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Results and Reports for June 15-21, 2002
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Nature Valley Grand Prix
Minnesota, June 14-16, 2002
Stage 1 - June 14: Road race, Winona
Report courtesy of David LaPorte
The Nature Valley Grand Prix kicked off in Winona on Friday, June 14. This three-race series is part of USA Cycling's National Racing Calendar.
Australians took first and third in Nature Valley Grand Prix Road Race in Winona, Minnesota. In a bunch sprint that spread across the road and exceeded speeds of 40 miles per hour, Australian Hilton Clarke, Schroeder Iron, edged Olympic Gold Medalist Marty Nothstein of the Navigators Cycling Team at the finish line of the first stage of the Nature Valley Grand Prix. Another Australian, Brent Dawson of the Jelly Belly Bike Team finished a bike length behind the Olympian.
The race left the Mississippi River town of Winona, MN and did two laps of a 19.8 mile circuit through the rural lands of southeastern Minnesota. Each of the large circuits climbed a 0.9 mile hill at an average grade of 6%. Clarke, a sprinter, admitted that he had to "hang tough" on the larger circuits as the Minnesota based Penn Cycle/Nature Valley and Seattle based Broadmark Capitol teams pushed the pace through the hilly countryside.
The Schroeder Iron Cycling Team dominated the flat 2.2 mile circuit through town, sending former Minnesotan Peter Knudson off the front for two laps, and then setting up a train of riders in the last lap to lead Clarke to the finish line.
Laura Van Gilder, Trek Plus, beat Minnesota strong woman Teresa Moriarty, Flanders/Minnesota Bicycle Racing, to win the first stage of the Nature Valley Grand Prix. Emily Gloeckner, VERITAS, finished 3rd two bike lengths behind Moriarty. The 62 mile road race looped through the rural countryside of southeastern Minnesota on a 19 mile circuit that climbed 500 feet from the valley of the Mississippi River to the surrounding bluffs, and then finished with a flat sprint along the shores of Lake Winona.
Lynn Brotzman, Trek Plus, initiated the definitive break halfway into the 2nd lap. Brotzman's charge on the climb through the feed zone split the 38 rider peloton to create a lead group of 7 women. The break quickly grew to 1:53 and never dropped below 1:48 afterwards.
Saturn initiated numerous attacks in the last mile of the race, forcing the pace and preventing any breaks. Realizing that Van Gilder had the better sprint, Moriarty lead through the next to the last turn in an attempt to put herself ahead of the Pennsylvania speedster. Van Gilder responded in the last turn and built a several bike length lead over her competition in the finishing stretch.
Report courtesy of Jason Waddell, Mathis Brothers
After being the victim of the hills of Minnesota at last years race I vowed this year to not get dropped. The course profile was similar to last year's, but with only 40 miles of hills followed by 40 miles of a flat in-town 2.2 mile circuit. I knew it was crucial to be in the front group over the first climb and I was right, as almost half the field were dropped.
The climb was only about 5-6 % and three minutes long, but it was early in the race. A small group caught on the rear of the lead group after the climb and we rolled around for the second ascent of the climb. This I knew was crucial for me and as I crested the top of the climb a 30 second effort on my part firmly put me in the lead group. The crosswinds at the top of the climb were brutal, but not unbearable. The lead group failed to get organized, except for the Navigators team, and a large group containing many sprinters were allowed to catch on again.
There were not really any breaks of significance leading into the city but once on the circuits the attacks started in earnest. With about 20 miles remaining, a group of 20 separated themselves from the field and with all the teams happy (except Mathis), we were required to chase as no one else was going to. Steve Cate and Nick Kiernan closed the gap to the break after about 5 minutes of chasing and a field sprint seemed likely.
With three laps of the 2.2 miles course remaining I told Steve and Nick that I had good legs and asked for their help in the closing miles and boy did they deliver. Schroeder Iron and their 8-10 man team decided that this was a good time for them to get a train going and massed at the front with three laps to go. Meanwhile right along side of Schroeder the Mathis trio were setting up a train also and holding even with the S-Iron guys.
It is now two laps to go and I was really nervous at this point as there were at least six Navigators and five Saturn riders still in the field and S-Iron and Mathis Bros were at the front. But my guys were holding their own up front and keeping me out of the wind.
