Andrew Talansky, Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling, Crowned U.S. National Time Trial Champion, Ben King 2nd on a Great Day for Green Argyle
Andrew Talansky and Ben King delivered a one-two finish for Cannondale-Garmin in the individual time trial at the USA Cycling National Road Championships on Saturday. Talansky posted the fastest time on the 30.9 kilometer course, stopping the clock at 38:48 to win first elite national title. King finished 10 seconds further back to secure the silver medal.
“I’m very proud to have won today and I’m even more proud of the fact that Cannondale-Garmin went 1-2 with myself and Ben King,” said Talansky about his first elite national title. “I haven’t won a time trial since U23 Nationals in 2010 so to win here in Chattanooga is an incredible feeling. More than anything I am looking forward to bringing the jersey back to Europe, to the Dauphine, and especially to the Tour de France. I cannot wait to line up at the start of the greatest race in the world in the stars and stripes, representing Cannondale-Garmin. It’s an honor.”
“First and second for the team – it couldn’t be any better than that,” added King, who had previously won gold in elite road race championships but had never medalled in the elite time trial. “I would be disappointed with second place if it were to anyone but Talanksy, especially at only 10 seconds. It’s a small margin on that course. I’m proud of what we did today. I’m proud of Andrew and myself. It was a great bit of work done by the team.”
The time trial course in Chattanooga, Tennessee is comprised of two identical laps. Each lap features rolling roads and turnaround points. Talansky negative split his race, posting a faster time on the second lap than the first, while King posted the fastest lap of the day on lap one.
“I always love time trials because it is about getting the most out of yourself,” continued Talansky. “That is all you have control over. Today I did the best ride I was capable of and thankfully that landed me on the top step of the podium. I wasn’t confident it would be enough but in the end it was, and it was a satisfying feeling to know that I had won.”
“Coming into today, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Two weeks ago I had to stop the first stage of the Amgen Tour of California due to illness. That was extremely disappointing. To come back today and to feel as strong as I did out there on the course really shows that things are heading back in the right direction.”
“Before the race, I was thinking that regardless of the outcome, it’s all or nothing,” said King. “It’s the National Championships, so you’re going to leave it all out there, and that’s exactly what I did.”
Talansky and King will join forces with Joe Dombrowski, Alex Howes and Ted King on Monday in pursuit of a second national title for Cannondale-Garmin – this time in the road race.
“To be first and second today gives us great momentum heading into the road race,” said King. “It shows we have what it takes to win. I think it gives us a lot of confidence and makes us even more hungry.”
With the USA Pro Road and Time Trial National Championships starting today in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Team SmartStop have added to their already deep roster through the signing of Emerson Oronte.
The 25 year old from Cohasset, Massachusetts who now resides in Boulder, Colorado, will join the 14-man team for the remainder of the 2015 season.
The USA Elite Road Race National Champion has shown a lot of promise during the start of the season so far with stage wins and the overall general classification at the San Dimas Stage Race in March as well as top ten overall finishes at the Redlands Bicycle Classic and Tour of the Gila.
Sporting Director, Michael Creed, who has been watching the progress of the young rider said: “Emerson has showed a big leap in physical ability this year and a real desire to race which is always a positive influence on the riders -a good energy.
“He’s turned himself into a really talented GC racer but he is also handy enough on the bike to help out when the stages doesn’t suit him.”
With a string of injuries and illnesses for Team SmartStop so far this season, there was a spot that needed to be filled for the second of the year.
“He is going to fill that void,” explained Creed.
This will not be Oronte’s first stint at the professional level, having previously raced with Team Jelly Belly p/b Kenda, and over the past two years racing for Horizon Organic p/b Einstein Bros. Bagels and most recently Alto-Velo/Seasucker, Orante has been on the USA Cycling National Racing Calendar (NRC) scene for five years now.
Oronte said: “My first real experience into the pro ranks came with Jelly Belly from 2011-2013. There I raced predominantly NRC events but got my feet wet in some larger international races like the Tour of Utah, the Tour of Alberta, the Tour of Qinghai Lake, and the Tour of Korea.”
