By VeloNews Interactive
With four riders in the final top-10, Saturn men appeared to have had a stranglehold on the six-stage Tour of Willamette — but the placings didn’t come without a battle. At the top of the it was Eric Wohlberg, with Matt DeCanio in third, Soren Petersen sixth and Tim Johnson, 10th. Prime Alliance’s Danny Pate, and Jelly Belly’s Damon Kluck squeezed in for second and fourth, respectively. And on the women’s side, GT’s Alison Dunlap out-rode the other squads in Sunday’s snow-accented stage to take back the leader’s jersey for the overall title.
Hail, rain, wind and 5-foot high snow banks were all part of the six-day event held in and around Eugene, Oregon. The hailstorm greeted the men’s field as they began Friday’s Cottage Grove-Lorane road race. With the day’s race more than half done, the 15-rider break was stopped because the field — more than a minute behind — had gone off course. When things regrouped, it was a Hare-and-Hound scenario, with the break getting reabsorbed — with the exception of Wohlberg and John Lieswyn (7-Up/Colorado Cyclist). The duo finished two minutes ahead of the field; Lieswyn won while Wohlberg earned the leader’s jersey.
In the women’s Stage 3, Intersport’s Anne Samplonius and Sara Ulmer (AutoTrader.com) broke away from a complacent peloton, riding several minutes clear. The pack did organize a chase and brought the gap down to half a minute by the end. Ulmer won, Samplonius followed (after a flat late in the stage), and her teammate, Sandy Espeseth won the field sprint to protect her top spot on GC.
Saturday’s TT shuffled the women’s GC, when 800.com’s Katrina Berger rocketed along the 13-mile course and earned the yellow jersey. And in the men’s event, Mercury-Viatel’s Scott Moninger posted the fastest time, but Wohlberg still wore the yellow.
That evening’s criteriums were competitve but controlled — no one was anxious to expend any extra energy when Sunday’s brutal stage — 8000-feet of climbing across 106 miles — was just hours away.
Moninger was engine in the men’s race, and broke away from a 10-rider group with Kluck and Pate on the Huckleberry Climb. That climb not only featured 6- to 12-percent climbs along the 17-mile ascent, but riders pedaled through 150 yards of shoulder-high snow at the summit. Moninger’s work paid off with a stage win, while behind the break Wohlberg powered the chase to keep the time margin small enough to maintain his hold of the jersey.
Dunlap was the motor in the women’s field, chasing down breaks in the mountains — while dropping Berger, the GC leader — and going clear with just one rider on the descent (Kim Smith of AutoTrader.com). The two shared the work and the glory: Smith the stage win, and Dunlap the leader’s jersey on the day when it really counted.
Look for a full report of the race in the May 7 issue of VeloNews.
Follow this link for a look at the prologue, and stages 1 and 2.
TOUR OF WILLAMETTE, Cottage Grove, OR. April 10-15.
1. Eric Wohlberg (Can), Saturn, 18:10:15; 2. Danny Pate (USA), Prime Alliance, at 1:30; 3. Matt DeCanio (USA), Saturn, at 1:44; 4. Damon Kluck (USA), Jelly Belly, at 2:12; 5. Svein Tuft (USA), Broadmark Capital, at 2:29; 6. Soren Petersen (Dk), Saturn, at 3:14; 7. Russell Stevenson (USA), Broadmark Capital, at 4:27; 8. Scott Moninger (USA), Mercury-Viatel, at 5:48; 9. Liam Killeen (GBr), Great Britain-Spokes, at 9:15; 10. Tim Johnson (USA), Saturn, at 11:39; 11. Barrie Clarke (GBr), Great Britain-Spokes, at 12:57; 12. Alexander Candelario (USA), THF Racing, at 16:18; 13. Sean Doyle (USA), at 17:15; 14. Stephen Flynn (USA), UCLA, at 20:06; 15. Carl Swenson (USA), RLX Polo Sport, at 20:37; 16. Norman Carter (USA), Jelly Belly, at 21:12; 17. John Lieswyn (USA), 7UP-Colorado Cyclist, at 22:50; 18. John Peters (USA), Mercury-Viatel, at 23:03; 19. Mark McCormack (USA), Saturn, at 23:31; 20. Patrick McCarty (USA), Mercy Cycling, at 25:48.
1. Alison Dunlap (USA), GT, 14:08:21; 2. Kim Smith (USA), AutoTrader.com, at 0:20; 3. Sandy Espeseth (Can), Intersports, at 2:19; 4. Katrina Berger (USA), 800.com, at 4:13; 5. Julie Young (USA), AutoTrader.com, at 9:16; 6. Caroline Alexander (Can), Intersports, at 9:51; 7. Stacey Peters (USA), 800.com, at 12:33; 8. Lysle Wilhelmi (USA), 800.com, at 12:40; 9. Pam Schuster (USA), AutoTrader.com, at 12:45; 10. Nicole DeMars (USA), 800.com, at 15:29; 11. Kelli Emmett (USA), GT, at 15:52; 12. Jessica Phillips (Can), Intersports, at 18:26; 13. Andrea Hannos (Can), veriZon Wireless, at 20:07; 14. Susan Haywood (USA), Trek-Volkswagon, at 20:43; 15. Clare Hall-Patch (Can), at 21:27; 16. Ruthie Matthes (USA), Trek-Volkswagon, at 21:31; 17. Tina Mayolo-Pic (USA), AutoTrader.com, at 23:13; 18. Petra Ford (USA), veriZon Wireless, at 27:33; 19. Anne Samplonius (Can), Intersports, at 29:09; 20. Darnelle Moore (Can), veriZon Wireless, at 32:07.
KZEL/KNRQ Skinner’s Butte Prologue, 1km: Wohlberg
Stage 1 (Mid-Valley Glass Greenhill Road Race, 130km): Moninger
Stage 2 (Wheel Works Smith River-Vincent Creek, 150km): Mark McCormack
Stage 3 (Cottage Grove-Lorane Road Race, 140km): Lieswyn
Stage 4 (Wood Products Credit Union Dorena Lake Time Trial, 19km): Moninger
Stage 5 (Weyerhaeuser Cottage Grove Downtown Criterium, 60min): Petersen
Stage 6 (Globalstar Sharps Creek-Rock Creek Road Race, 170km): Moninger
Prologue (KZEL/KNRQ Skinner’s Butte Prologue, 1km): Dunlap
Stage 1 (Mid-Valley Glass Greenhill Road Race, 110km): Young
Stage 2 (Wheel Works Smith River-Vincent Creek, 118km): Espeseth
Stage 3 (Cottage Grove-Lorane Road Race): Ulmer
Stage 4 (Wood Products Credit Union Dorena Lake Time Trial, 19km): Berger
Stage 5 (Weyerhaeuser Cottage Grove Downtown Criterium, 45min): Ulmer
Stage 6 (Globalstar Sharps Creek-Rock Creek Road Race, 122km): Smith