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Wet and wild: Tim Johnson’s Saturn Classic predictions

Since the middle of July, New Englander Tim Johnson of Saturn has been camped out in the Boulder, Colorado, at the home of teammate Will Frischkorn, preparing for this Saturday's epic, 140-mile Saturn Cycling Classic from Boulder to Breckenridge. Four days before the race, VeloNews caught up with Johnson, who was doing his best to prepare for the nearly 14,000 total feet of climbing over seven mountain passes. "When I got out here after Cascade, the main thing was to try to get used to the altitude.," Johnson said. "I'm not an altitude boy, but given enough time, I think I can do okay. Long

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Updated start list at bottom of story

By Bryan Jew, VeloNews Senior Writer

Roller Coaster - Wet or dry, the Saturn Classic will be tough

Roller Coaster – Wet or dry, the Saturn Classic will be tough

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Since the middle of July, New Englander Tim Johnson of Saturn has been camped out in the Boulder, Colorado, at the home of teammate Will Frischkorn, preparing for this Saturday’s epic, 140-mile Saturn Cycling Classic from Boulder to Breckenridge. Four days before the race, VeloNews caught up with Johnson, who was doing his best to prepare for the nearly 14,000 total feet of climbing over seven mountain passes.

“When I got out here after Cascade, the main thing was to try to get used to the altitude.,” Johnson said. “I’m not an altitude boy, but given enough time, I think I can do okay. Long rides in the mountains and intervals on Lefthand Canyon are the typical recipe.”

During his stay in Boulder, Johnson has experienced the West’s severe drought conditions, but his fearless forecast for Saturday called for plenty of the wet stuff. “It’s gonna be scary,” he said. “I guarantee rain on Saturday. Guaranteed, no question in my mind. The last couple days, 1:30-2 o’clock, the clouds just start brewing, and you know there’s gonna be trouble. It’s gonna be bad. That first year [2000], I didn’t do the race, but I watched the video, and we might have the same issues.”

Johnson was no less emphatic when it came to predicting a winner, although his prediction was veiled in secrecy. “My winner of the race is going to be … someone new,” he said. “Someone who hasn’t been in the lead group the last two years. It’s gonna be a totally new winner. I think [defending champion Jonathan] Vaughters is gonna have his hands full.

“I won’t give a name, but it will be an unknown winner, unknown to the Zinger at least … Quite possibly a mountain biker.”

Wet and wild: Tim Johnson's Saturn Classic predictions

Wet and wild: Tim Johnson’s Saturn Classic predictions

Photo:

Johnson has had plenty of time to ride with the local mountain-bike pros, including Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski, Walker Ferguson, Adam Craig, Skyler Reeves and Travis Brown, but wouldn’t let on who his “unknown” pick was.”I think the other favorites are, obviously Vaughters, Chris Baldwin is in really good form, my boy Frisch [Frischkorn] here, [Chris] Wherry, [Scott] Moninger of course … but I think it’s going to be a bigger group at the front. Last year, the Mercury factor was so big, they had so many guys drilling it, with Floyd Landis absolutely killing himself to get Wherry across to that lead group.”Johnson predicts a larger lead group than last year for much of the race, until things begin to blow apart on the final climb, the 11,547-foot Hoosier pass. “But since it’ll be raining, it’ll be awesome,” he added.”I think we’re just gonna bank on a horrible day that makes everybody want to quit, go home and cry.”Start List – 2002 Saturn CyclingClassicHandle Bar & Grill
1. Jonathan Vaughters, (USA)
2. Rishi Grewal, (USA)
3. Tinker Juarez, (USA)
4. Tomas Adamac, (USA)
5. Jose Adrian Bonilla (CRC)
6. Michael Brown, (USA)
7. Mike Carter, (USA)
8. Adam Craig, (USA) *
9. Nick Waite, (USA) *
10. Driber Esquivel, (CRC) *Mercury
11. Scott Moninger, (USA)
12. Chris Wherry, (USA)
13. Tom Danielson, (USA)
14. Jesus Zarate (Mex)
15. Henk Vogels (Aus)
16. Plamen Stoyanov (Bul)
17. Phil Zajicek, (USA)Prime Alliance
21. Danny Pate, (USA)
22. Michael Creed, (USA) *
23. Matt DeCanio, (USA)
24. Alex Candelario, (USA)
25. Russell Stevenson, (USA)
26. John Peters, (USA)Saturn
31. Damon Klück, (USA)
32. Will Frischkorn, (USA) *
33. Christopher Fisher, (USA)
34. Tim Johnson, (USA)
35. Peterson Soren (Dk)
36. Trent Klasna, (USA)
37. Harm Jansen (Nl)Tokyo Joe’s
41. Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski, (USA)
42. Carl Swenson, (USA)
43. Walker Ferguson, (USA) *
44. Skyler Reeves, (USA) *
45. Mike Janelle, (USA)
46. Jimi Mortenson, (USA)
47. Marc Gullickson, (USA)
48. Todd Wells, (USA)
49. Matt Pachoka, (USA)Jittery Joe’s/7-UP
51. Dirk Friel, (USA)
52. Mike Ley, (USA)
53. Calle Cesaar Grajales, (COL)
54. Jacob Rosenbarger, (USA)
55. Clark Sheehan, (USA)
56. John Lieswyn, (USA)
57. Chuck Coyle, (USA)Navigators
61. Burke Swindlehurst, (USA)
62. Chris Baldwin, (USA)
63. Glen Mitchell (NZ)
64. Ed Beamon, (USA)
65. Ryan Guay, (USA)Trek/Volkswagon – New Belgium
71. Travis Brown, (USA)
72. Dave Aschwanden, (USA)
73. Chris Brennan, (USA)
74. Nathan Busch, (USA)
75. Jeff Hartmann, (USA)
76. Andrew Miller, (USA)
77. Jeff Pink, (USA) *
78. Evan Ruzanski, (USA)
79. Mark Southard, (USA)
80. Jon Stierwalt, (USA)Sierra Nevada
81. Eddy Gragus, (USA)
82. Dariuz Wojciechowski, (Pol)
83. Andy Jacques-Maynes, (USA)
84. Ben Jacques-Maynes, (USA)
85. Troy White, (USA)
86. Chris McGovern, (USA)Excel Sports
91. Gregory Ask, (USA)
92. Andrew Bajadali, (USA)
93. Fred Gluck, (USA)
94. Charlie Hayes, (USA)
95. Billy Masterson, (USA)
96. Mark Schwab, (USA)George’s/Lost River Cycling
101. Kevin Livingston, (USA)
102. Richard Rodriguez, (USA)
103. Joby Siciliano, (USA)
104. Matson Tew, (USA)
105. Michael Tobin, (USA)
106. Zachery Vestal, (USA)
107. Cody Waite, (USA)Schwab Cycles/Torelli
111. Cameron Hughes AUS
112. Karl Kiester, (USA)
113. Robbie King, (USA) *
114. Derrick Nickel, (USA)
115. Lew Perna, (USA)
116. Hugo Pradoneto, (USA)
117. Ian Prichard, (USA)
118. Barkley Robinson, (USA)
119. Ang Sheldrake, (USA) *Vitamin Cottage Morgul Bismark
121. Steve Crowley, (USA)
122. Joey Pinkerton, (USA) *
123. Mason Rickard, (USA)
124. Mike Rosaasen, (USA)
125. Brian Todeschini, (USA)
126. Jon Tarkington, (USA)Al’s Barber Shop/Hinds
131. Frank Overton, (USA)
132. Jim Mohan, (USA)
133. Eric Nussbaumer, (USA)
134. Jeff Wardell, (USA)
135. Patrick Sullivan, (USA)
136. Jan Neal, (USA)PedalHome.com/Rogue Wheels
141. Danny Sullivan, (USA)
142. Dan DePaemelaere, (USA)
143. Aaron Small, (USA)
144. Mike Kingery, (USA)
145. Mitch Moreman, (USA)Rio Grande
151. Kevin Nicol, (USA)
152. Micah Martin, (USA)
153. Thad Stocker, (USA)
 

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