Tuesday, August 30, 2011

NRC: Cliff-Ryan makes it consecutive criterium wins

Theresa Cliff-Ryan stands atop the podium at the Chris Thater Memorial in Binghamton, N.Y. (Photo by Barry Koblenz, www.basetwelvephoto.com)

As the USA Cycling's National Racing Calendar (NRC) dwindles down to the last few events, the jostling for spots in the individual and team standings is heated. The 28th Annual Chris Thater Memorial in Binghamton, N.Y. took center stage as the contestants sprinted between rain drops and around wind gusts in Central New York.


Theresa Cliff-Ryan stands atop the podium at the Chris Thater Memorial in Binghamton, N.Y. (Photo by Barry Koblenz, www.basetwelvephoto.com)
The top of the women's NRC standings is beginning to resemble a Colavita-Forno d'Asolo roster. Janel Holcomb (San Diego, Calif./Colavita-Forno d'Asolo) maintains the lead with just a pair of races on the calendar, despite placing 30th at the Chris Thater Memorial in Binghamton on Saturday. Holcomb's teammate, Theresa Cliff-Ryan (Cedar Springs, Mich.), is surging up the standings and now sits in third after winning two consecutive weeks. Leah Kirchmann (CAN/Colavita-Forno d'Asolo) remains in second place, only 235 points behind Holcomb, but only 28 points ahead of Cliff-Ryan. Erinne Willock (CAN/Team TIBCO to the Top) is just 16 points behind Cliff-Ryan in fourth place while Amber Neben (Lake Forest, Calif./HTC-Highroad Women) is currently in fifth place.

Before the brunt of Hurricane Irene hit the northeast Saturday evening, the women contested a 40-lap criterium race through the streets of downtown Binghamton. After an early break by Rachel Warner (Luray, Va./MissingLinkCoachingSystems), the fast-paced race was controlled by the riders from Colavita-Forno d'Asolo and TIBCO to the Top. The race was ultimately decided by a bunch sprint. On the contest's final lap, the Colavita-Forno d'Asolo train delivered Cliff-Ryan, who won last week's Grand Cycling Classic, to the finish line ahead of Joanne Kiesanowski (Seattle, Wash./TIBCO to the Top), who finished second in the final results.

The top spot of the women's team NRC standings has already been decided for Colavita-Forno d'Asolo. TIBCO to the Top has a firm grip on second place, holding a 1,463-point lead on HTC-Highroad Women. Diadora Pasta Zara sits in fourth place with 531 points, which is 70 points better than Primal-MapMyRide.


Hurricane Irene scrubbed out Sunday's men's criterium race, leaving the men's NRC standings unchanged. Francisco Mancebo (ESP/Realcyclist.com) leads the standings with only three events remaining. Jacobe Keough (Sandwich, Mass./UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling) sits in second only 130 points behind. Luis Romero Amaran (CUB/Jamis-Sutter Home) is in third, just 46 points behind Keough while Jonathan Cantwell (AUS/Team Fly V) is only 24 points out of third. Frank Pipp (Boulder, Colo./Bissell Pro Cycling) trails Cantwell by 162 points in fifth place.

In the men's team standings, UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling trails the leader, Bissell Professional Cycling, by 176 points. Jamis-Sutter Home is in third place, only 258 points behind UnitedHealthcare. Team Exergy and Realcyclist.com continue to alternate between fourth and fifth places. Team Exergy sits in fourth, holding a 195-point cushion on Realcyclist.com.

NRC standings

1. Francisco Mancebo (ESP/Realcyclist.com) — 822
2. Jacobe Keough (Sandwich, Mass./UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling) — 692
3. Luis Romero Amaran (CUB/Jamis-Sutter Home) — 646
4. Jonathan Cantwell (AUS/Team Fly V) — 622
5. Frank Pipp (Boulder, Colo./Bissell Professional Cycling) — 460

Men's Team
1. Bissell Pro Cycling — 2,413
2. UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling — 2,237
3. Jamis-Sutter Home —1,979
4. Team Exergy — 1,338
5. Realcyclist.com — 1,143

1. Janel Holcomb (San Diego, Calif./Colavita-Forno d’Asolo) — 822
2. Leah Kirchmann (CAN/Colavita-Forno d'Asolo) — 587
3. Theresa Cliff-Ryan (Cedar Springs, Mich./Colavita-Forno d'Asolo) — 559
3. Erinne Willock (CAN/Team TIBCO-To the Top) — 543
4. Amber Neben (Lake Forest, Calif./HTC-Highroad Women) — 536

Women's Team
1. Colavita-Forno d'Asolo — 3,767
2. Team TIBCO-To the Top —2,723
3. HTC-Highroad Women — 1,260
4. Diadora Pasta Zara — 531
5. Primal/MapMyRide Women's Racing — 461

For more information on the National Racing Calendar, log on to www.usacycling.org/nrc.


