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International Tour de 'Toona Stage 5
 
By Marianne Werz O'Brien
Date: 7/30/2004
International Tour de 'Toona Stage 5
 

STAGE 5: Martinsburg Circuit Race Friday, July 29, 2004

While the women’s pro race was underway I caught up with some of the people who help to make the race successful. Races can’t occur without the help of a large number of volunteers. Tina Hodgkin of Martinsburg and John Detwiler from the Village of Morrison Cove have guarded the final corner before the finish straight away every single year since the inception of the Tour de ‘Toona! This is their seventh year – what makes them keep coming back? Tina says it’s always so much fun to watch the racers come flying past them, but what makes it really special is that so many of the riders will stop by before or after the race to thank them for their efforts! “That really means a lot to us,” she said.


Volunteers Tina Hodgkin and John Detwiler guarding the final corner

Another very vital contingent are the team “Mom’s”. Those people who man the feedzones handing out bottles and vittles, who do the laundry, cook the meals, and perhaps most importantly – offer a shoulder to lean on and a sympathetic ear. What is the race like for them? Kenda Tire’s Joan Sherwin says “It’s very stressful because during the race you are always on your feet and always worrying about the racers. We don’t have a support car in the race, or team radios, so our girls have to rely on the nuetral support vehicle if they have a problem.” Dansko Wheelworks Lisa Samuelson chimed in “The only problem with the neutral support vehicle is that it’s the last car, so you have to wait and then work your way back up to the field.” Lisa knows exactly what she’s talking about because before adopting the position of “Mom”, she was racing here at ‘Toona. Unfortunately on Tuesday she got a flat, and after the wheel was swapped out she was unable to regain the pack and missed the time cut.

Suddenly sirens and horns interrupted our chat – and a lone woman appeared flying around the corner past Tina and John, into the final stretch hearing the bells ring to announce one lap to go! It’s Verizon Wireless racer Becky Broeder! On a solo flyer out front of the field – waiting, waiting, where is the peloton? One minute down, then two and still no sign of the pack? Finally they come charging into view, three minutes after Becky has disappeared down the road!


Becky Broeder’s Solo Breakaway!

I asked Roberto Gaggioli why his wife Lynn was guest riding with Velo Bella. I found it confusing since I have seen her racing as the lone T-Mobile woman so many times this year, so why not here? He explained that at ‘Toona everyone has to be on a team with at least four riders, so Lynn rejoined her old Velo Bella teammates for the race – and considering her results I’m sure Velo Bella is happy with the exposure!

Waiting for the women to race back into the streets of Martinsburg I bumped into none other than Artemis racer and Daily Peloton denizen Julian! He finished pretty well today, coming in under 30 out of just over 100 guys. Julian said he managed to get off the front a couple times but couldn’t make a break stick. Keeping my fingers crossed for you in tomorrow’s stage, Julian, I hear it’s brutal.


Julian!

The lead cars come roaring around the corner into the final stretch and the peloton flies to the finish. After the race all the usual suspects are on the podium. Genesis Scuba’s Tina Pic has her second stage win of the series, will she pull a hat trick on Sunday’s crit? Lynn Gaggioli placed second for Velo Bella. Lynn Bessette placed third for the day, but retains both the PA Turnpike Queen of the Mountain jersey and her Hershey Foods yellow race leaders jersey going into the sixth stage. Tina Pic retains the Merrill Lynch Sprint jersey.


Lyne Bessette, Tina Pic, and Lynn Gaggioli

Lyne Bessette told me that she had wished that Becky Broeder’s breakaway had succeeded, rather than letting Pic and Gaggioli get time bonuses on her. Tina Pic was thrilled with the work of her Genesis Scuba teammates! “They were just amazing today” she said, “they did all the work to bring Becky back, so I just got sit in and be fresh for the final sprint!”

When asked about the stage in general, Tina said that she felt people took it a little easy in order to have better legs for tomorrows fierce stage. Race promoter Rick Geist was just thankful that the rains held off until just after the women’s podium presentation. According to Rick there were basically monsoon rains on Tuesday during the men’s race. He said that when Doug Ollerenshaw (Jelly Belly) was off the front in the final lap that the rain was coming down so hard that it was impossible to see anything of the peloton except the motorcycles headlights. Water was up over the curbs in some sections of the course. When Doug rounded the final corner he went through a section of water so deep that his pedals went underwater on the turn! Talk about miserable weather for a race.

