By: Kirsten Frattini
30 km time trial the race's deciding factor?
The Tour of Missouri stage five time trial is the most highly anticipated of all seven stages. The flat, 30 kilometre stage is held in Sedalia and pegged as the deciding factor in who will capture the overall title at this year’s race.
There are a handful of potential candidates who are looking to try on the yellow jersey before concluding in Kansas City on Sunday. Cyclingnews talks to the favourites for today’s stage and potentially race victory.
Michael Rogers (Columbia-HTC)
Michael Rogers is the current Australian time trial champion and a three-time world time trial champion in 2003, 2004 and 2005. He is arguably the most decorated time trialist at the Tour of Missouri. As the team’s prominent overall contender, Rogers has placed inside the top 10 at the Tour de France and is well-known on the American domestic podium placing second last year in Missouri and second in the 2007 Tour of California.
“That was probably one of the hardest time trial’s I’ve ever done,” said Rogers, regarding last year’s predominantly uphill course in Branson. “I haven’t seen the course yet but I’ll go have a look at it tomorrow morning. I hear that it’s flat. It’s obviously the most deciding stage and they say the last stage is quite tough but for sure, the racing is going to be down to the time trial.”
Roger’s played a key role in leading out back-to-back stage winner Mark Cavendish, who pulled out of the race on Thursday due to illness. “I was only doing the lead-out and that kept me at the front and out of trouble,” Rogers said. “We still have a lot of opportunities with George and Pinotti. I think we have more cards to play than any other teams. But there are a handful of guys and it’s going to be tough and I’m not expecting huge time gaps. I quite sure that it will be all close together.”
Marco Pinotti and George Hincapie (Columbia-HTC)
Roger’s teammate Marco Pinotti is a four-time Italian national time trial champion and is also looking for a win in Friday’s time trial. Both he and his team-mate George Hincapie, USPro road champion, are eyeing the yellow jersey. Hincapie is no stranger to the top spot on the podium, having won the overall title in the Tour of Missouri’s inaugural 2007 edition.
“We have three good riders here,” Pinotti said. “Me and then of course we have George, who is good form after his injury and Michael Rogers. They are stronger than me but we wanted to have three options. The first goal was to win the first stage with Mark and then we would like to have George win in his stars and stripes jersey but of course the strongest rider after the time trial will be protected in the end.”
“I’m feeling quite well because the team has allowed me to save some energy,” he continued. “The time trial is a good chance for me and of course there are a lot of other competitors. But I’m confident and I will try to do my best. I have the World Championships in my view also.”
David Zabriskie (Garmin-Slipstream)
Current USPro Time Trial Champion David Zabriskie is no slouch in the world rankings. The Salt Lake City, Utah native placed second in the 2006 UCI World Time Trial Championships year followed by a third place last year. He has won stages in all three Grand Tours. Arguably his most notable result came when he won the opening prologue at the 2005 Tour de France and wore the yellow jersey for five days, before an unfortunate crash in the stage four team time trial.
Asked if he was going to put as much heart into this time trial as he did singing Guns’n’Roses on the sign-in stage at the Giro d’ Italia this year, Zabriskie responded, “Yes for sure,” he smiled. “For sure I think about winning tomorrow and the yellow jersey is on my mind. The team’s hopes are kind of on me, without Vande Velde. So I have to take up the slack.”
Gustav Larsson and Lars Bak (Saxo Bank)
The Tour of Missouri has seen a bunch sprint in each of the first four stages, with a battle between sprinters Mark Cavendish, Thor Hushovd and JJ Haedo. Saxo Bank’s sprinter Haedo, came out on top with a stage four win that took him straight into the overall leader’s jersey, something that will likely change after tomorrow’s time trial.
His squad has fielded a strong general classification team, with riders Beijing Olympic Games runner up Gustav Larsson and Lars Bak, who has also proven to be a time trial specialist as the current Swedish Time Trial Champion.
“I think that Gustav Larsson has been saving his legs for the whole week,” said overall leader and stage four winner JJ Haedo. “Even today in the end there were a few attacks and he just looked for Levi [Leipheimer] and other GC riders. He is the best man for the time trial. We also have Lars Bak, Jason McCartney and Nicki Sorensen. The other guys can still do pretty go and then the last stages you never know, there could be a break away. I think they are going to be harder than what we have see the last few stages for sure.”
Tom Zirbel (Bissell Pro Cycling Team)
Tom Zirbel made a name for himself racing amongst the ProTour squads when he continuously placed inside the top 10 in the Tour of California time trials in 2008 and 2009. He is known as the fastest domestic specialist, having won nearly every time trial he entered this year. Zirbel will say goodbye to domestic racing at the end of this season having signed a contract with the ProTour team Garmin-Slipstream for next year.
“I’m excited about it the course change,” said Zirbel, who can also rely on team-mates Ben Jacques-Maynes and Jeremy Vennell to post good times. “It looks like it was tailor made for me. It’s rolling with long straight-aways. I’m looking forward to it and I hope there is a good amount of wind that day.”
