Good day, and welcome to our second live ticker of the day - the US PRO Championship!
Coverage will begin in just a few moments!
The Ladies Wachovia Liberty Classic is just now concluding:
Last time up the wall for the women, Dede Demet-Barry attacks and Lynne Bessette follows her. Bessette is first over the top and Demet-Barry catches her on the descent.
Kim Bruckner and Lynn Gaggioli catch the breakaways on the descent. Gaggioli attacks and gets a gap.
A small group catches Gaggioli, including Bruckner, and Anderson from T-Mobile, with Judith Arndt from Team Nurnberger.
Now Bessette attacks and gets a gap on the last hill - Lemon Hill.
Bruckner and Anderson are leading the chase. It looks like Bessette from Saturn has a winning gap.
It apppears the Rossner dynasty will be broken. The field is coming fast. The chasers have been caught.
Bessette wins it with the field right behind her!
Lynn Gaggioli takes second, 14 seconds behind, with Arndt taking the last place on the podium.
And now we switch to the Men's US PRO Championships:
At the start of the race, the temperature was 60 F with overcast skies. Temperature is going up to a relatively cool 71 F. At least it is not raining hard, as it was all day yesterday.
The early break in the race has 4 riders: Saturn's Trent Klasna, Tristan Hoffman of CSC, Jonathan Vaughters of Prime Alliance, and Siro Camponogara of Navigators.
They took off after only half a lap of the 14.4 mile circuit.
Now they have been in the lead for over 2 hours. This is a group of powerhouses -- unusual to see such a strong group in the early breakaway.
They have a lead of 3:30 as they ride in the 5th lap.
Klasna leads the break over the top of Lemon Hill, no one is challenging him to the top of the Manayunk Wall or Lemon Hill. He is building a big lead in the KOM competition.
Frankie Andreu, earlier from the Schroeder Iron team car, said it was up to USPS to do some chasing of this break. They are the one big domestic team to miss this early break. Also puts some pressure on Freddie R.'s Vini Caldirola team to do some work.
The break has finished 5 of the 13 big laps.
The lead is now up to 7:00 minutes!
That is the break over the main peloton. There are 3 men in between, including a Vini Caldirola rider who is about 5 minutes behind.
The break is on the Wall again, this is the sixth time of 10.
Klasna leads them to the top once again. He is far in the lead of the KOM competition -- he should be at least King of the Mountain at the end of the day.
There are ten laps that feature the infamous Manayunk Wall, and then three on the slightly less nasty Lemon Hill on this course.
The 4 leaders are 5:55 ahead of the main field. There are 3 chasers in the middle at about 4:40. It looks like the peloton has awakened and is starting to reel in the break.
The peloton has taken back almost 2 minutes in the last 10 miles.
Interviewed at the race course earlier this morning, DP journalist and cycling Diva Jaime Nichols said that team CSC looks very strong this week. She likes Jacob Piil, who won the Lancaster race earlier in the week.
She also says Fred Rodriguez has a good chance, along with David Clinger.
The early break has just finished the sixth big lap. They are looking strong still, and working well together. They are not challenging Klasna in the KOM sprints at all.
The 3 riders stuck in the middle have been swallowed by the peloton, led by the Italian Formaggi team.
Big Lap 7 of 10: The chase is clearly working as the gap is now down to 4:30.
Average speed is 25.5 mph.
The Italian Cheesemen (Formaggi Pinzolo) have cut the lead almost in half.
Klasna, Hoffman, Vaughters and Camponogara are starting up the Wall again. Lots of partiers are on the Wall, eating, drinking and watching the 4 leaders suffer.
The crowds are going nuts on the wall as Klasna leads them over the top again.
Only 3 more trips up the wall so Klasna has probably has the KOM wrapped up.
The pack is now on the wall, watching all the beer drinking and barbequeing on the sides of the street.
However, the peloton has obviously not stopped to party on the wall as they have the break down to 2:22.
Antonio Bucciero of Saeco has attacked the peloton.
More attacks from the peloton as they close down on the break.
As expected a Vini Caldirola is now pulling at the front. Freddie R., one of Jaime's favorites, must be feeling good.
Andrzej Bek, Team director of Saturn, says he likes this break - his team has not had to work in the peloton. However he does not feel that this break will last.
Rigoberto Meza of the the Schroeder Iron team now attacks the peloton and gets a bit of a gap.
The Mexican Meza has helped to cut the gap down to 2:00.
So it will have been a seven or eight lap sponsor showcase today when the break is finally absorbed, which seems inevitable on a course like this.
With 7 big laps finished, 6.5 in the lead, the break is down to 1:50.
No surprise to have seen the three big US teams out in front - Saturn, Prime Alliance and Navigators, and also no surprise that CSC has been there. As Andreu said, though, USPS should also have been face forward.
Now two Vini Caldirola riders working on the front with a USPS rider to reel in the break.