The men and women are slated to contest the Labor Day Omnium in Georgia and South Carolina from Sept. 2-4.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Masters Road National Championships Get Underway Next Week

The 2011 USA Cycling Masters Road National Championships begin in Bend, Ore., on Wednesday, Aug. 31.
Over 850 riders are registered for the 2011 USA Cycling Masters Road National Championships which will begin on Wednesday, Aug. 31 in Bend, Ore. Cyclists 30 years and older will vie for more than 60 national titles in the road race, criterium, and time trial events. In addition to the individual events being awarded, USA Cycling will present a male and female Best All-Around Rider award for each age group, as well as crown the Best All-Around Team. Awards will be determined by total points accumulated throughout the event.

The 2011 USA Cycling Masters Road National Championships begin in Bend, Ore., on Wednesday, Aug. 31. The five-day competition starts with time trials at Summit High School in southwestern Bend. Contestants will compete in the criterium over the next two days. Women 40-and-over and men 60-and-over will contest the criterium at Northwest Crossing near Compass Park in western Bend on Sept. 1. Men 30-59 and women 30-39 will race the criterium on Sept. 2 in downtown Bend. The road race, held at Summit High School, will be the featured event of the final two days in Bend.

Among those competing is 1972 and 1976 Olympian Wayne Stetina (Mission Viejo, Calif./Breakaway-UBS Elite Masters). Stetina, whose nephew, Peter, races for Garmin-Cervelo, contested the team time trial at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, Germany and in 1976 at the Olympic Games in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Another prominent contestant is 84-year-old Link Lindquist (Foothill Ranch, Calif./Team Velosport Club), who found the podium three times in the men's 80-84 category, last year. In 2010, Lindquist won the criterium, earned the silver medal in the time trial and the bronze in the road race. Nine-time national champion Tracy Tolson (Louisville, Ky./Kentucky Flyers Cycling, Inc.), who won the women's 45-49 road race last year, will contest the women's 50-54 race this year. Tolson also finished third in the criterium in her hometown of Louisville.

For a detailed event schedule, please click here.

The Time Trial Course starting at Summit High School, which will be contested on Wednesday, Aug. 31, climbs varying distances before turning around and looping around Tetherow Golf Club and returning to the finish line.

The one-kilometer Criterium Course at Northwest Crossing, which will be contested on Thursday, Sept. 1, consists of four corners and two bends. The Criterium Course in Downtown Bend is a rectangular, four-corner course spanning 1.2 kilometers.

The road race, which also starts at Summit High School and will be contested on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 3-4, almost immediately goes into a steep descent, dropping over 1,000 feet of altitude in a nine-mile stretch before nearly recovering all of that altitude as it climbs Tumalo Butte to complete the circuit. Different age groups will perform different lap counts for their road race.

Click on the links below to check out the course maps:

· 18 km Time Trial course map
· 25 km Time Trial course map
· 30 km Time Trial course map
· Downtown Bend Criterium course map
· Northwest Crossing Criterium course map
· Road Race course map

On-site registration will be available at the Old Mill District in south Bend beginning on Tuesday, Aug. 30, at 2 p.m.

Visit the official event webpage of the 2011 USA Cycling Masters Road National Championships for more information on the event, including a complete schedule, tech guide, results, photo gallery and more. Follow the event on Twitter, using hashtag #RoadNats.

This Article Published August 25, 2011 For more information contact: dgaylinn@usacycling.org
Article Source: http://www.usacycling.org/news/user/story.php?id=6973

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Huff Snags Second At Criterium Nationals


Jelly Belly p/b Kenda rider Brad Huff took second place at the USA Cycling Professional Criterium Championships in Grand Rapids, Mich., in a chaotic day of racing.

Huff had the support of teammates Jeremy Powers, Emerson Oronte, Ken Hanson, and Bernard van Ulden. The five-man lineup was competing against several full-roster squads.

Team director Danny Van Haute said his riders were undaunted.

“We knew we had the two best sprinters in the country racing today — Brad and Ken — plus our three other riders are some of the best team workers around,” Van Haute said. “I’m very proud of what they did.”

The race was severed into two parts because of a rainstorm. Huff said that frustrated him and his teammates, who were well-positioned when the race was halted with just three laps to go.

At the re-start, the race was reset at 30 laps.

