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McLane Pacific Bicycle Classic - NE

Merced, California, USA, March 22-23, 2003

Main Page    Results    Previous Stage

Stage 2 - Foothills Roadrace

Wins for Jutras and Horner after attack-fests

By Kristy Scrymgeour

Fast despite the weather
Photo: © Jeff Tse
Click for larger image

The second day of the McLane Pacific Bicycle Classic featured the Foothills Road Race set in the vineyards in central California. The course was a 24 mile loop in which the women raced four laps for a total of 90 miles and the men five laps (120 miles). Traditionally, the wind plays a big part in this race as the course is open with rolling hills around the back section and offers no protection from the elements. Today the rain came down to make things even more interesting.

The women's race was certain to show who has form in this early part of the season with 90 miles being quite a long distance for women to race on the domestic circuit. Two-time defending champion of this race, Lynne Bessette (Saturn), undoubtedly was aiming to make this the third in a row. She had her teammate and yesterday's winner, Ina Teutenberg, to help her, but the other teams would certainly be determined to make it difficult for her. As early as lap one, due to a very aggressive start to the race, a break of six girls went up the road including Manon Jutras, Laura Van Gilder (Saturn), Mari Holden, Kristin Armstrong (T-mobile), Cybil Diguistini (Diet Rite), and Sarah Tillotson (ABP). Behind, the race was split into a few groups and attrition had made for a small remaining field. It was in lap two that Jutras and Holden attacked the break and rode away, never to be seen by chasers again. They worked together until the final lap when Jutras was too strong in the hills for Holden and left her behind, riding in solo for the win. Holden was second and Van Gilder won the sprint out of her group to come in third.

A good day for Saturn
Photo: © Jeff Tse
Click for larger image

Cyclingnews talked with an elated Jutras today who said she "had a great day, despite the weather. I was involved in a crash early in the race and my teammate Lyne Bessette came back for me and chased for 10km to get me back on. Mari and I worked well together in the break and with 16km to go I was feeling strong, so I attacked and rode solo to the finish."

In the last two years the men's race has been won by sprinters Jay Sweet and Baden Cooke, neither of whom were competing today, but Gord Fraser (Health Net) was bound to be out to continue his winning streak after yesterday's victory in the criterium. The men's race was also aggressive from the beginning with an early break of 13 riders staying away for three laps. The break was not to be however, and the bunch came back together only for another break to go off the front which consisted of the Prime Alliance, Saturn and Health Net teams. This lasted half a lap, all riders working well, but this too was caught and David Clinger (Prime Alliance) flung himself up the road. Saturn's Horner bridged and the two worked together and created a convincing gap. The headwind was affecting them and it looked as though they were going to be caught, so with one last push Horner attacked Clinger and held on for the win. As Clinger was caught by the pack, the Health Net Team led out Fraser for the field sprint victory and second place.

"It was a hard day", said Horner, "but I felt good the whole race. My team worked really well for me and I want to thank them for doing such a great job. When I attacked with 25km to go I didn't even know Clinger was up the road, but I caught him and it worked well. I didn't think we would make it because we had such a huge head wind so I decided to go alone."


Images by Jeff Tse/

Images by Steve Scott


1 Chris Horner (Saturn)
2 Gord Fraser (HealthNet)
3 Syne Lionel (Webcor)
4 Brice Jones (7 UP Maxxis)
5 John Peters (Prime Alliance)
6 Matt Dubberley (Sierra Nevada)
7 Alex Kozlov (HealthNet)
8 Chris Pic (7 UP Maxxis)
9 Michael Tillman (Schroeder Iron)
10 Troy White (Sierra Nevada)
11 Russell Hamby (Ofoto Lombardi)
12 Charles Dionne (Saturn)
13 Nieko Biskner (Sierra Nevada)
14 Greg Henderson 
15 Robun Polski (KB Home)
16 Ken Toman (Team Monex)
17 Andrew Deters (Team Monex)
18 Todd Littlehales (Sierra Nevada)
19 Syne Lionel (Webcor)
20 John Lieswyn (7 UP Maxxis)
21 Adam Livingston (Schroeder Iron)
22 Richard Delvelle (SCS)
23 Patrick Fetzer (Team Monex)
24 Andy Bajadali (Ofoto Lombardi)
25 Andy Maynes (Sierra Nevada)
26 Patrick Fetzer (Team Monex)
27 Peter Mazur (Lemond)
28 Peter Lopinto (Ofoto Lombardi)
29 Peter Ramon (Ofoto Lombardi)
30 NA
31 Dan Schmatz (7 UP Maxxis)
32 Benjamin Sharp (Team West Virginia)
33 NA
34 NA
35 Cameron Hughes (Schroeder Iron)
36 Mark Mccormack (Saturn)
37 Robert Kamppila (KB Home)
38 Saul Raisin (Ofoto Lombardi)
39 Alex Ivanov (HealthNet)
40 John Hunt (HealthNet)
41 Ryan Guay (Navigators)
42 Dean Laberge (Six Fifty Racing)
43 Joe Chapman (Lemond)
44 Robbie Yost (Team West Virginia)
45 Oscar Pineda (7 UP Maxxis)
46 Trent Klasna (Saturn)
47 Alex Candelario (Prime Alliance)
48 Dave Wenger (Team West Virginia)
49 David Clinger (Prime Alliance)
50 Svein Tuft (Prime Alliance)
1 Manon Jutras (Saturn)
2 Mari Holden (T Mobile)
3 Laura Van Gilder (Saturn)
4 Kristin Armstrong (T Mobile)
5 Dede Barry (T Mobile)
6 Kori Kelly (Diet Rite)
7 Amy Moore (Saturn)
8 Sarah Tillotson (ABD)
9 Melissa Sanborn (Hutchs)
10 Meredith Miller (Team SATS)
11 Katy St-Laurent 
12 Cynthia Carroll (Excel Sports Boulder)
13 Katie Safford (Minute Maid )
14 Dorothy Cowden (T-Mobile)
15 Benassi Maatje (ICO)
16 NA
17 Anya Hinkle (3BRT/CE)
18 NA
19 NA
20 Lisa Hauck (Palo Alto Bicycles)
21 Ginger Buller (Velo Bella)
22 Keri Silk (Santa Cruz Spokesman)
23 Cat Malone (Alto Velo / Webror)
24 Veronica Martinez (Victory Brewing)
25 Robon Priddin 
26 Trudy Bjornsen (Fairfield Toyota)
27 Sophie St. Jacquey (Victory Brewing)
28 NA
29 Julie Adams 
30 NA
31 Ann Turrin (Victory Brewing)