home taking up much of the responsibility. Wegmann and Moletta rode a two-man pursuit followed by Davide Frattini on a solo attempt.
Glen Mitchell eventually succumbed to the steep pitches and left Lieswyn and McCartney alone with the Gerolsteiner duo inching closer and closer. On the five short final laps the gap between the two hovered around thirty seconds. Up Taylor Street for the final time the chasing pair of Wegmann and Moletta could see McCartney and Lieswyn half-way up the climb. Moletta gave it everything he had and launched Wegmann up to the final steep section. Wegmann took over and pulled the leading two back, rounding the corner together.
Down Broadway towards the waterfront McCartney and Lieswyn led the way while keeping an eye on their new problem. Wegmann recovered down the descent and even bluffed a bit by showing the pain of catching the leaders, and then launching an attack around the two. Lieswyn responded and McCartney followed. Again Wegmann attacked but the two were tired from the effort of leading and a ten meter gap opened between them all. Near the bottom Lieswyn reached Wegmann's wheel and McCartney followed. Wegmann sat-up and waited for the final corner and the sprint.
Down the long straightaway the crowds were on their toes. Lieswyn was forced to lead, and near the line Wegmann jumped with enough energy saved to create the winning gap. Lieswyn was close behind in second and McCartney in third. For his efforts, McCartney was rewarded with the Master of the Mountain award after taking many second places behind Creed and first places in the closing laps.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us
Images by Michael David Murphy/www.whileseated.org/photo
Images by Russ and Nancy Wright/www.abbiorca.com
Images by Joe Gross/www.sfcycling.com
1 Fabian Wegmann (Ger) Gerolsteiner 4.27.20 2 John Lieswyn (USA) Health Net pb Maxxis 3 Jason McCartney (USA) Discovery Channel 4 Andrea Moletta (Ita) Gerolsteiner 0.27 5 Glen Mitchell (NZl) Kodak Gallery - Sierra Nevada 1.58 6 Mike Sayers (USA) Health Net pb Maxxis 2.56 7 Mark McCormack (USA) Colavita Olive Oil - Sutter Home 3.12 8 Luke Roberts (Aus) Team CSC 9 Danny Pate (USA) Jelly Belly - Pool Gel 3.21 10 Dominique Perras (Can) Kodak Gallery - Sierra Nevada 3.41 11 Davide Frattini (Ita) Colavita Olive Oil - Sutter Home 4.43 12 Mark Walters (Can) Navigators Insurance Cycling Team 4.57 13 Doug Ollerenshaw (USA) Health Net pb Maxxis 14 Tim Johnson (USA) Jittery Joe's - Kalahari 5.02 15 David O'Loughlin (Irl) Navigators Insurance Cycling Team 16 Eric Wohlberg (Can) Symmetrics 17 Rubens Bertogliati (Swi) Saunier Duval - Prodir 18 Chris Wherry (USA) Health Net pb Maxxis 5.09 19 Benjamin Brooks (Aus) Jelly Belly - Pool Gel 20 Aaron Olsen (USA) Colavita Olive Oil - Sutter Home 21 Fred Rodriguez (USA) Davitamon - Lotto 5.17 22 Daniele Righi (Ita) Lampre - Caffita 5.20 23 Gregory Henderson (NZl) Health Net pb Maxxis 8.57 24 Peter Wrolich (Aut) Gerolsteiner 25 Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Lampre - Caffita 26 Stirling Magnell (USA) Monex 27 Jose Manuel Garcia (Mex) Mexican National Team 28 Kari Menzies (Aus) Advantage Benefits - Endeavour 29 Alex Candelario (USA) Jelly Belly - Pool