Wanting to take that leap back into the professional ranks, Team SmartStop is a team Orante has been keeping an eye on.
“Team Smartstop has been on my radar for a few years now and I’m really excited to finally be part of the team. What I find especially appealing about the program is that it does a really good job of investing in and growing their riders. Mike and the rest of the management clearly care about the success of their guys and don’t view them simply as cogs in a machine.”
Oronte will be included on up-coming rosters for the team racing in Winston-Salem, Philadelphia and Quebec, Canada with hopes to play a role in the success of the team as well as getting to know his new teammates.
Oronte said: “My early goals with the team include getting to know the guys well and fitting in–team chemistry is something that often gets overlooked but I think it pretty critical. After that, I’d love to play a part in helping the team secure some results in some of the larger mid-season events like Nationals, Winston-Salem, Beauce, or Saguenay.”
With Team SmartStop having secured an invitation to the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah and hoping for the invites to the USA Pro Challenge in Colorado and Tour of Alberta in Canada.
On the big medalist races Oronte said: “My big goals include making the rosters for Utah and Colorado wherein I hope to again play a part in getting the team name at the top of the results sheet.”
Oronte’s first race in the Team SmartStop colors will be the USA Professional Road Race National Championship race on Monday, where the team will be looking to defend Eric Marcotte’s 2014 title.
Words by: Shanna Sauer
The Belgian Waffle Ride: A 140 mile adventure of mixed terrain with 10k+ of climbing. While not for the light hearted, the excitement of the challenge was as palpable as ever, especially for the 45 women who registered for the Belgian Waffle Ride.
With the grueling course set in the sweltering heat of San Diego’s North County, all were relieved to be met by cool and crisp weather, especially those of us spoiled by the cool riding weather in the San Francisco area. Let the pre-race rituals begin: Vest or no vest?; tire pressure debate; and a final espresso shot at the Rapha Mobile Cycle Club followed by that last minute porta potty stop.
This year the event organizers gave women their own wave start. The 18 mile neutral roll out was fast, comfortable, and classy–it’s not everyday the CHP hold traffic at intersections for a pack of badass women cyclists! Once rolling, we began to relax and talk, soon realizing that many of us had mutual friends.
Early on the lead group broke off the front. Knowing the course held another 120 miles of tough terrain, I stuck on with a solid pack of 15+ women who instinctively began working together, resulting in some of the best pace-line work I’ve experienced. It was one of my favorite parts of the day.
It was only a matter of time before the men in the later waves caught us. I watched as some of the women took the opportunity to jump on while I and others held back. It was one of the best decisions of the day.
For the next 50 miles, I rode with a tightly knit group of two other women: One from my team Vive la Tarte Cyclocross and the other from the Women’s Clif Bar Team. As we started climbing, I started cramping. The girls soft pedaled with me until I could spin it out and try to eat. Magically, the cramping went away.
As it happened, eating would be my biggest challenge of the day. I couldn’t swallow my usual banana, nutella and sea salt sandwich (I had 5 in my pocket) without setting my gag reflex off. For the first time I threw up while riding. I took the chipmunk approach the rest of the day and while it was nasty it worked to get the calories in along with the many, much appreciated coca-cola hand ups from the fantastic BWR volunteers.
Of course when we hit off road sections the excitement began! We rolled upon crashes, saw bloodied wounds and broken bikes. We were low on fluids at times but thankfully our good luck continued. We held a solid 17-18 mph average for the first half, aka “The Wafer”.
Honestly, the second half (miles 70-140) is mostly a blur. We started into a fierce headwind, heads buried, and needing to pee. We reached the point on the Del Dios Highway that turned us onto dirt and eventually lead us to the rock bed hugging Lake Hodges where we found inspiration. I also found a nice place to pee along some cactus on the trail!