“I just tried to keep great position,” Huff said. “When it came to the last lap I just tried to follow wheels.”

On the final lap, Huff got bumped, forcing him to hit his brakes and slowing him down for heading into the finish.

“Coming into the last corner it was just a jump from a slower-speed sprint,” he said.

He gunned it about 250 meters out and was passed by Eric Young of Bissell Pro Cycling.

“I just died,” Huff said. “It was a long way to sprint.”

Still, he was happy with his and his teammates’ efforts.

“Second is a great result on a really chaotic day,” he said. “The team worked really hard as a smaller group.”

Now Jelly Belly p/b Kenda turns its sights to the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, which begins Aug. 22 in Colorado Springs and ends Aug. 28 in Denver. The team has been training in the mountains for the 600-plus-mile race and sends a fully prepped lineup to face the competition.

“I see lots more great results coming,” Van Haute said.

Article Source: http://jellybellycycling.com/2011/08/22/huff-snags-second-at-criterium-nationals/

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Men Set American Team Pursuit Record At Junior Worlds

By VeloNews.com

The American team qualified ninth and set a new American record for the team pursuit at the UCI junior track championships in Moscow Thursday.

The pursuit team — Gregory Daniel (Englewood, Colo./Chipotle Junior Development Team), Mathew Lipscomb (Decatur, Ga./Greenville Spinners Bicycle Club-Hincapie Development), Paul Lynch (Colchester, Conn./Hot Tubes Development Cycling Team) and Thomas Wrona (Pinehurst, N.C./Hot Tubes Development Cycling Team) posted a time of 4:17.678.

The previous American record for the junior men’s team pursuit, 4:23:33, was set in 1999 by Mike Creed, Will Frischkorn, Devon Hoff-Weekes and Jon Retseck.

Australia won the pursuit title in 4:02.632. Russia and New Zealand were second and third.

In the team sprint, the American team of Matthew Baranoski (Perkasie, Pa./SUB 49), Ryan Gadow (Dublin, Calif./San Jose Bicycle Club) and Kaleb Koch (Glenview, Ill./Cycle Sports Foundation Inc.-ISCorp Cycling Team) placed 11th with a time of 24.524.

Germany won the men’s team sprint, followed by France and Russia.

American Collin Berry (Huntington Beach, Calif./VRC-NOW-MS Society) finished 11th in the men’s scratch race, which was won by Frantisek Sisr of the Czech Republic.

The women’s team sprint duo of Jennifer Valente (San Diego, Calif./Adams Avenue Bicycles-G S) and Chloe Chepigin (Chappaqua, N.Y./Young Medalists-Team Rothrock) placed fifth overall with a time of 48.682. Russia won the women’s team sprint in 45.061, followed by Australia and New Zealand.

Article Source: http://velonews.competitor.com/2011/08/news/men-set-american-team-pursuit-record-at-junior-worlds_188525

Friday, August 19, 2011

USA Pro Cycling Challenge: Top 10 contenders In Colorado

By: Cycling NewsRace

Levi Leipheimer (Radioshack) is the number one favorite for the week of racing

Cyclingnews picks the favourites

The USA Pro Cycling Challenge assembles the highest quality field ever to race on American soil when it kicks off in Colorado Springs on August 22. Who are the top contenders? It's difficult to assess which riders will be able to perform in the rarified air of the Rocky Mountains, but Cyclingnews brings you its top ten picks for the brand new event.

1: Levi Leipheimer (RadioShack)

Leipheimer's winning performance in the Tour of Utah signaled that he has come on good form following a disappointing Tour de France, and the Santa Rosa resident is a perennial contender in any US stage race. We will likely see the American put in a smashing prologue, but can he withstand the assault of two Colombian teams with the young squad that RadioShack has assembled?

His team struggled to control the race in Utah and Leipheimer will miss the presence of Janez Brajkovic on the climbs, but the team has called in some reinforcements in the form of Dmitriy Muravyev and Ivan Rovny. However, there is only so much a team can do when it comes to a course like the one in Colorado. When it came down to climber vs. climber in Utah, Leipheimer was up to the task, and there's no reason to suggest he can't do the same in Colorado.

2: Sergio Henao (Gobernacion de Antioquia)

This Colombian rising star made a big splash at the Tour of Utah as the only rider to challenge overall winner Levi Leipheimer in the high mountain ascents. His talents have already been recognized by Team Sky, which recently signed him for two years. Henao is especially well-acclimated to the high altitudes, and has an advantage over many of the big names in terms of freshness, having not endured a Grand Tour.

