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USA Pro Teams Race News - 19 March 2008
 
By Staff
Date: 3/19/2008
USA Pro Teams Race News - 19 March 2008
 

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.

The 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 the work.

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

Toyota-United 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 one-two punch.

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 House
 

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.
http://www.toyota-united.com/

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, Georgia
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 lap.

Pro/1/2 Criterium
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 high.

Prologue
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 1
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 main group.

Stage 1, 106k
6. John Durango, TOSHIBA-Santo Pro Cycling Team presented by Herbalife

Stage 2
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 3
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.

Stage 4
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

Follow all of the team's adventures at www.toshibacycling.com.

Vitacost.com

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