Canadian Cyclist


May 13/12 6:22 am - Chaddock Report - Tour de Grove Day 1

Posted by Editoress on 05/13/12

Ben Chaddock from Team Exergy is contributing regular reports on his experiences racing on the North American circuit. Ben writes the blog Cycling In A Toque.

The word of the day: Crashes.  Or, should I say, flashes of horizontally spinning bodies and fractured bikes.

With the eyes of the world set on Ryder Hesjedal’s historic ride this morning at the Giro d’Italia, or the seemingly endless pre-race interviews with the Tour of California now only 24 hours away, a quietly-covered but well-attended three day race series has brought a strong field of fully-represented professional cycling teams to the Gateway of the West for the Tour de Grove in St. Louis, Missouri.

Fresh off two wins last weekend, Jelly Belly Pro Cycling is working for Brad Huff and their leadout train includes fast-man Sergio Hernandaz as sweeper and Canadian Nic Hamilton on the front. Jamis-Sutter Home, also fresh off a victory after their 1-2 sweep of the Tour of Gila’s Stage 4 criterium, will be looking to steal control of the front late, meanwhile Competitive Cyclist’s Cole House will be looking to free-ride through the final laps with his sole teammate and strong time trialist David Williams (who won Day 6 at USA CRITS Speedweek after lapping the field).  Mountain Khaki’s have also traveled up for the race and look to continue their strong finishes here in St. Louis. Joining the field only for Saturday’s NCC race, United Healthcare will start five riders with Karl Menzies and Robert Forster.

I first attended the Tour de Grove in 2010 during my days as an amateur with Rubicon-Orbea.  Then held in early June, the humidity and thunderstorms were oppressive and relentless. Fortunately, the event has moved up on the NCC (National Criterium Calendar) thirty days, providing an opportunity for publicity for teams that either missed Tour of California invitations or have interests in the NCC overall.

After gaining confidence at the 2010 edition with a second place finish behind Jelly Belly’s Brad Huff on the first day, I have returned with the hopes of securing a strong finish now that our criterium squad’s lead sprinter Carlos Alzate has departed for California.  With a week of training and resting in Evansville, Indiana, the guys are feeling close to 100%.  My form is coming along well and I’m looking to step up this weekend with solid performances now that Conor, Kevin, Tino and Quinn are helping me in bunch kick.

The course: A four corner counter-clockwise 1.2 kilometer circuit through St. Louis’ trendy Loop District featuring a 2% grade along the 400 metre tailwind main straightaway. Into corner 1, the route softly curved left before a tighter corner 2 with barriers lining the outside. This took us to the top of the lap from which a long 400-500 metre downhill blast through poor pavement and a marginally lit suburban drive send us into corner 3.  The fast entry and sudden breaking went something like this:

“where is the swarm? There is a hole on the one yet. Okay it’s left this lap. Follow that move. Bang, hit a bump. Bang, lose a bottle. Follow the swarm. The apex is coming, find a slot...Don’t break...don’t break...don’t break...dark...bright light....dark....BUMP....BREAK AS HARD AS YOU CAN! Don’t lock up. Settle the bike over the weird crosswalk bump at the apex of corner 3. Don’t go wide, it banks away into the oily parking stall. Okay....I’m alive. Move up.”

You could almost pedal through corner 4 and it was a decent tailwind up the main straight. A good sized crowd arrived for our race and the short 60 minute + 5 lap race went by quickly.

Only one breakaway really formed throughout the 70 minute event, which Kevin masterfully covered. It was a dangerous move with a Borrajo rider, Cole House, two Cashcall riders and others to total 8-9 riders. After amassing a lead of twenty seconds, work by Jelly Belly neutralized the break with twenty minutes remaining so a bunch kick, as expected, seemed to be the day’s entree. Of course on such a hectic course, a bunch kick would mean only one thing...crashes.

I guess you could call them crashes if you were kind, they were more like flashes of horizontally spinning bodies and fractured bikes catapulting through crowd control barriers and sweeping 20-30 riders out of contention at a time. Stressful... well just a little. After picking himself up from a large accident on corner 3 with 6 laps remaining, Quinn watched one rider try to untangle his limbs, one leg jammed in between the triangle of his bike and the other wrapped up inside the hook of his handlebar. Needless to say, the bike was in poor condition.  Fortunately, however, my teammates and I avoided critical injury although Quinn and Tino did crash and didn’t return to the race, as neutral pit laps ended with five laps to go.

