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Sulzberger runs table at Superweek

The International Cycling Classic, the 17-day race series held in and around Milwaukee and Chicago that is better known as Superweek, concluded on Sunday in Whitefish Bay, just north of Milwaukee. Fly V Australia's Bernard Sulzberger was corned as the overall series champion — a position he defended the entire series since winning the opening race July 10. In fitting fashion, the final race was won by Sulzberger's Fly V Australia teammate, fellow Aussie and last year's series winner Jonathan Cantwell.

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By Mark Zalewski

2009 Superweek: Bernard Sulzberger (Fly V Australia) celebrates another day in yellow, Aussie style!

2009 Superweek: Bernard Sulzberger (Fly V Australia) celebrates another day in yellow, Aussie style!

Photo: Mark Zalewski

The International Cycling Classic, the 17-day race series held in and around Milwaukee and Chicago that is better known as Superweek, concluded on Sunday in Whitefish Bay, just north of Milwaukee. Fly V Australia’s Bernard Sulzberger was corned as the overall series champion — a position he defended the entire series since winning the opening race July 10. In fitting fashion, the final race was won by Sulzberger’s Fly V Australia teammate, fellow Aussie and last year’s series winner Jonathan Cantwell.

“Jonny (Cantwell) won last year and he wanted to win again this year, but it turns out that I was leading so it was all about the jersey,” said Sulzberger about the team’s tactics. 

Sulzberger was in a constant battle from Dutch rider Hans Dekkers of the ProTour Garmin-Slipstream team. However, Dekkers had only one other teammate in Ricardo Van der Velde for the entire 17 days, with American Mike Friedman coming in for a couple of races at the end. Compared to the four strong riders of Fly V Australia and the five-man roster of the South African Team MTN, Dekkers was outgunned and had to settle for second overall.

2009 Superweek: 2008 series winner Jonathan Cantwell (Fly V Australia) had to ride for his teammate this year.

2009 Superweek: 2008 series winner Jonathan Cantwell (Fly V Australia) had to ride for his teammate this year.

Photo: Mark Zalewski

For Sulzberger, the series is sort of an anniversary, as this was the first racing he did in America. “Last year this was my first ever racing in the U.S. There was five of us from Virgin Blue and that team became Fly V Australia.” 

But racing here last year as an unknown was far different than this year as the race leader. “I was able to get into a lot more breaks last year, but this year I was in a couple and then everyone is on you!”

The South African Team MTN had a successful inaugural race on U.S. soil with three in the top ten overall, and Jay Thomson winning the points jersey.

It is not hard to discern who Thomson battled for the points jersey, as a quick glance at the final standings shows three Team GearGrinder riders behind him, including last year’s winner Chad Hartley. The team did everything they could to get Robert White into the jersey, but Thomson, along with his five teammates, were just too strong.

2009 Superweek: Andy Bajadali (Kelly Benefit Strategies) and his teammates got some good warm-ups for the Chicago Criterium.

2009 Superweek: Andy Bajadali (Kelly Benefit Strategies) and his teammates got some good warm-ups for the Chicago Criterium.

Photo: Mark Zalewski

“It was really hard but the team has been working with me the whole time,” said Thomson, who not only could sprint with the best but also rode a 30km solo breakaway to victory in one of the road races. “It was fast at times and then at other times they realized who the fast guys are. But we capitalized as a team a lot early — over 17 days someone is going to figure it out eventually, but we won six stages.”

No better training than racing

Thomson said that the team used Superweek for what many professionals do, training. “The team brought us over here to get some form and get some international exposure. But we rode a couple of hours each morning and then with a 100km road or crit race at night, it’s the best training you can ask for! After this we are headed to the Tour of Ireland.”

Seeing ProTour riders doing $2,500 crits in the American heartland is not an everyday occurrence. But Dekkers and Van der Velde said their trip over was also for training, as they had most of July off with a certain race in France going on. After the first race in Beverly, both Dutch riders said the race was much faster than they expected, and that it never let up. 

