By VeloNews Interactive
Jelly Belly’s Mariano Friedick earned a long-sought-after win on the fourth day of the Tour of the Gila after outsprinting three breakaway companions at the end of a 43-mile criterium Gila in Silver City, New Mexico on Saturday. In the women’s race, Saturn’s Ina Teutenberg crossed the line ahead of teammate Anna Millward as this season’s top women’s team enjoyed a win in a stage race dominated by the young Canadian phenom’ Genevieve Jeanson. Jeanson maintains a seven-minute lead in the overall standings, while Mercury’s Scott Moninger maintains a grip on the overall lead in the men’s race.
Today’s criterium in downtown Silver City featured a tight, 1.08-mile four-turn course with a short climb that got progressively tougher over the course of 40 laps. Twenty laps into the race, a group of four – Fredick, Clark Shehan (7UP-Colorado Cyclist), Jose Louis Gonzales (Corona) and David Smith of Lombardi Sports – escaped and set about building a lead.
Moments after the group escaped, however, Smith suffered a flat and caused some confusion in the pits as officials tried to determine whether the Lombardi rider was a part of the break or with the main field. “Ask them,” Smith suggested as the remaining three escapees sped toward the pit. Shehan sensed the officials’ confusion and yelled out “he’s with us!” as Smith was granted his free lap and allowed to rejoin the break.
With their respective teams riding herd on the front of the pack, the four eventually built a substantial 1:40 lead, with six laps remaining. It was enough to trigger a chase by the Mercury squad, intent upon limiting the damage and protecting Moninger’s hold on general classification.
Aware of Friedick’s sprint, Shehan attacked twice on the final lap, but to no avail. All four men, rounded the final turn together and, with 150 meters to go, Friedick launched an attack, beating smith to the line by a bike length. Mercury’s Gord Fraser
For Friedick, the win couldn’t have come too soon. “For the last four weeks at Willamette and Solano I’ve been so close coming in fourth and fifth and just thought ‘oh my god when am I going to get a win ?’ I finally got one,” he said.
In the women’s race, the season’s top women’s team enjoyed a rare opportunity to take the temporary limelight away from Jeanson. The 19-year-old Canadian has made rare appearances in major races this season, preferring to spend most of her early season training in Arizona. When she has made an appearance – as was the case at Redlands and here at Gila – she has simply ridden the rest of the field off of her wheel. Jeanson has quietly said she is using these races as part of her preparation for world’s and in attempt to refine her skills
In this criterium, Teutenberg didn’t wait leave much opportunity for Jeanson to practice time trailing on a tight course. The Saturn criterium specialist charged off the front just five laps after the start. A group of seven began a chase and eventually reeled in the German sprinter.
But Teutenberg is not one to give up easily and less than a lap later, she was off the front of the group and this time it was to stay. She was joined only by teammate Anna Millward – the UCI World Cup leader — who managed to escape from that group of Teutenberg’s pursuers.
The two rode together to finish, with Teutenberg taking the win. Millward said she was happy to get a chance to race for a spot other than first-person-behind-Jeanson.
“It’s been pretty tough riding against Genevieve,” Millward said. “She’s on some kind of form, at such a high level. It’s nice to get a win and enjoy the racing a little more.”
1. Mariano Friedick, Jelly Belly, 1:39:33;
2. Dave Smith, Lombardi Sports ;
3. Juan Luis Gonzales, Corona-Citibank;
4. Clark Sheehan, 7UP-Colorado Cyclist, all s.t.;
5. Gord Fraser, Mercury, at 1:40. Canada.
Overall after four stages
1. Scott Moninger, Mercury, 9:18:46;
2. Eric Wohlberg, Saturn, at 1:51;
3. Scott Price, Landis-Trek-VW, at 2:22;
4. Matt DeCanio, Saturn, at 2:28;
5. Doug Ziewacz, 7UP-Colorado Cyclist at 2:32.
1. Ina Teutenberg, Saturn, 54:24 Germany —
2. Anna Millward, Saturn, s.t;
3. Joanne Kiesanowski, Proctor & Gamble, at 1:19
4. Lyne Bessette, Saturn;
5. Genevieve Jeanson, Rona, all s.t.
Overall, after four stages;
1. Genevieve Jeanson, 8:06:41;
2. Lyne Bessette, Saturn, at 7:04;
3. Kimberly Bruckner Saturn, at 8:26;
4. Katrina Berger, 800.com, at 14:28
5. Anna Millward, Saturn, at 17:52.