Zirbel went on to note the tough competition he will face if he wants to take a podium place. “There are a lot of strong riders here,” he said. “You never know how people are going to be going in September. Some of these guys are looking forward to worlds or at least a good GC placing here. If I’m still in it for GC with the same time as the leaders then I’m going to give it a go for the yellow jersey. I think a podium is a definite possibility for this team.”
Levi Leipheimer (Astana)
Last but not least Levi Leipheimer is one of the fastest time triallists in the business. Missouri marks his first race back since breaking his wrist at the Tour de France in July. Only eight weeks later and Leipheimer is on the hunt for a time trial victory and perhaps a yellow jersey.
“Of course I’d like to win the overall here,” Leipheimer said. “But mainly I’d have to say that it was just about getting back to race condition before the year’s end. I was here two years ago and now it looks like it’s dead flat this time, which is fine. Sometimes they are dead flat. I’ve won flat, hilly and uphill time trials so I think I can compete. I’m definitely not an outright favorite and a dark horse is a good way to put it.”
Carson, Calif. (September 30, 2009)—The 2009 USA Cycling Elite Track National Championships opened in the velodrome at the Home Depot Center on Wednesday as Cody O’Reilly (Santa Barbara, Calif./Bissell) and Cari Higgins (Boulder, Colo./Proman) were awarded the first-ever elite omnium national titles. In all, three national champions were crowned on the first day of competition inside the country’s only 250-meter indoor velodrome.
Cody, son of former kilo world record holder and Pan American champion Rory O’Reilly, used a balanced attack to take what is considered the all-around title, finishing second in the individual pursuit and kilo time trial, third in the 200-meter time trial and the scratch race and sixth in the points race.
“I have a lot of endurance from all the road racing I’ve been doing and that combined with some speed makes the omnium suit me really well,” stated O’Reilly.
Jacob Duehring (Irvine, Calif./Felt Factory Team) mounted a formidable attack, including a blazing win in the individual pursuit, but had to settle for silver after an eighth-place finish in the points race. USA Cycling National Development Team rider Daniel Holloway (Morgan Hill, Calif./Felt-Holowesko-Garmin) also had a strong showing, winning both the points race and the kilo, but couldn’t recover from a slow start in the 200-meter time trial.
After collecting four medals at this year’s Pan American Track Cycling Championships, Higgins began her quest for the Stars-and-Stripes tonight, winning what is to be the first of eight events she will contest at these national championships. The soon-to-be 33-year-old grabbed the sixth national title of her career in impressive fashion placing first in three of the five omnium events.
“This was the most important race for me this week because I feel like on the world level this is where I’m most competitive,” explained Higgins. “I really wanted to show what I can do in this event and the dominance of our entire Proman squad.”
Long-time endurance racer Theresa Cliff-Ryan (Cedar Springs, Mich./Verducci-Breakaway) earned the silver with an all-around strong performance while Heather Jackson (Oceanside, Calif.) grabbed the bronze after winning the points race event.
Recently added to the national championship slate, the men’s and women’s international omniums are a compilation of the 200-meter flying time trial, scratch race, individual pursuit, points race and time trial. Each rider is awarded points in accordance with their placing in each event with the rider accumulating the lowest cumulative point total earning the title.
In the only other title awarded on Wednesday, Giddeon Massie (Huntington Beach, Calif./Bike Religion) clocked a time of 18.359 seconds to win the standing 250-meter time trial over David Espinoza (Breinigsville, Pa./Bike America) and Kelyn Akuna (Long Beach, Calif./Veritas Cycling Team).
By: Andrew Hood Updated: Sep 24th 2009 3:11 PM EDT
It was oh-so-close for Tom Zirbel in the elite men’s world time trial championship Thursday, who rode to an impressive fourth place against the best chrono-men in the world.
The 30-year-old had a front-row seat in his first European race of his career to grab the “hot seat” in the 49.8km time trial after posting a time of 1:00:42.86 (49.214kph). That blazing pace stood for nearly three hours as rider after rider failed to knock him down.
It was only after the final medalists trailed across the line that Zirbel could assess what was arguably the best time trial of his career. VeloNews’ Andrew Hood spoke with Zirbel just moments after he stepped off the podium.
VN: A great ride, were you thinking your time would stand for a medal?
TZ: I just let myself to start dreaming about a medal there, that’s a hard way to watch it. I am psyched for fourth. I didn’t know what to expect. I would have been content with top 10 and really happy with a top 5, that’s how I looked at it. I am not going to hang my head over a fourth place, but it’s difficult to swallow.
VN: Cancellara was at a higher level, but were you surprised were close to the podium?
TZ: It was also a big time gap to Larsson, so I thought it would come down to Martin and Wiggins for third. I thought Martin went out too hard in the second lap, but he really dug deep and put some time back into me. I heard Wiggins had an unfortunate bike issue, I’m not sure what that was. It was on the climb and something wasn’t right.
VN: What was your strategy for the race?