Aquafina Race Report
By Team Aquafina’s Katie Lambden
We had to wake up a little earlier than usual (well, us late sleepers did, anyway) to drive to the Martinsburg Circuit Race, which commenced at 10:30 a.m. The day was hot and humid, even with the earlier start. Although I’d felt pretty perky the night before after a massage and ice to my legs, I woke up this morning feeling tired and nauseous. I ate a good-size breakfast anyway, having learned my lesson for good (I hope!) about fueling up sufficiently for stage racing. My stomach would not be comforted, though, and when the race started I felt unfocused and unready for the 76 miles ahead. We would be doing 4 laps of a 19-mile circuit, and to me, it seemed like a long, long way.

The first lap, though, was like the proverbial ride in the park; we soft-pedaled at 12-15 mph as if a pack-wide truce had been called. I began thinking I might be okay if we stayed at that speed the whole day. At mile 10 there was even a pee-break! It really seemed like the leaders of the top teams were content to let this be a mellow day. We did speed up going into the first sprint at the start/finish, and the technical set of quick 90-degree turns through town strung the pack out enough that I had to work hard not to let a gap open in front of me. The more we rode, though, the better I felt as my stomach worked itself out and my legs warmed up and lost some of their stiffness.

The course was a very picturesque loop through the farm country, with dairy farms and cornfields lining the roads. I appreciated the relative lack of hills: the roads were rolling, but the climbs were short and manageable. I have begun to wonder why I ever thought hills were my friends. Each one I meet here at ‘Toona seems to have it in for me! There were a few spectators along the course, clapping and cheering us along. I always love to see local people watching the race, and their cheers really boost my spirits.

Team Aquafina planned to take it easy and keep an eye on Basis and WebCor, lying just in front and just behind us in the team classification. When a Basis rider attacked, none of the “Big 4” teams (Rona, Quark, Victory, or Genesis) responded, so Michelle went up and began a chase. The next thing I saw was a flash of sky blue (that would be our uniform) flying into a ditch on the side of the road. Michelle was down. Tina went to the front to control the speed, and a few of us went back to help Michelle back onto the pack. Liza and Elisa paced her back to the field, where she sat tucked safely in, albeit with blood running down her leg and arm from her spill. Afterward, someone said they’d seen a wheel touch which had brought Michelle down. She said it happened so fast she doesn’t know what caused it.

The worse thing was that her crashing wasn’t over for the day. The next lap, she said she’d like some water so I came near her to give her a bottle. Just as she took the bottle and it was still in her hand, the peloton braked hard in front of us, and Michelle didn’t have time to get to her brakes. It was a slow-speed bump into the rider in front of her, but it was enough to reacquaint her with the asphalt. Her tire blew out as well, and while the Campy mechanics were changing the wheel, the commissaire car pulled around and rolled right over the spare Campy wheels lying in the road beside the car. There was a horrible crunching noise and we all looked over to see the mangled wheels stuck under the car. So Michelle was not the only casualty of the day, alas.

Becky Broeder of Verizon’s composite team escaped at the beginning of the third lap and eventually increased her lead to three and a half minutes. It wasn’t until midway through the last lap that Genesis decided they were ready to haul her back, and increased our lazy pace just enough to keep the gap shrinking. She was caught with about 5K to go after a valiant effort at the only real breakaway of the day.

On the last lap, I’d managed to get myself up close to the front, and while hanging out up there I heard a funny exchange among some riders. Megan Elliot of Quark had gone back to the team car for drink bottles, and she came riding through the pack, asking her teammates if they needed anything. No one did, though, and so Megan said, “Does ANYONE want any drinks? Coke? Water?” (Teams were being very generous with the water bottles today, as throwing bottles away on the course was not allowed; and who wants to carry full bottles in her jersey all the way to the finish?) A Rona rider (I think it was Katrina Grove) said she’d take a Coke. Lyne Bessette looked back and said jokingly, “It’s low-carb!” I think the low-carb Hershey bars (which figure on the leader’s yellow jersey as a sponsor of the race), yummy as they are, have become a running joke in the peloton!

