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Infineon Cougar Mountain Classic - Men's Criterium
 
By Lyne Lamoureux
Date: 7/8/2007
Infineon Cougar Mountain Classic - Men's Criterium
 

Alessandro Bazzana (SuccessfulLiving.com) wins Infineon Cougar Mountain Classic Criterium while Toyota-United's Henk Vogels and Ivan Dominguez are injured in two separate incidents.

The Infineon Cougar Mountain Criterium will be remembered for a strong breakaway lapping the field and a crash on the final turns taking out the odds-on favorite to win Ivan Dominguez (Toyota-United).

Italian Alessandro Bazzana, on his third year as a pro and first year with SuccessfulLiving.com p/b Parkpre, survived the crash on the final turns of the last lap to win the sprint in front of Australian Jonathan Cantwell on the amateur team Kahala-La Grange and Jackson Steward of BMC Racing Team.

Ricardo Escuala (SuccessfulLiving.com) was leading out his teammate Bazzana on the tight penultimate left turn before the final sprint to the line and hit the barricades. "I was being led by teammate Ricardo for the sprint,"said Bazzana about the crash. "Ricardo crashed and I avoided it but the guys in third, fourth and fifth didn't"

One of the riders involved in the crash was sprinter Ivan Dominguez who seemed to be poised to take his first win since returning from an injury, and instead had to walk to the finish line.


Alessandro Bazzana (SuccessfulLiving.com) wins the criterium
Photo Lyne Lamoureux

Around 60 riders started the 90-minute criterium where the course covered much of the lower section of the Infineon racetrack in front of a sparse crowd. Teams represented in this NRC-rated even, included Mike Sayers and two teammates for BMC Pro Cycling Team, Darren Lill and David Rodriquez of Navigators Insurance Cycling Team, the SuccessfulLiving.com p/w Parkpre squad who were very aggressive in the Manhattan Beach Grand Prix held last weekend and local team California Giant-Specialized. Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team also sent a four-man squad led by Ivan Dominguez and Henk Vogels. This was only the second race for Dominguez sidelined for eight weeks after an injury and before the stage, he stated that he "now feels good, the pain is gone".

Attacks started off from the beginning with riders from SuccessfulLiving.com p/b Parkpre, and California Giant teams, but no one was allowed to escape. During the first half of the race, Australian Henk Vogels (Toyota-United) struck a barrier with his shoulder and had to be rushed to the hospital. According to his team, X-Rays and a CAT scan revealed a crack in his scapula that is expected to keep him out of action for up to eight weeks.

Finally, the right combination was formed and a break of ten riders, including the on-form Ivan Dominguez, Darren Lill, Jackson Stewart (BMC), team mates Chuck Coyle and Alessandro Bazzana (SuccessfulLiving.com), managed to escape the field. Rounding off the break were Devon Vigus (CalGiant), Jonathan Cantwell (Kahala-LaGrange), Sean Mazich (Waste Management), Jared Barrilleaux (Metromint) and Christopher Jones (Nerac).

The break worked well together, with all the riders taking pulls and started to slowly increase their lead, from 10 seconds to one minute before finally lapping the field with around 25 minutes to go.

"The break was really fast and hard, you know, for the first 20 or 30 minutes of it, then I just settled in and I felt fine, and we just caught the field." said 20-year old Sean Mazich riding on the amateur Waste Management team. "There wasn't one word in the breakaway, nobody was talking to anybody, we were all just focused, or just nobody wanted to talk. We had some big names, the Navigators' rider who pretty much lapped everybody in Nevada City, Ivan Dominguez, Jackson Stewart, it was a stacked breakaway, me being on an amateur team, I was just excited to be there and raced with some professionals, and try to learn something."

The field did not or could not get organized to create a sustained chase as most teams were quite happy to wait for the break to lap the peloton. "Everybody from the teams had one guy in the break," said Jose Manuel "Chepe" Garcia (Toyota-United) about the composition of the breakaway. "That's why in the peloton was waiting for the breakaway to lap the field. And then work for their guys. We were lucky we had Ivan Dominguez in the break, he's a great sprinter, and we did all the work for him, but..."

Riders organizing in the final laps of Infineon Cougar Mountain Classic Criterium
Photo Lyne Lamoureux

After re-incorporating into the field, the 10 breakaway riders found their team mates and got ready for the final laps and the sprint to the line. Both SuccessfulLiving.com p/b ParkPre and California Giant teams took turns at the front trying to establish a lead out train, and coming into the second to last turn, E scuala was in front leading Bazzana with Toyota-United duo of Dominguez and Garcia following the wheels.