The 2009 edition did not have quite the drama of last year, which pitted a large Rock Racing squad against Cantwell and the Kelly Benefits team. Still the racing this year was pretty fast — at times turning negative as riders only racing a few races were caught-up in the ongoing cat-and-mouse tactics for the overall and sprint titles of the omnium.

Fly V Australia and Team MTN were the largest teams, while other teams such as Team Hotel San Jose and Kelly Benefit had numbers on a few days, but were not interested in the overall. Other pros used Superweek as a warm-up to bigger events such as the Chicago Criterium, with Brad Huff (Jelly Belly) winning in Racine on Thursday before taking the $5,000 Chicago race win the following Sunday.

2009 Superweek: Team Garmin-Slipstream's Mike Friedman made a few cameo appearances, and was riding strong.

2009 Superweek: Team Garmin-Slipstream’s Mike Friedman made a few cameo appearances, and was riding strong.

Photo: Mark Zalewski

Overall, the 2009 edition was an improvement over 2008, which was plagued by late start times, questionable courses and pay-out problems. Still, some category races were started late and subsequently shortened, to the dismay of the riders. As well, with overall numbers slightly down, some category prize purses were reduced.

“It’s not as big of an event as last year, for sure, but it is still competitive,” said Sulzberger. “But there was no Rock Racing with Bahati here — they had eight guys here last year.”

Colavita sweeps women’s overall

In the women’s series, which was extended this year to 14 days, Colavita-Sutter Home took home all of the honors with Nicky Wangsgard easily defending the yellow jersey with help from her teammate Shontell Gauthier. Gauthier herself rode home with the red sprint jersey — taking it late in the series from the pair’s former teammate Jen Purcell, who was guest-riding with the team for the first week only. Purcell had built up such an advantage in that week that the jersey was absent for most of the remaining races as she was back in Austin, Texas — making for an awkward moment each day at the jersey presentations.

The Colavita crew had to fend off attacks from a large contingent of Hub Racing, who had eight riders to break the pair. But the Hub team was unable to take advantage of their numbers over the series with Wangsgard and Gauthier clearly much stronger.

Overall the longer series seemed to enjoy larger women’s fields than in the past, likely due in part to the increase in races.

