USA Pro Teams News - 19 March 2008
Team Reports of Recent Races: Successful Living, Toyota United and TOSHIBA-Santo p/by Herbalife
The Successful Living Pro Cycling Team kicked off its 2008 season this
weekend with the Sequoia Cycling Classic 40k TT on Saturday and 90 minute
criterium on Sunday. Fantastic teamwork earned a 2nd place finish in the
criterium by Cody O'Reilly and a 8th place in the TT by JR Grabinger.
team started the week with an intense training camp in Ventura, California where
they logged an average of 5-6 hour days in the saddle. The time trial in Exeter,
California was a long out-and-back course that would give a preview of the
fitness levels of the competition in the early season. “I really wanted to get
on the podium but I gave it everything and even after a 40-hour ride week I was
less than 30-seconds off my goal so you can’t be disappointed with that,” said
JR Grabinger. When the results were posted Saturday afternoon, Successful Living
placed 4 riders in the top 20, which was the most of any team represented.
On Sunday’s criterium, most major domestic pro teams were present and the
pace was blazing from the start gun. With constant attacks the peloton was
single-file for most of the race. Successful Living represented in every serious
move with Curtis Gunn, Brian Jensen and JR Grabinger doing the lion’s share of
20-laps to go, new team member Charles Dionne was involved in a nasty crash
and unfortunately broke his elbow. The original plan to set up Dionne for the
finish shifted to plan B with the team quickly regrouping and went straight to
work for team’s young gun Cody O’Reilly.
The remainder of the race was attack after attack with no move getting more
than a few seconds off the front. With 8-laps remaining Kelly Benefits/Medifast
Team was the first to organize their lead-out train. This began the battle of
the lead-out trains with few other teams fighting for the front in the closing
laps. Blow-by-blow into the final lap, it was Successful Living and Colavita/Sutter
Home side-by-side leaving their designated sprinters to finish the job.
Cody O’Reilly had a great final sprint but was narrowly beaten by Sebastian
Haedo of Colavita/Sutter Home. “The team was amazing!” said O’reilly. “They gave
it everything and I could not have done this without them. You are going to be
seeing a lot of our team this year on the front!”
Toyota-United’s Hilton Clarke does the Double
Clarke wins LA Circuit Race and Del Mar Criterium
Pro Cycling Team added two more victories this week to its stellar start in
2008, compliments of Hilton Clarke.
Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team fielded five riders in Sunday’s LA Circuit
Race around the Los Angeles International Airport and finished with Hilton
Clarke taking 1st and Dominique Rollin taking 2nd. It was a great team effort in
the field sprint with all five members assisting Hilton to the victory.
Dominique Rollin finished on the wheel of Hilton Clarke for a Toyota-United
Rollin said, “It was a great team effort all day. During the final field
sprint we really pulled away on the final 1km and Hilton had a great finish with
me on his wheel and no one behind us for 10 meters.”
Toyota-United Dominque Rollin and Hilton Clarke on Podium.
Photo c. Brad
Clarke said “It was cool to have the chance to follow as all our guys took
turns with the lead out. The last 1.5 km, I just had to hold on to the wheel of
my teammates, which was the hardest thing. First, I had Chepe, then Caleb,
followed by Dominguez, then Rollin at the end. All I had to do was to hold on to
their sprint for the finish. When Rollin launched his sprint I looked back and
there was no one left behind and I just had the legs to pull by and finish just
ahead of him.” The conditions were fast, on the way out the wind was in the
racers faces, but on the way back there was a strong tailwind with the
Toyota-United boys reaching speeds of 45mph as they approached the finish line.
Toyota-United's Caleb Manion and Hilton Clarke on Podium
Photo c. Mark Johnson
At Del Mar Criterium earlier in the week, the race was held in twilight
conditions on a short half mile course. It was a very tricky and technical track
that did not really allow the riders to reach high speeds. Caleb Manion and
Hilton Clarke worked together and lapped the field with one other rider, but it
was Hilton Clarke winning the race and teammate Caleb Manion in 3rd.
Next stop for the team is the Tour of Redlands in Southern California
April 3rd – 6th.
About United Pro Cycling Team, L.L.C.- Based in Newport Beach, California,
a wholly owned subsidiary of United Cycling, L.L.C, United Pro Cycling Team is
owned and operated by Sean Tucker. Comprised of some of the top cycling talent
in the country, it is positioned to be the premier cycling team in America. In
addition to its racing team, United Cycling, L.L.C, wholly owns and operates
United Bicycles, L.L.C. The team has also designated the United Cycling
Foundation, Inc. as its designated charity, committed to raise awareness and
funds for American causes including homelessness and the environment.
TOSHIBA-Santo p/by Herbalife
Represented in Georgia and Florida
It was a busy weekend for the TOSHIBA-Santo Pro Cycling Team presented by
Herbalife. The squads competed in two regional races, flexed its muscle, and
showed great form to take several first place finishes.