Gel 30 Neil Shirley (USA) Team Seasilver 31 Frank Hoj (Den) Gerolsteiner 32 Glen Fant (USA) Monex 33 Burke Swindlehurst (USA) Team Seasilver 34 Garrett Peltonen (USA) Advantage Benefits - Endeavour 35 Josh Hall (Can) Jet Fuel Coffee 36 Jake Rytlewski (USA) Advantage Benefits - Endeavour 37 Charles Dionne (Can) Webcor 38 Jacob Erker (Can) Symmetrics 39 Todd Cornelius (USA) Subway 40 Kyle Gritters (USA) Team Seasilver 41 James Mattis (USA) Webcor 42 Frank Schleck (Lux) Team CSC 43 Cameron Hughes (Aus) Subway 44 Jonathan Sundt (USA) Jittery Joe's - Kalahari 45 George Hincapie (USA) Discovery Channel 46 Kyle Wamsley (USA) Snow Valley - Seal-On 47 Ted Huang (USA) Webcor 48 Esad Hasanovic (SCG) Aerospace Engineering - VMG 49 Scott Moninger (USA) Health Net pb Maxxis 50 Kirk Albers (USA) Jelly Belly - Pool Gel 51 Pavel Padrnos (Cze) Discovery Channel 52 Peter Luttenberger (Aut) Team CSC 53 Andrew Randell (Can) Jet Fuel Coffee 54 Jeff Louder (USA) Navigators Insurance Cycling Team 55 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Gerolsteiner 56 Marco Rios (Mex) Mexican National Team 57 Colby Pearce (USA) TIAA-CREF 58 Ivan Stevic (SCG) Aerospace Engineering - VMG 59 Andy Bajadali (USA) US national team 60 Volodymyr Bileka (Ukr) Discovery Channel 61 John Kelly (USA) Webcor 62 Tyler Wren (USA) Colavita Olive Oil - Sutter Home 9.15 63 Benjamin Haldeman (USA) Webcor 64 Eddy Hilger (USA) Advantage Benefits - Endeavour 65 Jackson Stewart (USA) Kodak Gallery - Sierra Nevada 66 Predrag Prokic (SCG) Aerospace Engineering - VMG 67 Arquimedes Lam (Mex) Mexican national team 68 Stefano Barberi (USA) TIAA - CREF 69 Caleb Manion (Aus) Jelly Belly - Pool Gel 70 Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Lampre Caffita 9.22 71 Scott Zwizanski (USA) Kodak Gallery - Sierra Nevada 9.27 72 Roman Kilun (USA) McGuire - Langdale 73 Bernard Van Ulden (USA) Webcor 9.41 74 Hugh Moran (USA) Aerospace Engineering - VMG 9.47 75 Andrew Pinfold (Can) Symmetrics 10.05 76 Kirk O'Bee (USA) Navigators Insurance Cycling Team 10.39 DNF Marc Collard (USA) Webcor DNF Andy Jacques-Maynes (USA) Webcor DNF Tony Cruz (USA) Discovery Channel DNF Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Discovery Channel DNF Fumiyuki Beppu (Jpn) Discovery Channel DNF Michael Creed (USA) Discovery Channel DNF Ivan Basso (Ita) Team CSC DNF David Zabriskie (USA) Team CSC DNF Chris Horner (USA) Saunier Duval - Prodir DNF Nicolas Fritsch (Fra) Saunier Duval - Prodir DNF Manuele Mori (Ita) Saunier Duval - Prodir DNF Manuel Quinziato (Ita) Saunier Duval - Prodir DNF Juan Carl Dominguez (Spa) Saunier Duval - Prodir DNF Arkaitz Duran Aroca (Spa) Saunier Duval - Prodir DNF Samuele Marzoli (Ita) Lampre - Caffita DNF Alessandro Spezialetti (Ita) Lampre - Caffita DNF Ivan Dominguez (Cub) Health Net pb Maxxis DNF Gordon Fraser (Can) Health Net pb Maxxis DNF Jonathon Page (USA) Colavita Olive Oil - Sutter Home DNF Gustavo Artacho (Arg) Colavita Olive Oil - Sutter Home DNF Todd Herriot (USA) Colavita Olive Oil - Sutter Home DNF Cesar Augusto Grajales (Col) Navigators Insurance Cycling Team DNF Nathan O'Neill (Aus) Navigators Insurance Cycling Team DNF Russell Hamby (USA) Kodak Gallery - Sierra Nevada DNF Ben Jacques-Maynes (USA) Kodak