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San Francisco Grand Prix: Report and Results
 
By Jaime Nichols
Date: 9/15/2002
San Francisco Grand Prix: Report and Results
 

As expected, The US Postal Service dominated much of the action in San Francisco, but in a surprising turn of events, the podium was completely devoid of the postal strip, as 7-Up-Nutrafig’s young Canadian Charles Dionne outsprinted Henk Vogels (Mercury) and Massimo Giunti (Acqua e Sapone) for the best win of his career.

The race started extremely fast, with an attack initiated by Michael Johnson (Schroeder Iron) going away on the first of three parade laps around the Embarcadero. Johnson was joined by Trent Klasna (Saturn), Gord Fraser and Mike Sayers (Mercury), Peter Lopinto (Ofoto-Lombardi Sports), and Kenny Labbe (US Postal), and a few others. The attack was quickly swallowed up by the first slog up the incredibly cruel Fillmore Street climb. The first threatening break was formed by Gord Fraser and Mike Sayers (Mercury), John Lieswyn (7-Up-Nutrafig), Vassili Davidenko and Burke Swindlehurst (Navigators), Russell Stevenson and Alex Candelario (Prime Alliance), Mark McCormick and Eric Wohlberg (Saturn), Cesar Grajales (Jittery Joe’s), and Pavel Padrnos (US Postal). They were chased by a group of four that included Floyd Landis (US Postal), Chris Baldwin (Navigators), Andy Maynes (Sierra Nevada-Cannondale), and Trent Klasna (Saturn). The two groups merged and held a good gap on the field, but all were swept up by the fifth climb of the Fillmore.

There were a number of attacks after that point, including an ill-fated break that included USPRO Champion, Chann McRae (US Postal Service), and long solo effort by the Dynamic Dutchman, Harm Jansen (Saturn); but the next big move was made by defending race champion, George Hincapie, who attacked hard at the crest of the Fillmore hill to wild applause on the eighth and final time up the climb. By this time, the heat was on, and riders were starting to drop off the back, as Hincapie went solo and held a gap of 30 seconds (give or take) for the first two of the smaller laps. Hincapie rode valiantly, as always, but it was not to be. “Sometimes you have to risk losing to win,” he said afterwards. “I gave it everything, and just didn’t have anything left.” He was caught on the third small lap by a chasing group including Armstrong and Ekimov (US Postal), Charles Dionne (7-Up-Nutrafig), Henk Vogels (Mercury) Massimo Giunti (Acqua e Sapone) and dropped on the 2nd to the last lap.

With Hincapie out of the picture, and one lap to go, it was clear that for Postal and Armstrong to win, they would have to drop the formidable sprinting power of Vogels and Dionne. Attempts were made, with Ekimov and Armstrong fighting to break free. “In the last couple of kilometers, Lance and Ekimov put in some pretty vicious attacks. Lance first, who was doing 60km an hour down towards the finishing straight, and Charles (Dionne) countered that. After that, Ekimov did the same thing, and that really put the sting into everyone’s legs.” Even with such monster attacks, the Postal boys were unable to lose the competition and close the deal, and when they all came to the line together, it was Charles Dionne raising his arms in triumph, followed by Vogels and Massimo Giunti in Acqua e Sapone’s zebrato strip.

Charles Dionne, who began this race uncontracted for next year, was delighted with his victory. “The first few laps were, ‘oh, I’m not going to make it!’ It’s steep! There are not sidewalks, there are stairs!” Dionne was thrilled with his win, grinning from ear to ear and raising the roof on the podium as he accepted his victory flowers, the prize money, and the keys to his new Saturn Ion in front of a huge, cheering crowd.

The crowds in San Francisco today were estimated to be just shy of half a million, and were wildly enthusiastic. Third place finisher from Italy, Giunti said that the “only other place I’ve seen this many fans was the Tour of Flanders.” Asked what it was like to race here against a field he had no experience with, Guinti replied “I know the riders from Postal from racing against them in Europe, but I didn’t know a lot of the other riders. I’m really in great condition now, but I really had to dig deep because the competition was so tough.” With the top two podium positions going to riders from American-based team, the SFGP demonstrated the quality and competitiveness of the American peloton. Charles Dionne’s victory is a huge one for his team, which is one of North America’s several tough and relatively unrecognized squads, who nevertheless had the firepower to outgun the greatest cycling team in the world. The victory is one for them, but also for the American cycling scene, which has grown in strength and depth in the past year.

