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Saco Bay Criterium
Saco, Maine, August 24, 2002
Foley Gets His Revenge at Scintillating Saco Bike Race
by Jack Beaudoin
Galaxy Sports Skip Foley had revenge on his mind. "Last year we lost this race on a technicality," he said. "This year we came loaded for bear."
In 2001, Foley thought he won the prestigious Mayors Cup at the Saco Bay Criterium. In fact, Foley got the cup and the winners hefty pay check only minutes before race officials decided they had erred by disqualifying eventual winner Jon Hamblen (Cannondale/Wheelworks).
There was no mistaking this years winner, however. Foley, a former college football player, ripped the big pro field to shreds in the races closing straight to claim a satisfying and well-deserved victory.
"I may not be a pure sprinter," he conceded moments after crossing the finish line, "but Ive got a strong finishing kick, and if the race is physical and hard, I usually have a pretty good chance." The Galaxy team came to Saco with 11 riders and one goal; to make sure that the talented Hamblen wouldnt be able to slip the field and solo off to victory as he did the year before.
"We came with everything we had," said runner-up finisher Justin Lillie. "Wheelworks has been the team to beat. Theyre so strong, so deep. But we had the numbers to make things happen." Indeed, when Lillie and Foley werent trying to break away from the crowded field, their teammates could be seen at the front of the group, making sure no other riders could launch an attack.
For the first 30 minutes, the pack snaked through the eight-cornered course in tight formation. The speed was incredible. "It was hard the entire time," said Oliver Stiler-Cote, a resident of nearby Kennebunkport riding for the national Saturn Development Team. "No break was going to get away for very long." For Hamblen and teammate Matt Svatek, it was not for lack of trying.
Hamblen attacked again and again in the second half of the race, trying to repeat last years epic solo ride. But every time he shot off the front, he found two and sometimes three Galaxy riders marking his every move. "We actually had a good break at one point," Lillie said. "There was Jon, me, Skip and Larry (Perara). It was a great combination, but I dont think Jon wanted it to happen like that. Those werent very good odds for him."
After Hamblen spent himself, a number of other riders tried their luck, attacking in the technical back streets of the course. Perara (CCB/VW), Kevin Dutt (ProCycles) and Robert Bailey (Hawley-Racksmith.com) all managed to put small time gaps into the chasing field in the races closing laps, but none of the riders could hold off the determined pack. With one lap to go on the mile-long course, Foleys teammates rode hard on the front of the pack. Lillie tried his luck going into the final corner, but ultimately it was Foley winding his spring up from 300 yards out who took the race in an awesome display of power.
Lillie took second ahead of Bailey, while 18-year-old phenomenon Stiler-Cote finished fourth, good enough to claim the Maine State Criterium Championship. Stiler-Cote recently finished second in the international Tour dAbitibi and second in the U.S. national junior time trial championships.
The pro race was just one of eleven events held on Sacos historic Main Street. In the womens pro-elite race, local favorite Lisa Maxwell of Dansko/Wheelworks/IF started her sprint a moment too late and finished second to Andrea Cox (CCB-VW). Maxwell, of nearby Windham, had to content herself with a second consecutive Maine championship title. "Its hard not to win when you come so close," said Maxwell. "I lost my lead-out in the back stretch and had to come from eight places back. I probably should have made my move earlier.
Photos by Paul Weiss
