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46th Manhattan Beach Grand Prix - Women's Race Recap
By Staff
Date: 7/2/2007
46th Manhattan Beach Grand Prix - Women's Race Recap
by Stephanie Gutowski

Cheerwine dominates the day, Laura Van Gilder sprints for win.

There were several break attempts throughout the race, however, Cheerwine dominated the pace, setting up a big sprint finish for their leader, Laura Van Gilder. At the end Van Gilder had about 5 seconds over the peloton for an easy win.

Laura Van Gilder sprints for the win
Laura Van Gilder (Cheerwine) sprints for a big win.
©2007 Thien Dinh

The race course is considered to be challenging and technical. Shaped like a slightly bent "paperclip", the course features two long straight-aways, two sweeping 180° turns, and 50' of climbing per lap. There ususally is a headwind on the downward leg. Breakaways are rarely successful on this circuit. This race is about team tactics and setting up for the final turn.

Shelley Olds (Proman/Paradigm), fresh off a successful Nature Valley Grand Prix, commented prior to the race, "It's a tough course and challenging but it's all about the last corner. It's a tactical game until the end. You have to read the race right and watch out. The first three rider out of the last corner usually end up 1-2-3."

Dorsie Bausch
Dotsie Bausch (ColavitaSutter Home) tries to breakaway.
©2007 Thien Dinh

Several riders did try to break away from the main pack. Last year's second place winner, Olds, and former International Women’s Criterium champion, Lara Kroepsch (TEAm Lipton) tried to get away at the beginning of the race, as did Dotsie Bausch (ColavitaSutter Home), only to be swallowed by the Cheerwine dominated peloton. Cheerwine then sent out Kelly Benjamin for a long break. Benjamin had a substantial gap forcing teams like Bicycle Johns Serious Cycling to expend serious effort to bring Benjamin back into the peloton.

Kelly Benjamin attacking
Kelly Benjamin (Cheerwine) was aggressive up front all day.
©2007 Thien Dinh

When Benjamin was brought back into the fold, Cheerwine chose to amp up the speed preventing other breaks to be successful and asserted total control of the last 5 laps. "This race usually bunches up towards the end," stated Cheerwine's Sarah Bamberger. "Our goal was to to keep it safe and fast so at the end Laura had a clean line to the finish. We are all happy to do our job and happy that it worked out for us."

First time MBGP participant, Anna Lang (Karl Strauss/SDBC), commented about the day, "I just had a blast! I didn't know what to expect. I heard there was a hill and I don't like hills, but we just cruised up it. It was nice, fun and fast. Cheerwine had a nice train going."

Cheerwine in total conotrol in the last lap
The peloton intact, Cheerwine controlled the front with one lap to go.
©2007 Thien Dinh

"The day went fabulous for the Cheerwine team," said Van Gilder. "We certainly came here hoping for a victory. We have a great group of riders on the team so I was pretty confident that one of us could get the victory. Nothing was staying away on the course. We were all pretty well marked. With four laps to go, we got organized and we began to control the peloton for the sprint. The girls did a great job. The final lap was super. I was always well protected and was able to come out of the last corner with speed and power."

When asked about Cheerwine being swallowed up at the last corner, Van Gilder replied, "I never felt swallowed. That's how good a job my team mates did. I never felt I was out of position. It's a testament to my team. I felt comfortable the whole time."

Podium winners
The jersey and trophy presentation (left to right) Malindi Maclean (Jazz Apple Cycling Team), Laura Van Gilder (Cheerwine), and Shontelle Gauthier (Team Ultralink)
©2007 Thien Dinh

Women's 1-3 Results:

1 Laura Van Gilder (Cheerwine)
2 Malindi Maclean (Jazz Apple Cycling Team)
3 Shontelle Gauthier (Team Ultralink)
4 Lara Kroepsch (TEAm Lipton)
5 Anna Lang (Karl Strauss/SDBC)
6 Shelley Olds (Proman/Paradigm)
7 Amanda Eaken (Metromint Cycling)
8 Elizabeth (Betsy) Galenti (America's Dairyland)
9 Jennifer Wilson (South Bay Wheelmen)
10 Kara Vidaca (Bicycle Johns Serious Cycling)
11 Mary Ellen Ash (LGBRC-Easton/Specialized)
12 Rebecca Quinn (South Bay Wheelmen)
13 Martina Patella (ValueAct Capital Cycling Team)
14 Melissa Sanborn (Wenzel Coaching)
15 Bonnie Bourque (Karl Strauss/SDBC)
16 Rushlee Buchanan (Jazz Apple Cycling Team)
17 Janel Holcomb (Unattached)
18 Anna Webb (AE Sport Development)
19 Ginger Hsieh (South Bay Wheelmen)
20 Martina Sturm (Bicycle Johns Serious Cycling)
21 Dotsie Bausch (Colavita Sutter Home presented by Cooking Light)
22 Dianna Del Fante (Paramount Racing)
23 Jennifer Reither (South Bay Wheelmen)
24 Jamie Hughins (Helens/Orbea)
25 Kelly Benjamin (Cheerwine)
26 Bonnie Breeze (Helens/Orbea)
27 Nichole Wangsgard (Vitesse Cycling LLC)
28 Dorothy Wong (Figueroa Farms-Redline)
29 Pamela Schuster (Helens/Orbea)
30 Sandra Kolb (Bicycle Johns Serious Cycling)
31 Kelli Jones (Paramount Racing)
32 Hannah Banks
33 Christen King (South Bay Wheelmen)
34 Deborah Durand (Helens/Orbea)
35 Kele Murdin
36 Neva Day (South Bay Wheelmen)
37 Gabriela Gonzalex-Ferrat (Kahala LaGrange)
38 Carine Bester (Bicycle Johns Serious Cycling)
39 Morgan Kapp (South Bay Wheelmen)
40 Heather Rose (Paramount Racing)
41 Catherine Cheatley
42 Lana Atchley (Southern California Velo)
43 Kristina Seley (Proman/Paradigm)
44 Alison Shanks
45 Rider Unknown
46 Rachel O'Connell (Cheerwine)
47 Charlayne Barger Hoover (Patent It!)
48 Krista Panaro (CA Pools Racing)
49 Kim Paine (Karl Strauss/SDBC)
50 Anna Drakulich (Kahala LaGrange)
51 Susy Pryde (Jazz Apple Cycling Team)
52 Katharine Lundby (Karl Strauss/SDBC)
53 Sarah Bamberger (Cheerwine)

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