Results from the 2002 San Francisco Grand Prix


1  DIONNE Charles 7UP 4h18'49"
2  VOGELS Henk MCT m.t.
3  GIUNTI Massimo ACQ m.t.
4  EKIMOV Vjatceslav USP m.t.
5  LEAPER Tom NVR m.t.
6  ARMSTRONG Lance USP m.t.
7  FRISCHKORN William SAT m.t.
8  JANSEN Harm SAT @ 03"
9  HORNER Chris PRI @ 05"
10  ZARATE ESTRADA Jesus MCT @ 1'17"
11  LIVINGSTON Kevin MX1 m.t.
12  PETERSEN Soren SAT m.t.
13  JOHNSON Tim SAT m.t.
14 4 LANDIS Floyd USP m.t.
15 9 HINCAPIE George USP m.t.
16  LIESWYN John 7UP @ 4'27"
17  JACQUES-MAYNES Ben SIE @ 4'34"
18  STOYANOV Plamen MCT @ 4'39"
19  HUANG Ted USA m.t.
20 CAMPONOGARA Siro NVR @ 4'41"
21 FRASER Gordon MCT m.t.
22 POWER Ciaran NVR m.t.
23 CARDELLINI Lorenzo ACQ m.t.
24  PATE Danny PRI m.t.
25 RIBOLZI Guiseppe JUR m.t.
26  LARKIN Tim OFO m.t.
27  KLUCK Damon SAT m.t.
28  PETERS John PRI m.t.
29  STEPHENSON Russell PRI m.t.
30 MONAHAN Kevin 7UP m.t.
31  BARRETT Ryan SCI m.t.
32  KLASNA Trent SAT m.t.
33  CASEY Dylan USP m.t.
34 7 USA19711011 MCRAE Chann USP m.t.
35  ERKER Jacob SCI m.t.
36 FRIEDICK Mariano MX1 m.t.
37  WOHLBERG Eric SAT m.t.
38  SIENIEWICZ Greg OFO m.t.
39  HUNT John SIE m.t.
40  TUFT Svein PRI m.t.
41 WALTERS Mark NVR m.t.
42  WHERRY Chris MCT @ 4'51"
43  BALDWIN Christopher NVR m.t.
44  MCCORMACK Mark SAT @ 4'57"
45  DOMINGUEZ Ivan SAT @ 7'23"
46 4 FISHER Chris SAT @ 7'48"
47  CASTILLO Gerardo MEX m.t.
48  SPINELLI Justin SAE @ 8'04"
49  SAYERS Mike MCT @ 9'57"
50  MORGAN Justin SIE @ 11'34"
51  GRAJALES Cesar Augus JIT m.t.

DNF  PADRNOS Pavel USP
DNF VENTURA Robbie USP
DNF LABBE Kenny USP
DNF  DANIELSON TOM MCT
DNF  MONINGER Scott MCT
DNF  ZAJICEK Phil MCT
DNF  GARCIA RODRIGUEZ Fra ACQ
DNF  SCARPONI Michele ACQ
DNF  PENA Agustin ACQ
DNF  SIMEONI Filippo ACQ
DNF  CANDELARIO Alex PRI
DNF  CARNEY Jonas PRI
DNF  CREED Michael PRI
DNF  DECANIO Matt PRI
DNF  WALROD John PRI
DNF  DAVIDENKO Vassili NVR
DNF  SHEEDY Brian NVR
DNF MITCHELL Glen NVR
DNF  SWINDLEHURST Burke NVR
DNF  GUAY Ryan NVR
DNF  ZIEWACZ Douglas 7UP
DNF  PINEDA Oscar 7UP
DNF  GODFREY Hayden 7UP
DNF  ALBERS Kirk MX1
DNF  LECHUGA Ernesto MX1
DNF  DAWSON Brent MX1
DNF  MCGOVERN Chris MX1
DNF  FORBES Brian MX1
DNF  MCCARTNEY Jason MX1
DNF  MCMANUS Remi MX1
DNF  BELLUOMINI Luca JUR
DNF  CIPOLLETTA Francesco JUR
DNF  NELLA Bruno JUR
DNF YAMAMOTO Yasuhiro JUR
DNF  NEUMANN George JUR
DNF CUNEGO Damiano SAE
DNF DEL SARTO Alessandro SAE
DNF  MASON Oscar SAE
DNF WEGMANN Christian SAE
DNF  DAVIDSON Brad SAE
DNF  PIC Chris JIT
DNF  FRIEL Dirk JIT
DNF LEY Mike JIT
DNF  SAUL Bradley JIT
DNF  LAWLER Jessie JIT
DNF 0 SAUNDERS Erik OFO
DNF  PEARCE Colby OFO
DNF  STEWART Jackson OFO
DNF  FARRELL Colby OFO
DNF VAN HEEL Jon OFO
DNF  LOPINTO Peter OFO
DNF  HAMBY Russell OFO
DNF  PAOLINETTI Jamie SCI
DNF  JOHNSON Michael SCI
DNF  TOMAN Ken SCI
DNF  BAUSCH Jason SCI
DNF  KNUDSEN Pete SCI
DNF  JACQUES-MAYNES Andy SIE
DNF  WHITE Troy SIE
DNF  GERLACH Chad SIE
DNF  KLIKNA Jason SIE
DNF  DUBBERLEY Matt SIE
DNF  FUENTES David SIE
DNF  BAUMANN Chris SIE
DNF  CAMIL Siddharta MEX
DNF  CORONA Octavio MEX
DNF  AYALA Cuitlahuac MEX
DNF  JUAREZ Eduardo MEX
DNF  SOTO Alexander MEX
DNF  AYALA Victor MEX
DNF  MATTIS James USA
DNF  HEANEY Patrick USA
DNF  HAGENLOCHER Marc USA
DNF  BAKER Darren USA
DNF DRAKE Greg USA
DNF  LOKKESMOE Jason USA
DNF  COLWELL Tracy USA
DNF  MONTAGUE BREAKWELL C USA
DNF  BRIGGS Patrick USA

Number of Starters: 130
Number finishing after the deadline: 0
Riders dropping out: 79

 
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