The day finished up without further incident and no more crashes. The weather even cooperated, holding the rain until after the awards ceremony (in which Tina Pic, Lyne Bessette, and Lynne Gaggioli figured on the podium). Aquafina stays in 6th place on team GC, I think, and there probably won’t be any individual GC change. Michelle is pretty beat-up, though, and she’ll be very stiff and sore tomorrow. It remains to be seen whether she’ll be able to get back on her bike for the tough stage to come. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

Thanks, Katie for yet another fantastic Aquafina race report!

Men’s race summary

Courtesy Tour de ‘Toona
The battle over a course winding through hills of central Pennsylvania's richest farmland continued with the pro men as Colavita Olive Oil's Aaron Olsen, ranked 36 overall in the race and 4:21 behind the leader at the beginning of the day, won the stage. Early on in the race, Olsen, accompanied by four other riders, broke away from the peleton and carried the lead for the rest of the race. As the peleton closed the gap on the leaders from 2:50 to just :30, Olsen broke away from the lead group and went for the win just before the one kilometer mark.

Chris Horner, of Webcor Cycling, managed to maintain his lead and never worried that one of the riders in the lead pack, Scottie Weiss of Subway Express Racing, was just 1:42 behind him in the general classification.

"The lead may have been 2:50," said the current top pro in men's U.S. cycling, "but I only saw 1:10 because of my lead. I knew Health Net didn't want to lose any ground in GC either, so we let them push to catch Weiss."

Horner's strategy worked as he remained the overall leader, and will wear the Waste Management yellow jersey in tomorrow's race. John Leiswyn and his teammates are still close behind. The UPS sprint jersey remained with Ivan Dominguez of Colavita Olive Oil, with Jason Bausch of the Ofoto team pushing Ben Brooks of Jelly Belly/Aramark out of second and Jon Page of FiordiFrutta remaining third. With no climbs today, Will Frischkorn of Colavita Olive Oil kept the Phoenix Property Group King of the Mountain jersey.

Davide Frattini of Team Monex finished 4th today. The real question story will be told on the roads tomorrow. Can this former champion of the Baby Giro take the stage?

Women’s Cat 3 and Cat 4 Races
One thing I noticed today was the strength and depth of the field of Cat 3 and 4 women. It is obvious that the Tour de ‘Toona is attracting the best novice racers in the country. Before listing the Cat 3 podium I want to point out that the women’s winner Maria Klemperer-Johnson (Maxxis/Spokepost.com) is showing fine form now. She also won the Main Event Criterium in Poughkeepsie (Cat 4) on July 17th! Our second place finisher, Artemis racer Gretchen Jacobs is currently tied for 1st in the MidAtlantic Bike Race Association series (MABRA BAR) for Novice women! Tammy Sadle of LSV/Kelly, who placed 3rd in today’s Cat 4 race is ranked 4th in the MABRA BAR for Novice women.

Cat 3 Women’s Podium
1. Maria Klemperer-Johnson - Maxxis/Spokepost.com
2. Gretchen Jacobs - Artemis
3. Sara LeGrand - Diet Cheerwine

Cat 4 Women’s Podium
1. Sinead Miller - AGH/Pactimo
2. Priscilla Pang – LSV/Kelly
3. Tammy Sadle – LSV/Kelly

Men’s Cat 2,3,4 Races
Freddie Fu racer Joe Ruggery obviously goes for speed on his bike – he won the men’s Cat 3 race – but be sure you aren’t speeding through Pennsylvania or you just might meet him in person. Why, you ask? Joe’s “day job” is Pennsylvania State Trooper! Stephen Krisko, Maxxis Spokepost.com, won the Main Event Criterium in Poughkeepsie for the Cat 3 men and placed third here today!

