2005 Barclays Global San Francisco Grand Prix
A day full of surprises in the “City by the Bay.” Fabian Wegmann nips “Iron John”
Lieswyn and Jason McCartney at the line.
The sun was nowhere to be found at the start of the Barclay Global Grand Prix on
foggy and overcast day in San Francisco. With temperatures in the mid 50's
at the start it would fail to warm up or have the sun come out until the
finishing lap; and when it finally did the sun shone on Fabian Wegmann of
Gerolsteiner. It was a day that had all the favorites missing the one early
break that made the day; leading many to add their names to the DNF list as the
course, and constant cold wind on the back stretch of the course along the
Alcatraz corridor, wore at the peloton decimating the field in a battle of
Before the race I spoke with Mike Creed who said he was feeling good and he
would see how he felt today and give it a go as long as he could. The first
parade lap a lone rider, Roberto Gaggioli (Monex), took a
flyer to get some camera time for his final race before retirement
stretching out the peloton in the opening three
"parade laps" that were anything but a parade. This set the stage for one of
the fastest beginnings of the race in its history as the riders tested the wind
in the opening laps.
A split of thirty riders developed including Michael Creed, Ryder Hesjedal and
Jason McCartney (Discovery),
Fabian Wegmann and Andrea Moletta of Gerolsteiner, John Lieswyn, Chris
Wherry, Mike Sayers and Doug Ollerenshaw of Health Net, Tim Johnson (Jittery
Joes/Kalahari), Luke Roberts (CSC), Rubens Bertogliati (Saunier Duval), The
Colavita/Sutter Home trio of Aaron Olsen, Todd Herriott, Mark McCormack, and
Davide Frattini, Kiwi Glenn Mitchell, Ben Jacques Mayne and Dominique Perras,
(Kodak/Sierra Nevada), David O'Loughlin and Mark Walters of Navigators
Insurance, Charle Dionne and James Mattis of Webcor, Ben Brooks, "Wolf Man"
Candelario and Danny Pate of Jelly Belly/Pool Gel, and Freddie Rodriguez
(Domo/USA National team) among others. As
John Lieswyn said in the after-race press conference it was a break that
couldn't get organized and was more resolute on attacking itself than working
together. This plus the wind and cold started a progression of attacks and
counters to keep the group together.
Behind the peloton seemed content to believe, as in previous San Francisco
Grand Prixs, either that the early break would not succeed and would be brought
back in the final laps, or were content with the fact that most of the big teams
had a representative in the break and there was no need to organize a chase. If
we look back to 2004 it was Jason McCartney who built up a 5 minute lead that
was devastated in the closing laps. In this race, early breaks rarely succeed as
the big teams hold back and reel them back. In years past it was the full force
of the US Postal that went to the front with the other teams and drove the time
machine for the leaders in reverse to set up the finish. Today however, would be
no repeat of races past.
Mike Creed was the first to separate himself from the
lead group building up a fast 1:15 lead in the first roll up
Fillmore and Taylor
streets which stretched out the break behind into fractured chasing groups,
but soon the chase brought the breakmates back together as
Mike Creed pursued the Subaru Master of the Mountains points for a solo that
lasted the next 50 miles. Mike yo-yoed off the front as both Creed (makes you a
believer, he does) and the lead group of chasers extended their gap to over 5
minutes in the first five laps.
Still the peloton filled with the favorites seemed not interested in
organizing a serious chase although there were efforts by some to try to bridge
up. By the sixth lap the course was littered with riders chasing to bridge up
and riders who after six times over
Taylor were chasing to get back in the lead group that had thinned
considerably from the original thirty riders... and all alone Mike Creed chasing
points to the deafening roar of the thousands of fans that lined the galleries
on Fillmore and Taylor. Mike mugged it up and pressed on with the deafening roar
of "Go Mike" ringing in his ears.
Mike was about spent and soon a group breaking from the thirty would pull him
Meanwhile at the AMD event at a restaurant with roadside viewing had Dan
Osipow and Kevin Livingston explaining the race to the AMD employees and guests, explaining the attrition and odds of the peloton retaking the initiative.
Lap 6 Jason McCartney, John Lieswyn, Ryder Hesjedal and Glen Mitchell put
the hurt on the lead group and attacked quickly gaining advantage and catching
and dropping Creed, ending Mike's glory and left Mike in no man's land valiantly
trying to find the energy to continue.
By Lap 7 the gap was up to 5:57 and Hesjedal was dropped and drifted away
chasing Lieswyn et al.