TZ: I tried to be aggressive at the beginning. This is the longest time trial I’ve ever done by 10km. I had nothing to lose. I just wanted to go hard and have a good first lap. That second lap crushed me. I fell off the pace a little bit in that third lap, and that made the difference. I just wanted to see how hard I could go and survive. That’s just how it played out. I got stung by a bee in lap 2. I was trying to get it out.
VN: What was going through your mind sitting for so long in the ‘hot seat’?
TZ: I am pretty hungry! It was fun, it was a good experience. It’s just a hard race to watch a bike race when you’re in that step, watching people riding through, watching the splits. I was trying to keep the nerves at bay. When I saw Tony Martin lose a lot of time on the second, I was thinking, ohhhh, this could happen. I tried to tell myself, no matter what, a top 5 is great.
VN: This is your first worlds and your first race in Europe, do you take satisfaction at performing at this level?
TZ: I’ve been psyched. The support from the staff has been top-notch. It’s been great. The grandstands at the finish, this is all just erected for this event. This is my first time racing in Europe. I’m excited; it’s fun to be around. I’m excited, I always want more. I’m just taking what it comes and doing what I can to improve every year, so I’m hoping to get even better next year. In about two hours, I will be happy. Right now I just have a bitter taste.
VN: You’re not doing the road race on Sunday, so your season is finished?
TZ: I am flying out tomorrow. I am so done, so done. It’s been a long season; I’ve been racing since January. I didn’t do much to prepare. I did Missouri and crossed my fingers that it would get me through the worlds. I recovered and traveled last week. I started to come around finally yesterday. I had no expectations, just go hard. I had good legs.
VN: So next year you’re racing with Garmin?
TZ: All new races. I don’t really know what to expect next year. I just want to keep at it, put your head down, try to help the team and try to get some TT results.
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., September 24, 2009 –Tom Zirbel, a rider on the BISSELL Pro Cycling Team, captured fourth place for the United States at the Elite Men’s World Championships Time Trial today in Medrisio, Switzerland.
The course included three 16.6 km laps, totaling 49.8 km. The front and back of the course was comprised of flat stretches with a few uphill sections and slight descents. The brutal middle section of the course included a 650 m ascent with gradients up to 10 percent. The 66 starters were sent off in five groups, spaced 18 minutes apart, with the riders themselves being sent off in one minute intervals.
Zirbel, a rider the second group, quickly set the new best time of 1:00:42, and sat comfortably in the “hot seat” for nearly 3 hours. His time remained unchallenged until the last group and final five riders; Tony Martin of Germany, Bradley Wiggins of Great Britain, Gustov Larson of Sweden, Fabian Cancellera of Switzerland and defending champion, Bert Garbsch of Germany.
Time splits for the final riders indicated that Cancellera, as expected, would be the day’s main challenger. Another threat, Bradley Wiggins, unfortunately had a mechanical issue mid-race, which put him out of contention. It also became apparent early in his race against the clock that Grabsch was not a threat to Zirbel’s time.
Cancellera came across in 57:55 on his hometown soil with a large enough margin of victory that he had time to celebrate across the line, while Larson and Martin took second and third, respectively. Zirbel delivered an outstanding fourth-place result for the United States.
BISSELL Homecare, Inc. is based in Grand Rapids, Michigan and is a 133-year-old floor care innovator and international marketer of home cleaning products, including sweepers, vacuums, deep cleaning machines and cleaning formulas sold at retail locations worldwide. The company, in its fourth generation of family leadership, is the seventh oldest privately held manufacturing company in the United States.
by Jered Gruber
This morning, I had the unique opportunity to do a quick email interview with Tom Zirbel, just hours before he set out on his incredible 4th place ride. After Cancellara's astonishingly dominant performance, Tom was surely the story of the day. In one of those rare moments, we can look back at his pre-race words and smile. Read on.
In an almost cruel twist of bike racing photography luck, our trusted photographer, Cor Vos, seems to have missed out on shots of the Man of the Day, Tom Zirbel. We'll have to settle for some shots from the Tour of California for this one. It just goes to show how recessed the American bike racing world is. As followers of the American domestic scene, everyone knows that Zirbel was a solid bet for the Top 10 today...not so outside of North America. Zirbel started the time trial today as a veritable unknown. It would only take about an hour before his name would be on the tips of a lot of tongues
PEZ: This is your first trip to Worlds - a huge accomplishment by itself. How are you feeling?
Tom Zirbel: I feel pretty good. Getting over the time change and back to normal after a couple of semi-zombie days. It's been a long season though...
PEZ: What are your goals for the time trial?
Tom: Not sure what to expect with this being my first Worlds. I'm happy to be here for one. But I'd say I'd be a little disappointed if I weren't in the Top 10 at the end of the day.
BISSELL’s Cyclocross rider, Andy Jacques-Maynes, kicked off the season in great form with top 5 results at the North American Cyclocross Trophy series opening races, the Star Crossed and Rad Racing.
