Posted by Editor on 04/19/98
Reeb and Pryde Win Stage at Willamette
(courtesy USA Cycling)
Report by David Morgan
EUGENE, Ore -- SaturdayÃ¢â‚¬Å¡s tactical battles among the major teams in the Kill Hill stage of the Tour of Willamette turned into an opportunity for some other riders to move into the spotlight.
The menÃ¢â‚¬Å¡s race began with Nathan Dahlberg (Start to Finish-Village Peddler) jumping from the gun to outrun the field to the summit of Wolf Creek and claiming the first of his three King of the Mountain awards for the dayÃ¢â‚¬Å¡s stage and taking the overall KOM title.
Dahlberg hit the first major descent out in front with Donald Reeb (NutraFig) and Eric Roesinger (Team Oregon) soon bridging up. The trio raced away from the field, building up a lead as great as 18 minutes. Reeb, 59th overall going into SaturdayÃ¢â‚¬Å¡s stage, pulled in front at the final sprint uphill to win the 111-mile stage in four hours, 54 minutes and 13 seconds. Dahlberg captured second with the same time. Roesinger (Team Oregon) was alone in third place, 7 seconds back. The main pack had closed in by now and finished just back at 41 seconds.
"I just rolled over the hill and I punched it, just to go down the hill first, nothing more than that, I didnÃ¢â‚¬Å¡t even know who was out there," Reeb said. "Eric showed up and I figured IÃ¢â‚¬Å¡d just roll through with him and see whoÃ¢â‚¬Å¡s up there. It happened to be Dahlberg -- the best guy in the world to go 100 miles with, he never misses a pull. I was just going to go over the first hill, and then help these guys later, and ... well, what can you do when you get 15 minutes or more?"
This was ReebÃ¢â‚¬Å¡s biggest win of his career and it was obvious that this Northwest racer was happy with his first national victory.
"My biggest win before today was at last yearÃ¢â‚¬Å¡s Silver Falls Classic, just a regional race. Usually, IÃ¢â‚¬Å¡m in a workerÃ¢â‚¬Å¡s role, but this was a nice payback, they didnÃ¢â‚¬Å¡t chase me down, they let me duke it out and I won!"
The main field was trapped in a frustrating tactical battle between the teams of the two top overall racers, Kirk Willett (Mercury) and Brian Walton (Saturn). Separated by only four seconds, these two riders looked for any opportunity to get away. The group alternated between attacking hard and sitting up. For one section of about 20 miles the group averaged 40 miles per hour, yet the overall average was only 20 mph; slow for this course.
Tour leader Willett was happy with the outcome. "We just had to keep the team together so that we could fend off any Saturn attacks. ThereÃ¢â‚¬Å¡s really only three guys I had to look for, and thatÃ¢â‚¬Å¡s Ron Schmeer and (Greg) Randolph and Walton. I had 30 seconds cushion on two of them, so I really only had to keep my eyes on Walton. "My team just kept me out of trouble; neutralized all attacks. It worked out perfect. And when I heard who was out front, I thought itÃ¢â‚¬Å¡d be cool if he (Reeb) stayed away. I used to ride with him on the RayÃ¢â‚¬Å¡s Boathouse team in past years. And they took the time bonuses, my guys didnÃ¢â‚¬Å¡t have to ride hard, although they were spectacular in the second lap."
As for SaturnÃ¢â‚¬Å¡s Walton, he is ready for tomorrowÃ¢â‚¬Å¡s showdown. "IÃ¢â‚¬Å¡m only four seconds behind, and the team gave everything today," he said. "We were just attacking left and right, trying to whittle them down. They have a bit of numbers on us, we have five, they have seven and that makes it a little difficult, but of course these guys are riding like two of them anyway. "The hills werenÃ¢â‚¬Å¡t tough enough to crack Ã…â€™em, these were pretty steady climbs and not like weÃ¢â‚¬Å¡ve had the last few days. We got close near the end, but not close enough. We tried making it as unsteady as possible, a lot of jumping and stuff. But hey, itÃ¢â‚¬Å¡s a bike race. It goes down to the last day. ItÃ¢â‚¬Å¡s only four seconds, itÃ¢â‚¬Å¡s doable!"