Behind, Fast Freddie Rodriguez chased with a small group 1:32 down as
Mitchell, McCartney and Lieswyn looked like a well oiled pursuit team in a
chase for the gold. Shattered remnants of the original break followed trying to
chase back on...
Herriott alone in no man's land fighting to hold on, Fabian Jeker with Charles
Dionne, Glomser (Lampre/Caffita), Neil Shirley (Sea Silver), Caleb Manion,
another group 2:45 down: Frank Schleck (CSC), Richard England
(Advantage/Endeavor), Marsh Cooper (Symmetrics) it was a shattered field of
misery looking for any companion to chase back on.
By Lap 8 the Peloton and chase groups were scattered across the course with a
unbelievable 8 minute advantage to the trio Mitchell, Lieswyn and McCartney with
small groups and solo chasers in-between.
Out of this confusion a
Gerolsteiner duo of Fabian Wegmann and Andrea Moletta were burning up the
time to the leading trio, slowly pulling them back. Moletta was playing the
support rider giving his all to deliver Fabian to the break, the Gerolsteiner
duo was a machine on a mission and only time would tell at this point if they
could bring back the lead trio. With 4 of the 5 mile short laps remaining
Wegmann and Moletta were within 30 seconds of the leaders... any forgone
conclusion that the podium was decided was gone. Adding to the drama as the duo
passed the finish line, Mike Creed was lapped and was removed from the race.
McCartney meanwhile had been collecting the mountain points and was all but
certain to win the Mountain title today.
The last lap up Taylor, Glenn Mitchell fell out of the triumvirate after
another brilliant ride suffering with cramps; soon he was caught and passed by
Wegmann and Moletta.
As Jason McCartney and John Lieswyn
entered the last lap they played off each other, saving energy for the
finishing sprint. This was all Fabian Wegmann needed as he separated from his
compatriot Moletta and caught McCartney and Lieswyn on the closing kilometers
of the course.
The crowd as the finish approached had their hearts in a win for Lieswyn who,
after 19 years as a pro, was racing his last race.
Lieswyn was put in the unfortunate position of leading out the sprint,
Wegmann came around in the last metres nipping him at the line with
McCartney in third.
In retrospect, later
Iron John said a few more metres and I could have passed him. Either way
John Lieswyn can retire with his incredible reputation as always being there in
the middle of the toughest races with the leaders and leaving his pro career
with a most impressive ride that will be remembered for years.
My favorite comment about Iron John was by Chris Horner during a discussion
of the main protagonists of the USA pro peloton during the Tour of the Gila in
2001 Chris said, "and then there is John Lieswyn; no matter how tough the race
conditions and in the toughest of races, I can look over my shoulder and John
will be there, John is always there."
Attrition the name of the game, at North Americas toughest race: 180 riders
started, 76 finished within the time limit. The "Subaru Master of the Mountains"
Jason McCartney with John Lieswyn and
Glenn Mitchell in second and third respectively.
Pre race prediction, Gerolsteiner D.S. says, "Wegmann will win."
The Sprint, Wegmann it is!
Chuck Coyle in US National Team Jersey
CSC lines up for sign in.
Danny Pate (Jelly Belly), Dan Osipow in background at sign in.
David Zabriskie (CSC) arm brace on at sign in.
David Z-Man again.
Discovery prepares, Hincapie.
Mariano, Jelly Belly
Mark McCormack, Colavita Sutter Home
Chris Wherry (Health Net) USA Road Champ
Levi Leipheimer, Give me some elbow room, Chris.
Chris Horner, in the office.
Charles Dionne, Nelson Vail works the crowd behind with Gaggioli.
A moment of silence for the Hurricane survivors.
San Francisco Grand Prix Galleries:
More to come.
Barclay Global Investors San Francisco Grand Prix
Average speed 24.26 mph, 30.05Km/H
Race Results (top 10):