The Epic Perry-Roubaix Georgia Cup Series 7, Perry,
A six-man team of Frank Travieso, Alex Hagman, Tommy Nankervis, Bobby Sweeting,
Winston David, and Dan Vaillancourt travelled to Perry, Georgia for the
Perry-Roubaix, a three-stage omnium that consisted of a time trial, circuit, and
a pave-laiden road race.
In the rolling and 10 mile time trial, TOSHIBA-Santo presented by Herbalife
dominated the race against the clock and took four of the top ten positions with
Sweeting winning the first stage of the weekend, just edging out Travieso by
less than half a second.
Stage 1, Time Trial, 10 miles
1. Bobby Sweeting, 21:36, TOSHIBA-Santo Pro Cycling Team p/by Herbalife
2. Frank Travieso, 21:36, TOSHIBA-Santo Pro Cycling Team p/by Herbalife
3. Matt Schechtman, 21:53, Pacesetters Steel
5. Winston David, 22:08, TOSHIBA-Santo Pro Cycling Team p/by Herbalife
10. Alex Hagman, 22:23, TOSHIBA-Santo Pro Cycling Team p/by Herbalife
Stage two consisted of undulating circuit race, featuring 40 laps of a 1.3
mile circuit. On a windy day that saw tornado warnings a few hours up the road,
it would be the men in red that shook the ground in Perry. Two separate breaks
were able to lap the field, including five out of the six TOSHIBA-Santo
presented by Herbalife riders. In a bunch gallop to the finish, Travieso
navigated through the disintegrating peloton to best Rob Giannini of Locos Grill
and Pub at the line for the win.
Stage 2, Circuit, 54 miles
1. Frank Travieso, TOSHIBA-Santo Pro Cycling Team p/by Herbalife
2. Rob Giannini, Locos Grill and Pub Cycling
3. Oscar Henao, Clinica Union
6. Bobby Sweeting, TOSHIBA-Santo Pro Cycling p/by Herbalife
7. Tommy Nankervis, TOSHIBA-Santo Pro Cycling p/by Herbalife
10. Alex Hagman, TOSHIBA-Santo Pro Cycling p/by Herbalife
11. Winston David, TOSHIBA-Santo Pro Cycling p/by Herbalife
The queen stage of the Perry-Roubaix - a 100 mile road race that would take
the peloton through the Georgia pave (red clay dirt roads) and through a King of
the Mountain sprint eight times. Several small breaks tried to get away, but it
eventually it would be Bruno Langlois of Myogenesis and TOSHIBA-Santo presented
by Herbalife's Nankervis that would be able to stay away. On the final rush to
the line Langlois edged Nankervis for the win.
The TOSHIBA-Santo Pro Cycling Team presented by Herbalife swept the top three
steps of the podium for the overall omium award, and six riders in the top ten,
showing true teamwork and dominance.
Stage 3, Road Race, 100 miles
1. Bruno Langlois, MyogenesisNutrition.com
2. Tommy Nankervis, TOSHIBA-Santo Pro Cycling p/by Herbalife
3. Dan Vaillancourt, TOSHIBA-Santo Pro Cycling p/by Herbalife
Overall Omnium Results
1. Frank Travieso, TOSHIBA-Santo Pro Cycling p/by Herbalife
2. Bobby Sweeting, 21:36, TOSHIBA-Santo Pro Cycling p/by Herbalife
3. Tommy Nankervis, TOSHIBA-Santo Santo Pro Cycling p/by Herbalife
7. Dan Vaillancourt, TOSHIBA-Santo Pro Cycling p/by Herbalife
9. Winston David, TOSHIBA-Santo Pro Cycling p/by Herbalife
10. Alex Hagman, TOSHIBA-Santo Pro Cycling p/by Herbalife
Rosewood Cycling Classic, Miami, Florida
Rosewood traditionally means aggressive action and this edition lived up to its
billing. After numerous attacks that never managed to escape the field,
TOSHIBA-Santo Pro Cycling Team presented by Herbalife set up the sprint for John
Durango to take the victory over Ricardo Hernandez with Yosvany Falcon rounding
out the podium in third after his late race flyer that was caught on the final
1. John Durango, TOSHIBA-Santo Pro Cycling p/by Herbalife
2. Ricardo Hernandez, Blue Star
3. Yosvany Falcon, TOSHIBA-Santo Pro Cycling p/by Herbalife
In the Masters 35+ Criterium, it would be the Legend, Ivan Franco, who rode
away in a three-man break (including Steve Mlujeak of the Herbalife/Bike America
team) and handily won the sprint.