The leaders are working hard and have increased the gap to 2:07. They want to climb the wall ahead of the pack so they can stay away on the descent.
Johnny Weltz, CSC Team Director, says the plan was to put someone in the initial break. He thinks they will be caught in the next lap or two. Then some of the fresh CSC riders can take over.
Johnny likes his options, Julian Dean in a sprint, or Piil and Tafi in a breakaway. He has a lot of fresh cards to play, thanks to Hoffman's work.
The four leaders are in the party zone, but no fun for them as they suffer up the hill for the 8th time. Camponogara looks like he wants to stop for a beer...
The CSC team has certainly worked excellently this week, as Tony Szurly noted in his Tafi report from Trenton - controlling the race from the front, placing Lars Michaelsen in one break and then, later on, coming to the front to pull back any attacks.
Some USPS riders are up the wall now, including Van Heeswijk and Vandevelde, and are cutting into the break. Now only 3 leaders, as Camponogara has been swallowed by the peloton on the wall.
Bjarne Riis, interviewed in the feed zone, says the highlight of his week was not his team winning in both Lancaster and Trenton, but having the privilege of hanging with DP's own Jaime Nichols and Becky Leidy in the race hotel yesterday! Well, maybe not, but he was very gracious to take the time to chat with them.
The 3 leaders are climbing Lemon Hill for the 8th time.
The break and the peloton meet each other going different directions on the big Ben Franklin Parkway.
Big Lap 9 of 10: the gap is down to 1:19. The peloton has slowed down a bit; they are letting the leaders suffer for them out in front.
No doubt the pack feels it can reel them in any time, and is hoping to save its matches for the final, somewhat easier laps.
But Klasna and Vaughters are still looking strong, even though they have spent over 4 hours out in the wind. Hoffman looks to be suffering, but as Phil Liggett commented, "Hoffman has been looking like this since they first broke away over 100 miles ago".
Back in the pack, no team wants to take up the chase now and break the race apart.
About 90 riders still chasing. As they approach the Wall, the leaders can see the chase behind them.
Tristan Hoffman is in his 12th pro season - he shares a great website with Van Petegem, Klier, Museeuw, van Bondt, other riders here: http://www.wielervrienden.nl/
On the Wall now, a USPS rider catches the break!
Nathan O'Neill takes over at the front and wins the 9th time up the Wall.
Saturn continues to dominate over the climb. The leaders have been caught on the climb.
A lot of strong men at the front now, O'Neill, Piil, Clinger, and Fred Rodriguez, Matt White, Christian Vandevelde.
Klasna, Vaughters, and Hoffman have had a great race, but have now passed the baton to the remaining strong men on the 9th trip up the Wall.
Tafi is up with the strong men. No surprise there!
Chris Horner, the winner of the Tour de Georgia, is also up front.
There is a large group leading, but no team is taking charge right now.
Jacob Piil attacks, maybe hoping to score another win this week, but is caught by the bunch.
Big Lap 10 of 10 just starting now, with a big bunch all together.
CSC looking very strong and wanting to take control, use Andrea Tafi on the front now.
The last time up the Wall is coming up; maybe we'll see the winning move there - we will certainly see a lot drunken spectators.
Ed Beamon, Navigators Team Director, says Siro Camponogara did a great job for the team. He also still has Henk Vogels in the leading pack. Beamon thinks there will be a powerful move on the next time up the Wall.
On the wall Astarloa attacks!!
The winner of Fleche Wallonne is roaring up the Wall and has a gap on the struggling field.
He has played his card on the final climb of the wall. Nobody has been able to follow him.
However the field has captured him on the descent. It looks like Astorloa didn't want to try and escape all the way to the finish. Now attacks are going left and right, but nothing seems to stick.
After they finish this 10th big lap, they will have 3 smaller laps of 3 miles that include the smaller climb of the race, Lemon Hill.
On the map above, Lemon Hill looks like nothing more than a radar blip compared to the Manayunk Wall, but after ten rounds on the Wall, it will be much more than that.
Matt White and Michael Barry of USPS, Stefano Zanini of Saeco doing a lot of work. The big peloton has been split into 3 larger groups.
Tafi has caused a small break including Max van Heeswijk and about seven other riders.
Now on the 10th lap, on Lemon Hill, 55 riders are back together at the front. Piil tries another attack over Lemon Hill but is caught by the field.
Now the 10th, and last long lap, is finished with a bunch of about 55. Small lap 1 of 3: the foreign riders are attacking left and right now, hoping to sneak away from the US riders fighting for the US jersey.
Perras of IteamNova and Canada gets a little gap. But 9 miles left is a long way to go it alone.
More attacks now as nothing seems to stick. Freddie R. is probably loving this as they could hold it together for a bunch sprint.
USPS also has a sprinter in there - Antonio Cruz is still there.
Small Lap 2 of 3: still a bunch of 50 together. The heat has not been a factor today as it is cloudy and cool. However, the sheer length of the race, 250km, cannot help but take its toll.