Susy Pryde (Saeco-Timex) established herself firmly at the top of the womenÃ¢â‚¬Å¡s event by powering through the uphill finish to win by less than a bike length over Cheryl Binney (RalphÃ¢â‚¬Å¡s/Klein). Ward Griffiths (Safeway-Saturn) took third with the same time.
PrydeÃ¢â‚¬Å¡s win moves the 1997 National Racing Calendar champion into first place overall, 10 seconds ahead of Tammy Jacques (Clif Bar).
For Binney, this was a great finish. In four years of racing this is her highest placing in a stage of a national event and her top 10 overall placing is also her best yet. "IÃ¢â‚¬Å¡m just a big olÃ¢â‚¬Å¡ gear masher, this place is my favorite, these kind of hills," Binney said. "For the first time, I actually realized, Hey, I could do this, and I went for it! I got second! I am excited!
TodayÃ¢â‚¬Å¡s stage, the Mercury Greenhill Technology Park Criterium, will decide the overall winner for both the menÃ¢â‚¬Å¡s and womenÃ¢â‚¬Å¡s competition. This fast-paced event offers a perfect venue for spectators and gives an excellent introduction to bicycle racing. The entire course is visible and the wide, smooth new asphalt will make for exciting racing on the flat and very fast course. The race begins at 10:00 a.m. for Mortals, 11:30 a.m. for women and 1:00 p.m. for the Pro/Elite men. The course is located just north of West 11th Avenue, one-half mile west of Beltline Road. The Women and Mortals, or Category 3 men and over-40 Masters, will race for 60 minutes and then 3 laps. The Pro/Elite men will race for 90 minutes and duel to the finish in 5 laps.
Stage Three, Kill Hill Road Race
1. DONALD REEB (NUTRAFIG), Salem, Ore., 4:54:13
2. Nathan Dahlberg (Start to Finish-Village Peddler), Sacramento, Calif., s.t.
3. Eric Roesinger (Team Oregon), Portland, Ore., at 0:07
4. Adham Sbeih (NutraFig), Sacramento, Calif., 0:41
5. David Zabriskie (U.S. National Team), Salt Lake City, Utah
7. Michael Barry (Canadian National Team)
9. Brian Walton (Saturn), N. Delta, B.C., Canada
10. Gord Fraser (Mercury), Ottawa, Ont., Canada all s.t.
1. Willett, 13:34:33
2. Walton, at 0:04
3. Randolph, 0:28
1. SUSY PRYDE (SAECO-TIMEX), Auckland, New Zealand, 3:58:33
2. Cheryl Binney (RalphÃ¢â‚¬Å¡s-Klein), Los Angeles, Calif.
3. Ward Griffiths (Safeway-Saturn), Seattle, Wash.
4. Brenda Brashears (PowerBar), Grants Pass, Ore.
5. Karen Kurreck (Saturn), Cupertino, Calif., all s.t.
Overall unavailable. Pryde leads Tammy Jacques (Clif Bar) by 10 seconds. Demet is third.
WomenÃ¢â‚¬Å¡s MTB World Cup #2 - Results
|1||PEZZO Paola||GARY FISHER||ITA||2:02:33.45||75|
|2||SYDOR Alison||VOLVO CANNONDALE||CAN||2:03:55.51||1:22.05||70|
|3||DUNLAP Alison||TEAM GT||USA||2:05:36.06||3:02.60||66|
|4||LEBOUCHER Laurence||PEUGEOT LA POSTE||FRA||2:06:30.21||3:56.75||62|
|5||FULLANA Margarita||MT DEW/SPECIALIZ||ESP||2:07:30.38||4:56.93||58|
|8||TEMPORELLI Sandra||PEUGEOT LA POSTE||FRA||2:09:13.24||6:39.79||49|
|10||DAHLE Gunn-rita||AMERICAN EAGLE||NOR||2:10:08.44||7:34.98||43|
|15||EPIFANOVA Alla||VOLVO CANNONDALE||RUS||2:15:40.15||13:06.70||36|
|16||SPITZ Sabine||TEAM KONA-EMS||GER||2:15:56.40||13:22.94||35|
|18||MCQUAID Melanie||ROCKY MOUNTAIN||CAN||2:17:21.15||14:47.69||33|
|19||TOMLINSON Lesley||POLO SPORT||CAN||2:17:55.47||15:22.02||32|
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