The conditions meant that riders separated to take care of their own personal nutrition and rest needs; for many miles I was alone. I kept dreaming of the waterslide at the finish. Yes, a waterslide! Wheels of fellow riders came and went. Finally, a small group arrived at a moment of second wind and I jumped on. My legs were delighted for the break and I hope the others felt the same by scooping me up in their pack. I was with them until the base of the final climb, Double Peak.
As I started the ascent, my legs began to quiver and were on the verge of cramping. As the gradient got steeper, I began to wobble. I felt tears coming, and thought I was going to tip over just as a woman ran over and gave me the push. It was all I needed, the push of confidence that I could conquer this, which I did.
The finish was every bit as sweet as it should be, including a fun, twisty, dirty descent. I knew I was there, and I was flying! Done. Finally back. Waterslide time. Bad Ass Ale Earned. Final time 9 hours, 10 min. My goal of top 10 women seemed silly when I realized I had improved my time by just over an hour from last year’s shorter course. Challenging myself physically and mentally, tested my resilience to overcome and achieve whatever I put my mind to. This is why I put myself in the face of suffering and fear. And I loved it!
I couldn’t have asked for a better day in the saddle! Thanks to the inspiration from all the terrific riders, my teammates on Vive la tarte Cx and the many BWR volunteers.
Shanna Sauer lives in San Francisco, CA.
By Joy McCulloch (KHS-Maxxis-JLVelo)
The Torrence Criterium is tough! The wind whips around the 6-turn course and makes the final sprint one that torpedoes straight into the block-headwind. Another factor that makes this event so challenging is the smaller field size. With literally nowhere to hide, the racers are on the pedals for the duration of the race, making a breakaway inevitable in our field.
As we lined up, I was excited to see several strong solo competitors from Jet Cycling and Professional teams BMW Happy Tooth and Tibco, as well as a talented assortment of LaGrange, SBW and other local athletes. I knew the race would be aggressive from the start, so I chose to hang back ever so slightly and take notes on who was going to animate the race and try and make things exciting.
Within the first 15 minutes, the field had broken into two pieces, and I had placed myself in the front group of 6 that would ultimately take it to the line for a sprint finish. Having won on this course in 2013 and finishing 3rd in 2014, I had a list of mental notes on what to do. And more importantly, what NOT to do. As the break was nearing the finishing laps, riders began attacking. I knew that if a strong rider or two got a gap going into the long tailwind section on the backside, they could easily gain enough traction to stay away to the finish. I did not want that to happen, so I committed to either being on the wheel of the attack or pulling the move back and waiting for the next attack.
The breakaway was comprised of very strong riders and I knew that some of them were crafty enough to launch an attack in the last lap in an attempt to get away solo into the headwind finish.
Luckily for me, the attack went at the start finish and I was able to jump on Michelle from BMW/Happy Tooth through the quick left hander before she got too far. As the pace picked up, I wanted to be 3rd wheel and 2nd position would be even better. I knew I would need to be patient coming into the last two turns and that holding my spot was imperative to solidifying the win.
With 2 turns to go, we whipped through the wind from the tailwind section directly into the wind in the short section before the final turn. I hunkered down as much as I could, knowing we were about to turn right on the long finishing straight. As we made the turn, the wind came even stronger across my left shoulder and I knew that the path to victory was up the right gutter, slightly buffered from severity of the wind.
My coach and team director Paul Abrahams was on the final turn and I heard him yelling, so I just went for it! That was one LONG sprint! But he didn’t actually say “GO”. Things do get lost in translation, especially with howling wind. Initiating the move was better than waiting and being on the defensive, so it all worked out. Thankfully, I was able to get a gap on the breakaway with my initial jump and hold it to the finish line with a bike throw.
I am always thankful for a chance to race my bike, to practice tactics and have the opportunity to be mindful about how I race my bicycle. Thank you to the Peninsula Cycling Club for putting on the Torrence Criterium, and especially thank you for offering junior women’s races, a women’s 3/4 event as well as the women’s 1/2/3. And thank you for the solid prize purse as well!
