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Tour of the Gila Stage 4
 
By Vaughn Trevi
Date: 5/4/2003
Tour of the Gila Stage 4
 

Tour of the Gila Stage 4: The Downtown Silver City Criterium

The course: 1.08 mile course with four 90 degree turns, with a 60 foot climb on each lap through the picturesque turn of the century old downtown of Silver City. The mens race is 40 laps, 43.2 miles and that little climb adds up to 2400 feet of climbing at criterium speeds.

The women's race is 25 laps, 27 miles with 1500 feet of elevation gained. Consider the altitude, near one mile high elevation, three hard days of racing, plus head and cross winds over 20 mph, and you begin to understand that today was a just one more tough day for the riders.

The men's race last year was won by Gord Fraser (Mercury) in a group sprint after a two man break was absorbed on the final corner in 1:36, this years result is two minutes slower at 1:38:01. 2002 men's G.C. for the four stages was 9:29:07, with Chris Wherry in the leader's jersey. Going into the Gila Monster, Drew Miller leads today with a toal time of 9:13:51.

The 2002 Womens race was won by Karen Bockel in 1:07:08, this criterium was won by Ina Teutenberg in 1:08:29. Considering the wind addition to this years race it may be the harder race of the two years.

After day 4 of the 2002 edition, Genevieve Jeanson (Rona) led with a total time: 8:37:21, her nearest rival was the talented Kimberly Bruckner (Saturn). This year Jeanson also leads but with a time of 9:01:13; in spite of a gentler and kinder Jeanson her nearest rival is Manon Jutras (Saturn) @ 11:12 and Katrin Grove (T-Mobile) @ 13:42, Leah Goldstein (Victory Brewing) and Lynn Gaggioli (Velo Bella) follow at just over 14 minutes. Jeanson at this point is indomitable, she has grown from le infant terrible to the le petit giant. Unless she cracks on the Gila Monster (most unlikely) the race is hers to put in her growing collection of palmares.

Mens Crit Report

The first laps of the mens lap were fast with an early attack by Frank Mapel (Specialized) and Mike Sayers (Trek/VW) but the wind plus peloton proved irresistible and they were absorbed. More attacks and breakaway attempts tried, all were fried in the winds. More attempts were made to defy the wind with no success. With four laps to go Travis Brown (Trek/VW) and Cody Peterson (Lost River Cycling) slipped by Healthnet's defences or tired eyes and drove the break with Tecos Turbo rider Ramos Ramirez. Ramirez mysteriously sat on for a free ride though neither Peterson or Brown were a threat to Tecos's leader Ubaldo Mesa (third position on the G.C.). Ramirez, fresh from sitting on, attacked on the final lap for a bitter and unpopular win, leaving his hard working breakmates to be relegated to fight on to the finish; a brave fight, only to have the peloton absorb them as they approached the finish line.

Steve Cate (Mathis Bros) won the field sprint. Drew Miller (Trek/VW), Michael Sayers ( Health Net), Ubaldo Mesa (Tecos), Gord Fraser (Health Net) finished in the field I would say comfortably, but it seems none have escaped the rigors of the last four days.

With about 14 hours to rest and recover for the Gila Monster, the stage is set for what could be a squeaker of a finish on the roads in the mountains above Silver City and the finish at Pinos Altos. Either way it will be a classic Gila finish we see each year in this race. The field of 106 riders has been reduced to 90, and attrition will be the key word Sunday where the advantage may go to Tecos and Ubaldo Mesa who has attacked little.

Both the Trek and Healthnet teams have fought a hard and fast race, the question is will Gord Fraser be able to captain Sayer and Healthnet to a top podium finish; can Trek VW support Drew Miller to arrive at Pinos Altos to wear the well deserved  Malloit Chartreuse, or will Ubaldo Mesa take the lead to steal the show. Not to underestimate the top ten, who are separated by few minutes for a grueling 103 mile stage, all are proven capable climbers could fill the podium if any of the leaders fail to deliver on the Gila Monster.

At the race site there are links (here) to riders writing daily reports on their races, let me recommend that you check out the reports from Scott Price, Frank Maple, Team Diabetic and Pedalling Squares.

From Scott Price's (http://www.hlhap.com/mainframe.htm) diary today some good advice:
"I am looking forward to what is my last Tour of the Gila. I have done 7 editions of this epic race and it has been super enjoyable and fulfilling going out on top thanks to Drew ;-) I have finished a crazy 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 10th overall. My words of advice to all racers is to respect your competition, speak kind words and praise others efforts and if you are not enjoying what you are doing then you need to step back, evaluate and find out what is real and important for you."

"WISH US GOLDEN LEGS!"

