March 9/06 8:04 am - Symmetrics Vuelta Sonora-Arizona Report
Posted by Editor on 03/9/06
Cooper wins U23 Jersey, Wohlberg 6th Overall in Mexico
Courtesy Symmetrics Cycling
Symmetrics Cycling capped off a week of racing in Mexico at the Vuelta Sonora-Arizona with one stage win, several podiums, the U23 jersey, a GC top place and, mostly, some solid training and valuable UCI points.
Symmetrics veteran Eric Wohlberg was sitting third, just 16 seconds behind the leader by the midpoint of the race, but hopes of taking the leader's jersey were dashed by some bad luck. Wohlberg flatted at a crucial moment in stage 4 and ended up losing time, ultimately dropping to sixth overall. With just 1.5km to go from the finish, Wohlberg double-flatted. A very fast bike change from Andrew Randell meant he could limit his losses. However, the team did take home a leader's jersey - Marsh Cooper did some fine riding to win the U23 jersey.
The final stage was shortened to 90km and the team rode very well, lined out in full force behind the strong Tecos Mexican pro team. After Wohlberg's win in stage 3, the team was hungry to end off the Mexican adventure in style with a win. Unfortunately, the course was not entirely conducive to attacking - it was a flat corner-less oval with some sweeping bends - essentially a vacuum.
Langley's Svein Tuft, testing his legs for the upcoming Commonwealth Games, did get in a move for a good part of the race but the peloton wanted a sprint - which is exactly what happened. The S-Team was at the front in the final kilometers with a strong leadout. Andrew Pinfold was the go-to man for the sprint and got bumped in the final bump, scrubbing some speed: Pinner still took home fourth and both GC riders finished safely in the bunch.
After 6 stages of tough racing, the Symmetrics Cycling team had the following to boast:
- 1st U23 Jersey
- 1st Stage 3
- 2nd Stage 4
- 3rd Stage 4
- 3rd Team GC
- 4th Stage 6
- 4th Stage 1
- 6th on GC
Now, with tans from sunny racing in Mexico, the team heads to rainy California. The racing in Mexico definitely provided some solid racing to get the team's legs going for 2006. The squad will take their early season form and meet up with other American pros at the Central Valley Classic in Fresno, California.