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Bajadali leads at Tour de Nez, as Wohlberg wins a tough stage

As expected, the fourth stage of the 2008 Tour de Nez stage race provided a big shake up in the general classification, as Kelly Benefit’s Andy Bajadali took the leader’s jersey away from BMC’s Ian McKissick. Eric Wohlberg of the Symmetrics team was able to come away with a hard earned victory on the 6.5 mile mountain circuit, while putting himself back into contention for the overall title.

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Tour De Nez 4 - Wohlberg (Symmetrics) rolling home for the solo victory

Tour De Nez 4 – Wohlberg (Symmetrics) rolling home for the solo victory

Photo: ©2008 Action Images/Kurt Jambretz

As expected, the fourth stage of the 2008 Tour de Nez stage race provided a big shake up in the general classification, as Kelly Benefit’s Andy Bajadali took the leader’s jersey away from BMC’s Ian McKissick. Eric Wohlberg of the Symmetrics team was able to come away with a hard earned victory on the 6.5 mile mountain circuit, while putting himself back into contention for the overall title.

The day’s action began early, as it has in most of the other stages, with the BMC team attacking. Scott Nydam, the 2008 Tour of California climbing champion, attacked the field on the very first lap, taking four other riders with him. After being caught on the descent, the field came back together ahead of the second lap, and the three mile ascent that featured a total of 869 vertical feet of climbing.

As the field hit the climb, Kelly Benefit Strategies’ Dan Bowman attacked, bringing Bissell’s Tom Zirbel and three others with him. He was counter-attacked by Successful Living’s Bradley White and Symmetrics Eric Wohlberg, who were able to forge a twenty-second gap. The flurry of attacks put many riders in trouble, as multiple riders went off the back of the group, never to make contact with the main field again.

After a third lap of more aggressive attacking, two riders were able to take a fifty-five second advantage over the chasing peloton. Bissell’s Zirbel was once again in a break, this time to stay, with his lap two partner Dan Bowman. The two worked together to extend the lead, and were able to hold a one minute gap over the field until the sixth lap, when they were joined by Wohlberg and another Bissell rider, Aaron Olson.

Behind the break, the main field was indecisive, as no single team took up the responsibility of reeling in the break. By the beginning eighth lap, the foursome had shrunk to three, as Zirbel was dropped. The leading trio of Olson, Wohlberg, and Bowman had now built their lead to more than two minutes, as the stagnant field behind continued to give slack. Sensing that the race was getting away up the road, the remaining riders in the field began to pick up the pace. Health Net’s Corey Collier and Matthew Cooke pulled the remaining eleven riders up the climb, and by the time they hit the line for the ninth lap, the lead was down to only a minute and ten seconds.

On the ninth lap, multiple attacks split the remaining chasers, and Kelly Benefit’s Bajadali went away on his own in an effort to bridge up to the break. Only four of the original eleven chasers were able to follow, as Nydam, Cooke, Successful Living’s Brad White, and Bissell’s Burke Swindlehurst followed about thirty seconds behind Bajadali. On the descent, the long day’s effort could be seen in the chasers, as Swindlehurst rubbed his cramping right leg and Aaron Olsen was unhitched by Wohlberg up the road, who sensed that the time was right for the decisive solo attack.

The tenth lap was one of survival, as all six of the remaining chasers did what they could to hang on. Cooke put in another acceleration on the final ascent of the climb, and Scott Nydam followed along with Brad White, dragging the four up to Olson and Bajadali. On the descent, the re-formed group of six rocketed toward the finish in a last gasp effort to reel in Wohlberg.

On the final climb to the finish, the chasing six could see Wohlberg up the road, but the Canadian was able to stay away, taking a win in the toughest stage of the Tour de Nez. Bajadali was able to unhitch his closest rival Olson on the final run in to the finish, and in doing so took the overall red leader’s jersey on the second to last stage. Scott Nydam rounded out the podium in third, keeping himself in the GC picture heading into the final stage tomorrow, another hilly forty-four mile jaunt in an around the Village at Northstar.

Many of the jerseys changed hands, as Bajadali became both the overall and points leader. Adam Switters, after a tough Truckee criterium, conceded his best U-23 white jersey to Carson Miller of the Rubicon-Orbea team.