Saturday’s Star Crossed Cyclocross started the season under typical rain soaked skies. The twilight race fielded 75 starters at the King County Marymoor Park Velodrome in Redmond, WA. Andy was in the lead group of 8 which eventually formed and the action for the night was defined from this group as they traded off continuous attacks. AJM, Jonathan Page (Planet Bike), Ryan Trebon (Kona), and Christian Heule (Stevens)got a break established off the front and stayed out for 3 laps before being brought down by crashes. With a lap to go, the lead group was down to 6. Heule, the Swiss National Champion, kicked across the line for the win with Jeremy Powers (Cyclocrossworlds.com) taking 2nd and Page in for 3rd. Trebon and Jacques-Maynes came across for 4th and 5th, respectively.
Sunday’s Rad Racing Gran Prix took place under opposite conditions with heat and dust instead of the rain and mud. A lead duo of Jonathan Page and Christian Heule were off the front for most of the day with AJM and Jamey Driscoll (Cyclocrossworld.com) trying to close the gap; however, the leaders maintained their position to the line with Page taking the win over Heule. Driscoll came across for 3rd and AJM finished in 4th.
Andy sits in 3rd place in the NACT standings after the first two races. The series is made up of 10 events and will include Canada’s most prestigious cyclocross race, the Toronto International Cyclocross, for the first time. In addition to this series, Andy will be racing the US Grand Prix in Madison, Wisconsin and wrapping up the season in Bend, Oregon at the US Cyclocross Nationals.
by Jacob Sisson and Andrew Yee
For the second year in a row, rains greeted fans and racers at the Full Speed Ahead Star Crossed race in Seattle. And once again, the wet conditions made for a packed beer tent, soggy, muddy grass, and exciting, crash-filled racing.
Early races enjoyed a relatively dry course (see our exclusive course preview here), considering overnight and early morning rains. But when the skies opened up during the women’s race, the course disintegrated and crashes started.
A Brit Conquers America
Helen Wyman (Kona) made a good impression for her new Washington-based Kona employer by attacking early and time trialing to win the 2009 edition of Star Crossed in Redmond, Washington. The British National Champion took off early and stretched her lead throughout the race, winning with a 30 second cushion and leaving the North American racers to battle for second place.
And battle to the very end they did. The trio of defending champion Sue Butler (Monaviecannondale.com), the newly un-retired Alison Dunlap (Luna Chix) and Canadian Alison Sydor (Rocky Mountain-Maxxis) took turns trying to bring back the Brit, to no avail. The lion’s share of the chasing work fell to Dunlap, who was in her first UCI race since retiring four years ago at the top of U.S. cyclocross. Butler dangled off the back of the group but constantly fought back to regain contact.
With half a lap to go, Dunlap and Sydor both picked the same instant to attack, using one of the numerous straight aways to launch their bid for the silver medal. Sydor and Dunlap were successful in dropping Butler and came into the velodrome for the final time with a decent gap over the fading Butler. While everyone in the stands was preparing for a drag race between Dunlap and Sydor, the velodrome itself had other ideas.
Deteriorating weather conditions and aggressive riding by Sydor in the dangerously slick conditions spelled disaster as the Canadian entered the velodrome, and she hit the turf, bringing down Dunlap who was riding close behind. With Dunlap and Sydor scrambling to remount, Butler squeaked by to finish in second place, the top American. Dunlap was the faster of the two to get back on her bike and finished up third, but was visibly upset. Sydor was equally disappointed, banging her bars and shaking her head as she crossed the line in fourth. Kari Studley (Velo Bella) rounded out the top five.
Slippery, Suspenseful Men’s Star Crossed
A steady rain and drenched course awaited the men’s race and created slippery conditions that would send nearly every rider to the grass, mud, pavement or for some, all three. Riders had made their tire selections earlier in the day or before making the trip, and by the time the late rains arrived, many were wishing for more aggressive treads to keep things upright in the wet corners.
For most of the field, it was their first chance to race against high-level competition, and many of the top men were eager to test their legs and test their competitors. Last year’s winner, Jeremy Powers (CyclocrossWorld.com / Cannondale), took an early holeshot and extended that to a gap of five seconds, while early favorites Ryan Trebon (Kona) had a slow start and Tim Johnson took a bad first lap spill, suffering a possibly separate shoulder. Barry Wicks (Kona) looked fresh after six weeks away from racing, and gave chase as Powers applied the early pressure. Nick Weighall (Cal Giant / Specialized) showed his new team’s colors, and after Powers was caught, the first-year Elite took to the front and drove the pace. Meanwhile, Andy Jacques-Maynes (Bissel Pro Cycling), fresh off a full road season for Bissell, sat comfortably in the top five, saying ,”I was super comfortable, just sitting in the top five and was looking around surprised how it didn’t hurt.”
But things started to get serious, and Jonathan Page) Planet Bike and Ryan Trebon (Kona) moved up to the front, ready to get the real racing started. Page, riding Open Grifo clinchers on Edge carbon wheels, looked at ease, but went to the front on lap two and put in a viscous acceleration, showing that he’s back to form after a disastrous late season last year (see Issue 7 for an in-depth story). After nearly a full-lap flyer, he was brought back but would continue to surge in the tricky chicane just before the barriers on ensuing laps to ensure he hit the barriers first.