At this moment, Jelly Belly hit the front with all six riders.  Jamis-Sutter Home lined up behind but I still had Conor and Kevin with me around 15th wheel. With three laps to go, control at the front started to dwindle but we were looking to go very late because we were down to three riders, so instead of control at one to go, we’d have to wait crazy late, like into the final corner.  However through corner 2 with 1.8 laps to go, a massive crash on the outside isolated all those outside the top ten.  Unfortunately Conor and Kevin were both stopped. The large empty black and quiet space behind me made it clear that no one would come back from the that crash to contest the sprint, so the race was with only those that I could see.

Over the line with one to go I followed Joseph Schmalz (Elbowz Racing) up into the top seven, Jamis-Sutter Home riding with three at the front including both Borrajo brothers. Exiting corner 2, the motor bike stopped suddenly at the scene of the previous lap’s accident, riders and bikes laying all over the right hand side of the road. Of the top ten riders, a few were forced to split the hole between the motorbike and the crash victims = crazy...what in the world was that moto thinking? If he was going to neutralize the race, it should have been done at the beginning of the final lap, not halfway through it!

Down the back straight, the paced slowed just ever so slightly and Cole House moved from sixth wheel up the right hand side of the blazing paceline. I followed and he was about to jump early for a 500 metre attack when the Jamis leadout man pulled off and Alejandro Borrajo sprinted up to speed. This let Cole slot in third wheel but Huff outbraked me on the bumpy outside line into corner 3 so into the last complex of corners it ran Alejandro, Annibal, Cole, Brad and I.

All of a sudden, Annibal slid out and hit the deck hard, leaving his bike to the whim of its momentum. Up besides Huff’s head, Annibal’s bike whizzed by and came down just in time to hit my front spokes. Shattering 2-3 spokes and destroying the front wheel my race was over, fortunately I stayed upright. Moving off the racing line to the left, the rest of the sprinters moved by and I crossed the line at the back of the top ten thinking of what could have been.

In the sprint, Cole House moved past a tired Alejandro (from his early leadout acceleration that turned into a sprint for the line) but Huff came by in the final metres to take advantage of the nature of the parcour’s big-gear slightly uphill drag to the line, which favors a powerful acceleration and a late move out of the draft. Congrats to Jelly Belly and Brad Huff!

Annibal Borrajo went to the hospital with a broken scapula (shoulder) and received eight stitches for a dangerous wound on the back of his head. Stefano Barberi (CashCall Mortgage) also went to the hospital (crash with two laps remaining) but his injuries are unknown at this time. Who says criterium racing is boring? We just need some television coverage with good camera angles and then maybe we could all move out of our parent’s houses!

Thanks for reading!

