Posted by Editor on 04/25/98
Fraser Second in North Carolina (courtesy USA Cycling)
Report by from Bill Sheldon for USA Cycling
SHELBY, N.C. -- Mercury commandingly shifted gears just once and emptied the vault in the $15,000 First Charter National Bank criterium Friday evening.
AmericaÃ¢â‚¬Å¡s dominant pro team (led by Canadian Gord Fraser...)slid Julian Dean and Gord Fraser off to a one-two finish after John Peters had coasted to a special $600 next-to-last lap prime. The red and yellow jerseys pedaled off with $4,400 in the last three 0.9-mile laps.
U.S. Postal ServiceÃ¢â‚¬Å¡s only entrant, George Hincapie, took third in the sprint. He was leading into the second-to-last turn but Fraser got the inside line to lead Dean in the drag race. The lone Saturn rider, Mike McCarthy, was on HincapieÃ¢â‚¬Å¡s wheel but ended up sliding off on the corner and collecting only a major strawberry.
More than 100 riders spun through the western Carolina town, prepping for SundayÃ¢â‚¬Å¡s $75,000 Outdoor Life Network Atlanta Grand Prix on Sunday. The 50-lap chase saw no breaks, no solos; just fast racing until Mercury decided it was time to close out the field.
When Peters moved for the prime he got excellent blocking and Mercury then flipped into overdrive with Dean and Fraser doing as they pleased. "I was impressed with the speed of the Mercury boys," Hincapie said.
It was MercuryÃ¢â‚¬Å¡s third major win in five days Ã‹â€ taking OregonÃ¢â‚¬Å¡s Tour of Willamette and the 89er crit in Oklahoma last Sunday.
FIRST CHARTER CRITERIUM, Shelby, N.C.
1 .JULIAN DEAN (MERCURY), Hamilton, New Zealand, 1:26:45
2. Gord Fraser (Mercury), Ottawa, Ont., Canada
3. George Hincapie (U.S. Postal Service), Charlotte, N.C.
4. Roberto Gaggioli (OilMe), Vinci, Italy
5. Scott Mercer (Breakaway Courier), Boulder, Colo. all s.t.
Canadian Women in Europe - Update
From the Toronto Star we have the following update on the Ã…â€™Toulouse raceÃ¢â‚¬Å¡ (actually called the Grand Prix de la Haute Garonne), that began yesterday. The 96 first stage was won by Lenka Ilavka (Slovakia) in 2:25:36. As we reported last night, Anne Samplonius and Linda Jackson finished in 5th and 6th places respectively with the same time as the winner. Canada leads the Team GC.
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