I like that, Gentleman and Ladies -  "Salut! And legs of gold Sunday."

Men's Stage 4 Results
1. Florencio R. Torres (Tecos Turbos) 1:38:01
2. Steve Cate (Mathis Brothers) @ 0:08
3. Alex Kozlov (Healthnet)
4. Jason Lockesmoe (Healthnet)
5. Russ Langley (Team Snow Valley)
6. Evan Elken (Broadmark Capital)
7. Travis Brown (Trek/VW All-Stars)
8. Nic Brown (LeMond Fitness/Captain Cra-Z)
9. Cody Peterson (Lost River Cycling) 0:14
10. Michael Lange (Back Yard Burgers) 0:20

Mens G.C. after Stage 4
1. Drew Miller (Trek/VW All-Stars) 9:13:51
2. Michael Sayers (Health Net) @ 0:31
3. Ubaldo Mesa Estepa (Tecos Turbos) @ 1:19
4. Gord Fraser (Health Net) @ 1:39
5. Blake Caldwell (5280/Subaru) @ 1:48
6. Todd Wells (Hyundai Mongoose) 1:49
7. Andreas Hestler (Canadian National Team) 2:39
8. Michael Ley (Team Rio Grande) @ 2:51
9. Nic Brown (LeMond Fitness/Captain Cra-Z) @ 2:56
10. Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (RLX Ralph Loren) @ 3:01

Womens Crit Report
25 laps of headwinds...

The fourth stage of the Tour of the Gila was a downtown criterium. A long time favorite of the locals, speaking with them will bring up stories from the 17 years this race has been running of athletes who are now legends in the sport. With bright blue skies and gusty winds, today's crowds lined the streets, the BBQs were fired up, the beer chilled, and the lawn chairs out to cheer for the over 700 riders who tackle the challenging course at 6,000 feet.

Unlike many criteriums, this one is a humbling experience for many. With a steep, angry little hill on the back side of the course and strong, gusty winds, this criterium is not a typical sprinter's race. With the overall set in the women's race, the only thing up for grabs was a stage win. Race Leader Genevieve Jeanson had won every stage up until today and there were some eagerness in the peloton to ensure she did not sweep the stage race podiums.

Determined to win this stage, Ina Teutenberg launched the hostilities after two of the 20 laps. Susan Haywood and Meshy Holt took her wheel and the three of them created a gap of over a minute. A few laps later Jeanson bridged to the break as the main field let the gap increase.

With one lap to go, Jeanson could be seen at the front forcing a high pace. However, Teutenberg and Haywood were expecting an attack and were able to go with it. From there, Haywood countered taking Teutenberg with her. Coming around the final corner it was Haywood in the lead, but with two pedal strokes, the powerful Teutenberg was clear with a substantial gap which she held to the finish.  Teutenberg won the sprint. When the pack crossed the finish line, Katrina Grove (T Mobile) outsprinted Karen Bockel (RONA/Esker) and Manon Jutras (Saturn).

[Thanks to Giana Roberge (Saturn) and Daniel LaRouche (RONA/Esker).]

Women's Stage 4 Results
1. Ina Teutenberg Saturn 1:08:29
2. Susan Haywood (T-Mobile)
3. Melissa Holt (Rona/Esker)
4. Genevieve Jeanson (Rona/Esker) @ :14
5. Katrina Grove (T-Mobile) @ 1:46
6. Karen Bockel (Rona/Esker)
7. Manon Jutras (Saturn) @ 1:50
8. Kri Scheffenacker (Team Snow Valley) @2:05
9. Amy Moore (Saturn)
10. Maatje Benassi (ICO)

Womens G.C. after Stage 4
1. Genevieve Jeanson (RONA/ Esker) 9:01:13
2. Manon Jutras (Saturn Cycling Team) @ 11:12
3. Katrina Grove (T-Mobile) @ 13:42
4. Leah Goldstein (Victory Brewing) @ 14:33
5. Lynn Gaggioli (Velo Bella) @ 14:59
6. Susan Haywood (T - Mobile) @ 17:18
7. Karen Bockel (RONA/ Esker) @ 17:44
8. Rhonda Quick (Vaniqa/Red S.) @ 18:05
9. Jennifer Wilson (Mtn. Velo/Supergo) @ 19:43
10. Kiara Bisaro (Canadian National Team) @ 19:47


All photos courtesy Gila Wilderness dot.com


No question about what the crit will bring...


The iron women up the hill


The ladies Maillot Chartreuse pushing it


The men fight their crit hill


Leader's jersey Drew Miller - Trek/VW All-Stars

 
Related Articles
Tour of the Gila Stage One
Tour of the Gila Stage 2: UPDATED!
Tour of the Gila Stage 3

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