Thank you to our sponsors: KHS Bicycles, Maxxis Tires, JLVelo, Serfas, Shimano, Velo Saddles, Praxis Works, Xpedo Pedals, Kali Protectives, NDXSports, Bike Religion, Bicycle Blue Book, WD-40 BIKE, Chamois Butt’r, Cycling Illustrated, Rennie & Associates, Kramp Krushers, Ultra Cycle, and Q2.
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SAGAN TAKES DRAMATIC WIN IN THE CLOSEST FINISH EVER AT THE AMGEN TOUR OF CALIFORNIA – CHAMPIONSHIP OF 8 DAY, 724-MILE RACE CAME DOWN TO SECONDS AND MILLIMETERS
Cavendish Rides Away with Green Jersey and Final Stage from
L.A. LIVE to Pasadena for 4th Stage Win
PASADENA, Calif. (May 17, 2015) – The eighth and concluding stage of the 10th anniversary Amgen Tour of California could not have been any closer, with Tinkoff-Saxo’s Peter Sagan (SVK) winning the race by two millimeters over 22-year-old SRAM Best Young Rider Julian Alaphilippe (FRA) of Etixx – Quick-Step Pro Cycling Team.
After more than 700 miles and eight days of racing, the overall win came down to mere seconds, with the bonus time awarded at the finish line and one Sprint the deciding factors for the title. Sagan and Alaphilippe were separated by just two seconds when today’s 65.3-mile Stage 8, presented by Amgen, began at L.A. LIVE across from STAPLES Center.
Sagan took on Etixx – Quick-Step Pro Cycling Team’s Mark Cavendish (GBR) for the Sprint at the start of nine Rose Bowl Stadium circuits, and the first photo finish of the day saw maximum points going to Cavendish, with Sagan pulling within one second of Alaphilippe. But the young Frenchman was not to be counted out and picked up one second of his own by coming over the line third.
To pull off the overall victory, Sagan had to finish the stage in the top-3 and in front of Alaphilippe. The yellow jersey changed hands five times in eight days.
Coming to the finish, he was challenged by a field of impressive sprinters, with Cavendish (GBR) again crossing in first place. Sagan rocketed over the line just behind Drapac Racing Team’s Wouter Wippert (NED) and neck and neck with MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung’s U.S. rider Tyler Farrar. Another photo finish decided the race – Sagan had claimed third for the day and the overall win by less than a tire rim. His overall time after eight days of racing was 28:13:12, just three seconds ahead of Alaphilippe.
“I believed about today, I can do it. I am very happy for this general classification victory today,” said 2015 Amgen Tour of California champion Sagan. “This year I lose the green jersey, and I had to do something to be on the podium!”
Sagan swaps the green jersey, which he has won for five years running, for yellow, with the Visit California Sprint Jersey going to Cavendish after his stage win today, his fourth of the week. Today’s win brings the 25-time Tour de France stage winner’s career California wins to nine, the second-most behind Sagan (13).
Today’s route wound from downtown Los Angeles’ famous sports and entertainment district L.A. LIVE to the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena where the riders completed nine 3.2-mile circuits at speeds nearing 40 mph. Last year’s race ended in Pasadena as well, with Sagan claiming the stage win.
Etixx – Quick-Step Pro Cycling Team started the day at the front of the peloton. Belgian cyclist Yves Lampaert launched an early attack and was followed by four riders who gained :20 over the field in hopes of making Sagan’s team work hard to keep the overall contender in the game. Tinkoff-Saxo drove up the peloton’s pace to keep them in easy reach, bringing the field back together before the Sprint line.
Hincapie Racing Team’s Oscar Clark (USA) rode in a breakaway of four that formed entering the Pasadena circuits. He was the last standing when the peloton caught him with two laps left in the race, earning him the Amgen Breakaway from Cancer® Most Courageous Rider Jersey.