Gallery - Sierra Nevada DNF Tim Larkin (USA) Kodak Gallery - Sierra Nevada DNF Peter Lopinto (USA) Team Seasilver DNF Nathan Mitchell (USA) TIAA - CREF DNF Chad Hartley (USA) TIAA - CREF DNF Michael Lange (USA) TIAA - CREF DNF Blake Caldwell (USA) TIAA - CREF DNF Denis Robin (Fra) Agritubel DNF Zachary Grabowski (USA) TIAA - CREF DNF Brice Jones (USA) Jelly Belly - Pool Gel DNF Matt Rice (Aus) Jelly Belly - Pool Gel DNF Mariano Friedick (USA) Jelly Belly - Pool Gel DNF Curtis Gunn (USA) Team Seasilver DNF Jason Bausch (USA) Team Seasilver DNF Ryan Yee (USA) Team Seasilver DNF Daniel Ramsey (USA) Team Seasilver DNF Adam Livingston (USA) Team Seasilver DNF Thad Dulin (USA) Jittery Joe's - Kalahari DNF Evan Elken (USA) Jittery Joe's - Kalahari DNF Craig Wilcox (USA) Jittery Joe's - Kalahari DNF Richard England (Aus) Advantage Benefits - Endeavour DNF Frank Pipp (USA) Advantage Benefits - Endeavour DNF Nicholas Reistad (USA) Advantage Benefits - Endeavour DNF Brian Sheedy (USA) Advantage Benefits - Endeavour DNF Chris Frederick (USA) Aerospace Engineering - VMG DNF David Richter (USA) Subway DNF Ryan McKenzie (Can) Subway DNF Peter Femal (USA) Subway DNF Omer Kem (USA) Subway DNF Remi McManus (USA) Subway DNF Svein Tuft (Can) Symmetrics DNF Christian Meier (Can) Symmetrics DNF Will Routley (Can) Symmetrics DNF Jeff Sherstobitoff (Can) Symmetrics DNF Marsh Cooper (Can) Symmetrics DNF Zach Bell (Can) Jet Fuel Coffee DNF Mark Pozniak (Can) Jet Fuel Coffee DNF Kevin Miller (Can) Jet Fuel Coffee DNF Erik Saunders (USA) McGuire - Langdale DNF Jason Allen (USA) McGuire - Langdale DNF Zachary Walker (USA) McGuire - Langdale DNF Colin Beardsley (USA) McGuire - Langdale DNF Devon Vigus (USA) McGuire - Langdale DNF Geoff Rapoport (USA) McGuire - Langdale DNF Pat Dunaway (USA) McGuire - Langdale DNF Jon Wirsing (USA) Snow Valley - Seal-On DNF Joshua Taylor (USA) Snow Valley - Seal-On DNF Peter Baker (USA) Snow Valley - Seal-On DNF Ryan Dewald (USA) Snow Valley - Seal-On DNF Russ Langley (USA) Snow Valley - Seal-On DNF Christopher Herby (USA) Snow Valley - Seal-On DNF John Delong (USA) Snow Valley - Seal-On DNF Drew Miller (USA) US national team DNF Todd Terlecki (USA) US national team DNF Jim Miller (USA) US national team DNF Chuck Coyle (USA) US national team DNF Roberto Gaggioli (Ita) Monex DNF Nathan Miller (USA) Monex DNF Josh Goodwin (USA) Monex DNF Domingo Gonzalez (Mex) Mexican National Team DNF Emmanuel Suarez (Mex) Mexican National Team Mountains 1 Jason McCartney (USA) Discovery Channel 55 pts 2 John Lieswyn (USA) Health Net pb Maxxis 27 3 Doug Ollerenshaw (USA) Health Net pb Maxxis 18 4 Glen Mitchell (NZl) Kodak Gallery - Sierra Nevada 18 5 Tim Johnson (USA) Jittery Joe's - Kalahari 5 6 Andrea Moletta (Ita) Gerolsteiner 2 7 Aaron Olsen (USA) Colavita Olive Oil - Sutter Home 1 Teams 1 Health Net / Maxxis 13.29.53 2 Gerolsteiner 1.31 3 Colavita - Sutter Home 5.11 4 Kodak - Sierra Nevada 7.01 5 Jelly Belly - Pool Gel 9.34 6 Discovery Channel 10.01 7 Navigators Insurance 11.03 8 CSC 13.13 9 Lampre Caffita 15.46 10 Symmetrics 16.11 11 Advantage Benefits Endeav 18.58 12 SEASILVER 13 Webcor 14 Mexican National Team 19.16 15 Aerospace Engineering Timing and Results by AGR Technology