One lap (2.2 miles) to go and no sign of Navigators, Saturn, 7up or Jelly Belly, and S-Iron is starting to slow down. This is a really bad time to slow down and with all the confidence of a skydiver without a parachute I tell Nick and Steve to TAKE OVER.
Mathis Bros is at the front with 2.2 miles to go! Nick was the man of the day, and as Steve and I coached him down the long wide flat avenue, he lead almost the whole of the one mile stretch until Steve jumped with me on his wheel. In the left hand turn I was bumped from behind we lost the lead again but I regained my third spot behind Repinski (Saturn) and another rider. As we entered the final 800 meters finishing stretch, Dan Smatchz (7UP) put in a huge turn of speed to deliver us to the final 400 meters as Steve once again came to my aid to help launch me out of the chaos that was engulfing us. 200 meters to go and my legs are feeling good - I am gaining on the guys that jumped early. I try and go around Ventura (USPS) at the 100 meter mark for the final podium spot but I jumped too early and faded to 6th as Bahatti (Saturn) and a Jelly Belly rider pip me at the line.
All in all a great day for Mathis Bros and myself as last weekend I couldn't even hold a wheel in a local race because of sickness. I wanted the win really bad but it will come, I only have to be patient...
Men 1 Hilton Clarke (Schroeder Iron) 300 pts 2 Marty Nothstein (Navigators) 290 3 Brent Dawson (Jelly Belly) 280 4 Robbie Verntura (US Postal) 270 5 Rahsaan Bahati (Saturn) 260 6 Jason Waddell (Mathis Brothers) 250 7 Frank McCormack (Saturn) 240 8 Vicktor Repinski (Saturn) 230 9 Roberto Gaggioli (Amore e Vita) 220 10 Jonas Carney (Prime Alliance) 210 11 Jamie Paolinetti (Schroeder Iron) 200 12 Chris Horner (Prime Alliance) 190 13 John Lieswyn (7 UP) 180 14 Ryan Guay (Navigators) 170 15 Frank Pipp (Great Dane Velo Club) 160 16 David McCook (Prime Alliance) 150 17 Kurt Rees (Churchill Higher-Gear) 140 18 Jason McCartney (Jelly Belly) 130 19 Cory Steinbrecher (Jelly Belly) 120 20 Evan Elken (Broadmark Capitol) 110 21 Ben Raby (Athletes by Design) 100 22 Remi McManus (Jelly Belly) 90 23 Dale Sedgwick (Bianchi/ Grand) 80 24 Frank Dierking (Great Dane Velo) 70 25 Jeremy Sartain (Bianchi/ Grand) 60 26 Rad Cunningham (Broadmark Capitol) 50 27 Jonny Sundt (Broadmark Capitol) 40 28 Michael Olheiser (Veloclips) 30 29 Ryan Nenninger (Team Mack) 20 30 Jason Snider (Orbea/ Moex) 10 Women 1 Laura Vangilder (Trek Plus) 300 pts 2 Teresa Moriarty (MBRC/ Flanders) 290 3 Emily Gloeckner (Veritas) 280 4 Lynn Brotzman (Trek) 270 5 Kim Davidge (Saturn) 260 6 Jessica Phillips (Saturn) 250 7 Sophie St.Jacques (Trek Plus) 240 8 Charm Breon (Freddie Fu) 230 9 Kori Kelly (Citrus Valley Velo) 220 10 Emily Kachorek (Harbour Lights/ Velo Motion) 210 11 Alison Dwyer (Team Mack) 200 12 Larssyn Staley (Saturn Development) 190 13 Laurel Sundberg (Tonka Cycle) 180 14 Christine Miller 90 15 Elizabeth Morse (Trek VW Midwest) 90 16 Jimena Arce (Vargas) 90 17 Jody Koch (Trek- VW Midwest) 90 18 Kerry Sorachi (Diet Rite) 90 19 Mary Georgetti (NEBC/ Cycleloft) 90 20 Sarah Tillotson (Athletes by Design) 90 21 Shawn Heidgen (Athletes by Design) 90 22 Tania Duff-Miller (Freddie Fu) 90 23 Rebecca Anderson (CVC TDS Telecom) 80 24 Laurel Green (Team Mack) 70 25 Kelly Benjamin 60 26 Martha Meyer 50 27 Anne Meyer (CVC TDS Telecom) 40 28 Amyazellie Tremelling (Trek VW Midwest) 30 29 Kristen Meshberg (Trek VW Midwest) 20