Pro/1 Men
1 Robert Forster (United Heath Care Pro Cycling Team) 1:25:13
2 Hilton Clarke (United Heath Care Pro Cycling Team) 1:25:14
3 Luke Keough (Mountain Khakis/SmartStop) 1:25:15
4 Justin Williams (CashCall Mortgage) 1:25:15
5 Charles Bradley Huff (Jelly Belly p/b Kenda) 1:25:15
6 Colton Barrett (Optum Pro Cycling) 1:25:16
7 Emile Abraham (Latino Cycling Team) 1:25:16
8 Chad Hartley (Kenda 5-Hour Energy Cycling Team) 1:25:16
9 Ryan Knapp (Panther p/b Competitive Cyclist) 1:25:16
10 Benjamin Chaddock (Team Exergy) 1:25:16
11 Colin Jaskiewicz (Champion System p/b Stan's NoTubes) 1:25:16
12 Rafael A. Meran (CRCA/Foundation) 1:25:16
13 Alejandro Borrajo (Jamis/Sutter Home) 1:25:16
14 Chad Burdzilauskas (Texas Roadhouse Cycling Team P/B Motorex) 1:25:16
15 Sergio Hernandez (Jelly Belly p/b Kenda) 1:25:16
16 Sterling Magnell (Wonderful Pistachios Cycling) 1:25:17
17 Devin Clark (The Cannonball-Hub Racing Team) 1:25:17
18 Oscar Clark (Team United Healthcare Georgia/The 706 P) 1:25:17
19 Sean Mazich (Jelly Belly p/b Kenda) 1:25:17
20 Brendan Cornett (TBB Sports) 1:25:17
21 Christian Kriek (Jelly Belly p/b Kenda) 1:25:17
22 Jean Michel Lechance (Latino Cycling Team) 1:25:17
23 Christian Helmig (Elbowz Racing) 1:25:18
24 Cole House (Competitive Cyclist Racing Team) 1:25:18
25 David Fleischauer (Hagens Berman) 1:25:18
26 Nic Hamilton (Jelly Belly p/b Kenda) 1:25:18
27 Andrew Crater (Cleveland Clinic Sports Health - RGF pb Felt Bicycles) 1:25:19
28 Andres Faustino Alzate (Team Exergy) 1:25:19
29 Lee Muse (CashCall Mortgage) 1:25:19
30 Karl Menzies (United Heath Care Pro Cycling Team) 1:25:19
31 Sean Sullivan (ELBOWZ RACING) 1:25:19
32 Euris R. Vidal (CRCA/Foundation) 1:25:22
33 Zachary Allison (Mercy Cycling Team) 1:25:28
34 Shane Kline (Mountain Khakis/SmartStop) 1:25:30
35 Josh Thornton (ZMOTION Racing Team) 1:25:37
36 Ryan Aitcheson (Panther p/b Competitive Cyclist) 1:25:37
37 Victor Riquelme (Wonderful Pistachios Cycling) 1:25:37
38 Matthew Brandt (Gateway Harley-Davidson) 1:25:38
39 Jake Wells (Ind) 1:25:38
40 Gavriel Epstein (Champion System p/b Stan's NoTubes) 1:25:38
41 Paolo Cravazola (Team Type 1) 1:25:39
42 richard stuart (Scholars Inn Bakehouse Team Tortuga) 1:25:39
43 Adam York (Cleveland Clinic Sports Health Cycling) 1:25:39
44 Igor Volshteyn (Champion System p/b Stan's NoTubes) 1:25:39
45 Ryan Mele (Stan's NoTubes/AXA Equitable) 1:25:40
46 Tyler Jewell (Elbowz Racing) 1:25:40
47 Weston Luzadder (Bissell-ABG-NUVO) 1:25:40
48 Drew Otte (Bissell-ABG-NUVO) 1:25:40
49 Brian Jensen (TradeWind Energy Cycling Team) 1:25:40
50 Mac Brennan (Bissell-ABG-NUVO) 1:25:40
51 Brandon Feehery (Astella Oncology p/b ABD Cycling) 1:25:40
52 Mat Ankney (Tulsa Wheelmen) 1:25:40
53 Colton Jarisch (Mercy Cycling Team) 1:25:40
54 Michael Jacques (TEAM CLIF BAR Cycling) 1:25:40
55 Michael Weicht (Ind) 1:25:41
56 Steve Fisher (Hagens Berman) 1:25:41
57 Zach Reed (Dogfish Racing Team) 1:25:42
58 Alan Antonuk (Team Priority Health) 1:25:43
59 Boy van Poppel (United Heath Care Pro Cycling Team) 1:25:43
60 Marco Li (Garneau-Quebecor-Norton Rose) 1:25:43
61 Craig Magee (Natural Grocers Cycling Team) 1:25:43
62 Ryan Sullivan (Team United Healthcare Georgia/The 706 P) 1:25:43
63 Jim Farasy (Mercy Kuat) 1:25:44
64 Alexander Meyer (Mitsubishi Laser/Grand Performance) 1:25:45
65 Jonathan Jacob (Bissell-ABG-NUVO) 1:25:45
66 Justin Maciekowicz (Dogfish Racing Team) 1:25:49
67 James VanDeven (Dogfish Racing Team) 1:25:50
68 Willy Zellmer (Gateway Harley-Davidson) 1:25:52
69 Andrew Gonzales (Elbowz Racing) 1:25:53