His climbing is first-rate, and he's shown he can put in a good time trial, especially when the course heads straight uphill. In this sense the stage 3 time trial should suit Henao's strengths well as it climbs from 2500m to 2900m. These qualities and a demonstrably strong team push Henao near the top of our contenders list.

3: Tom Danielson (Garmin-Cervélo)

It was clear that Tom Danielson was at Tour of Utah solely to train for the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, and the top American finisher of the Tour de France looked comfortable on the climbs. Colorado is Danielson's stomping grounds, and his familiarity with the roads will give him an advantage over most of the contenders.

Danielson's advantage will be a well-fortified Garmin-Cervélo squad, which has been staying at high altitudes in preparation for the race and is highly motivated to perform on home roads. If Danielson puts in the type of consistent performance he showed at the Tour de France there is no reason he won't be on the final podium in Denver.

4: Cadel Evans (BMC)

The Tour de France champion can never be counted out, especially in a race which will depend so much on time trialing. However, it is unclear as to whether Cadel Evans will be bringing good form to Colorado. He's taken the time to arrive early and get acclimated to the high altitude, and his team has already prepared in Utah.

After the biggest win of his career, will Evans still have enough motivation to contend? The Australian is never one to pass up a challenge, and it is important for BMC to perform on home soil. We expect Evans to honor the race by putting in a respectable performance, but after a tough Tour de France he may lack the spark needed to win.

5: Tejay Van Garderen (HTC-Highroad)

Van Garderen put in a string of solid performances in the Tour of Utah and, despite some issues on the final stage when he cracked on the first climb, this tenacious young competitor looks to be on good form for the American races.

Van Garderen lives in Colorado and knows the roads well, and will be highly motivated to perform in front of his friends and family. The climbs in Colorado are better suited to his riding style, and because of his strong time trialing abilities, we expect to see this 23-year-old high up in the overall classification.

6: Andy Schleck (Leopard Trek)

One never knows which of the Schleck brothers will be team leader, but Andy Schleck arrived earlier in Colorado than his older brother, so one can assume the Tour de France runner-up will be the team's go-to man. The climbs don't necessarily suit Andy Schleck, as there is a lack of the steep slopes which he can use as a launching point for attack.

The race will likely be decided in the prologue and stage 3 time trial, and the race against the clock doesn't favour Schleck. While he may hold his own in the uphill test on stage 3, the seconds he stands to lose in the prologue will be hard to make up on the types of climbs that feature in this race.

7: Juan Pablo Suarez or Giovanny Manuel Báez (EPM-UNE)

We're including Suarez and Báez because we don't want to get caught out like we did by the Gobernacion de Antioquia team in Utah. Suarez recently won the Tour do Rio, while Báez is a past Vuelta Colombia champion which can only mean he's as good on the climbs as Henao. The Colombians are experts at racing at high altitudes, and every time the road tilts uphill they attack like crazy. We expect the EPM-UNE riders to be no exception to that rule.

8: Rory Sutherland (UnitedHealthCare)

In keeping with the theme, we're picking the best time trialists who can climb, and Sutherland has to feature among the top names in this department. He didn't exactly shine at the Tour of Utah, but it was clear his focus was on Colorado all along.

Now living in Boulder, the altitude will come as no shock to the Australian, and as is the case with Van Garderen, the climbs aren't as steep as those in Utah, so he should fare well. He's another local who will be looking to impress the home crowds, so we should see Sutherland in the mix.

9: Robert Gesink (Rabobank)

Gesink has had a lackluster season and will be seeking some results in Colorado, even if his team won't arrive in time enough to get acclimated to the high altitude. This will be especially difficult coming from a country as close to sea level as possible, but the Dutch rider can never be counted out of the mix in the mountains.

10: Timothy Duggan (Liquigas-Cannondale)

Why not Ivan Basso? The Italian, like the Rabobank riders, won't arrive in Colorado until four days before the race starts, so we can only assume he isn't taking the race seriously. Duggan, in contrast, put in stellar performances on the climbs at Tour of Utah, and, hungry for a 2012 contract, he will be looking to repeat in Colorado.

Other contenders of note: Pat McCarty and Lucas Euser (Spidertech), Peter Stetina (Garmin-Cervélo), Daniel Navarro (Saxo Bank Sungard), Oscar Sevilla (Gobernacion de Antioquia) and Jeff Louder (BMC).

Article Source: http://www.cyclingnews.com/features/usa-pro-cycling-challenge-top-10-contenders-in-colorado

Monday, August 15, 2011

Leipheimer Wins Tour Of Utah

By: Laura Weislo

Henao climbs to final stage win

Levi Leipheimer sealed the overall victory in the Tour of Utah with a tenacious ride in the face of an all-out assault by the Gobernacion de Antioquia team.