Coming in with a lot of speed into a tight left turn, a rider hit the barricades and five riders crashed including Dominguez. Bazzana avoided the fracas and sprinted to the line to win ahead of Cantwell and Jackson.

"I think the corner was too tight," said Garcia about the fateful corner. "The rider came in with a lot of speed in the corner, and he can't take well the corner, it was a bad crash."

"We were in charge of the lead out," said Bazzana. "It's not good to win with a crash, but I think everybody ran the same race."

"It was not lucky day today for us, too many accidents." continued Garcia about the unlucky day for his team with two riders involved in crashes. "Tomorrow we try, we try always, every race we try to win, but sometimes bad things happen."


Winner Alessandro Bazzana (SuccessfulLiving.com) with his big check
Photo Lyne Lamoureux

Criterium Results

1. Alessandro Bazzana (Successful Living.com P/B Park) 1:28:48
2. Jonathan Cantwell (Kahala-La Grange) 1:28:48
3. Jackson Stewart (BMC Racing Team) 1:28:48
4. Devon Cutino (Giant/Specialized) 1:28:48
5. Sean Mazich (Waste Management) 1:28:48
6. Christopher Jones (Nerac Pro Cycling) 1:28:48
7. Jared Barrilleaux (Metromint) 1:28:48
8. Chuck Coyle (Successful Living.com P/B Park) 1:28:48
9. Darren Lill (Navigators) 1:28:48
10. Ivan Dominguez (Toyota-United Pro Cycling) 1:28:48
11. Marco Rios (Kahala-La Grange) 1:28:48
12. David McCook (Kelly Benefits) 1:28:48
13. Garrett Peltonen (Priority Health) 1:28:48
14. Tyler Dibble (DBC Elite) 1:28:48
15. Michael Grabinger (Successful Living.com P/B Park) 1:28:48
16. Ryan Parnes (Stanford Cycling) 1:28:48
17. Jorge Alvarado (Kahala-La Grange) 1:28:48
18. Dillon Clapp (?) 1:28:48
19. Adrian Gerrits (Kahala-La Grange) 1:28:48
20. Brian Forbes (RIDECLEAN) 1:28:48
21. Phil Roberts (SF Velo/Cycles Gladiator) 1:28:48
22. Shawn Rosenthal (DBC Elite) 1:28:48
22. Christopher Morales (DBC Elite) 1:28:48
23. Michael Telega (California Giant/Specialized) 1:28:48
24. Davin Galvin (BMC Racing Team) 1:28:48
25. Joseph Lanarelli (DBC Elite) 1:28:48
26. Mitch Trux (DBC Elite) 1:28:48
27. Patrick Caro (Schroeder Iron/ Incycle Master) 1:28:48
28. Ryan Miller (Toyota-United Pro Cycling) 1:28:48
29. Michael Sayers (BMC Pro Cycling Team) 1:28:48
30. Will Dickeson (Savings and Loans) 1:28:48
31. Curtis Gunn (Successful Living.com P/B Park) 1:28:48
32. Christian Valenzuela (Successful Living.com P/B Park) 1:28:48
33. Eric Riggs (USA National Team/VMG) 1:28:48
34. David Rodriguez (0.0616666666666667)
35. Dirk Copeland (California Giant/Specialized) 1:28:48
36. Jenson Lee (Kahala La Grange) 1:28:48
37. Dan Sweet (Davis Bike Club) 1:28:48
38. Keith Miller (California Giant/Specialized) 1:28:48
39. Ricardo Escuela (Successful Living.com P/B Park) 1:28:48
40. Daniel Ramsay (Successful Living.com P/B Park) 1:28:48
41. John Hunt (California Giant Berry Farms/S) 1:28:48
42. Vincent Ovans (Central Valley Cycling) 1:28:48
43. Patrick Briggs (California Giant/Specialized) 1:28:48
44. Craig McCartney (Savings & Loans Cycling Team) 1:28:48
45. Patrick Dunaway (California Giant/Specialized) 1:28:48
46. Jose Manuel Garcia (Toyota-United Pro Cycling) 1:28:48
DNF Salvador Borrego-Crum (California Giant/Specialized)
DNF Chance Noble (California Giant/Specialized)
DNF Zach Kimsey (DBC Elite)
DNF Matias Mendigochea (Kahala-La Grange)
DNF Mark Cutino (SF VELO/Cycles Gladiator)
DNF Kyle Rich (SF VELO/Cycles Gladiator)
DNF Mike Mutzel (Mix 1 Concept 3D)
DNF James Mattis (California Giant Berry Farms/S)
DNF Waylon Smith (Sixtufit.com)


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