A 19 year old from Bend, Oregon, Miller explained his experience during the race.

“This was an amazing day,” Miller said. “I was unable to stay with the main group, but having the jersey means that I still did a good ride. I really hope I can defend the jersey tomorrow. I came here with a strong team, and we’ll definitely be looking to defend the jersey tomorrow for sure.”

Bajadali, the new race leader, realizes that nothing is assured tomorrow, as there are five riders within twenty seconds of the Kelly Benefit Strategies rider. “I have to hand it to Eric, he was the old Eric today. You know, tomorrow is another tough day, so I’m going to have to ride defensively and do the best I can to limit any gaps. My team was great today. Alex Candelario calmed me down early on, and now it’s anyone’s game. The GC is so tight, it’s gonna be kind of chaotic tomorrow.”

In what will be an electric final stage Saturday at the Northstar resort, Bajadali will need his entire team’s help to ensure that he keeps the leader’s jersey. He’s likely to face constant attacks from Nydam, Cooke, Swindlehurst, Olson and Wohlberg.

Stage Results
1. Eric Wohlberg, Symmetrics, 2:47:51
2. Andrew Bajadali, Kelly Benefit Strategies-Medifast, at 0:21
3. Scott Nydam, BMC, at 0:22
4. Burke Swindlehurst, Bissell, at 0:31
5. Aaron Olson, Bissell, at 0:38
6. Matthew Cooke, Health Net-Maxxis, at 0:43
7. Bradley White, Successful Living.com-Parkpre, at 0:44
8. Corey Collier, Health Net-Maxxis, at 2:12
9. Paul Mach, ZCycling, at 2:13
10. Steven Cozza, Slipstream Chipotle, at 3:25

Photo Gallery

Results

Stage Results
1. Eric Wohlberg, Symmetrics, 2:47:51
2. Andrew Bajadali, Kelly Benefit Strategies-Medifast, at 0:21
3. Scott Nydam, BMC, at 0:22
4. Burke Swindlehurst, Bissell, at 0:31
5. Aaron Olson, Bissell, at 0:38
6. Matthew Cooke, Health Net-Maxxis, at 0:43
7. Bradley White, Successful Living.com-Parkpre, at 0:44
8. Corey Collier, Health Net-Maxxis, at 2:12
9. Paul Mach, ZCycling, at 2:13
10. Steven Cozza, Slipstream Chipotle, at 3:25
11. Andy Jacques-Maynes, California Giant Berry Farms-Specialized, at 3:38
12. James Mattis, California Giant Berry Farms-Specialized, at 5:04
13. Justin England, Toyota-United, at 5:05
14. Josh Horowitz, Liquid Fitness, at 6:11
15. Daniel Bowman, Kelly Benefit Strategies-Medifast, at 6:14
16. Jonathan Baker, Vitamin Cottage-XP Companies, at 7:51
17. John Hunt, California Giant Berry Farms-Specialized, at 9:29
18. Ricardo Escuela, Successful Living.com-Parkpre, at 12:35
19. Ian Holt, US Armed Forces, at 13:05
20. Roman Kilun, Health Net-Maxxis, at
21. Tom Zirbel, Bissell, at
22. Alex Candelario, Kelly Benefit Strategies-Medifast, at 13:06
23. Jesse Moore, California Giant Berry Farms-Specialized, at
24. Carson Miller, Rubicon-ORBEA, at 13:32
25. Roman Van Uden, Rubicon-ORBEA, at 13:33
26. Andres Gil, Pacific State Bank Cycling Team, at 14:42
27. Christian Kearney, ZCycling, at 14:54
28. James Gunn-Wilkinson, 5 Star Waste Vegetable Oil, at 14:56
29. Ben Bradshaw, Kahala-LaGrange, at 14:57
30. Eddy Kwon, Mob Cyclery Racing-RMCEF, at 14:59
31. Jackson Stewart, BMC, at 17:15
32. Nathaniel Deibler, 5 Star Waste Vegetable Oil, at 18:01
33. Devon Vigus, California Giant Berry Farms-Specialized, at 19:03
34. Omer Kem, Bissell, at 19:04
35. Adam Livingston, 5 Star Waste Vegetable Oil, at 19:05
36. Brian Buchholz, Kelly Benefit Strategies-Medifast, at
37. Chris Swan, ZCycling, at
38. Graham Howard, Bissell, at
39. Dirk Friel, Vitamin Cottage-XP Companies, at 19:07
40. Adam Switters, Rock Racing, at 20:44
41. Karl Bordine, 5 Star Waste Vegetable, at 22:27
42. Ben Raby, SRAM Corp, at 22:47
43. Joshua Bartlett, Rubicon-ORBEA, at 25:48
44. Matthew Seagrave, Kahala-LaGrange, at
45. Randy Reichardt, Vitamin Cottage-XP Companies, at 28:21
46. Eric Bennett, Successful Living, at 28:38
47. Justin Kerr, Liquid Fitness, at
48. Timothy Farnham, Norcal Bike Sport, at 30:05
49. Chris Winn, RMCEF Racing-MOB Cyclery, at 34:38
50. Joseph Pinkerton, Vitamin Cottage-XP Companies, at 35:40
51. Tim Srenaski, Tokyo Joe’s Cycling Team, at 35:55
52. Dylan Clark, BPG-Montano Velo, at 37:59
53. Victor Ayala, Kahala-LaGrange, at 38:33
54. Kris Koke, Liquid Fitness, at 38:41
55. Ian Mckissick, BMC, at 39:51
56. Chuck Coyle, Successful Living.com-Parkpre, at 48:38