The RadioShack rider nullified the attack by Colombian Sergio Henao on the final climb to the finish at Snowbird Ski Resort to secure his second consecutive overall Tour of Utah win. Henao, who was 23 seconds behind at the start of the stage, took the final stage win just ahead of the American.

The winner of the prologue and leader of the race for two days, Henao ended up second overall, while Janez Brajkovic claimed third on the stage and third overall in the Tour.

The Gobernacion de Antioquia team was consoled by taking the overall team classification as well as the best young rider award with Cristian Montoya to add to their three stage victories.

Henao said his team's strategy was to put riders up the road and try to gain as much time as possible, but that Leipheimer was too strong. "We found a worthy opponent in Levi," Henao said. "I was in good shape and going well but Levi was just as strong. Levi was a worthy winner. It was a tough race but we just wanted to get to the top."

Leipheimer said he didn't contest the stage because Henao and his Gobernacion de Antioquia team were so strong that they deserved the win. After the first climb, Leipheimer and Brajkovic were profoundly outnumbered by the Colombian team, but the RadioShack squad battled back, reversing some of the tactical mistakes they made on stage 4.

"I think we learned our lesson yesterday, we misjudged it. I made a mistake of giving bad advice to my team. I though we'd be able to control it and it got out of hand. Everyone on the team rode flawlessly today."

The race came largely together at the base of the final climb, but the two strongest riders were soon alone in the race to the summit. Leipheimer found a strong challenge from Henao, but was ultimately able to neutralise every attack.

"You never know until you cross the finish line how it's going to end up," Leipheimer said. "Sergio [Henao] put in a few stinging attacks and it was hard - I had to temper my efforts and think about the whole climb. There were a few times when I had to come back to him, but when he saw that I was good enough to follow him, fortunately he knew he could win the stage and let off a bit."

Behind, Brajkovic took third on the day to move into the last podium spot overall after Oscar Sevilla cracked on the final climb. The result was a good indication that the Slovenian has fully recovered from his injuries from the Tour de France and is in good form ahead of the Vuelta a Espana.

"I loved the Tour of Utah. It's really hard because of the altitiude. The first stage was really hard as well. It was a hard race, very selective, which really suits me. I'll be back next year for sure.," Brajkovic said.

In addition to the overall Tour of Utah victory, Leipheimer also pulled on the jersey of the king of the mountains, surpassing the morning's leader Rubens Bertogliati (Team Type 1-Sanofi), whose aspirations of making the breakaway and contesting the mountain sprints dissolved as the PureBlack team controlled the first half of the race, keeping the peloton intact to seal the sprint classification victory for Roman Van Uden.

Van Uden succeeded in winning both sprints, but he still faced a long day's work to make it to the finish inside the time cut.

"The whole day was absolutely brutal," Van Uden said. "We did the first two hours flat out. I was struggling from the first kilometer, and needed the team all day to get me through and get the two sprints. At the bottom of Sundance climb we let the race ride away from us, and we had to dig pretty deep to come in under the time cut. I can't thank my team enough."

Jeff Louder (BMC) held off Tyler Wren (Jamis-Sutter Home), whose bad luck continued with three separate mechanical incidents and a flat tire, to take the Best Utah rider classification.

How it unfolded

The final stage of the Tour of Utah departed without BMC's veteran George Hincapie, who left the race to trade his team kit for a tuxedo as best man in his soigneur's wedding. The remaining 103 riders set off on a slightly longer stage due to road works, with an additional 11km to make 171.6km between Park City and the Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort.

Having lost the sprinter's jersey on stage 4, the PureBlack racing team took firm control of the race to keep things together for the intermediate sprints. Roman Van Uden was delivered perfectly to the first sprint by his teammates to take back the points lead.

Van Uden also took the second intermediate sprint ahead of Jay Thomson (Bissell) and lead-out man Timothy Gudsell to secure the sprint classification.

It wasn't until the first climb 92km into the stage that the peloton began to shatter when the Gobernacion riders started attacking: Henao launched the first move and was marked by Garmin-Cervélo's Tom Danielson. When that move failed to go clear, it was Sevilla who went next with Danielson going again.

Leipheimer and Brajkovic chased the pair down with two more Gobernacion riders in tow: Henao and his teammate Janier Acevedo, while another Gobernacion rider Rafael Montiel was attempting to bridge with Lucas Euser (Spidertech) and Montoya behind.

When the front group came together it was Henao who went on the attack, but the Colombian gained only 30 seconds by the top of the first KOM and after the descent four groups of chasers came together and bourght Henao back.

