Canadian Cyclist


June 18/06 9:43 am - Nature Valley GP: Men's Stage 5 & Final GC

Posted by Editoress on 06/18/06

Health Net gives stage to sweep podium at Nature Valley
By James Lockwood

Sometimes you have to let the race go to win.

At least, that is what Health Net thought in the last stage of Great River Energy's Nature Valley Grand Prix.

With three guys sitting one, two and three on the general classification - and another 26 seconds out in fifth place - the National Racing Calendar event was theirs to lose. And while Greg Henderson eventually lost the jersey finishing 12 seconds off the pace, the jersey stayed in the team and gave Karl Menzies the overall victory.

And Health Net finished 1-2-3 at the end.

“It's not often you can sweep the podium at an NRC event,” said Health Net's director sportif Jeff Corbett.

“You can't get too greedy,” said Menzies, who was the third Health Net rider to win a race at the event on Saturday. “At the end of the day, we wanted to get the top 3.”

While Health Net's eyes trained on the overall standings, Toyota-United's Ivan Stevic had his eye on a little redemption for the team, which had been shut out of the podium all week and only figured once in the final sprint during the five days of racing. Early in Sunday's race, he snuck away from the Health Net-led pack, joined forces with Team Einstein's Jason Donald, and then worked with Jelly Belly's Caleb Manion to take the first victory at Nature Valley for the first-year squad.

“I wasn't dangerous for [Health Net] in the break, so the they let me go,” Stevic said.

The win was important for him and the team, said the Toyota-United rider who was edged off the podium in stage four by 2 inches.

“Day after day, we were just not doing good,” he said. “We were pretty tired coming from Philly.

“This was the best way to finish the stage race. We needed this for the morale.”

Stevic gave credit to Manion for pushing the pace and maintaining the gap that allowed the two to finish one-two on the stage.

“To be honest, I was suffering a lot,” Stevic said. “I think he used a lot of energy in that effort.”

Manion, though, threw the accolades back to Stevic. “I guess the best man won at the end.”

Not only did Stevic suffer from the effort - the 1.2-mile course featured a 50-meter finishing climb of 18 percent - so did Navigator Insurance's Shawn Milne, who was with the duo half of the race but failed to match the effort of Manion's when it counted. Sitting 54 seconds back on GC, he could have been a threat for the podium, but at that moment, tactics changed for Navigator's, and with about five laps to go, the Navigators best placed GC rider, Bernard Van Ulden, attacked out of the lead group to bridge to Milne and try to shake things up.

“I was feeling pretty good,” Van Ulden said. “I took a couple of hits. I wanted to go down fighting.”

Sitting fourth, he was the biggest threat to a Health Net sweep, and they weren't going to let him go. Menzies quickly marked Van Ulden, and any chance of the young Navigator's rider finding a place on the podium quickly dropped.

“The only thing that worried us was if we got complacent and let Van Ulden slip away,” said Health Net's Nathan O'Neill, who finished third overall.

Menzies, who had been working all day near the front to protect Henderson, said the attack was nothing for him to match since the team had not been pushing the pace but just marshalling the front.

“I was never tired,” he said. “We knew what we had to do. We knew we had to mark Van Ulden.”

Others noticed the pace - or lack there of.

“For me, it was a game of wait-and-see,” said Colavita Olive Oil-Sutter Home's Jonathan Page, who took third on the stage. “People weren't attacking. For me, I like to race my bike, not sit on the back of Health Net.”

Navigator's director sportif, Ray Cipollini, gave credit to Health Net for their strength and tactics.

“The made no mistakes all week,” he said. “The opportunities we had were limited at best. We did what we could wit the resources we had.”

Maybe the only mistake was made by Henderson, who misinterpreted the results at the finish and looked a bit disappointed when he learned that he lost the jersey.

“I just thought we had to finish with the bunch,” said Henderson, who collapsed at the top of the final climb up the hill. “The last lap was so hard.”

Still, he found consolation with the fact that the jersey stayed with the team, something they held all week.

“To have the yellow jersey go to a teammate is fine,” he said.

Menzies said he was happy to have the jersey, although he saved his jubilant spirit for the podium where he celebrated with Henderson and O'Neill.

“It's so close. This team is so tight. Who's in the jersey doesn't really matter,” he said.