Photo Gallery

Results

  • 1. Bernard Sulzberger (Australia) Fly V Australia
  • 2. HANS DEKKERS (Netherlands) Garmin Slipstream Pro-Tour
  • 3. Jonathan Cantwell (Australia) Fly V/australia
  • 4. Andreas Muller No Radunion
  • 5. Jay Thomson Team Mtn
  • 6. Christoff Van Heerden Team Mtn
  • 7. RICARDO VAN DER VELDE (Netherlands) Garmin Slipstream Pro-Tour
  • 8. Juan Van Heerden Team Mtn
  • 9. Carlos Vargas (Austin, TX) Hotel San Jose/rgm Advisors
  • 10. James Stemper (Wauwatosa, WI) Team Geargrinder
  • 11. CHUN-KAI FENG (Taiwan) Team Exustar Taiwan
  • 12. Heath Blackgrove Hotel San Jose/rgm Advisors
  • 13. JOSHUA CARTER (FAIRVIEW HEIGHTS, IL) Abd Cycling Team
  • 14. Chad Hartley (Milwaukee, WI) Team Geargrinder
  • 15. Josh England (Auckland, New Zealand) Subway- Avanti
  • 16. Alexander Candelario (Reno, NV) Kelly Benefit Strategies
  • 17. Andrew Bradley Gourmetfein
  • 18. Michael van Eerd Team Yrc Now Ms
  • 19. Brad Huff (Springfield, MO) Jelly Belly Cycling Team
  • 20. Sean Sullivan (Santa Cruz, CA) Hotel San Jose/rgm Advisors
  • 21. Robert Bush (Louisville, KY) Texas Roadhouse Cycling Team
  • 22. Jorge Alvarado (Mexico) Kahala La-Grange
  • 23. Toby Marzot (Falmouth, MA) Team Mountain Khakis
  • 24. Chad Burdzilauskas (Indianapolis, IN) Kenda Pro Cycling Presented By Spinergy
  • 25. Michael Friedman (Colorado Springs, CO) Garmin Chipotle
  • 26. HECTOR PASTORINO (Argentina) Zmotion
  • 27. Robert White (Brown Deer, WI) Team Geargrinder
  • 28. Juan Pablo Dotti (Argentina) Aerocat Cycling Team
  • 29. SERGIO HERNANDEZ (EL SEGUNDO, CA) Rock Racing
  • 30. Andreas Graf Gourmetfein
  • 31. Ronnie Strange (Houston, TX) Hotel San Jose/rgm Advisors
  • 32. Karl Menzies (Grand Rapids, MI) Team Ouch Presented By Maxxis
  • 33. Zachary Davies (Madison, WI)
  • 34. Ian McLead Team Mtn
  • 35. Nick Bennette (Metuchen, NJ) Metlife Cycling
  • 36. Andrew Dahlheim (Richardson, TX) Metro Volkswagen Cycling Team
  • 37. Daniel Bowman (Durango, CO) Kelly Benefit Strategies
  • 38. Andrew Bajadali (Boulder, CO) Kelly Benefit Strategies
  • 39. Reid Mumford (Winter Park, CO) Kelly Benefit Strategies
  • 40. Nick Frey (Princeton, NJ) Ciclismo Racing
  • 41. Matthias Schroger Gourmetfein
  • 42. Will Hoffarth (Harrisburg, NC) Team Mountain Khakis
  • 43. Nicholas Martinez (Boulder, CO) Now Ms Society
  • 44. Hayden Godfrey (New Zealand) Subway-Avanti
  • 45. Ryan Freund (Johnsburg, IL) Abd Cycling Team
  • 46. ONEAL SAMUELS (ATLANTA, GA) Myogenesis.com P/b United Healthcare
  • 47. ANTHONY BENNETT (WATKINSVILLE, GA) Jittery Joe’s U25 Pb Kudzu.com
  • 48. Matthew Busche (Wauwatosa, WI) Iscorp Cycling Team
  • 49. Adam Bergman (Lino Lakes, MN) Texas Roadhouse Cycling Team
  • 50. Duane Dickey (Cokato, MN) Mercy Cycling Team/ Specialized
  • 51. Isaac Howe (Burlington, VT) Team Mountain Khakis
  • 52. Chris Winn (Lakewood, CO) Mob Cyclery Racing / Rmcef
  • 53. CHRIS UBERTI (WEST LAFAYETTE, IN) Panther/rgf Solutions Pb Felt
  • 54. JUAN GASPARI (Cuba) Zmotion
  • 55. Logan Loader (Chicago, IL) Team Mountain Khakis
  • 56. SHELDON DEENY (FORT COLLINS, CO) Bissell Pro Cycling Team
  • 57. David Veilleux (Winter Park, CO) Kelly Benefit Strategies/medifast
  • 58. Hilton Clarke (Australia) Navigators Insurance
  • 59. DEREK DIXON (SALT LAKE CITY, UT) Hdr P/b Lombardis Sports
  • 60. Ryan Fleming (Portsmouth, NH) Metlife Cycling