Talking with Glenrol Griffith (NYC Fire Department) after the Cat 3 race. Come to find out that Griffith, who hails from Trinidad started racing in the early 1980’s. In 1983 he was Trinidad’s Junior National Champion (1 kilometre)! He continued racing after relocating to New York, and was racing with the Hincapie brothers in the mid to late 80’s! Also Griffith was the 1987 National Silver Medalist (Match Sprint). In 1988 he joined the NY Fire Department as a paramedic and stopped racing, this is his first season back. His description of the Cat 3 race: “In the final three kilometers some of the guys seemed to think they were Lance Armstrong, which would be fine but the road conditions didn’t permit it. Some of the guys took foolish chances, making it very dangerous.” Indeed there was a nasty wreck, which will likely have sidelined several racers ambitions for this series.


NYC Fire Department racer Glenrol Griffith

“It’s always crazy the first day of stage races,” Griffith continued, “because guys are trying to get points, to make sure they are as far up the standings as possible. I got caught behind the wreck, I didn’t fall but had to slow down and pull around the pile. But I must say it was a great day for a race, the course is nice, and it’s very well organized.” I asked him about the remaining two stages, whether he was more of a mountain man or a crit racer he replied “Definitely Sunday’s crit is more my kind of stage!”

Cat 2 Men’s Podium
1. John Whittington – NCVC
2. Abraham McNutt – Team Dayton
3. Ramon Benitez – Artemis

Cat 3 Men’s Podium
1. Joe Ruggery – Freddie Fu
2. Joe Whitman – DynaFlo/TechnoCycle
3. Steve Krisko – Maxxis/Spokepost.com

Cat 4 Men’s Podium
1. Adam St.Germaine – AFD/OSVC
2. Carlos Marno – Columbia
3. Alvaro Arnal – Team Ardmore

Pro Men Hoss's Martinsburg Road Race
1 282 OLSON Aaron Colavita Olive Oil 2:51:45 15
2 243 BAUSCH Jason OFOTO 13
3 291 ELKEN Evan Broadmark Capital " 5
4 201 DAVIDE Frattini Team Monex "
5 213 WEISS Scottie Subway Express Racing "
6 286 DOMINGUEZ Ivan Colavita Olive Oil 24
7 274 PAGE Jon FiordiFrutta "
8 283 MCCORMACK Mark Colavita Olive Oil "
9 269 LIESWYN John Health Net presented by Maxxis "
10 240 STEWART, Jackson OFOTO

Men’s Overall after Stage 5
1 175 HORNER Chris Webcor Cycling Team 11:51:23
2 269 LIESWYN John Health Net presented 00:08
3 272 MCCARTNEY Jason Health Net presented 00:46
4 268 MONINGER Scott Health Net presented 00:47
5 178 ENGLAND Justin Webcor Cycling Team 01:01
6 285 FRISCHKORN Will Colavita Olive Oil "
7 283 MCCORMACK Mark Colavita Olive Oil 01:08
8 260 OLLERENSHAW Doug Jelly Belly/Aramark 01:12
9 267 PATE Danny Health Net presented 01:15
10 242 LARKIN Tim OFOTO 01:24

Women’s Hoss’s Martinsburg Road Race Top 10
1 103 PIC Tina Genesis Scuba Pro 3:42:05
2 54 GAGGIOLI Lynn Velo Bella
3 1 BESSETTE Lyne Quark Cycling Team
4 17 JEANSON Genevieve Rona
5 22 LONG Magen Sportsbook.com
6 10 EYERMAN Jenny Red 5
7 4 LEFLOCH Magali Quark Cycling Team
8 97 DeKRAAY Christina Diet Cheerwine
9 16 GROVE Katrina Rona
10 73 RACHETTO Liza Aquafina/CRCA

Women’s Overall after Stage 5
1 1 BESSETTE Lyne Quark Cycling Team 14:14:34
2 54 GAGGIOLI Lynn Velo Bella 00:11
3 17 JEANSON Genevieve * Rona 00:24
4 102 PALMER-KOMAR Susan Genesis Scuba Pro 00:27
5 103 PIC Tina Genesis Scuba Pro 00:32
6 18 WILLOCK Erinne * Rona 00:42
7 6 JUTRAS Manon Quark Cycling Team 00:52
8 110 OURADA Brooke Victory Brewing 01:02
9 106 ESPESETH Sandy Victory Brewing "
10 4 LEFLOCH Magali Quark Cycling Team 01:03

 
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