Second to last time up Lemon Hill, it's Matt White of USPS attacking.
But he can't get a gap. He has cracked the field a bit as there is a group of about 7 with a little gap. Freddie R. is in this small group!
Also a 7-Up rider is there - John Lieswyn.
But Freddie does not like this bunch as it has 2 CSC riders, Piil and Van Bondt, so he sits up and waits for the bunch.
Small Lap 3 of 3: Michael Sayers of Health Net gets a little gap.
However CSC shuts it down again. CSC have been super strong today!
The last time up Lemon Hill and the attacks are coming.
4 riders get a little gap but it is quickly closed again.
No more hills left so this may be left for the sprinters to decide. Freddie R. is still active in the front. 1 mile to go.
Bucciero of Saeco tries but fails. Now Iteamnova taking control for David Mackenzie. The sprinters are moving forward with a sprint of about 50.
Zanini starts the leadout. And Zanini holds on to win it!
He holds off Uros Murn of Formaggi Pinzolo who comes in second. Its close though because Murn thought he had won it.
The question is: Who is the top US rider?
It looks like a Saturn rider, Mark McCormack comes in 3rd. And yes, he is from the US!!! This is not yet confirmed - stay tuned.
Ok its Official:
1. Stefano Zanini, Ita, Saeco
2. Uros Murn, Slo, Formaggi Pinzolo
3. Julian Dean, Nzl, CSC
4. Mark McCormack, USA, Saturn
So Mark McCormack takes 4th and the Stars and Stripes jersey. Trent Klasna takes the KOM.
The Italians in South Philly will be partying tonight!!
This concludes our live coverage of the US PRO Championships, but check back later for a race report and more from Philadelphia. Thank you for joining us!
US PRO Full Results
1 Stefano Zanini MX1 5:56:21
2 Uros Murn FPF s.t.
3 Julian Dean CSC s.t.
4 Mark McCormack SAT s.t.
5 Max Van Heeswijk USP s.t.
6 Massimiliano Mori FPF s.t.
7 Kevin Monahan 7UP s.t.
8 Henk Vogels NAV s.t.
9 David Clinger PRI s.t.
10 Mike Sayers HNC s.t.
11 Igor Astarloa MX1 s.t.
12 Alex Candelario PRI s.t.
13 Vassili Davidenko NAV s.t.
14 Oscar Pineda 7UP s.t.
15 Chris Horner SAT s.t.
16 Thomas Bruun Eriksen CSC s.t.
17 John Lieswyn 7UP s.t.
18 Adam Livingston SCI s.t.
19 Matthew White USP s.t.
20 Tim Larkin OFO s.t.
21 Eddy Mazzoleni VIN s.t.
22 Viktor Rapinski SAT s.t.
23 Jeff Louder NAV s.t.
24 Cezary Zamana MRO s.t.
25 Chann McRae SCI s.t.
26 Kazimierz Stafiej MRO s.t.
27 Mariano Friedick JEL s.t.
28 Simon Kessler SCC s.t.
29 Fred Rodriguez VIN s.t.
30 Scott Guyton FLA s.t.
31 David McKenzie FLA s.t.
32 David O’Loughlin OFO s.t.
33 Geert Van Bondt CSC
34 Bert Scheirlinckx FLA s.t.
35 Paul Martin WVC s.t.
36 Chris Baldwin NAV s.t.
37 Zbigniew Piatek MRO s.t.
38 Michael Barry USP s.t.
39 Patrick Calcagni VIN s.t.
40 Andy Bajadali OFO s.t.
41 Jimmi Madsen CSC s.t.
42 Matt Decanio PRI s.t.
43 Alan Iacuone FLA s.t.
44 Oleg Grishkine NAV s.t.
45 Steffen Kjaergaard USP s.t.
46 Antonio Bucciero MX1 s.t.
47 Michael Jones WVC s.t.
48 Dominique Perras FLA @ 08s.t.
49 Jamie Drew FLA @ 20s.t.
50 Danny Pate PRI @ 27s.t.
51 Juan Fuentes Angullo MX @ 32s.t.
52 Jason Lokkesmoe HNC @ 3’45s.t.
53 James Mattis WEB s.t.
54 Trent Klasna SAT s.t.
55 Jason Bausch SCI s.t.
56 Cameron Hughes SCI s.t.
57 Scottie Weiss WVC s.t.
58 Russell Hambey OFO s.t.
59 Lars Michaelsen CSC s.t.
60 Andrea Tafi CSC s.t.
61 Roman Peter OFO s.t.
62 Staf Scheirlinckx FLA s.t.
63 Brice Jones 7UP s.t.
64 Jonathan Sundt JIT s.t.
65 Chris Pic 7UP s.t.
66 Derek Wilkerson JEL s.t.
67 Aaron Olsen SCI s.t.
68 Kirk Albers JEL s.t.
69 Eric Wohlberg SAT s.t.
70 Marco Gili VIN s.t.