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June 1/03 9:54 am - Clarendon Cup


Posted by Editoress on 06/1/03
 

Clarendon Cup Arlington, Virginia
Courtesy of worlddiff.com

A pair of East Coast natives, Jonas Carney of Prime Alliance and Laura Van Gilder of Saturn, took the honors ahead of truly international Pro/Elite Men's and Women's fields today at the sixth annual Clarendon Cup, presented by Northrup Grumman. With the six Pro/Elite podium finishers hailing from four different nations, the Clarendon Cup was nothing if not international......and exciting as well, as both races saw truly heroic, if unexpected, performances.

In the Pro/Elite Men's 100-kilometer race, there was no denying that Saturn's Trent Klasna was the 'man of the day'. From the early going, the big Californian tried one foray off the front after another, sometimes with company but more often alone. After a series of revolving-door breaks- many of which also involved Ireland's Ciaran Power (Navigators) and Klasna's Belarus teammate Viktor Rapinski- a seven-man group formed at around mid-race that seemed destined for success. The seven included Klasna and Rapinski, along with former Under-23 World Time Trial Champion Danny Pate (Prime Alliance), former National Pursuit Champion Mike Tillman (Schroeder Iron), 2003 Athens Twilight Criterium winner Dan Schmatz (7 UP/Maxxis), and the always-game Siro Camponogara (Navigators) and David O'Loughlin (OFOTO/Lombardi Sports)- nearly the perfect move in terms of movers & shakers, particularly for Saturn.

With 28 laps to go, they had all but lapped the field, closing to within 13 seconds of the tail end of the bunch. However, that's when the ever-changing fortunes of bicycle racing revealed themselves. First, Schmatz popped and lost contact, bringing an immediate reaction from 7 UP/Maxxis, which launched a furious chase, aided and abetted by Prime Alliance, which didn't care for Pate's chances versus the Saturn duo. And then Klasna, the workhorse who had been powering the move, also popped, first struggling to maintain contact and then drifting back to the pack. The five remaining racers lost all cohesion, and before long the hard-charging bunch- by then whittled down to 20 men- had reeled in everyone and completely reset the chessboard for what appeared to be a likely group sprint.

With four laps remaining, Saturn played one last trump card: Phil Zajicek, the team workhorse in the CapTech Classic. Zajicek sprinted for a prime and just kept going, holding the slenderest of leads over the next few laps. The Navigators team took up the chase, but had disaster strike when designated sprinter and defending champion Vassili Davidenko was involved in a crash that also took out Saturn's Charles Dionne and Ivan Dominguez.

It fell to Prime Alliance to bring him back: with Svein Tuft and Alex Candelario raging at the front, the courageous Zajicek was caught just in time for the sprint, which Prime Alliance's Jonas Carney took handily from Rapinski and 7 UP/Maxxis' Hayden Godfrey, who had won the Quad Cities Criterium less than a week earlier. It was a great team performance by Prime Alliance, which has been gaining momentum over the past month, says Carney: "We've really taken off since the last stage of the Tour de Georgia. We've won Roswell, Somerville, the Tour of Connecticut, and now the Clarendon Cup."

If the Men's event came down to a final sprint, the Women's race was far more clear-cut. While Diet Rite was the largest team in the race, most eyes were on the Saturn squad, which was expected to be out to avenge its narrow loss in Friday evening's CapTech Classic.

Though still suffering from jet lag and general tiredness following her arrival in the U.S. from Europe just two days earlier, Ina Teutenberg was the defending champion and fully expected to work the same magic that won her the 2002 edition of the Clarendon Cup. However, it was Saturn teammate Laura Van Gilder who provided the heroics, racing against her typecast role as a sprinter to lap the field in a spectacular solo effort.

As in the Men's event, the gusting winds took their toll, combining with the torrid pace to cause 50% of the starters to abandon. But they didn't seem to slow the 38-year old Van Gilder down a bit. Attacking on the sixth of 50 laps, she briefly had Australian Helen Kelly (TDS) in her wake before literally riding Kelly off her wheel, leaving her behind to go solo with 35 kilometers still remaining. If Kelly was frustrated, however, she had plenty of company: having missed the move, Diet Rite sent rider after rider to the front to try and bring back the escapee.

For a few laps, they managed to hold Van Gilder at around 15 seconds, but before long she was pulling steadily away ("I knew I could pick up a few seconds here and there", said Van Gilder afterwards). With just under eight kilometers remaining, the powerful Saturn rider added insult to injury by lapping the field just as Teutenberg was going off the front, accompanied only by 18-year old prodigy Magen Long (OBRU/The Bicycle Store).

Once again, Diet Rite missed out, and attempted a brief chasing effort before resigning itself to sprinting for fourth. As it turned out, they wouldn't even get that: with Van Gilder the uncontested winner, and Teutenberg outpowering Long for second, nearly 30 seconds up on the dissipated pack, 2001 Junior World Sprint Champion Sarah Uhl earned Saturn three of the top four spots, gunning past Tina Mayolo-Pic (Diet Rite). Afterwards, an exultant Van Gilder explained why she'd gone so early: "It's a long race, a hard race, and early breaks have always worked here.....the wind was pushing me around, but I felt pretty confident."


Pro/Elite Men
1. Jonas Carney (USA) Prime Alliance
2. Viktor Rapinski (BLR) Saturn
3. Hayden Godfrey (NZL) 7 UP/Maxxis
4. Danny Pate (USA) Prime Alliance
5. Siro Camponogara (ITA) Navigators
6. Greg Henderson (NZL) 7 UP/Maxxis
7. Trent Klasna (USA) Saturn
8. John Lieswyn (USA) 7 UP/Maxxis
9. Jackson Stewart (USA) OFOTO/Lombardi Sports
10. Greg Wolf (USA) Colavita/Bolla

Pro/Elite Women
1. Laura Van Gilder (USA) Saturn
2. Ina Teutenberg (GER) Saturn
3. Magen Long (USA) OBRU/The Bicycle Store
4. Sarah Uhl (USA) Saturn
5. Tina Mayolo-Pic (USA) Diet Rite
6. Julia Oh (USA) Independent Fabrication/Wheelworks
7. Lynn Gaggioli (USA) Velo Bella
8. Tania Duff-Miller (NZL) Diet Rite
9. Charm Breon (USA) Freddie Fu
10. Joanne Kiesanowski (NZL) Diet Rite

 


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