An hour of racing presents a lot of opportunities for lead changes, and while Trebon, Page, Jacques-Maynes and Powers all were eying each other and threw down accelerations to seize control at the front, the 2007 Star Crossed winner, Switzerland’s Christian Heule (Rendemthypo) seemed content to let the Americans spend their energy on fruitless attacks.
Even Troy Wells (Clif Bar) would catch the leaders and take a turn on the front. Wells’ move to the front surprised both spectators and racers, and happened just as early player Weighall started to move backwards through the field after an early fast start. Wells’ time at the front was also short lived, however.
With three to go, the leading group of Trebon, Page, Powers, Heule, and Jacques-Maynes were down to business and thinking about victory, and were jockeying for position and trying in vain to rid themselves of the others. Trebon and Page took spills, with Page saying he “hit the ground hard and spent a lot of energy chasing back on” but the group remained together. It wasn’t until the last lap when Powers passed Jacques-Maynes just before a turn that the group would split. The Bissel pro was forced to brake hard to avoid a collision, and couldn’t put in one last acceleration and would ride in for fifth. Powers thanked Jacques-Maynes after the race for “letting me in” but Jacques-Maynes said it was a good, clean move – one that caused him to pop. And so there were four riders left to fight for victory.
With less than a lap to go, Heule took to the front, putting in a late, last lap attack, giving him a small gap entering the velodrome for the final time. Powers dug deep to respond, while Trebon and then Page filed into the infield just behind. Page dove into a corner hot, squeaking by Trebon with three corners to go, and sprinted furiously to catch Powers and Heule, but it was too late. Heule hit the finishing straight with a four meter gap, and Powers and a accelerating Page would not get any closer. Check out our finish video here from partner CyclingDirt:
In a race where position was key, Heule had timed his attack to perfection, as only three tight corners – best taken from the front of the pack – stood between him and victory.
Troy Wells rolled in for sixth behind Jacques-Maynes, while a steady Jesse Anthony (Jamis) never saw the lead but rode consistently to finish seventh. Russell Stevenson (Banaroya Research Institute) rode a strong race, at one point riding with the leaders, but eventually faded to finish eigth with surprises Aaron Schooler (Team H&R Block – Kona) and Trace Tyler (Trek Red Truck) rounding out the top ten.
With their wins, Europeans Wyman and Heule take the NACT leader’s jersey and will begin their European campaigns with a nice check and a pile of UCI points in the bag.
By: Greg JohnsonPublished: September 16, 2009, 05:57, Updated: September 16, 2009, 06:09
Cervelo Test Team’s Hayden Roulston will spearhead New Zealand’s squad for this month’s International Cycling Union (UCI) World Road Championships in Switzerland. Top New Zealand cyclists Julian Dean and Greg Henderson won’t be part of the squad, with the hilly Mendrisio course not suited to their sprinting abilities.
Roulston will be joined by United States of America-based Jeremy Vennell and Francais de Jeux rider Tim Gudsell. Vennell will be the nation’s solo representative in the elite men’s time trial.
“This is another really tough circuit for the world championships, not dissimilar to the hilly course in Stuttgart in 2007,” said BikeNZ High Performance Director Mark Elliott. “We have great quality in our teams, especially the women, but it is a very tough assignment for them in this type of terrain against the best professionals in the world racing in their own backyard.
“We have some strong riders, many of whom have been racing well this season in key support roles for professional teams,” he added.
The women’s team will be led by Catherine Cheatley, who has enjoyed an excellent season for her Colavita Sutter Home. Auckland’s Kaytee Boyd, a former mountain biker and track rider, and Wellington’s Rachel Mercer will join Cheatley, as Beijing Olympian Jo Kiesanowski skips the event to focus on track preparation.
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., September 16, 2009 –The BISSELL Pro Cycling Team announces that two of its riders, Tom Zirbel and Jeremy Vennell, will represent their respective countries in the 2009 Men’s Elite Road World Championships in Mendrisio, Switzerland September 23 to 27.
Zirbel is one of nine that will be representing the United States at the World Championships, and one of just two riders that will be contesting the time trial. He will be joined by fellow American, Tom Danielson, on the 49.8k course. Zirbel rode to silver at the USPRO National Time Trial Championships in Greenville, S.C. in both 2008 and 2009. In 2009, he also won time trials at major domestic races such as Tour of Utah, Tour of Elk Grove, Cascade Classic, Fitchburg Longsjo Classic and the Nature Valley Grand Prix. Tom finished third at the Tour of Missouri time trial and seventh at the Tour of California time trial. Zirbel, a pro cyclist since 2006, is a native of Iowa and currently resides in Boulder, Colo.
