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Health Net Tour of Taiwan Report Stage 4
By Vaughn Trevi
Date: 3/8/2006
Health Net Tour of Taiwan Report Stage 4

Health Net Tour of Taiwan Report Stage 4
Stage 4 brings an alliance of necessity, at least for one day.

Doug Ollerenshaw, Garrett Peltonen, Roman Kilun, Jeff Louder, Kirk O'Bee, soigneur Kim Budde and assistant DS Gustavo Carrillo, are currently racing the 7-day Tour of Taiwan. Doug O is sending dispatches from the other side of the Big Pond:

Stage 4, Taitung to Liyu Lake Road Race.
Today was another long road stage at 155km. The first 100km of the stage was identical to yesterday before we turned inland toward Lake Liyu. Almost immediately after the end of the neutral section there was an attack by a Team Okinawa rider, followed by a Dutch rider. With no response from the field, the two began to build a large gap almost immediately. We got word a short time later that the Dutch rider had dropped the Okinawa rider, so even with the gap approaching 7 minutes, there was little reason for alarm. It is very unlikely that a rider can survive a 155km race on his own.

Back in the field, The Drapac/Porsche team had only two riders to protect the race leader, Rob McLachlan. They used one of their riders from the start to set tempo on the front and prevent any further attacks from going up the road. He had his work cut out for him containing countless attacks from the Asian riders.

At kilometer 80, with the gap to the lone leader still in the 6-minute range, I took off solo in an attempt to put some additional pressure on the Australians. Unfortunately, I was joined very shortly thereafter by 12 more riders, none of them being Health Net Maxxis riders, and many of them being much better placed on GC than myself.

Roman followed a group of 6 riders bridging across a few minutes later, but that still left us in a very precarious position. Of the 18 riders up front, the Japanese National Team had managed to place all 5 of their riders, with a couple of them already being in the top 10 on GC. It didn't take them long to realize their advantage and start driving the group.

Doug Ollerenshaw Sea Otter 2005

Knowing that the Porsche team did not have enough riders to pull back the break, and with Roman and I both too far back on GC to be able take advantage of being in the break, the rest of the team had no choice but to join the chase back in the field. Luckily, the Japanese riders began faltering on the front, and eventually one of their riders who was not well placed on GC ended up attacking the break and being joined by another Asian rider. With the pressure off in the break, it didn't take long for the field to catch back up. The situation changed little on the approach to the line. The two breakaway riders stayed away by about a minute with the Japanese National Team rider taking the win. That left the GC order unchanged and leaves us with 3 more stages to attempt to wrest control of this race.

The Health Net Pro Cycling Team Presented by Maxxis is in its fourth year of professional racing. The team is owned and operated by the Momentum Sports Group, LLC, based in Piedmont, California.
Momentum Sports Group is dedicated to the growth and management of sports and entertainment assets worldwide. Momentum Sports Group, LLC is owned by The Gekko Group, LLC, a private equity and advisory firm which seeks to extract and maximize shareholder value, and Cycle Sports, Inc., a boutique bicycle shop located in Oakland, California, which sells high-end custom road and mountain frames, parts, accessories and equipment.

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