Posted by Editor on 09/29/02
Saturn's Wohlberg Wins Miami Cycling Classic
Team Saturn report:
The final stop in the US Pro Tour was held in Miami, Florida today (September 29, 2002). The Miami Cycling Classic was competed on a one mile, five corner course in front of 50,000 excited spectators. Under the heat of the Miami sun, the US Pro Tour crown was on the line. In the end, it was Saturn's Eric Wohlberg and Diet Rite's Tina Mayolo victorious.
In the men's standings, Mercury had a strong lead with Henk Vogels coming into the last event, and it was clear they were content to let non-threatening riders go up the road. With only seven points separating Navigators' Mark Walters and Mercury's Henk Vogels, the Navigators team was keen to bring back any riders in an attempt to claim the precious finishing points. This freed many teams up to race for the race win.
Although only three athletes represented the Saturn Team, Eric Wohlberg, Ivan Dominguez and Harm Jansen were intent on bringing a final victory to the Saturn Team's 2002 resume. Obviously on fire in preparation for the upcoming World Championships, Wohlberg's attacks were continuous and successful. After a brief solo break which ended in a mild crash, the Saturn rider was back in the peloton for only a brief time before launching yet another attack.
With only a quarter of the race remaining in the 100 kilometer event, Wohlberg was tagged by Mercury's Chris Wherry. Wherry was eager to work with Wohlberg to take points at the finish and thus protect Vogels' lead of the Pro Tour Overall. With Wohlberg and Wherry working hard at the front, the time gap began to slide open. Navigators and the US Postal Service teams worked furiously at the front to bring the two back to the group, but the gap finally edged to 35 seconds and then snapped to 50 seconds. In the final sprint it was Wohlberg over Wherry for an impressive win.
Meanwhile, back in the pack, Jansen gave Saturn teammate Dominguez the perfect lead-out for a third place finish. Mercury's Vogels won the Pro Tour title, with Walters in second. Vogels' teammate, Gord Fraser was third.
The women's one hour race was an exciting event, coming down to a showdown between Diet Rite's Tina Mayolo and Saturn's Suzanne Sonye. Mayolo, showing great fitness for the World Championships in Zolder, went off the front of the race early in the race. Working by herself to fend off the chasers behind, the Diet Rite rider opened up a 37 second gap. Saturn's Sonye and Iona Winter (unattached) were not willing to let Mayolo win without a fight and gave organized chase. Ignoring the three other women sitting on the back of the five women group, Winter and Sonye managed to catch Mayolo with just three laps to go, setting the stage for a five woman sprint. In the final meters it was Mayolo taking the win over Tanya Duff-Miller. Sonye finished third. Although not present, Laura Van Gilder wrapped up the Pro Tour when she won the second to last stop in San Rafael two weeks ago.
Team Navigators report:
Navigators' Mark Walters moved ahead of Gord Fraser (Mercury) to secure the 2nd place position in the 2002 Pro Cycling Tour finale today in the Miami, Florida suburb of Coconut Grove, although he was unable to catch the PCT leader Henk Vogels, also of Mercury. Today's racing action was a battle for both the race victory, as well as the PCT, since a total of eight riders still had the mathematical possibility of taking the overall tour victory.
With the temperature climbing into the 90's and a high level of humidity greeting the riders at their 3:00 PM start time, it wasn't just the action that was going to be hot. Indeed, a large and very enthusiastic crowd cheered the racers as they embarked on a blistering pace for two hours of racing action. The Navigators were here in force to contest both the race and the PCT standings. After an hour of fast furious action that saw many attacks and counter-attacks, Matt DeCanio (Prime Alliance) finally broke free from the field and gained about 30-seconds. Five laps after riding solo, he was joined by Saturn's Time Trial specialist Eric Wohlberg and Mercury's Chris Wherry with Navigators' Marty Nothstein closing in shortly later. Unfortunately, just as Nothstein closed in, DeCanio succumbed to the speed and heat and allowed Wherry and Wohlberg to pull away. Caught behind DeCanio, Nothstein and DeCanio came back to the main peloton in quick order, leaving the breakaway of two to fend for themselves. The pair rode a very strong race and were able to hold the chasing peloton at 1-minute over the next 45-minutes of racing. With a final lap surge, Wohlberg was able to pull away from Wherry to take a well-deserved win, as local favorite and Cuban native Ivan Dominguez (Saturn) took the final podium position. The crowd went wild.
Stamp for 2003 Worlds
Canada Post has announced that a commemorative stamp will be issued next year for the 2003 Road World Championships in Hamilton, Ontario.
Cycling Impotence . . Again
A new study has once again raised the issue of cycling causing impotence in male cyclists. At a conference for sex researchers in Montreal, a study of more then 700 US cyclists found that 27% of the riders in the 18-30 year age group reported erectile dysfunction in varying degrees. By comparison, the rate for non-cyclists was 3 - 8%. However, the study also found that cyclists in their 50s have a lower rate of erectile dysfunction then the general population - 21% for cyclists, as compared to 50% for non-cyclists. The explanation of the researchers is that the cardiovascular benefits of cycling far outweigh the risks for the older cyclists. It should be noted that the authors of the study also concluded that, overall, the physical benefits of cycling mean that young men should not give up cycling.
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