Posted by Editoress on 05/3/02
Tour of the Gila
Report Courtesy Team Saturn
Saturn's Mark McCormack is Back!
Jeanson claims Third Consecutive Win, GC Remains the Same
Nearly a month ago, Saturn's Mark McCormack was not even sure if he would be able to race the Tour of the Gila, much less win a stage there. McCormack had been hit by a car on a training ride and the damage to his face, back and neck were severe enough to keep him off the bike for nearly two weeks. After today, however, it is clear he is back and in good form after winning the third stage in the Tour of the Gila.
An early two man break in the men's 76 mile race added a little excitement to what has thus far been predominately a Mercury controlled race. Prime Alliance's Matt DeCanio and RLX Carl Swenson escaped early on and gained a sizable lead with their impressive effort, until the wind, heat and altitude took their toll. As the Mercury Team reeled them in with twelve miles to go, it looked to be that a group of thirty would be sprinting for top honors. As Mercury began their lead-out for ace sprinter, Gord Fraser, Saturn's McCormack seized the day and attacked on the opposite side of the road with 400 meters to go. Stomping on his biggest gear, focused only on the finish flag, McCormack held his slight advantage for a surprising and inspiring win. Fraser finished second, and young Saturn guest rider Victor Ripenski finished a notable fourth. All the main players in contention for the overall were in the front group, thus Mercury's Chris Wherry still leads the tour. Saturn's Eric Wohlberg is in third.
The women's race was not surprising with Jeanson breaking away on the first climb and soloing in for the remaining 60 miles to finish up on a chasing group of four by 1:45. Behind her, Saturn's Jessica Phillips, Anna Millward, Ina Teutenberg, and Kimberly Bruckner worked to come to terms with Jeanson, but Jeanson was able to gain an insurmountable amount of time on the climbing portions. In the end, Teutenberg dropped off the pace, leaving Phillips, Bruckner and Millward to try to come to terms with Jeanson. French woman Jeannie Longo and Rona rider Karen Bockel both stayed on the Saturn train until the final meters where Bockel came by Millward for a second place finish. Longo was fourth, Bruckner fifth and Phillips sixth. As in the men's race, the Overall Standings remain the same, save for Jeanson's continual increase of time over Saturn's Bruckner.
Tomorrow's criterium ought to offer some new faces on the podium for both the men and the women.
Results Stage Three
1. Genevieve Jeanson - RONA
2. Karen Bockel - RONA
3. Anna Millward - Saturn Cycling Team
1. Mark McCormack - Saturn Cycling Team
2. Gord Fraser - Mercury
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