"It was vicious out there. At one point it was Janez and me and six of them, and that was a little daunting," Leipheimer said. "We had to be as smart as we could and stay calm. At the bottom of the first climb, I thought we should wait and let more of our riders catch back, but Janez made a good call to go hard.

"In the end it was smart because it forced the others to race, it blew the race open and everyone had to work hard. Janez controlled the gaps and then in the valley we could slow things down and let more of our riders catch back on."

Gianpaolo Cheula (Geox-TMC) attacked ahead of the next KOM and opened up a minute on the yellow jersey at the top, and as the road once again tilted up it was time for Acevedo to jump. He got halfway across to Cheula on the climb, took second place over the top and then caught and passed the Geox rider as the final climb began.

Behind the two leaders, a large group of riders bridged across to the yellow jersey group, including some reinforcements for the race leader, Leipheimer, as well as the rest of the Gobernacion team. The group eventually managed to pull Acevedo back as the final climb began only to have Acevdeo's teammate Oscar Alvarez go on the attack.

"Philip Deignan, George Bennett and Ben King really suffered to come back, and wipe the slate clean so everyone was together," Leipheimer said. "Then it was just up to me on the final climb, and I didn't want to let them down."

While Leipheimer was diplomatic about the race situation, Brajkovic wasn't happy with the way the race unfolded in between the climbs.

"I've never seen racing like this," Brajkovic said. "Every team was against us and they were all wheel suckers. No one wanted to pull they all just wanted to flick us.

"We are happy with the results, but we are definitely not happy with the way other teams raced against us. That is racing, they can do whatever they want, but I think we deserved the win and we won, that's all that counts."

Still, RadioShack's trainee George Bennett set the pace as long as he could hold on, and then dropped off leaving Brajkovic as Leipheimer's bodyguard for the finale. He pegged the gap to the leader back to 10 seconds, but that only served to put a stick in the hornet's nest and when Henao attacked, only Leipheimer could follow.

With Henao 23 seconds behind on the overall classification, all Leipheimer had to do was hold onto the young climber's wheel. Brajkovic chased to the line, leaving Danielson in his wake to claim the final podium spot as Sevilla struggled in more than a minute behind.

"The team was very intelligent and concentrated a lot this week just trying to get ahead. Acevedo took off first and then we reacted later," said Henao. "It was up to whoever felt better at the time of attacking today. Oscar [Sevilla] was not really up to it today."

Article Source: http://www.cyclingnews.com/races/tour-of-utah-2-1/stage-5/results

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Henao Smashes Utah Prologue

By: Laura Weislo

Little known Colombian surprises favorites
Sergio Luis Henao (Gobernacion de Antioquia - Indeportes Antioquia) charges up the uphill prologue time trial in Park City

Twenty-three-year-old Sergio Luis Henao Montoya handed the Colombian Gobernacion de Antioquia - Indeportes Antioquia team its first victory in the USA, taking a convincing victory in the 2km Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah prologue in Park City.

The little known Colombian rider and his more famous teammate Oscar Sevilla were placed first and second until Realcyclist.com's Francisco Mancebo slotted in second place, giving the Tour of Utah its first all-international stage podium.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the wind-swept mountains baking under the summer sun favored riders who are familiar with such conditions: riders from Colombia, Spain, Colorado, Montana and Utah all featured in the top positions.

It was the young Colombian who stunned the crowd with his dominating performance, having not been tipped as a race favorite before the start. Henao, who hails from Rionegro near Medellin, won the 2010 Vuelta Colombia and the Grand Prix du Portugal and Cinturon a Mallorca in 2009, but though he's finished second in the Tour de Beauce in Canada, it is his first appearance on US soil.

"I am very happy to be here and have the leader's jersey after the first stage," Henao said. "There are a lot of good teams here like RadioShack, Garmin, HTC and others. We are a modest team and in competition with other really good teams. We are here to do a great show for the people and fight until the last minute every day."

Henao fought until the very last second in the prologue, where the hardest part of the stage came at the end, according to most reports.

"The race was very short and explosive," Henao said. "I had to be very strong and you had to have a lot of strength. It was a difficult course in the last kilometre. The steepness and the wind at the top was hard to manage."

With Sevilla, Henao and climber Javier Acevedo, the Gobernacion de Antioquia team has plenty of options to keep the race leadership within their team in the coming days.

"Wearing the yellow jersey into the first stage, we have to be patient because there are strong teams here. There are a lot of stages in the mountains. We have to play day-by-day and we have to go by a plan each day. I think it was a big surprise for me and for other teams that I won," Henao said.

