By VeloNews Interactive
Jonas Carney (Prime Alliance) and Jenny Eyerman (jane Cosmetics) won the pro men’s and women’s races at the Mercury Cycling Classic of Irvine in California on Sunday. Held on a 1.5-mile loop at the Irvine Spectrum in Orange County in front of Mercury’s newly-opened international headquarters, each lap included nine turns and an out-and-back section. With the Saturn Cycling Team virtually absent from the inaugural event, the racing was wide open.
In the 90-minute men’s race, Pro Cycling Tour leader Trent Klasna was the only member of the Saturn team in attendance. He faced domestic powers including Navigators, 7Up-Colorado Cyclist and Mercury among others in the 125-man starting field.
After an early break by Jaime Paolinetti (NetZero) was absorbed, no one else was able to get more than a few seconds, as each team looked to its sprinters to bring home the victory.
Mercury’s Gord Fraser led out the sprint, but Carney came around him in the last 50 meters, as did 7Up-Colorado Cyclist’s Kevin Monahan, who finished second.
“They were just raging out there,” Carney said of his Prime Alliance teammates. “I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to break into the Mercury train, but Chris (Horner) and the guys made sure I was in position, and I just took it from there.”
The women’s race also came down to a sprint. While Procter & Gamble did a good job of setting up team sprinter Joanne Kiesanowski, the young New Zealander, still recovering from a recent crash, wasn’t able to hold off the 25-year old Eyerman.
Sarah Hammer (Zero Wait) finished third, with Pam Schuster (AutoTrader.com) and Theresa Nugent (South Bay Wheelmen) taking fourth and fifth.
There were no changes in the overall Pro Cycling Tour standings, as men’s leader Trent Klasna (Saturn) and women’s leader Anna Millward (Saturn) both retained series leadership. The 2001 Pro Cycling Tour concludes October 22nd with the Miami Cycling Classic in Miami, Florida.
MERCURY CYCLING CLASSIC OF IRVINE, Irvine, CA. September 23.; Men; 1. Jonas Carney, Prime Alliance; 2. Kevin Monahan, 7Up-Colorado Cyclist; 3. Gord Fraser (Can,) Mercury; 4. Derek Bouchard-Hall (USA), Mercury; 5. Siro Camponogara (I), Navigators; Women; 1. Jenny Eyerman, jane Cosmetics; 2. Joanne Kiesanowski (NZ) Procter & Gamble; 3. Sarah Hammer, Zero Wait; 4. Pam Schuster, AutoTrader.com; 5. Theresa Nugent, South Bay Wheelmen