Overall, after stage 4
1. Andrew Bajadali, Kelly Benefit Strategies-Medifast, 5:27:17
2. Scott Nydam, BMC, at 0:04
3. Eric Wohlberg, Symmetrics, at 0:05
4. Burke Swindlehurst, Bissell, at 0:18
5. Aaron Olson, Bissell, at 0:24
6. Matthew Cooke, Health Net-Maxxis, at 0:27
7. Bradley White, Successful Living.com-Parkpre, at 0:43
8. Corey Collier, Health Net-Maxxis, at 1:56
9. Paul Mach, ZCycling, at 2:23
10. Steven Cozza, Slipstream Chipotle, at 3:16
11. Andy Jacques-Maynes, California Giant Berry Farms-Specialized, at 3:37
12. Justin England, Toyota-United, at 4:38
13. Daniel Bowman, Kelly Benefit Strategies-Medifast, at 6:23
14. Jonathan Baker, Vitamin Cottage-XP Companies, at 7:40
15. James Mattis, California Giant Berry Farms-Specialized, at 8:46
16. Josh Horowitz, Liquid Fitness, at 12:24
17. Ricardo Escuela, Successful Living.com-Parkpre, at 12:28
18. Roman Kilun, Health Net-Maxxis, at 12:55
19. Tom Zirbel, Bissell, at 13:15
20. Alex Candelario, Kelly Benefit Strategies-Medifast, at 13:30
21. Jesse Moore, California Giant Berry Farms-Specialized, at 13:33
22. Ian Holt, US Armed Forces, at 13:37
23. Carson Miller, Rubicon-ORBEA, at 14:15
24. Roman Van Uden, Rubicon-ORBEA, at 14:23
25. John Hunt, California Giant Berry Farms-Specialized, at 15:27
26. Ben Bradshaw, Kahala-LaGrange, at 15:48
27. Andres Gil, Pacific State Bank Cycling Team, at 16:04
28. Christian Kearney, ZCycling, at 16:44
29. Jackson Stewart, BMC, at 17:34
30. Adam Livingston, 5 Star Waste Vegetable Oil, at 19:18
31. Nathaniel Deibler, 5 Star Waste Vegetable Oil, at 19:21
32. Brian Buchholz, Kelly Benefit Strategies-Medifast, at 19:32
33. Dirk Friel, Vitamin Cottage-XP Companies, at 19:50
34. Adam Switters, Rock Racing, at 20:53
35. Devon Vigus, California Giant Berry Farms-Specialized, at 21:46
36. James Gunn-Wilkinson, 5 Star Waste Vegetable Oil, at 22:46
37. Karl Bordine, 5 Star Waste Vegetable, at 23:38
38. Omer Kem, Bissell, at 24:07
39. Ben Raby, SRAM Corp, at 24:22
40. Graham Howard, Bissell, at 26:28
41. Eddy Kwon, Mob Cyclery Racing-RMCEF, at 28:49
42. Chris Swan, ZCycling, at 30:17
43. Justin Kerr, Liquid Fitness, at 30:25
44. Eric Bennett, Successful Living, at 30:30
45. Randy Reichardt, Vitamin Cottage-XP Companies, at 30:42
46. Joshua Bartlett, Rubicon-ORBEA, at 32:25
47. Matthew Seagrave, Kahala-LaGrange, at 32:47
48. Joseph Pinkerton, Vitamin Cottage-XP Companies, at 36:30
49. Timothy Farnham, Norcal Bike Sport, at 37:45
50. Chris Winn, RMCEF Racing-MOB Cyclery, at 37:54
51. Dylan Clark, BPG-Montano Velo, at 38:54
52. Ian Mckissick, BMC, at 39:18
53. Victor Ayala, Kahala-LaGrange, at 40:31
54. Kris Koke, Liquid Fitness, at 40:49
55. Tim Srenaski, Tokyo Joe’s Cycling Team, at 43:45
56. Chuck Coyle, Successful Living.com-Parkpre, at 53:21