Mancebo, the leader of the winner of the Redlands Classic, Tour of the Gila, Tour de Beauce and Cascade Classic, was happy to have only lost a small amount of time.

"It was important today to feel the sensations and not lose too much time," Mancebo said. "I had a very good time trial and it was good for my head. I did a good rehearsal and I feel like I am in good condition. I wasn't able to win but I had a good time trial."

The winner of the 2009 Tour of Utah and a runner-up last year, Mancebo is realistic about his chance at a second victory, given the increased level of competition now that the race is a UCI 2.1.

"This year it is much more difficult with stronger teams and riders. We have to be in our best condition to compete. The last stage will be important and the level and experience of people here is much higher so that will make it more difficult to win. I have to take it day-by-day."

Sevilla joked that he and his teammates, five of which featured in the top 25 on the stage, would need all of their forces to control Mancebo, but more seriously, he acknowledged that the increased level of competition would make racing both harder and easier in some respects.

"Our team is good with strong riders. There are three of us Haeao, me and Avarero. the three of us need to stick together to control Mancbeo. If we stick together I think we can do well," Sevilla said.

"The competition has risen, there are bigger teams and more people to control the race. It makes for a good race."

Top Americans toppled

Until Henao crossed the line, the leader board was topped by the usual suspects: Tom Danielson and his Garmin-Cervélo teammate Christian Vande Velde were sitting first and second, with Danielson clocking a 4:12, two seconds better than Vande Velde. The pair of Americans had unseated early race leader Tyler Wren (Jamis-Sutter Home), who set the early best time with 4:16.23.

Before Henao, the next rider to challenge was Endura Racing's Jack Bauer, who came in one second behind Vande Velde.

Starting his race as Danielson crossed the line, Henao, the winner of the 2010 Vuelta Colombia, did the unthinkable on the short, uphill course in the Utah Olympic Park - he caught and passed the rider who started one minute ahead of him en route to a winning time of 4:05.

With 16 riders still to go, including favorites Sevilla, Tejay Van Garderen (HTC-Highroad), Mancebo, US time trial champion David Zabriskie and defending champion Levi Leipheimer (RadioShack), it was not certain Henao would last as fastest rider.

But one by one, they came and failed to unseat the Colombian dynamo. Sevilla came in with a 4:10, before Mancebo came in four minutes later with a time three seconds faster to take second on the day. Leipheimer, the last rider to start, could only muster a 4:12, good for sixth on the day.

"I expected to be better," Leipheimer said. "I should have done a bit better warm up. When I tried to step on it at the top my legs just weren't firing. It's been two weeks since I've done an effort like that. The guys who did the Tour have a really deep fitness but sometimes you give up all that endurance and recovery for explosivity like today."

Henao will wear the yellow jersey of race leader in tomorrow's first full stage, a challenging 187km circuit that takes in the difficult North Ogden Pass three times for a total of 8250 feet of climbing.

Wren held on as best Utah rider, while Van Garderen claimed the best young rider's jersey, coming in fractions of a second behind Sevilla in fourth place.

"I've been targeting this week for a long time," said Wren. "I didn't necessarily expect to win, but seeing some big names behind me is exciting. I'm happy to end up in the top 10 and in the Utah jersey. It's given me confidence to do well later in the week.

"I saw the course last week and I was confident. It's kind of my specialty - short, uphill prologues. I'm excited to have a good week with the team, they're all riding well."

Article Source and for Full Results: http://www.cyclingnews.com/races/tour-of-utah-2-1/prologue/results

Friday, August 5, 2011

Olympic Test Event - Hadleigh Farm International 2011

Perfect conditions expected on London 2012 Olympics MTB course

World's best mountain bikers gather at Hadleigh for test event

By: Rob Jones

Sunday sees the first formal run through of the 2012 Olympic mountain bike course take place with the official test event in Hadleigh. The Essex town overlooks the Thames River Estuary, approximately one hour east of Central London.

Riders had an earlier opportunity to check out the circuit in May, after the Dalby World Cup in the north of England, but that was not under race conditions.

46 women and 60 men are registered for the event, including both of the defending Olympic champions - Sabine Spitz of Germany and Julien Absalon of France. Other top women riders who are scheduled to participate include Elisabeth Osl (Austria), world number 1 Catharine Pendrel (Canada), Annika Langvad (Denmark), World Cup leader Julie Bresset (France), Eva Lechner (Italy), 2004 Olympic champion Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa and Lene Byberg (both Norway), Nathalie Schneitter (Switzerland) and Georgia Gould (USA).