Men’s Pro/Elite. 1 Mitchell (Ski) Foley (Galaxy Sport) 1.08.56 2 Justin Lillie (Galaxy Sport) 3 Robert Bailey (Hawley/Racksmithco) 4 Oliver Stiler-Cote (Saturn Developmen) 5 Jean Paul Desrosier (Hawley/Racksmithco) 6 Christian Heidkamp (Hawley/Racksmithco) 7 Matthew Svatek (Cannondale/Wheelwork) 8 Kevin Dutt (ProCycle) 9 Jeffrey Fisher (Rainbow Bikes / MC) 10 Nathaniel Deibler Women’s Pro/Elite 1 Andrea Cox (CCB-V) 40.1 2 Lisa Maxwell (Dansko/Wheelworks/I) 3 Sara Cushman (Gearworks/SR) 4 Cassie White (NEBC/Cycle Lof) 5 Alicia Genest (Trek Plus Women's Cycling Tea) 6 Marianne Stover (Liquid Motio) 7 Susan MacLean (Team BO) 8 Karena Paukulis (NEBC/Cycle Lof) 9 Anna Milkowski (Gearworks/SR) 10 Shauna Smith (Mid-Stat) Mens Category 3 1 Andrew Knight (GMBC / Invensy) 52.4 2 Joshua Bardige (Boston Road Club/ATA Cycle) 3 John Meerse (Buffalo Bicycling Club) 4 Justin Medeiros 5 John Grenier (Rainbow Bike/MC) 6 Mark Donahue (So Me Cycling Club) 7 Justin Peters (Redhoo) 8 Breeze Keller 9 Gary S Keblish (Century-SBC) 10 Joshua F Dillon Mens Category 4 1 Michael Cavros (AFD/OSV) 37.30 2 Steven Hobson (Boston Bicycle Club) 3 Anthony Santamaria 4 Brad Sheehan 5 John Hackett (Killington-Pico Cycling Club) 6 Tom Gosselin (Rainbow Bike/MC) 7 Jay Francis (NEBC/Cycle Lof) 8 Robert Frechette (Cru) 9 William Dillon (GMBC / Invensys) 10 Matthew Moon (GVC) Womens Category 4 1 Rebecca Wellons (NEBC/Cycle Lof) 30.30 2 Elizabeth Carroll (NEBC/Cycle Lof) 3 Rhonda Morin (Portland Velo Club) 4 Leigh Weiss 5 Paula Bedard (NEBC/CycleLof) 6 Janet Sestokas (NEBC/Cycle Lof) 7 Carrie Roberts 8 Cheryl Smith (Bethel Cycle Sport Club) 9 Stephanie White (NHJCA) 10 Miriam Kornitzer (Independent Fabrication) Mens Category 5 1 James Thomas (Gear Works Cyclery/MSC) 29.40 2 Damien Colfer (NH Cycling Club 3 Charles Goldma) 4 Gary Tito 5 Joseph Ewings (Country Spinski) 6 Jonathan Foster (So Me Cycling Club) 7 John Liston 8 Brad Ek (NH Cycling Club) 9 Ralph Karam (So Me Cycling Club) 10 Joe Moreshead (So Me Cycling Club) Juniors (Age 15-18) 1 Konrad LeBas (CCB Internationa) 24.30 2 Scott Maislin (Trek-Volkswagen-Goodale's) 3 Tom Gosselin (Rainbow Cycles/MC) 4 Geoffery Johnson (Portland Velo Club) 5 Jonathan Foster (So Me Cycling Club) 6 Sean Leavitt (NECS) 7 Alex Ferrero (NHJC) 8 Michael Wickman (Heart of New England Cycling Club) 9 Daryl Wilson (NHJC) 10 Benjamin Zawacki NHJC) Juniors (Age 10-15) 1 Douglas Olander (NHJC) 21.18 2 Ethan Tieger (Essex County Vel) 3 Zachary Rice (Cox Communication) 4 Christopher Thornton (NHJC) 5 Alexander Cropley 6 Stephanie White (NHJC) 7 Christopher Talbot (Portland Velo Club) 8 Alessio Bares (NHJC) 9 Kyle Foley (Laure) 10 Eli Gilbert Masters (Age 35 and over) 1 Randy Rusk (Arc-en-cie) 36.00 2 Bill Gros (Peerless/HNEC) 3 Tyler Munroe (CC) 4 Edward Richard (Bicycle Lin) 5 Tom Mannion (CC) 6 Michael Norton (Team BO) 7 PeterBrennan (Trek-V) 8 Mark Doherty (NEBC/Cycle Lof) 9Eugene Boronow (Century- SBC) 10 Rich Foley (Laure) Masters (Age 45 and over) 1 John Corriveau (Team BO) 37.46 2 George Stergiou (NHC) 3 James Boudreau (MV) 4 Brian Wolf (Bethel Cycle Sport Club) 5 James Fitzgerald (CC) 6 Mark Hagen (CC) 7 William Sawyer (Gearwork) 8 Graydon Stevens (Portland Velo Club) 9 Michael Miller (Jaeger Wheelme) 10 Paul Hoisington (Sunape) Masters (Age 55 and over) 1 John Green (CC) 31.36 2 Cassie White (NEBC/Cycle Lof) 3 Ed Lang (NEBC/Cycle Lof) 4 John Auer (Somerset Wheelme) 5 Barry Boyce (CC) 6 Richard Martin (MVC) 7 James Hunt (CC) 8 Graham Jones (CC) 9 Robert Wilson (NEBC/Cycle Lof) 10 Norm Beck 2002 Maine State Criterium Champions Men’s Pro/Elite 1 Oliver Stiler-Cote (Saturn Developmen) Kennebunkport Women’s Pro/Elite 1 Lisa Maxwell (Dansko/Wheelworks/I) Windham Mens Category 3 1 John Meerse (Buffalo Bicycling Club) Portland Mens Category 4 1 Tom Gosselin (Rainbow Bike/MC) Lewiston Womens Category 4 1 Rhonda Morin (Portland Velo Club) Canaan Mens Category 5 1 Charles Goldman (Portland Velo Club) Portland Juniors Age 17-18 1 Tom Gosselin (Rainbow Cycles/MC) Lewiston Juniors Age 15-16 1 Geoff Johnson (Portland Velo Club) Cumberland Juniors Age 13-14 1 Christopher Talbot (Portland Velo Club) Falmouth Juniors Age 10-12 1 Marc Beauchemin (So Me Cycling Club) Saco Masters Age 35 and over 1 Tim McElman (Portland) Masters Age 45 and over 1 Graydon Stevens (Portland Velo Club) Cape Elizabeth Masters Age 55 and over 1 Dan Gagne (Biddefor)