The New Zealand team has tapped Vennell, the reigning New Zealand National Time Trial Champion, for both the time trial and the road race. He will join two other New Zealand riders: Hayden Roulston (Cervelo) and Tim Gudsell (Francais de Jeux). Vennell has had a stand-out year at domestic races where he finished third overall at the Joe Martin Stage Race and had top-five wins at Tour of Utah and Cascade Classic. Vennell was recently 14th in the time trial at the Tour of Missouri and finished 15th in the overall GC. A pro cyclist since 2007, Vennell is in his second year riding for the BISSELL Pro Cycling Team.
BISSELL 2nd in Team Classification: Tom Zirbel 4th and Ben Jacques-Maynes 7th Overall
The final day of the Tour of Missouri was the most exciting day of racing and BISSELL’s battle for a podium step was the hardest fought. The course totaled 115K with 7 circuits through downtown Kansas City. Similar to Saturday’s race, attacks were frequent as the riders contested the intermediate sprints, the KOMs, and the stage win.
BISSELL knew the day would be a tough one and that the time bonuses for the intermediate sprints were critical in defending Tom Zirbels’ position in 3rd on the GC. They also realized that they were up against the best lead-out train in the world, Columbia, as they were working for Marco Pinotti (Columbia) who was just 1 second behind Tom. The first intermediate sprint came in the first lap of the race so the action began immediately. As they have done on 2 previous stages when they delivered Mark Cavendish to victory, the Columbia lead-out train formed to successfully bring Pinotti across the line for the 3 second time bonus. George Hincapie (Columbia), Pinotti’s final lead-out man, came across in 2nd and BISSELL’s Ben Jacques-Maynes threw in everything he had to defend Tom’s position crossing in 3rd. Pinnoti’s victory gave him the 1 second he needed to surpass Tom for the podium step.
Other battles ensued throughout the day as Moises Aldape (Team Type 1) and Chris Sorensen (Saxo Bank) were only separated by 13 points in the KOM with 24 points up for grabs in the final stage. Team Type 1 and Saxo Bank fought it out over the 4 KOMs and Aldape was able to secure his lead for the KOM classification.
Attacks continued in the final laps as rider’s had their eyes on stage victory. Michael Barry (Columbia) and Jason McCartney (Saxo) attacked early in the final lap and then Michael Rogers (Columbia) made a solo move with just 10k from the finish. However at 5k to go, all were back together. The sprinter’s teams lined up and it was Planet Energy’s Michael Gilbert who took the win ahead of Andrew Pinfold (OUCH) and Thor Hushovd (Cervelo).
The BISSELL Team showed their strength as the finest domestic team and finished 2nd in the overall team classification as the only domestic team in the top 7. BISSELL had 4 riders in the top 20: Tom 4th, Ben 7th, Jeremy 15th, and Pete 20th. The only other domestic teams to have single a rider in the top 20 were OUCH and Kelly Benefits. The BISSELL Team ended their US race season with one of their finest result. Congratulations BISSELL!
The BISSELL Team showed why they are 2nd in the team classification as they turned themselves inside out to defend Tom Zirbel's 3rd place in the overall. Additionally, BISSELL has 4 riders in the top 20 with Ben Jacques-Maynes in 7th, Jeremy Vennell in 15th, and Pete Latham in 20th. Saturday's penultimate stage in the Tour of Missouri was the fastest stage in the history of the race with average speeds in excess of 30mph.
Attacking was the name of the game today. Jeremy Hunt (Cervelo) was the solo move of the day, and he got away at the 43 mile point building up a 3 minute gap before being brought back. As soon as he was reeled in, the attacking resumed with a fury. The aggressors were controlled until a Quickstep and Jelly Belly rider briefly got away causing alarm in the group. However, they were caught on the final ascent up the KOM.
The group was intact as they approached the streets of downtown St. Joseph. Francesco Chicchi (Liquigas) came around for the win with Thor Hushovd (Cervelo) taking 2nd and Sebastian Haedo (Colavita) coming across for 3rd. The GC was unaffected and BISSELL's goal for the final day is to defend Tom's 3rd place. Tomorrow could be an equally tough day for the guys who only have a second to play with in Tom's defense.
The Tour of Missouri was shaken up today as the top GC was completely up-ended and an entirely new set of leaders took over. Tom Zirbel held his own with the best time trialists in the world as he finished 3rd in today’s 19 mile time trial. USPRO time trial champion, Dave Zabriskie (Garmin) took top honors and was 30 seconds faster than 2nd placed rider, Gustav Larson (Saxo Bank). The top GC looks nearly identical to the day’s top finishers. Tom sits 3rd in the overall and Ben Jacques-Maynes had a great day, as well, securing an 8th place in the GC. Zabriskie, Larson, and Zirbel are separated by under 45 seconds in the GC and the top 10 are with 1:16 of the leader.
As anticipated stage 4 was another dual for the sprinters but this time JJ Haedo (Saxo Bank) out sprinted Thor Hushovd (Cervelo) for the win on the steep climb to the finish. Mark Cavendish (Columbia-HTC) was not in contention as he abandoned the race before the start of the day’s stage due to a head cold.