Two Americans finished in the overall top-10, including 23-year-old Joseph Dombrowski (Charlottesville, Va.) of Team Cannondale-Garmin in fourth place and yesterday’s Queen Stage third-place finisher Ian Boswell (Bend, Oregon) in seventh for Team Sky. Robert Gesink (NED), the 2012 Amgen Tour of California champion, placed fifth for Team LottoNL-Jumbo.
STAGE 8 PODIUM
1. Mark Cavendish (GBR), Etixx – Quick-Step Pro Cycling Team
2. Wouter Wippert (NED), Drapac Racing Team
3. Peter Sagan (SVK), Tinkoff-Saxo
2015 AMGEN TOUR OF CALIFORNIA FINAL STANDINGS
1. 28:13:12 Peter Sagan (SVK), Tinkoff-Saxo
2. +:03 Julian Alaphilippe (FRA), Etixx – Quick-Step Pro Cycling Team
3. +:37 Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (COL), Team Sky
4. +1:14 Joseph Dombrowski (USA), Team Cannondale-Garmin
5. +1:15 Robert Gesink (NED), Team LottoNL-Jumbo
2015 AMGEN TOUR OF CALIFORNIA JERSEY WINNERS
Amgen Race Leader Jersey: Peter Sagan (SVK), Tinkoff-Saxo
Visit California Sprint Jersey: Mark Cavendish (GBR), Etixx – Quick-Step Pro Cycling Team
Lexus King of the Mountain Jersey: Daniel Oss (ITA), BMC Racing Team
Amgen Breakaway from Cancer® Most Courageous Rider Jersey: Oscar Clark (USA), Hincapie Racing Team
SRAM Best Young Rider Jersey: Julian Alaphilippe (FRA), Etixx – Quick-Step Pro Cycling Team
Overall Team Classification – Team Sky (GBR)
Celebrating its 10th year, the Amgen Tour of California is the most esteemed stage race in the U.S.
“When we first set out to build America’s Greatest Race, we could only imagine being here 10 years later with the most thrilling race yet. Not only has the Amgen Tour of California become the largest sporting event in California, but it’s one of the most respected races in the world,” said Kristin Bachochin Klein, executive director of the race and senior vice president of AEG Sports. “Our thanks to everyone who has cheered, watched and worked alongside us this year, and over the past 10. Until next year!”
For further information about the Amgen Tour of California, please visit www.amgentourofcalifornia.com.
Amgen has been the title sponsor of the race since its first year.
Today, at the final stage of the 10th annual Amgen Tour of California, in addition to crowning the winner of the race, Amgen and Honorary Breakaway from Cancer® Champion Joan Lunden celebrated ten extraordinary Champions in the fight against cancer.
Selected from a nationwide search, the 2015 Breakaway from Cancer Champions are: Shelby Marie Adams (Reno, Nev.), Karen Borges (San Luis Obispo, Calif.), Mary Carrillo (Irvine, Calif.), Donna Deegan (Jacksonville, Fla.), Elaine Eckert (Jacksonville, Fla.), Shawn Gardner (Alexandria, Va.), Nick Gleissner (Hemet, Calif.), Robert Hess (Manhattan Beach, Calif.), Debra Katzenberger (Glen Burnie, Md.), and William Kenny (Los Angeles).
These inspirational men and women have made a true impact. They have turned a cancer diagnosis into an opportunity to change the lives of others. They have raised millions of dollars towards cancer research and treatments. They serve as mentors to newly diagnosed cancer patients. They have started their own non-profit organizations. They inspire others to action. They are survivors. They are caregivers. They are advocates. They are Champions.
“We are extremely proud of the fact that over the past 10 years the Amgen Tour of California has become synonymous with celebrating cancer survivors, thanks to Amgen’s Breakaway from Cancer initiative,” said Raymond C. Jordan, senior vice president of Corporate Affairs at Amgen. “Amgen’s hope is that by sharing the stories of the ten Breakaway from Cancer Champions, we will in turn inspire others facing similar situations.”
