Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Brands

Road

It’s all Saturn at Nature Valley

It was another stellar day for the men and women of Saturn Cycling, as they swept the closing stage — and overall — of Minnesota’s Nature Valley Grand Prix, with Trent Klasna and Katie Mactier taking top honors. Saturn dominated the podium all week long; both the men and women won four of their respective five stages. Coming into Sunday’s Stillwater criterium, Mactier’s podium-top finish was all but assured, but then again, it was so thought of Saturn’s powerful Viktor Rapinski, who started the stage with a 1:02 lead over defending race champion John Lieswyn (7UP-Maxxis). But it was not

Don't miss a moment from Paris-Roubaix and Unbound Gravel, to the Giro d’Italia, Tour de France, Vuelta a España, and everything in between when you join Outside+.

By Neal Rogers

It was another stellar day for the men and women of Saturn Cycling, as they swept the closing stage — and overall — of Minnesota’s Nature Valley Grand Prix, with Trent Klasna and Katie Mactier taking top honors.

Saturn dominated the podium all week long; both the men and women won four of their respective five stages. Coming into Sunday’s Stillwater criterium, Mactier’s podium-top finish was all but assured, but then again, it was so thought of Saturn’s powerful Viktor Rapinski, who started the stage with a 1:02 lead over defending race champion John Lieswyn (7UP-Maxxis).

But it was not to be for Rapinksi, who had an off day on the fifth, and possibly most challenging, stage of Nature Valley — a 70-minute crit’ featuring a steep 24-percent grade. Instead, it was 2001 NRC winner Trent Klasna’s early break — a solo attempt designed to soften attacks from 7UP — that stuck. Powering over the climb, he quickly opened a gap on the field.

As Klasna’s time gap brought him closer and closer to the race lead and Rapinski having a tough time — “Today was really hard,” Rapinski said, “I never felt the way I felt today” — Klasna was told to do whatever he could.“It was just one of those things where you had to go to plan B,” Klasna said.

The only rider allowed to escape by Klasna’s powerful team was Navigators’ Ciaran Powers, who would never reach him; instead, the Saturn rider continued to increase his lead every lap. Marking any attempts to bridge were Klasna’s teammates, including Tim Johnson, winner of the sprint jersey.

Saturn covered all of Lieswyn’s attempts to break away, and those in the break seemed unwilling to help.

“If I had a teammate, I could have caught Klasna,” Lieswyn said. “At one point I came almost to a complete stop, and 15 guys behind me just stopped. Nobody passed me.”

Lieswyn was missing teammate Jason McCartney for the Grand Prix — as well as two others — and he was clearly at a disadvantage against a fully stocked Saturn team.

“The racing would have been so different if Jason had been here with me,” Lieswyn said.

With the thousands of fans cheering him home, Klasna danced up the climb across the finish line more than two minutes ahead of the field, only to discover that he had won not just the stage but the overall. Powers held off Peter Knudson (Schroeder Iron) for second.

Bringing the field home was Saturn’s Ivan Dominguez in fourth. Rapinski slipped to second in the overall, 32 seconds down, while Lieswyn had to settle for third.

Bessette breaks away, Mactier clinches
The women’s race saw the field shatter immediately due to pressure applied from Kiwi track specialist Sarah Ulmer (TDS), who had every intention of laying claim to the sprint points competition. As the group diminished, Saturn had Amy Moore, Lyne Bessette and Manon Jutras remaining to protect race leader Mactier’s lead. Missing were teammates Jessica Phillips, Ina Teutenberg and Laura Van Gilder — as well as Nurnberger’s Petra Rossner — all who did not finish the difficult stage.

Still, the team’s depth was more than enough. “Saturn was covering everything today,” Ulmer said.

With less than three laps to go, third placed Karen Bockel (RONA-Esker) attacked, opening up the perfect opportunity for Bessette to counterattack when Bockel was caught, powering away to a 28-second solo win. “Karen was a perfect set-up,” Bessette said.

In second was Ulmer, who outsprinted Bockel and Mactier, third and fourth, respectively. Mactier’s finish sealed her overall win, with Saturn’s Jutras finishing in second.

“It’s great,” Mactier said of her Saturn team. “Now we are in a situation where we can go to any race and be a threat.”
Stage 5, Men:
1. Trent Klasna, Saturn, 1:11.08
2. Ciaran Powers, Navigators, at 1:55
3. Peter Knudson, Schroeder Iron, at 2:09Men, general classification after stage 5:
1. Trent Klasna, Saturn, 9:47:10
2. Viktor Rapinski, Saturn, at 0:32
3. John Lieswyn, 7UP-Maxxis, at 1:25Stage 5, Women:
1. Lyne Bessette, Saturn, 51:54
2. Sarah Ulmer, TDS, at 0:28
3. Karen Bockel, RONA-Esker, at 0:30Women, general classification after stage 5:
1. Katie Mactier, Saturn, 7:44:55
2. Manon Jutras, Saturn, at 1:03
3. Karen Bockel, RONA-Esker, at 1:16