Thursday began with a tougher tempo from the day’s start. 4 riders, Bernard Van Ulden (Jelly Belly), Jeff Louder (BMC), Brad White (OUCH) and Mike Creed (Team Type 1) were the aggressive attackers today, and Cervelo, Liquigas, and Garmin held the gap to 3 minutes before reeling them in for the set-up to the finish.
There were 2 finishing circuits in the Missouri capital, Jefferson City, with frequent attacks setting off the fireworks. On the final lap with 3k to go, there was a large crash taking out many riders and unfortunately effected all of the BISSELL team. Frank Pipp went down especially hard and will undoubtedly have a sore day tomorrow. Due to the numbers involved and the effect it had on the peloton, the race officials gave everyone involved the same finishing time as Haedo.
Haedo and Hushovd were again tied on overall time in the GC so the determining tie-breaker was their previous stage placing and this time Haedo took the top spot. Most of the field hold the same overall time and are within 26 seconds of the top GC. This is sure to create a very exciting day for the BISSELL time trialists!
Colorado Springs, Colo. (September 8, 2009) – USA Cycling announced today the complete roster of 22 elite and U23 athletes that will represent the United States at the 2009 UCI Road World Championships, Sept. 23-27 in Mendriso, Switzerland.
Representing the U.S. in both the elite men’s road race and time trial will be Tom Danielson (Durango, Colo./Garmin-Slipstream). In the time trial, Danielson will be joined by Tom Zirbel (Boulder, Colo./Bissell), the silver medalist from this month’s USA Cycling Professional Time Trial Championships.
Complementing Danielson on the road will be eight teammates including Tyler Farrar (Wenatchee, Wash./Garmin-Slipstream), who recently won a stage of the Vuelta a Espana and three stages in the Eneco Tour of Belgium, and Brent Bookwalter (Lookout Mountain, Ga./BMC Racing Team,) who was fourth in this month’s USA Cycling Professional Road Race Championships. The squad will also be comprised of Jeff Louder (Salt Lake City, Utah/BMC), Craig Lewis (Greenville, S.C./Columbia High-Road), Andrew Bajadali (Boulder, Colo./Kelly Benefits Strategies), Jason McCartney (Coralville, Iowa/Team Saxo Bank), Tim Duggan (Boulder, Colo./Garmin-Slipstream), and Tom Peterson (North Bend, Wash./Garmin-Slipstream).
Leading the U23 men’s squad will be Tejay Van Garderen (Superior, Colo./Rabobank Continental Team) and Peter Stetina (Boulder, Colo./Garmin-Felt-Holowesko). Van Garderen and Stetina, both fresh off of stellar performances in the Tour de L’Avenir, will compete in both the road race and time trial in Switzerland. In the road race, the pair will be joined by Kirk Carlsen (Boulder, Colo./Garmin-Felt-Holowesko), Chris Barton (Ojai, Calif./BMC), and Alex Howes (Boulder, Colo./Garmin-Felt-Holowesko)
Wednesday’s 180k could have potentially been critical for the GC; however, sprinters again defined the day with Thor Hushovd (Cervelo) taking top honors this time. Hushovd’s bonus seconds for the win tied him on GC with Mark Cavendish (Columbia) and the tie-breaker came down to the totals of finish placing which put Hushovd nominally ahead. The BISSELL team again rode a smart race reserving their energy for a potentially decisive move.
At 10K into the race, Garmin’s Will Frishkorn and Mike Friedman broke away and built up a minute gap. The only pursuer was Team Type 1’s Matt Wilson and he was able to bridge across by the 25k mark. Due to the timing of a nature break, the gap quickly increased to over 3 minutes, and the threesome stayed away for most of the day. Columbia controlled the peloton throughout the day with the final catch coming at 10K to go. The final 13K was an undulating straight roll-in to the finish.
The only difference in the Wednesday’s approach to the line was the tactics displayed by winner Hushovd. Instead of utilizing the lead-out train that he had done in the 2 previous stages and risk Cavendish getting on his wheel, Cervelo chose to fire off attacks in the closing metres. The strategy worked as planned and Hushovd took the win with Cavendish finishing 5th.
BISSELL had a solid day and finished 2nd in the team classification with Frank Pipp 12th, Pete Latham 15th, and Ben Jacques-Maynes 23rd for the day. The team is successfully protecting the energy expenditure of Tom, Ben, and Jeremy in the lead-up to Friday’s time trial.
Thursday’s course is more undulating terrain. Although it could be another day for the sprinters, the team is always prepared for a potentially significant move. The GC is still tight with everyone on bunch time.
By VeloNews.com Updated: Sep 8th 2009 3:08 PM EDT
Tom Zirbel (Bissell Pro Cycling) and Alison Powers (Team Type I) have been crowned as USA Cycling National Racing Calendar champions for 2009.
It was the first NRC title for both.
Zirbel unseated two-time defending champ Rory Sutherland (OUCH-Maxxis), taking the title with 1,127 points, just seven ahead of Lucas Sebastian Haedo (Colavita-Sutter Home). Sutherland finished third with 952 points.