ALAPHILIPPE SEIZES THE LEAD AT THE 2015
AMGEN TOUR OF CALIFORNIA, DISPATCHING RACE VETERANS AND CLIMBING TO SOLO WIN ATOP MT. BALDY
Sagan’s Ride for the Ages Keeps Him in Contention for Overall Win Tomorrow in Final Stage from L.A. LIVE to Pasadena
MT. BALDY, Calif. (May 16, 2015) – The final weekend of the 10th anniversary Amgen Tour of California began in Ontario with 133 cyclists and ended with one solo rider, 22-year-old SRAM Best Young Rider Julian Alaphilippe (FRA) of Etixx – Quick-Step Pro Cycling Team, claiming the stage win and overall race lead at the 6,347-foot summit of Mt. Baldy.
With Sprint and finish line bonus points on offer tomorrow, Tinkoff-Saxo’s Peter Sagan (SVK), who was leading the race 45 seconds ahead of Alaphilippe this morning, is still in contention to win the 8-stage event. His committed ride in the leader group up the slopes of Mt. Baldy leaves him just two seconds down on the new race leader.
An early breakaway of six included BMC Racing Team’s Daniel Oss (ITA) and MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung’s Johann Van Zyl (RSA), a three-time Under 23 South African Champion (two road race, one time trial). Today was Oss’ third in the breakaway, having spent more than 10 hours and 200 miles in front of the peloton this week. He’s been chipping away at the King of the Mountain (KOM) competition, finally taking the jersey today from Hincapie Racing Team’s Toms Skujins (LAT) after breasting the 9-mile Glendora Mountain Road (“GMR”) climb first. Skujins led the race after Tuesday until yesterday when Sagan took the lead with a blazing time trial ride.
In the final 20 mostly uphill miles, Team Sky rode at the front of the peloton in support of their Columbian climber Sergio Luis Henao Montoya and kicked up the pace trying to shake riders, especially race leader Sagan, who matched the brisk climb with no problem. Two and a half hours into the race, Van Zyl attacked Oss to take the solo lead for a brief time before they were both reabsorbed on the final 15 miles.
The lead group of just over 25 rode together to the final Mt. Baldy climb, including the youngest cyclist in the race, 19-year-old Geoffrey Curran (USA) of Axeon Cycling Team, as well as the general classification contenders like 2012 race champion Robert Gesink (NED) of Team LottoNL-Jumbo, who shored up the yellow jersey with a win on this same route. In the overall standings at the start of the day, more than half of the top-10 cyclists in the general classification were strong climbers, with most separated by less than a minute.
Mt. Baldy’s 15 switchbacks delivered the cyclists to the summit finish after a climb gaining 3,022 feet in elevation at grades up to 17 percent. The 4.3-mile HC climb almost seems straight uphill. About a mile into it, Team Sky’s Henao attacked, and Alaphilippe answered.
The two toiled up the mountain together, varying the pace and gaining seconds over the rest of the group. With less than 2.5 miles left to ride, Alaphilippe pulled ahead and off to a solo win (3:42:13), his first of the season. Henao finished the stage next with teammate Ian Boswell (USA) (+:23), then Team Cannondale-Garmin’s Joseph Dombrowski (USA) (+:36) and Austrian National Champion Riccardo Zoidl of Trek Factory Racing (+:XX). Sagan pulled over the line in sixth (+:47).
The race conclusion tomorrow will air live on NBC from 10 a.m.-noon PDT (1-3 p.m. EDT). Alaphilippe leads Sagan by two seconds overall. Henao is in third (+:33) followed by Dombrowski (+1:10) and Gesink (+1:11). The race will come down to tomorrow’s Sprint points, including those awarded at the finish line. The Sprint points competition also will be decided tomorrow with Etixx – Quick-Step Pro Cycling Team’s Mark Cavendish (GBR) leading Sagan by six seconds.
STAGE 7 PODIUM
1. Julian Alaphilippe (FRA), Etixx – Quick-Step Pro Cycling Team
2. Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (COL), Team Sky
3. Ian Boswell (USA), Team Sky