1. Ivan Stevic (Toyota-United Pro Cycling team)1:00:23
2. Caleb Manion (Jelly Belly Cycling Team)at 0:02
3. Jonathon Page (Colavita Olive Oil - Sutter)0:03
4. Karl Menzies (Health Net presented by Maxxis)0:04
5. Frank Pipp (TARGETRAINING)0:05
6. Jackson Stewart ( Nevada Pro Cycling Team)
7. Brian Dziewa (Mercy Cycling)both s.t.
8. Paul Esposti (Rio Grande/Sports Garage)0:06
9. Nathan O'Neill (Health Net presented by Maxxis)0:07
10. Frank Dierking (ABD Cycling Team)
11. Scott Zwizanski ( Nevada Pro Cycling Team)both s.t.
12. Bernard Van Ulden (Navigators Insurance Cycling Team)0:08
13. Hilton Clarke (Navigators Insurance Cycling Team)0:11
14. Matt Rice (Jelly Belly Cycling Team)0:12
15. Greg Henderson (Health Net presented by Maxxis)s.t.
16. Steve Tilford (Trek/Shimano)0:14
17. Jonathan Garcia (Team Einstein's Cycling)0:27
18. Tim Johnson (Health Net presented by Maxxis)0:33
19. Josh Thornton (Toyota-United Pro Cycling team)
20. Scottie Weiss (Hincapie Sports/Bianchi/ Dasani)0:34
21. T. Burke Swindlehurst (Navigators Insurance Cycling Team)0:40
22. Reid Mumford (ABD Cycling Team)1:00
23. Jacob Rosenbarger (Rio Grande/Sports Garage)1:07
24. Gord Fraser (Health Net presented by Maxxis)1:11
25. Shawn Milne (Navigators Insurance Cycling Team)s.t.
26. Mike Olheiser (MMW/CARVE)1:49
27. Ian Stanford (Nature Valley Racing Team)1:52
28. Alexander Boyd (VMG Racing)1:54
29. Jason Donald (Team Einstein's Cycling)2:03
30. Aric Hareland (Hollywood Cycles/Silver Cycling)3:46
31. Johnny Hayes (CRCA/Sakonnet Technology U25)3:51
32. Stefan Rothe (Mercy Cycling)3:57
33. Michael Grabinger (Grandstay/Out N About Gear)4:02
34. Hayden Brooks (Subaru Cycling Team)
35. Jed Schneider (Subaru Cycling Team)
36. Andy Minier (Nature Valley Racing Team)
37. Peter Fairbanks (Bianchi/Grand Performance)all s.t.
38. Stefano Barberi (Toyota-United Pro Cycling team)4:21
39. Chad Nikolz (Broadmark / Hagens-Berman)4:32
40. Ben Raby (Bianchi/Grand Performance)4:36
41. Jonathan Parrish (LANDIS/TREK/VW)
42. Adam Froemming (FLANDERS/MBRC)
43. Martin Gilbert ( Nevada Pro Cycling Team)all s.t.
44. Bryce Mead (ABD Cycling Team)
45. Owen Gue (Broadmark / Hagens-Berman)4:39
46. Eric Marcotte (Bianchi/Grand Performance)5:02
47. Nick Reistad (Jelly Belly Cycling Team)
48. David Robinson ( Nevada Pro Cycling Team)
49. David Guttenplan (Subaru Cycling Team)all s.t.
50. Jarred Berger (Grandstay/Out N About Gear)5:29
51. Jason Snider (Hollywood Cycles/Silver Cycling)
52. Josh Bezecny (TARGETRAINING)all s.t.
53. Erik Dahl (FLANDERS/MBRC)5:53
54. Brandon Gavic (Wheel & Sprocket)6:43
55. Andrew Guptill (TARGETRAINING)
56. Owen Laine (BMC Racing Team)
57. Philip Wikoff (Team Hotel San Jose)all s.t.
58. David Sachs (Vision Quest)6:55
59. Duane Dickey (Bianchi/Grand Performance)
60. Rudy Robaina (VMG Racing)
61. Cole House (Endeavour)all s.t.
62. David Zimmerman (FLANDERS/MBRC)7:19
63. Brian Bibens (Subaru Cycling Team)7:33
65. Dale Sedgwick (Bianchi/Grand Performance)
66. Chris Ruhl (CRCA/Sakonnet Technology U25)
67. Chris Kuhl (CRCA/Sakonnet Technology U25)
68. Spencer Beamer (VMG Racing)all s.t.
69. Bill Stolte (HRRC/CollegePoint/Specialized/BikeSource)10:04
70. Matt Williams (Grandstay/Out N About Gear)10:27
71. Jack Seehafer (Team Einstein's Cycling)
72. Chris Harkey (Hincapie Sports/Bianchi/ Dasani)
73. Pete Hanna (Bianchi/Grand Performance)all s.t.
74. Sterling Magnell (Toyota-United Pro Cycling team)10:50
1. Karl Menzies (Health Net presented by Maxxis)6.36:37
2. Greg Henderson (Health Net presented by Maxxis)at 0:04