Powers, who scored 1,291 points, took over the women’s NRC title from five-time champion Tina Pic (Colavita-Sutter Home). Olympic gold medalist Kristin Armstrong (Cervélo-Lifeforce) finished second with 905 points while Joanne Kiesanowski (Team Tibco) placed third with 670.
Colavita-Sutter Home claimed the men’s team title with 2,831 points. Bissell Pro Cycling was second with 2,531 and OUCH-Maxxis third with 2,015.
Tibco won the women’s competition with 2,415 points. Team Type 1 finished second with 1,988 and Colavita-Sutter Home came in third with 1,835.
USA Cycling will release the 2010 National Racing Calendar during the Interbike trade show in Las Vegas, September 23-25.
Day 2 of the Tour of Missouri looks very much the same as day 1 on paper; however, the race action is very aggressive and demanding on the riders. Mark Cavendish (Columbia) again blasted past his sprinting cohorts, Thor Hushovd (Cervelo) and JJ Haedo (Saxo Bank), who swapped places on the podium with Thor taking 2nd and JJ getting 3rd. The race dynamics are incredibly tough each day as the teams who cannot contest the foregone sprint finish vie for other competitions such as the KOM and sprint points. The speeds have been kept consistently screaming throughout the stage with the riders always on alert.
There were a flood of attacks from the start with BISSELL’s Frank Pipp again being in the early action. At 20 miles into the 112 mile day, Tim Duggan (Garmin), Francois Parisien (Planet Energy), and Kiel Reijnen (Jelly Belly) were able to successfully get way. They built up over 4 minutes on the group and stayed away for the better part of 80 miles. The gap eventually came down quickly as Columbia, Saxo Bank, Cervelo, and Colavita came to the front to set up their sprinters. About 10 miles from the finish, the final catch was made.
The speeds which had been ramping up over the course of the day were soaring going into the finish. In order to save the energy of his lead-out men, Cavendish got on the Hushovd’s wheel and was able to bolt past him for the win.
The GC standings remain very close as the top 10 riders are only separated by bonus seconds awarded at the finish. The top 90 riders have the same time and are within 20 seconds of the lead. Andy Jacques-Maynes holds 4th place in the overall KOM after taking 3rd in Tuesday’s second KOM. The high-pressure racing unfortunately led to the unfortunate early departure of BISSELL’s Cody O’Reilly who has been battling a head cold.
The opening stage of the Tour of Missouri provided a great Labor Day celebration in downtown St. Louis on Monday afternoon. The 7.5 mile loop took the peloton by the city’s Gateway Arch and past the Anheuser-Busch Brewery 10 times for a total 120K. As anticipated, the day came down to the sprinters as Mark Cavendish enthralled the crowds with his dynamic win over second place, JJ Haedo (Saxo Bank), and third place, Thor Hushovd (Cervelo).The first move of the day came in the first lap as Frank Pipp (BISSELL) and Jeremy Powers (Jelly Belly) shot off the front. They quickly got 10 seconds on the peloton and were an invitation to counter attacks from the main group. Dario Cataldo (Quick Step) and Jeremy Hunt (Cervelo) joined the leaders but were all eventually reabsorbed on the circuit’s long straight away.
The day was dictated by the next move as 3 riders, Tomas Vaitkus (Astana), Chris Anker Sorensen (Saxo Bank) and Moises Aldape (Team Type 1), escaped on the second lap and remained in front for 7 laps. Their gap only grew to a maximum of 1 minute but the 3 were able to scoop up all of the intermediate sprint points and KOM points. BISSELL worked hard in the main group to accumulate as many of the remaining points as possible. The breakaway was gradually reeled in as Columbia and Cervelo came to the front and pushed the tempo.
BISSELL had several untimely mechanicals in the final laps as Cody O’Reilly required a bike change with 1.5 laps to go and Ben Jacques-Maynes dealt with a puncture at 3K to go. BJM chased hard to rejoin the group which he successfully did; however, he didn't have anything left to challenge the finish.
As the sprinter’s teams fought for position going into the finish, the racing got increasingly aggressive and hazardous. Heading into the final kilometer, there was a hard crash that took out 5 riders, BISSELL’s Tom Zirbel and Pete Latham, Cervelo’s Heinrich Haussler and Andreas Klier, and defending champion, Garmin’s Christian VandeVelde. All riders were given the same finish time as the stage winner and Tom and Pete suffered only minor injuries; however, VandeVelde came away with a more significant hairline fracture to his wrist. It is expected that VandeVelde will start Tuesday’s stage but his ability to defend last year’s victory is in jeopardy.
Tuesday’s 180K race will face 2 early KOMs and a flat 50K to the finish. This year’s reversed course direction provides a bit of unknown for the riders as all stages are new. Team Manager, Glen Mitchell, expects the GC will be decided out of today’s breakaway. “We will be looking for any opportunity to get in the day’s move. The guys are looking good and are fired up”, says Mitchell.
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