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By VeloNews Interactive
The traditional four-day start-of-summer/Fourth of July stage race in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, got underway on Thursday, with team Saturn taking the top spots in both the men’s and women’s stage 1 time trial. Eric Wohlberg took the men’s race while Lyne Bessette won the women’s opener at the Fitchburg-Longsjo Classic. Bessette’s win marked the start of a four-day showdown with Canadian teenage sensation Genevieve Jeanson (RONA).
Jeanson, who has been virtually unbeatable in her carefully selected season schedule, began the time trial one minute ahead of Bessette, the recent winner of the HP Women’s Challenge in Idaho. By about the halfway point of the rolling course, Bessette had Jeanson in sight. Although the Saturn rider didn’t catch Jeanson, Bessette would end up with a 52-second lead at the end of the stage. Jeanson finished second, with Bessette’s teammates Anke Erlank rounding out the top three.
In the men’s race, Wohlberg took the overall lead with his win and was the only man to crack the 26-minute barrier, with a time of 25:43.4. Last year’s national time trial champion Adham Sbeih (Navigators) was second, in a time of 26 minutes flat.
Despite the day one win, Saturn will have to be looking over its shoulder in Friday’s Glidden Circuit Race, as Mercury-Viatel put itself into solid position with four riders in the top six, led by Scott Moninger’s third place, just 20 seconds behind Wohlberg.
Friday’s stage will feature 13 laps of a 3.1-mile circuit for the women, totaling 40.3 miles, and 25 laps for the men, for a total of 77.5 miles.
Fitchburg-Longsjo Classic, Fitchburg, MA. Stage 1. June 28.
1. Eric Wohlberg, Saturn, 12.9mi in 25:43; 2. Adham Sbeih, Navigators, 26:00; 3. Scott Moninger, Mercury-Viatel, 26:03; 4. Gord Fraser, Mercury-Viatel, 26:06; 5. Chris Wherry, Mercury-Viatel, 26:10; 6. Derek Bouchard-Hall, Mercury-Viatel, 26:19; 7. Clark Sheehan, 7UP-Colorado Cyclist, 26:19; 8. Danny Pate, Prime Alliance, 26:21; 9. Andrew Randell, 7UP-Colorado Cyclist, 26:21; 10. Frank McCormack, Saturn, 26:30; 11. Baden Cooke, Mercury-Viatel, 26:34; 12. Trent Klasna, Saturn, 26:36; 13. John Lieswyn, 7UP-Colorado Cyclist, 26:36; 14. Sandy Perrins, Logan Race Club, 26:44; 15. Mark McCormack, Saturn, 26:45.
1. Lyne Bessette, Saturn, 27:53; 2. Genevieve Jeanson, RONA, 28:45; 3. Anke Erlank, Saturn, 29:44; 4. Suzanne Sonye, Saturn, 30:20; 5. Emily Thorne, Trek, 30:36; 6. Susan Palmer-Komar, Jane Cosmetics, 30:40; 7. Mina Pizzini, Procter & Gamble, 30:42; 8. Andrea Hannos, Verizon, 30:53; 9. Kristy Scrymgeour, Saturn, 31:09; 10. Kim Davidge, Saturn, 31:09; 11. Manon Jutras, RONA, 31:14; 12. Gabrielle Gonzalez de Ferrat, RONA, 31:18; 13. Amy Jarvis, RONA, 31:23; 14. Cheryl Binney, Procter & Gamble, 31:24; 15. Kori Kelly, Procter & Gamble, 31:26.