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Domestic scene: Bro Tour and comebacks

With her dominating win at the Tour of the Gila, Rona’s Genevieve Jeanson closed to within six points of Saturn’s Lyne Bessette in the latest stage-race standings of the VeloNews Bro Tour, VeloNews’s unofficial, season-long "virtual" series tracking the U.S. road scene.Bessette’s teammate Kimberly Bruckner moved into second place, just one point behind Bessette, while Jeanson is fourth.In the men’s standings, Prime Alliance’s Chris Horner continues to hold a commanding lead over 7UP-Nutra Fig’s John Lieswyn. VeloNews Bro Tour: Stage Races (after 4 of 7 events) Men 1. (1) Chris Horner,

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By Bryan Jew, VeloNews Senior Writer

With her dominating win at the Tour of the Gila, Rona’s Genevieve Jeanson closed to within six points of Saturn’s Lyne Bessette in the latest stage-race standings of the VeloNews Bro Tour, VeloNews’s unofficial, season-long “virtual” series tracking the U.S. road scene.Bessette’s teammate Kimberly Bruckner moved into second place, just one point behind Bessette, while Jeanson is fourth.In the men’s standings, Prime Alliance’s Chris Horner continues to hold a commanding lead over 7UP-Nutra Fig’s John Lieswyn.

VeloNews Bro Tour: Stage Races (after 4 of 7 events)

Men

1. (1) Chris Horner, Prime Alliance, 97 points

2. (2T) John Lieswyn, 7UP-Nutra Fig, 57

3. (6) Danny Pate, Prime Alliance, 52

4. (11) Scott Moninger, Mercury, 45

5. (2T) David Zabriskie, U.S. Postal Service, 38

6. (8) Eric Wohlberg, Saturn, 37

7T. (4T) Henk Vogels, Mercury, 31

(4T) Søren Petersen, Saturn, 31

9. (–) Chris Wherry, Mercury, 30

10. (7) Adham Sbeih, Mercury, 27

Dropped out: Roland Green, Damon Kluck

Numbers in parentheses indicate previous ranking

Women

1. (1) Lyne Bessette, Saturn, 75 points

2. (4) Kimberly Bruckner, Saturn, 74

3. (2) Judith Arndt, Saturn, 71

4. (5) Genevieve Jeanson, Rona, 69

5. (3) Sue Palmer-Koma, Talgo America, 50

6. (8) Karen Bockel, Rona, 41

7. (6) Susy Pryde, Talgo America, 32

8. (7) Andrea Hannos, Rona, 22

9. (–) Jessica Phillips, Saturn, 19

10. (20) Katrina Berger, T-Mobile, 18

Dropped out: Mari Holden, Kim Anderson

The comeback trail

A few riders on the comeback trail showed they were on track at the recent Tour of the Gila, although Saturn’s Anna Millward had her comeback interrupted briefly after an allergic reaction the morning of the criterium.

Millward had been having problems since a crash at world’s last fall, but doctors had not been able to diagnose the problem — a torn gluteus medius muscle — until a recent MRI. The injury caused her to miss most of the early season, but she was back at Gila and riding well.

“She’s so much more fit than I had expected her to be,” said team director Gianna Roberge. “I would say she’s 90 percent where she needs to be, and with the goal of the Commonwealth Games, she should be right on track.”

However, after a strong opening three days, Millward had a scare before the criterium when she had an allergic reaction to some hazelnut syrup that was accidentally put into her coffee. Aware of her nut allergy, Millward took an antihistamine, but it proved to be too late. While out on a ride before the criterium, Millward collapsed by the side of the road and had to be taken to the hospital, forcing her out of the race, although she was fine the following day.

Like Millward, who rode hard in support of Kimberly Bruckner, Prime Alliance’s Chris Horner also played a supporting role in his comeback from a fractured foot, an injury he sustained while riding his motocross bike at the beginning of April.

“Horner’s doing a little bit better every day,” said Prime Alliance team director Kirk Willet. “He didn’t start training until last Friday [before Tour of the Gila]. [On stage 2] he set up Danny Pate for the climb, paying him back for March, but he’ll need another couple of weeks to compete with all those guys. I think at Housatonic he’ll be 95 percent, and then at Philly week hopefully he’ll have some good luck.”

The biggest comeback came from Saturn’s Mark McCormack, who was hit head-on by a car during training at the end of March. McCormack required stitches to his nose and chin, and required daily physical therapy in April because of lingering soreness in his neck.

McCormack won the Gila’s stage 3, the only non-Mercury win in the five-day race. “For me the whole purpose of going to Gila was to get some training,” said McCormack, who took two-and-a-half weeks off after the accident. “To get a stage win was a bonus.

“I was happily surprised with that win. I certainly wasn’t the strongest guy in the race that day.”