On the men's side, in addition to Absalon, the start list includes World Cup leader Jaroslav Kulhavy (Czech Republic), cyclo-cross star Sven Nys (Belgium), Manuel Fumic (Germany), Marco Fontana (Italy), Christoph Sauser and Ralph Näf (both Switzerland) and Jeremiah Bishop (USA).

Riding conditions should be near perfect, in the low 20s Celsius with a light breeze. The five-kilometre circuit is not particularly technical – as is often the case with Olympic courses – but includes three sizable climbs per lap and a couple of rock gardens. The terrain is also extremely open, so it will be nearly impossible for riders to get out of sight of chasers.

Teething troubles

The event’s purpose is not only to allow riders sample the course at race pace, but also to try out all of the protocols, timing equipment and press facilities before the main event next summer. Unfortunately, one significant glitch has already appeared: the organization decreed that no one could get in on Saturday without a credential, including those who were coming in to pick up their credentials. A large number of the cycling media were turned away, as well as the defending women's Olympic champion, Sabine Spitz. It appears that the organizers’ filter was set a little too finely on this occasion.

Article Source: http://www.cyclingnews.com/races/olympic-test-event-hadleigh-farm-international-2011

Monday, August 1, 2011

Americans Take Second And Fourth At Olympic MTB Test Event

Gould shared the podium with winner Catharine Pendrel of Canada and Julie Bresset of France.

Georgia Gould (Fort Collins, Colo./Luna) earned the silver medal in the official Olympic Mountain Bike Test Event on the new purpose-built Olympic course at Hadleigh Farms in the U.K. on Sunday. American compatriot Jeremiah Bishop (Harrisonburg, Va./Cannondale Factory Racing) just missed the podium against some of the world’s best on the men’s side, finishing fourth.

“I seem to rise to the occasion when I have the Star-and stripes on my back. It kind of makes you race at a whole ‘nother level,” said Bishop. “It was awesome. Thousands of fans were going bonkers - they sold out like 5,000 tickets. Overall it was a great team effort as we had awesome support.”

Forty-six women and 60 men contested the Olympic test event, including both of the defending Olympic champions Sabine Spitz of Germany and Julien Absalon of France. Gould and Bishop were the lone Americans racing against some of the world’s best.

The small, but quality women’s field tackled six laps of the 5.1-kilometer Hadleigh Farms course which with an open hillside setting offers challenging gradients as well as nice viewing opportunities. Midway through the race Canada’s Catharine Pendrel attacked from a lead group of three which included Gould and World Cup leader Julie Bresset (FRA). Gould soon dropped the Frenchwoman and bridged up to Pendrel before a crash on the last half lap knocked the top-ranked American out of contention for the win.

“Gould proved she can ride the course at speed in the lead group,” said Gullickson. “The result was good for her confidence, but she would have been in for the win if she had not crashed with half a lap left.”

After focusing on ultra-endurance events over the past few years, Bishop battled a rough start spot but was able to move up and pass World Cup leader Jaroslav Kulhavy (Czech Republic) mid-way through the seven-lap men’s race to join the medal chase.

Bishop finished fourth after surging from a weak start position. “You think all is lost after a bad start but the legs just came on,” explained Bishop. “I passed several groups, figured I better at least get a good power file for Gully, and then I found myself all the way up in medal position. Without the traffic in the World Cups I was really able to put together a good ride.”

Four-time world champ Julien Absalon of France had already built a strong solo lead, leaving Bishop chasing for silver with Christoph Sauser (Switzerland) and Karl Markt (Austria). The pair was eventually able to pull away from the American veteran forcing the cramping Bishop to settle for fourth in the unofficial start of his newly pronounced Olympic quest.

“Bishop posted some impressive lap times after a bad start position. He rode up into second place at one point in the race before cramping a bit and coming home in fourth,” said USA Cycling Mountain Bike and Cyclo-cross Programs Director Marc Gullickson. “I was expecting good performances from both riders and that’s what we got. The course proved to be very challenging and I think it will produce a deserving Olympic winner next year.”

Full results and more information is available on the official London Prepares Series website. The road race is the next cycling test event up and is set for Aug. 14 in London.

*Photo courtesy Rob Jones - Canadiancyclist.com

1. Julien Absalon (France) 1:31:48
2. Christoph Sauser (Switzerland) +0:01:20
3. Karl Markt (Austria) +0:01:46
4. Jeremiah Bishop (Harrisonburg, Va./Cannondale Factory Racing) +0:02:19

1. Catharine Pendrel (Canada) +1:32:04
2. Georgia Gould (Fort Collins, Colo./Luna) +0:00:56
3. Julie Bresset (France) +0:01:32

Article Source: http://www.usacycling.org/news/user/story.php?id=6898