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U.S. Race Notes: Carney tops Bro Tour; Gragus back and more

The first VeloNews Bro Tour criterium standings are out aftertwo events, the Athens Twilight and the Tour of Somerville, with PrimeAlliance’s Jonas Carney and Diet Rite’s Tina Mayolo-Pic leading the way.The winner in Somerville, New Jersey, and third in Athens, Georgia, Carneyleads a trio of Mercury riders: Derek Bouchard-Hall, Gord Fraser and GraemeMiller, with his Prime Alliance teammate Dave McCook in fifth place. Inthe women’s standings, Mayolo-Pic’s pair of second-place finishes was enoughto put her ahead of Somerville winner Laura Van Gilder (Trek Plus) andAthens champion Ina Teutenberg

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By Bryan Jew, VeloNews Senior Writer

He's Baaaack. Gragus will be in Philly

He’s Baaaack. Gragus will be in Philly

Photo: Sierra Nevada-Cannondale

The first VeloNews Bro Tour criterium standings are out aftertwo events, the Athens Twilight and the Tour of Somerville, with PrimeAlliance’s Jonas Carney and Diet Rite’s Tina Mayolo-Pic leading the way.The winner in Somerville, New Jersey, and third in Athens, Georgia, Carneyleads a trio of Mercury riders: Derek Bouchard-Hall, Gord Fraser and GraemeMiller, with his Prime Alliance teammate Dave McCook in fifth place. Inthe women’s standings, Mayolo-Pic’s pair of second-place finishes was enoughto put her ahead of Somerville winner Laura Van Gilder (Trek Plus) andAthens champion Ina Teutenberg (Saturn). Look for a possible shake-up in the standings at the next Bro Tour criterium, the Clarendon Cup this Sundayin Arlington, Virginia.Meanwhile, the battle in the one-day road race category of the Bro Tourwill heat up on the East Coast next week, with the First Union Invitationalin Lancaster, Pennsylvania, the First Union Classic in Trenton, New Jersey,and the First Union USPRO Championship in Philadelphia. The first one-dayevent saw Navigators’ Vassili Davidenko taking the win at the HousatonicValley Classic in Danbury, Connecticut.The Bro Tour if VeloNews’s unofficial ranking system for thedomestic road calendar in three categories: stage race, criterium and one-day road races.VeloNews Bro TourCriterium (after two of nine events)Men1. Jonas Carney, Prime Alliance, 52 points
2. Derek Bouchard-Hall, Mercury, 32
3. Gord Fraser, Mercury, 30
4. Graeme Miller, Mercury, 29
5t. Dave McCook, Prime Alliance, 26
Vassili Davidenko, Navigators, 26
7. Greg Henderson, 7UP-Nutra Fig, 19
8t. Sebastian Alexandre, Colavita, 16
Hayden Godfrey, 7UP-Nutra Fig, 16
10. Kevin Monahan, 7UP-Nutra Fig, 13Women1. Tina Mayolo-Pic, Diet Rite, 52
2. Laura Van Gilder, Trek PLUS, 41
3. Ina Teutenberg, Saturn, 30
4. Christina Underwood, Team Fuji, 26
5t. Tania Duff-Miller, Freddie Fu, 22
Becky Conzelman, Freddie Fu, 22
7. Emily Gloeckner, Veritas, 19
8t. Rebecca Quinn, 16
Joanne Kiesanowski, Diet Rite, 16
10t. Lara Kroepsch, Trek PLUS, 13
Jenny Eyerman, Santa Cruz-Spokesman

Gragus back on the scene

When the riders take the start at the USPRO Championships in Philadelphia on June 9, all eyes will be on two-time defending USPRO champion Fred Rodriguez and 1998 winner George Hincapie. However, a third former USPRO champion will be on the start line: 1996 race winner Eddy Gragus.

After a one-year hiatus from the sport, Gragus was signed by the Sierra Nevada-Cannondale squad earlier this spring. The 34-year-old Fort Collins, Colorado, resident went back to college last year, and didn’t race at all. This spring, he didn’t begin racing until the beginning of May.

“School was the biggest priority when I signed with the team,” he said, “and I wouldn’t be done until May 6.”

Since then, Gragus says he’s done about seven races. “I’m not expecting huge things [at Philly], but I’m gonna to it,” he said. “I’m just gonna try to have fun.”

The team is also hoping that Gragus will be able to help out some its younger riders.

“We brought him on the team to help with some of the younger guys and help with some leadership,” said team manager David Fuentes. “Most of our riders are new pros and haven’t been to these big races before.”

Gragus, meanwhile, thinks he’ll be ready.

“It’s coming back,” he said. “I’m already starting to feel like a bike racer again.”

Mercury picks up Danielson

In the category of “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em,” Tom Danielson has joined the Mercury team. The former collegiate mountain biker impressed the team enough at the recent Tour of the Gila that it picked him up for the rest of the season. In the Gila’s first climbing stage, Danielson finished third, behind Mercury’s Chris Wherry and Scott Moninger, and he finished eighth overall.

“He really impressed us there,” said Mercury director Thurlow Rogers. “We wanted to give him a shot and see what he’s capable of.”

Over Memorial Day weekend, Danielson flew the Mercury colors at the Iron Horse Classic in Durango, Colorado, finishing second to Costa Rican Henry Raabe.