  • 61. Emile Abraham (Trinidad & Tobago) Aerocat Cycling Team
  • 62. Spencer Beamer (Knoxville, TN) Team Mountain Khakis P/b Ep-No
  • 63. EDGARDO RICHIEZ (SAN JUAN, PR) Puerto Rico Cycling Team
  • 64. Gustavo Rullo Zmotion
  • 65. Cole House (Oneida, WI) Bmc Racing Team-Usac
  • 66. Max Taam (Snowmass Village, CO) Rd: Horizon Organic Pb Prerace.com / Mtn
  • 67. Ben Kersten Fly V/australia
  • 68. MIKE TETTLETON (LA VERNE, CA) Team Bearclaw
  • 69. Thomas Soladay (Bethesda, MD) Team Mountain Khakis
  • 70. Andrew Crater (Milwaukee, WI) Wheel & Sprocket
  • 71. Bradley Potgieter Team Mtn
  • 72. Jason Short (Palmdale, CA) Rbm Matrix
  • 73. Paul Martin (North Royalton, OH) Texas Roadhouse
  • 74. WEI-CHENG LEE (Taiwan) Team Exustar Taiwan
  • 75. Jacob Keough (Sandwich, MA) Kelly Benefit Strategies
  • 76. JONATHAN ATKINS (PEACHTREE CITY, GA) Team Latino
  • 77. BRYAN MCVEY (ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL) Vision Quest
  • 78. Gabriel Acaba (SAN JUAN, PR) Puerto Rico Cycling Team
  • 79. Jacob Erker (Portland, OR) Kelly Benefit Strategies
  • 80. Joseph Schmalz (Lawrence, KS) Mercy Cycling Team
  • 81. JASON LOWETZ (ALTADENA, CA) Team Bearclaw
  • 82. Victor Ayala (Playa Del Rey, CA) Kahala La-Grange
  • 83. Alex Martinez (Costa Mesa, CA) Kahala La-Grange
  • 84. Curtis Gunn (Tucson, AZ) Fly V Australia
  • 85. Phillip Mann (Fort Collins, CO) Ciclismo
  • 86. John (Jackie) Simes (Breinigsville, PA) Team Mountain Khakis
  • 87. Chad Cagle (Tulsa, OK) Mercy Cycling Team
  • 88. Bryan Fawley (Robinson, TX) Dallas Metal Fab / Park Place Dealerships
  • 89. James Flora (Beecher, IL) South Chicago Wheelmen
  • 90. RYAN NYE (LOCKPORT, NY) Mvp Health Care Elite Cycling
  • 91. Kevin Berger (Madison, WI) Team Wheel & Sprocket
  • 92. CHRIS ARNDT (WAUWATOSA, WI) Team Wheel And Sprocket
  • 93. Kirk Albers (Upper Arlington, OH) Texas Roadhouse Cycling Team
  • 94. Logan Garey (Boulder, CO) Team Rio Grande
  • 95. CORY HICKMAN (ORLAND PARK, IL) Project 5 Racing
  • 96. Clayton Goldsmith (Milwaukee, WI) Team Wheel & Sprocket
  • 97. Matthew Brandt (Sheboygan, WI) Mesa Cycles Racing Team
  • 98. Aaron Beardsley (Berkeley, CA) Team Clif Bar
  • 99. Stephen Kincaid (Gilbertsville, PA) Empire
  • 100. Derek Laan (West Lafayette, IN) Panther/rgf Cycling P/b Felt Bicycles
  • 101. Danny Kam (Las Vegas, NV) Team Bearclaw
  • 102. NICK HOUSLEY (MARIETTA, GA) Myogenesis P/b United Health Care
  • 103. Gregg Brandt (Winona, MN) Bianchi Gp
  • 104. Andrew Armstrong (Plano, TX) Matrix/rbm
  • 105. Joe Lewis (Minneapolis, CO) Synergy
  • 106. Dan Lionberg (Fort Collins, CO) Team Rio Grande
  • 107. Jerome Townsend (Princeton, MA) Fitness Together/if Pb Lionette’s
  • 108. Robert Kelley (Geneva, IL) Team Bicycle Heaven
  • 109. Ryan Baumann (Green Bay, WI) Trek Livestrong
  • 110. John Bergmann (Albany, CA) Team Clif Bar Cycling
  • 111. Christopher Hall (Fort Collins, CO) Tradewind Energy / Trek Stores
  • 112. Todd Yezefski (Cambridge, MA) If/lionette’s Cycling Team
  • 113. Neil Shirley (La Mesa, CA) Kelly Benefit Strategies
  • 114. CALIXTO BELLO (Cuba) Zmotion
  • 115. Josh Gillingham (Thunder Bay, CA)
  • 116. Mike Sherer (Bloomington, IN) Alderfer Bergen
  • 117. CONNOR SALLEE (SHERMAN, CT) Williams Cycling
  • 118. Craig Streit (Scottsdale, AZ) Carlos Obriens Racing