- Fabian Wegmann Gerolsteiner 4:27:20
- John Lieswyn Health Net
- Jason McCartney Discovery Channel
- Andrea Moletta Gerolsteiner
- Glen Mitchell Kodak/Sierra
- Mike Sayers Healt
- Mark McCormack Colavita?Sutter Home
- Luke Roberts CSC
- Danny Pate Jelly
- Dominique Perras Kodak/Sierra Nevada
1. Health Net 13:29:53
2. Gerolsteiner 1:31
3.Colavita/Sutter Home 5:11
1 Wegmann, Fabian Gerolsteiner 4:27:20
2 Lieswyn, John Health Net / Maxxis m.t.
3 McCartney, Jason Discovery Channel m.t.
4 Moletta, Andrea Gerolsteiner 4:27:47 @ 27
5 Mitchell, Glen Kodak - Sierra Nevada 4:29:18 @ 1:58
6 Sayers, Mike Health Net / Maxxis 4:30:16 @ 2:56
7 McCormack, Mark Colavita - Sutter Ho 4 :30:32 @ 3:12
8 Roberts, Luke Csc m.t.
9 Pate, Danny Jelly Belly - Pool Gel 4:30:41 @ 3:21
10 Perras, Dominique Kodak - Sierra Nevada 4:31:01 @ 3:41
11 Frattini, Davide Colavita - Sutter Home 4:32:03 @ 4:43
12 Walters, Mark Navigators Insurance 4:32:17 @ 4:57
13 Ollerenshaw, Doug Health Net / Maxxis " "
14 Johnson Tim Jittery Joe's - Kalahar I 4:32:22 @ 5:02
15 O'Loughlin, David Navigators Insurance m.t.
16 Wohlberg, Eric Symmetrics m.t.
17 Bertogliati, Rubens Prodir-Saunier Duval m.t.
18 Wherry, Chris Health Net / Maxxis 4:32:29 @ 5:09
19 Brooks Ben Jelly Belly - Pool G m.t.
20 Olsen, Aaron Colavita - Sutter Ho m.t.
21 Rodriguez, Fred Us National Team 4:32:37 @ 5:17
22 Righi, Daniele Lampre Caffita 4:32:40 @ 5:20
23 Henderson Greg Health Net / Maxxis 4:36:17 @ 8:57
24 Wrolich, Peter Gerolsteiner
25 Franzoi, Enrico Lampre Caffita
26 Magnell, Sterling Monex
27 Garcia, Jose Manuel Mexican National Tea
28 Menzies, Karl Advantage Benefits E
29 Candelario, Alex Jelly Belly - Pool G
30 Shirley, Neil Seasilver
31 Hoj, Frank Gerolsteiner
32 Fant, Glenn Monex
33 Swindlehurst, Burke Seasilver
34 Peltonen, Garrett Advantage Benefits Endea Vor
35 Hall, Josh Jet Fuel Coffee / Sympatico
36 Rytlewski, Jake Advantage Benefits Ende Avor
37 Dionne, Charles Webcor
38 Erker, Jacob Symmetrics
39 Cornelius, Todd Subway Express
40 Gritters, Kyle Seasilver
41 Mattis, James Webcor
42 Schleck, Frank Csc
43 Hughes, Cameron Subway Express
44 Sundt Jonny Jittery Joe's - K Ala
45 Hincapie, George Discovery Channel
46 Wamsley, Kyle Snow Valley / Seal- O
47 Huang, Ted Webcor
48 Hasanovic, Esad Aerospace Engineerin
49 Moninger, Scott Health Net / Maxxis
50 Albers, Kirk Jelly Belly - Poo L G
51 Padrnos, Pavel Discovery Channel
52 Luttenberger, Peter Csc
53 Randell, Andrew Jet Fuel Coffee / Symp Atico
54 Louder, Jeff Navigators Insur Ance
55 Leipheimer, Levi Gerolsteiner
56 Rios, Marco Mexican National Team
57 Pearce, Colby Tiaa - Cref
58 Stevic, Ivan Aerospace Engi Neerin
59 Bajadali, Andy Us National Team
60 Bileka, Volodymyr Discovery Channel
61 Kelly, John Webcor
62 Wren, Tyler Colavita - Sutt Er Home 4:36:35 @ 9:15
63 Haldeman Ben Webcor
64 Hilger, Eddy Advantage Benefits E
65 Stewart, Jackson Kodak - Sierra Nevad m.t.
66 Prokic, Predrag Aerospace Engineer Inm.T.
67 Lam, Arquimedes Mexican National Te Am.T.
68 Barberi, Stefano Tiaa - Cref m.t.
69 Manion, Caleb Jelly Belly - Pool G m.t.
70 Gavazzi, Francesco Lampre Caffita 4:36:42 @ 9:22
71 Zwizanski, Scott Kodak - Sierra Nevad 4:36:47 @ 9:27
72 Kilun, Roman Mcguire - Langdale m.t.
73 Van Ulden, Bernard Webcor 4:37:01 @ 9:41
74 Moran, Hugh Aerospace Engineeri N 4:37:07 @ 9:47
75 Pinfold, Andrew Symmetrics 4:37:25 @ 10:05
76 O'Bee, Kirk Navigators in Surance 4:37:59 @ 10:39