Canadian Cyclist


May 21/99 8:04 am - Atlantic Cup Classic

Posted by Editoress on 05/21/99

Atlantic Cup Classic, Stage 2, New Bedford, MA, May 19th, 1999.
(courtesy Dave Pogue)

The Atlantic Cup Classic week of $2500 criteriums continued in the Whaling City on Tuesday night. A full field of 125 riders lined up to do battle on the cobbled hillside streets of New Bedford, Massachusetts, a town familiar with international bike racing from its years as host of the Whaling City Pro-Am in the 1980's. The riders faced a 1/2-mile, 4-corner circuit with a less-than-gentle incline through the start/finish and a 200-meter stretch of ancient, gnarled cobbles after the 3rd turn and into the sprint. It was a day of attrition which left a mere 26 riders left for the finish, and only Mark Walters (Navigators) and Chad Gerlach (Merlin/Hind) in contention for the win.

The danger of the cobbles was lost on no one, and many riders voiced their lack of motivation for a race that would obviously be so difficult. With that in mind, those willing to attack did so early; staying at the front and out of trouble, and thinning the field with every lap. The difference in ability required to glide over the cobbles compared to gliding up the hill meant a strange mix of riders who survived, and also seemed to prevent the cohesiveness required for a group to stay away. Short lived solo or two-up attacks netted riders like last year's winner Peter Wedge (Team Degree/Radio Energie) some cash in hand from the generous primes, but each time the small moves came back, albeit to a smaller field than the one they left.

Fatigue set in on the remaining riders once the halfway mark was passed, and each new attack stuck just a little longer than the once before. Finally, with 20 laps remaining, Dirk Friel (Merlin/Hind) launched the protagonistic move, followed shortly by Walters and last years overall champion Kevin Monahan (Breakaway Courier Systems). Before the three could settle in, however, word came that Friel's teammate Gerlach was on his way across. Monahan and Walters continued to work while Friel waited for Gerlach to catch.

No sooner was Gerlach on, though, that Walters realized he had a teammate on his way up as well. The next group of four contained Navigators' Todd Littlehales, along with Monahan's Breakaway Courier cohort Shawn Willard, race leader Sylvain Beauchamp, and the omnipresent Mark McCormack (Saturn). Walters sat on; soon the break was eight and the real action would begin.

Littlehales attacked immediately upon bridging. The group brought him back quickly, but were rewarded for their efforts with a counter-attack by Walters. This was the deciding move; Walters was free, and lapped the field solo with 4 laps remaining in the race."I didn't know how close the group behind was, or if anyone was coming, so I just went to the front of the field and tried to keep the tempo high until the finish. I didn't even put my hands up at the line because I still wasn't sure if I had won," Walters said. He had indeed won, though, beating a solo Gerlach by 32 seconds. Over a minute down, Littlehales took the remaining podium place over Monahan and McCormack, while a full lap down, Jon Page (Wheelworks/Cannondale) won the field sprint for 9th from Chris Fisher (Merlin/Hind) and Charlie Dionne (Team Degree/Radio Energie).The result left Monahan and Walters tied on points for the overall, but Walters was given the jersey based on his higher placing. Monahan was second the day before in Northampton. Former leader Beauchamp dropped to third.
35 miles in 1:27:44

1. Mark Walters, Navigators
2. Chad Gerlach, Merlin/Hind, @ 32 seconds
3. Todd Littlehales, Navigators, @ 1:06
4. Kevin Monahan, Breakaway Courier Systems
5. Mark McCormack, Saturn
6. Shawn Willard, Breakaway Courier Systems
7. Sylvain Beauchamp, Shaklee
8. Dirk Friel, Merlin/Hind
9. Jonathan Page, Wheelworks/Cannondale, @ lap
10. Chris Fisher, Merlin/Hind
11. Charles Dionne, Team Degree/Radio Energie
12. Ray Sanchez, Team Extreme
13. Curt Davis, Wheelworks/Cannondale
14. Adam Hodges Myerson, Northampton CC
15. Czeslaw Lukascewicz, Kissena
16. Jim Copeland, Merlin/Hind
17. Chad Matteson, Merlin/Hind
18. Jim Carothers, Colorado Cyclist
19. Chris McDonald, DMS/Bicycle Renaissance
20. Peter Wedge, Team Degree/Radio Energie
21. Cory Fisher, Cycle Center
22. Scott Mercer, Navigators
23. Bill Innes, Kissena
24. Don Mills, Wheelworks/Cannondale
25. Ainslie MacEachran, Colorado Cyclist
26. Andrew Randell, Jet Fuel Coffee, all s.t.

Overall as of Stage 2

1 Walters, Mark Pro Navigators Cycling Team
2 Monahan, Kevin Breakaway Courier Systems
3 Beauchamp, Sylvain Pro Shaklee
4 McCormack, Mark Pro Saturn
5 Gerlack, Chad Pro Merlin/Hind
6 Friel, Dirk Pro Merlin/Hind
7 Curt DavisWheelworks/Cannondale
8 Page, Jonathan Wheelworks/Cannondale
9 Littlehales, Todd Pro Navigators Cycling Team
10 Myerson, Adam Northampton CyclingClub
11 Dionne, Charles Team Degree Radio Energie
12 Randell, Andrew Pro Jet Fuel Coffee

13 Sanchez, Ray Team Extreme
14 Willard, Shawn Breakaway Courier Systems
15 Fisher, Cory Cycle Center
16 Johnson, Tim CCB/Volkswagon
17 Ventura, Robbie Pro Saturn
18 Fisher, Chris Pro Merlin/Hind
19 Varghese, Antoine Pro Kissena Cycling Club
20 Lukascewicz, Czeslaw Pro Kissena Cycling Club
21 Giuliano, Giusseppi Pro Jet Fuel Coffee

22 Copeland, Jim Merlin/Hind
23 Matteson, Chad Merlin/Hind
24 Baldwin, Chris Pro Navigators Cycling Team
25 Carothers, Jim Colorado Cyclist
26 McDonald, Chris DMS/Bicycle Renaissance
27 McCormack, Shawn Wheelworks/Cannondale
28 Wedge, Peter Team Degree Radio Energie


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