70 Benjamin Bryant (Latino Cycling Team) 1:25:53
71 Bryan McVey (Astella Oncology p/b ABD Cycling) 1:25:53
72 Josh Gillingham (Ind) 1:25:55
73 Alejandro Guzman (Foundation) 1:26:13
74 Benjamin Zawacki (Mountain Khakis/SmartStop) 1:26:17
75 Clay Murfet (Team Mountain Khakis/SmartStop) 1:26:17
76 Jay Thomson (United Heath Care Pro Cycling Team) 1:26:27
77 Adrian Hegyvary (United Heath Care Pro Cycling Team) 1:26:28
78 Nathaniel Williams (Bissell-ABG-NUVO) 1:26:30
79 David Williams (Competitive Cyclist Racing Team) 1:26:30
80 Brian Hill (Stan's NoTubes/AXA Equitable) 1:26:30
81 Alex Wieseler (Bissell-ABG-NUVO) 1:26:30
82 patrick harkins (Austinbikes/Revenant) 1:26:31
83 jay blankenship (Tulsa Tough Racing pb ICEdot) 1:26:31
84 john bergmann (TEAM CLIF BAR Cycling) 1:26:31
85 Jonathan Atwell (Team United Healthcare Georgia/The 706 P) 1:26:32
86 Zachary Bergh (Astella Oncology p/b ABD Cycling) 1:26:34
87 Neil Bezdek (Mountain Khakis/SmartStop) 1:26:36
88 Joshua Johnson (Michelob Ultra - Big Shark Racing Team) 1:27:11
89 Chris Balestrini (Garneau - Quebecor - Norton Rose) 1:27:11
90 Danny Heeley (Hagens Berman) 1:27:24
91 luca damiani (Kenda 5-Hour Energy Cycling Team) 1:27:27
92 Max Korus (Kenda 5-Hour Energy Cycling Team) 1:27:28
93 Adam Myerson (Mountain Khakis/SmartStop) 1:27:28
94 Robert White (RACC pb GG) 1:27:28
95 Andre Vandenberg (Astella Oncology p/b ABD Cycling) 1:27:28
96 Ian Crane (Hagens Berman) 1:27:29
97 Yusuke Higuma (Wonderful Pistachios Cycling) 1:27:29
98 Carson Miller (Jamis/Sutter Home) 1:27:34
99 Guido Palma (UCI CT: Jamis/Sutter Home) 1:27:34
100 Jose Fernando Antogna (UCI CT: Jamis/Sutter Home) 1:27:35
101 Demis Aleman (UCI CT: Jamis/Sutter Home) 1:27:35
102 Jeff Schiller (Garneau - Quebecor - Norton Rose) 1:27:55
103 John Puffer (Texas Roadhouse Cycling Team P/B Motorex) 1:27:57
104 patrick lemieux (Kenda 5-Hour Energy Cycling Team) 1:27:57
105 Jeffrey Pendlebury (Cleveland Clinic Sports Health - RGF pb Felt Bicycles) 1:27:58
106 Adam Mills (Mercy Cycling Team) 1:27:58
107 Quinn Keogh (Team Exergy) 1:28:05
108 Chris Uberti (Panther p/b Competitive Cyclist) 1:28:08
109 Conor Mullervy (Team Exergy) 1:29:14
110 Kevin Mullervy (Team Exergy) 1:29:15
111 Alexander Bremer (Foundation) 1:30:32
112 Daniel Chabanov (Foundation) 1:30:51
DNS Jos Chalmers (ZMOTION Racing Team)
DNS Mike Sherer (Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)
DNS Anthony Canevari (CashCall Mortgage)
DNS Brett Tack (Wonderful Pistachios Cycling)
DNS Eric Losak (TEAM CLIF BAR Cycling)
DNS Anibal Borrajo (Jamis/Sutter Home)
DNS john murphy (Kenda 5-Hour Energy Cycling Team)
DNS Nick Chevalley (Gateway Harley-Davidson)
DNS Christopher Lynch (RACC pb GG)
DNS Joey Rosskopf (Team Type 1)
DNS Shawn Milne (Kenda 5-Hour Energy Cycling Team)
DNS Miles LaMon (TEAM CLIF BAR Cycling)
DNF Jeremy Powers (Jelly Belly p/b Kenda)
DNF Dylan Jones (Mercy Cycling Team)
DNF Tony Hall (Champion System p/b Stan's NoTubes)
DNF Nicolas Frey (BOO Bicycles)
DNF Tracy Smith (Korte Hammer Down Racing)
DNF Joshua Carter (Dogfish Racing Team)
DNF Mat Stephens (Elbowz Racing)
DNF Phillip Snodgrass (DNA Racing)
DNF Gevan Samuel (Ind)
DNF Jacob Rytlewski (Astella Oncology p/b ABD Cycling)
DNF Alex Bowden (Team Type 1)
DNF Artem Kraitor (Team Type 1)
DNF kurt fletcher (708 Racing p/b Dressel's Pub)
DNF William C. stolte (TradeWind Energy Cycling Team)
DNF Brian Rach (ISCorp Cycling Team)
DNF Cale McAninch (Mercy Kuat)
DNF Stefano Barberi (CashCall Mortgage)


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