Canadian Cyclist


July 4/98 10:18 am - Walton maintains his lead at Fitchburg

Posted by Editor on 07/4/98

Fitchburg - Stage 2 - Walton maintains his overall lead
(courtesy Karen Haas, USA cycling)

John Peters, racing for the Mercury squad, repeated his 1997 field sprint stage win of the Fitchburg-Longsjo Classic‚s second-stage circuit race, featuring a back-breaker of a climb to the finish on this three-mile course.

The stage evened out stage wins between the dominating men‚s teams. Saturn‚s Brian Walton, winner of yesterday‚s time trial, maintained the overall lead. Walton commented simply that a status quo was reached, "they worked, we worked." But Saturn‚s team manager Rene Wenzel recognized that both Saturn and Mercury dished out mutual beatings through the 78-mile race.

"Blood was shed on both sides," Wenzel said.

Saturn was in position throughout the race to make significant gains. On two occasions, breaks rolled up to about a minute‚s margin, once with two and later with three Saturn riders. Each move included Frank McCormack (Saturn), who briefly became the leader on the road. But Mercury, who only had one rider in each move, brought it back together both times.

"With one guy we didn‚t like the odds," Peters said. "This was a race that our whole team put in 100 percent."

He figured the Mercury squad, which outnumbers Saturn riders two-to-one in terms of race rosters, had a better chance at a field sprint.

So Peters roared past the start-finish with two to go, leading the pack around the remnants of the last break, taking Jacques Landry (Radio Energie) and one other rider away. Half later the bunch brought them back, and Peters held position in the top five. On the backstretch descent, Peters said he got swarmed by the pack when the pace lulled, but Mercury yanked him back to the front as the pace raised to tackle the hill for the bell lap.

"That hill was a real gut checker. It was a matter of how much pain you can sustain," he said.

In last year‚s race, Peters had shot through the final corner first; it was a move he repeated this year. He used a short flat spot in the climb as his springboard, and crossed the lines several lengths ahead of his teammate David Clinger, who‚d come from 15 riders back to take second. Trent Klasna (Navigators) was third.

In the women‚s event, sprinter Karen Bliss Livingston used the Saturn women‚s team‚s numbers to close Laura Van Gilder (Navigators) into a box to take the stage. The 31-mile race came down to the last corner.

"Dede [Demet} and Elizabeth [Emery] went through first, with Laura on them. Liz gapped Dede a bit, and forced Laura‚s hand," Bliss Livingston said.

Van Gilder, a past winner of this stage, jumped early. Bliss Livingston took her wheel for the lead-out, and released her own powerful sprint with 100 meters to go. Van Gilder muscled up the hill to second place, with Leigh Hobson (Hydro Quebec) taking third in the stage. Emery maintained her overall leader‚s jersey.

Racers will tackle Fitchburg‚s Mount Wachusett for Saturday‚s road race stage.

39th Annual Fitchburg Longsjo Classic, U.S. 2.4, July 2-5, Fitchburg, Mass.
Stage Two, Aubuchon-Glidden Circuit Race, July 3

Men, 77.5 miles
1. JOHN PETERS (MERCURY), Santa Rosa, Calif., 2 hrs, 40 mins, 5 secs;
2. David Clinger (Mercury), Woodland Hills, Calif., s.t.;
3. Trent Klasna (Navigators), Pine Valley, Calif.;
4. Michael Barry (Team Radio Energie), Canada, s.t.;
5. Matthew Gould (Fitchburg Cycling), n.a., s.t.;
6. Torrey Marks (Snow Valley), Williamsport, Pa., s.t.;
7. Andy Rhodes (Snow Valley), n.a., s.t.;
8. Gord Fraser (Mercury), Ottawa, Ont., Canada,s.t.;
9. Tom Davis (Jeep-Brielle), Mashpee, Mass., s.t.;
10. Skip Spangenburg (Navigators), Travelers Rest, S.C., s.t.

1. BRIAN WALTON (SATURN), N. Delta, B.C., Canada;

2. Adam Sbeih (Nutra Fig), Sacramento, Calif., at:17;
3. Clark Sheehan (Colorado Cyclist), Boulder, Colo., at:27;
4. Mat Anand (Mercury), Canada, at:37;
5. Frank McCormack (Saturn), Leicester, Mass., at:41;
6. Bart Bowen (Saturn), Albuquerque, N.M., at:44;
7. David Zabriskie (Jeep-Brielle), Salt Lake City, Utah, at:46;
8. Mike Creed (Colorado Cyclist), Colorado Springs, Colo., s.t.;
9. Mark McCormack (Saturn), N. Easton, Mass., at:55; 10. Klasna, at:52.

Women, 31 miles
2. Laura Van Gilder (Navigators), Cresco, Pa., s.t.;
3. Leigh Hobson (Hydro Quebec), Kitchener, Ont., Canada, s.t.;
4. Cheryl Binney (Ralph‚s-Klein), Los Angeles, Calif., s.t.;
5. Jen Dial (CRCA-Sony), Southampton, Mass., s.t.;
6. Katie Compton (First State Velo), Newark, Del., s.t.;
7. Deirdre Murphy (CRCA- Nautica), New York, N.Y., s.t.;
8. Annie Gariepy (Elita), Canada, s.t.;
9. Anne Samplonius (Hydro Quebec), Canada, s.t.;
10. Cybil DiGuistini (Elita), Victoria, B.C., Canada, s.t.

2. Demet, at:28;
3. Livingston, at:39;
4. Samplonius, at 0:45;
5. Gariepy, at 0:46;

6. Tina Mayolo (PowerBar), Athens, Ga., at 1:06;
7. Hobson, at 1:11;
8. Ward Griffiths (Safeway-Saturn), Seattle, Wash., at 1:27;
9. Rydeen Stevens (Safeway-Saturn), Portland, Ore., at 1:51;
10. Maria Hassan (New Zealand), n.a., at 1:56.

Other category stage winners:
Cat. 3 Men: Mike Norton (Cyclonauts);
Cat. 3 Women: Jenni Buckley (Team Delaware);
Cat. 4 Men: Stephen Lake (SYRC);
Cat. 4 Women: Dirsten Grasshoff (Tokeneke);
Juniors: William Skinner (Cyclonauts)


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