Best young rider
1. Carson Miller, Rubicon-ORBEA, 3:01:23
2. Roman Van Uden, Rubicon-ORBEA, at 0:01
3. Ben Bradshaw, Kahala-LaGrange, at 1:25
4. Adam Switters, Rock Racing, at 7:12
5. Eric Bennett, Successful Living, at 15:06

Overall Points
1. Eric Wohlberg, Symmetrics, 25 points
2. Andrew Bajadali, Kelly Benefit Strategies-Medifast, 23
3. Roman Kilun, Health Net-Maxxis, 22
4. Ricardo Escuela, Successful Living.com-Parkpre, 20
5. Justin England, Toyota-United, 13
6. Jonathan Baker, Vitamin Cottage-XP Companies, 13
7. Aaron Olson, Bissell, 11
8. Ian Mckissick, BMC, 11
9. Scott Nydam, BMC, 10
10. Matthew Cooke, Health Net-Maxxis, 10
11. Alex Candelario, Kelly Benefit Strategies-Medifast, 9
12. Bradley White, Successful Living.com-Parkpre, 9
13. Burke Swindlehurst, Bissell, 8
14. Brian Buchholz, Kelly Benefit Strategies-Medifast, 6
15. Corey Collier, Health Net-Maxxis, 6
16. Steven Cozza, Slipstream Chipotle, 5
17. Jackson Stewart, BMC, 4
18. Roman Van Uden, Rubicon-ORBEA, 4
19. Dirk Friel, Vitamin Cottage-XP Companies, 2
20. Victor Ayala, Kahala-LaGrange, 2
21. Paul Mach, ZCycling, 2
22. Timothy Farnham, Norcal Bike Sport, 1

Overall KOM
1. Daniel Bowman, Kelly Benefit Strategies-Medifast, 28 points
2. Tom Zirbel, Bissell, 10
3. Matthew Cooke, Health Net-Maxxis, 9
4. Eric Wohlberg, Symmetrics, 7
5. Aaron Olson, Bissell, 6
6. Scott Nydam, BMC, 5
7. Ian Mckissick, BMC, 3
8. Ricardo Escuela, Successful Living.com-Parkpre, 3
9. Paul Mach, ZCycling, 3
10. Corey Collier, Health Net-Maxxis, 2
11. Burke Swindlehurst, Bissell, 1
12. Justin England, Toyota-United, 1

Overall standings
1. Bissell Pro Cycling 16:35:32
2. Health Net-Maxxis, at 1:46
3. California Giant Berry Farms-Specialized, at 5:20
4. Kelly Benefit Strategies-Medifast, at 6:14
5. ZCycling, at 35:43
6. 5 Star Waste Vegetable Oil, at 41:41
7. Vitamin Cottage-XP Companies, at 43:06
8. BMC Pro Cycling, at 43:18
9. Rubicon-ORBEA, at 44:29
10. Successful Living.com-Parkpre, at 52:50
11. Liquid Fitness, at 1:09:57
12. Kahala-LaGrange, at 1:11:15