Masters 35+ Criterium
1. Ivan Franco, TOSHIBa-Santo presented by Herbalife
2. Steve Mlujeak, Herbalife/Bike America
TOSHIBA-Santo Pro Cycling Team p/by Herbalife
Win at Colombia’s Vuelta al Valle
The Vuelta al Valle in Colombia is one of the country’s most prominent races,
and it traditionally kicks off the Colombian racing season drawing out many of
the country’s top riders and teams. This year’s edition featured five
challenging days of racing beginning with a team prologue in Cali’s famed
velodrome and following up with four more days of racing with distances varying
between 100 and 130 kilometers. The team makeup for the event was small but very
strong with riders John Freddy Parra, John Durango, Alejandro Bello, Joe
Fernandez, and Andrew Talansky making the trip along with team director Gustavo
Carillo to represent TOSHIBA-Santo presented by Herbalife. With Parra and
Durango coming off a solid block of racing and the rest of the team coming into
some early season fitness the outlook for the race was good and team morale was
After a quick breakfast the morning of the prologue, the team headed out for a
ride to the velodrome to get some preparation in before the racing began later
in the afternoon. The prologue format consisted of five-man teams with each
member completing one lap of the 250 meters before pulling off. The order for
the squad would be Bello, Talansky, Fernandez, Durango, and the closer Parra who
was sure to finish up the short effort well for the team.
After getting a feel for the short and fast track the team headed back to the
hotel to rest up for the main event. Later that day the team managed a 10th
place finish with a time of one minute and twenty-six seconds over the one and a
quarter kilometer distance. Everyone was satisfied as we were right in the mix
with the other teams and given this was a prologue to the GC.
Stage one held a 106-kilometer road race which was sure to be aggressive with
over 200 riders from 28 different teams taking part. During the race; however,
the stage was shortened to 85k, due to a local labor strike which was causing
havoc, which had a few teams scrambling to set up their sprinters for the
finish. The day was a good one with the team, for the most part, avoiding the
mayhem and crashes that typically accompany racing on foreign roads with such a
large peloton. With Durango and Parra feeling strong at the intermediate
sprints, it looked like a stage win could be in the cards but unfortunately the
last few kilometers were treacherous: damp roads, large potholes, and a narrow
finishing stretch in the center of town led to the decision to save the teams’
horsepower for another day. Durango was the top finisher in 6th place with the
rest of the TOSHIBA-Santo presented by Herbalife squad finishing safely in the
Stage 1, 106k
6. John Durango, TOSHIBA-Santo Pro Cycling Team presented by Herbalife
The second stage was the longest of the race at 135 km. The race was fast from
the gun, and attack after attack flew off the front but the high pace set by
Colombia es Pasion kept the moves from gaining any significant time. The TOSHIBA
team worked well together on the day, staying close to the front while DS
Gustavo Carillo stayed active on the radio and in the caravan making sure
everyone had enough food and water for the hottest day of racing to date. The
finish was once again held on narrow, small town roads that proved to be a
dangerous venue for the finale. However, the team avoided the many crashes that
happened in the last 15km, and Durango once again managed a top ten finish,
crossing the line in 8th place after dodging a crash in the final corner
approaching the line.
Stage 2, 135k
8. John Durango, TOSHIBA-Santo Pro Cycling Team presented by Herbalife
Stage three had the team posted up in a great hotel in the small finishing town
from the previous day and some good food left the team ready for the most
important day of the racing so far. Today’s stage was set to finish after a
brutal 12 km climb that was sure to shake up the GC and most likely decide the
entire race. It was another hot day so everyone made sure to say safe and
hydrated in the bunch biding time until the race would explode towards the end.
Unfortunately, with about 2k to go to the base of climb, Andrew Talansky
suffered a flat tire that dashed our climber’s hopes for the day. However, Parra
and Durango performed admirably up the steep slopes and both managed respectable
finishes towards the front of the shattered peloton. Talansky, Fernandez, and
Bello all finished the stage further back but still well within the time limit
for the stage.
After coming up short on the previous day the TOSHIBA-Santo presented by
Herbalife team decided to make their presence felt on the fourth and final
stage. The parcours for the day was a tight circuit race that consisted of 14
laps of around 7 km each and, being the final stage of the race, every team was
sure to be looking for the win. After one neutral lap, the race began in earnest
and the attacks started to fly off the front. However, thanks to the work of our
TOSHIBA squad and Colombia es Pasion who once again set a high tempo on the
front, it was sure to be a bunch sprint.
As the final lap began Parra, Talansky and, Bello, began moving towards the
front to keep Durango safe and fresh for the finale. Some hard work from the
team followed by a great attack by Parra left Durango in perfect position
entering the final corner.
In the end, Durango managed to outsprint the field taking, finally taking the
well deserved win that the team had been searching for during the last few days.
After many congratulations and photos, the team parted ways with some team
members staying in Colombia and a few heading back to the US later that day.
Everyone on the team left the 50th edition of the Vuelta Valle with a smile on
their face and knowing that the race had been a success, and perhaps more
importantly, the team left with the feeling that this was just the beginning of
many successful results to come in the 2008 racing season.
Stage 4, 98k
1. John Durango, TOSHIBA-Santo Pro Cycling Team presented by Herbalife
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