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Zajicek, Gomez clinch Bisbee crowns

The finale of La Vuelta de Bisbee, the Tombstone Road Race, lived up to its reputation as the decisive stage on Sunday as Phil Zajicek (Navigators) confirmed his grip on the overall lead while Felicia Gomez (Webcor) displaced Mari Holden (T-Mobile) in the women’s competition. La Vuelta wrapped its 28th year under clear skies, light winds and mild temperatures as riders braced themselves for the day’s labors (87 miles and more than 6400 feet of climbing for elite men, and 58 miles-4400 feet for women and masters). The rolling terrain west of Bisbee allowed a break to form 38 miles into the

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By Scott Haughey

Miller wins the stage . . .

Miller wins the stage . . .

Photo: Mason Ibas

The finale of La Vuelta de Bisbee, the Tombstone Road Race, lived up to its reputation as the decisive stage on Sunday as Phil Zajicek (Navigators) confirmed his grip on the overall lead while Felicia Gomez (Webcor) displaced Mari Holden (T-Mobile) in the women’s competition.

La Vuelta wrapped its 28th year under clear skies, light winds and mild temperatures as riders braced themselves for the day’s labors (87 miles and more than 6400 feet of climbing for elite men, and 58 miles-4400 feet for women and masters).

The rolling terrain west of Bisbee allowed a break to form 38 miles into the elite men’s race. Patrick Walsh (CCB-VW-Time) and Craig McCartney (Wild Oats-Al’s) stayed away, reaching the bottom of the first of two five-mile climbs with a 1:30 gap on the peloton.

They were caught at the start of the second climb by a group containing race leader Zajicek and Drew Miller (Successful Living). Miller took the stage, finishing 5 seconds ahead of Zajicek and 14 up on Jason Donald (Team Einstein’s), but the Navigators rider remained atop the overall standings, 38 seconds ahead of Miller and 1:22 ahead of third-placed Donald.

. . . but Zajicek takes the title

. . . but Zajicek takes the title

Photo: Mason Ibas

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The elite women’s event saw Gomez, the winner of the Mule Pass Prologue, finish six seconds ahead of Anne Samplonius (Team Biovail) and 42 up on Dara Marks-Marino (Titus-Kenda). Race leader Mari Holden (T-Mobile), who held a 56-second cushion after Saturday’s double-stage day, disappeared on the mountain slopes surrounding Bisbee and finished 1:38 down, slipping to third place on G.C. behind Gomez and Samplonius.

In B racing, Doug Loveday (Grand Canyon Cycling) lost the leader’s jersey to his teammate Mark Aasmundstak Saturday evening when a scorers’ decision switched the riders’ placings.

Aasmundstak went on to win Sunday’s road race and grab the La Vuelta title. Loveday finished third on the day and kept second on GC for Grand Canyon Cycling. Daniel Martin (Safeway-GA Comm) took third.

28th Annual La Vuelta de Bisbee
Stage 3: Tombstone Road Race

1. Drew Miller, Successful Living, 4:06:17
2. Phil Zajicek, Navigators, at 0:05
3. Jason Donald, Team Einstein’s, at 0:14
4. Jonathan Garcia, Team Einstein’s, at 0:21
5. Daniel Vaillancourt, CCB-VW-Time, at 0:37
6. Corey Collier, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, at 0:39
7. John Hunt, California Giant, at 0:51
8. Andrew Edwards, Wild Oats-Al’s, at 0:56
9. Curtis Gunn, Successful Living, at 1:03
10. Kevin Rowe, California Giant, at 1:21

Women
1. Felicia Gomez, Webcor, 3:07:25
2. Anne Samplonius, Team Biovail, at 0:06
3. Dara Marks-Marino, Titus-Kenda, at 0:42
4. Gabriela Gonzales-Ferrat, Hi-Tech-5-Star, at 0:48
5. Maatje Benassi, Excel Sports, at 1:35
6. Mari Holden, T-Mobile, at 1:38
7. Stéphanie Bourbeau, Team Biovail, at 1:59
8. Sarah Bamberger, Cheerwine, at 2:05
9. Irene Beyerlein, Colavita, at 2:15
10. Michelle Beltran, Cheerwine, at 2:29

Final overall
Men

1. Phil Zajicek, Navigators, 7:33:07
2. Drew Miller, Successful Living, at 0:38
3. Jason Donald, Team Einstein’s, at 1:22
4. Jonathan Garcia, Team Einstein’s, at 1:26
5. Curtis Gunn, Successful Living, at 1:31
6. Jeremy Powers, Jelly Belly, at 1:54
7. Corey Collier, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, at 1:58
8. Kevin Rowe, California Giant, at 2:14
9. Andrew Edwards, Wild Oats-Al’s, at 2:15
10. Daniel Vaillancourt, CCB-VW-Time, at 2:18

Women
1. Felicia Gomez, Webcor, 6:05:10
2. Anne Samplonius, Team Biovail, at 0:10
3. Mari Holden, T-Mobile, at 0:47
4. Gabriela Gonzales-Ferrat, Hi-Tech-5-Star, at 2:26
5. Dara Marks-Marino, Titus-Kenda, at 2:58
6. Maatje Benassi, Excel Sports, at 3:14
7. Michelle Beltran, Cheerwine, at 4:46
8. Sarah Bamberger, Cheerwine, at 5:27
9. Heather Sborz, ASU Cycling, at 5:43
10. Stéphanie Bourbeau, Team Biovail, at 5:52

Complete results

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