3. Nathan O'Neill (Health Net presented by Maxxis)0:11
4. Bernard Van Ulden (Navigators Insurance Cycling Team)0:19
5. Frank Pipp (TARGETRAINING)0:40
6. Jonathon Page (Colavita Olive Oil - Sutter)1:18
7. Hilton Clarke (Navigators Insurance Cycling Team)1:20
8. Gord Fraser (Health Net presented by Maxxis)1:29
9. Matt Rice (Jelly Belly Cycling Team)1:42
10. Shawn Milne (Navigators Insurance Cycling Team)1:57
11. Caleb Manion (Jelly Belly Cycling Team)2:36
12. Tim Johnson (Health Net presented by Maxxis)4:13
13. Reid Mumford (ABD Cycling Team)5:23
14. Jackson Stewart ( Nevada Pro Cycling Team)5:57
15. Ivan Stevic (Toyota-United Pro Cycling team)6:04
16. Josh Thornton (Toyota-United Pro Cycling team)7:01
17. Scottie Weiss (Hincapie Sports/Bianchi/ Dasani)8:29
18. Steve Tilford (Trek/Shimano)8:31
19. Paul Esposti (Rio Grande/Sports Garage)8:45
20. Martin Gilbert ( Nevada Pro Cycling Team)8:53
21. Mike Olheiser (MMW/CARVE)9:47
22. Scott Zwizanski ( Nevada Pro Cycling Team)10:04
23. Alexander Boyd (VMG Racing)10:05
24. Jason Donald (Team Einstein's Cycling)11:09
25. Stefano Barberi (Toyota-United Pro Cycling team)12:04
26. Michael Grabinger (Grandstay/Out N About Gear)12:07
27. Jed Schneider (Subaru Cycling Team)12:31
28. Hayden Brooks (Subaru Cycling Team)12:50
29. Johnny Hayes (CRCA/Sakonnet Technology U25)13:09
30. Stefan Rothe (Mercy Cycling)13:24
31. Aric Hareland (Hollywood Cycles/Silver Cycling)14:16
32. Adam Froemming (FLANDERS/MBRC)15:54
33. Brandon Gavic (Wheel & Sprocket)18:00
34. David Zimmerman (FLANDERS/MBRC)19:21
35. Erik Dahl (FLANDERS/MBRC)20:21
36. Jonathan Parrish (LANDIS/TREK/VW)22:23
37. Pete Hanna (Bianchi/Grand Performance)22:56
38. Frank Dierking (ABD Cycling Team)23:03
39. Sterling Magnell (Toyota-United Pro Cycling team)24:15
40. Rudy Robaina (VMG Racing)25:54
41. Chad Nikolz (Broadmark / Hagens-Berman)31:14
42. Brian Bibens (Subaru Cycling Team)31:58
43. Brian Dziewa (Mercy Cycling)31:59
44. Jonathan Garcia (Team Einstein's Cycling)32:16
45. T. Burke Swindlehurst (Navigators Insurance Cycling Team)32:19
46. Ben Raby (Bianchi/Grand Performance)32:37
47. Ian Stanford (Nature Valley Racing Team)33:25
48. David Guttenplan (Subaru Cycling Team)33:27
49. Duane Dickey (Bianchi/Grand Performance)34:41
50. Andrew Guptill (TARGETRAINING)34:43
51. Peter Fairbanks (Bianchi/Grand Performance)35:50
52. Bryce Mead (ABD Cycling Team)36:01
53. Andy Minier (Nature Valley Racing Team)36:09
54. Nick Reistad (Jelly Belly Cycling Team)36:35
55. Spencer Beamer (VMG Racing)36:49
56. Eric Marcotte (Bianchi/Grand Performance)36:51
57. Jacob Rosenbarger (Rio Grande/Sports Garage)37:48
58. Bill Stolte (HRRC/CollegePoint/Specialized/BikeSource)38:03
59. David Sachs (Vision Quest)38:35
60. Jon Randall (ALL9YARDS.COM CYCLING TEAM)39:42
61. Dale Sedgwick (Bianchi/Grand Performance)42:16
62. Owen Gue (Broadmark / Hagens-Berman)44:14
63. Josh Bezecny (TARGETRAINING)44:46
64. Chris Ruhl (CRCA/Sakonnet Technology U25)45:58
65. Cole House (Endeavour)46:50
66. David Robinson ( Nevada Pro Cycling Team)48:00
67. Jarred Berger (Grandstay/Out N About Gear)48:35
68. Jason Snider (Hollywood Cycles/Silver Cycling)49:27
69. Philip Wikoff (Team Hotel San Jose)49:48
70. Owen Laine (BMC Racing Team)49:49
71. Chris Kuhl (CRCA/Sakonnet Technology U25)50:38
72. Chris Harkey (Hincapie Sports/Bianchi/ Dasani)53:03
73. Jack Seehafer (Team Einstein's Cycling)53:51
74. Matt Williams (Grandstay/Out N About Gear)53:56


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