Devo Wrap: A Berry good week in Europe for Americans
The USA Cycling National Development Program contested six races in the last week, recording several top-10 finishes, including third-place at Liege Bastogne Liege and King of the Mountains at GP Bati Metallo.
Liege Bastogne Liege
Two Americans earned spots on the podium following the 27th edition of Liege Bastogne Liege on a cold and frequently rainy Saturday afternoon in eastern Belgium. Joshua Berry (Coeur D'Alene, Idaho/Chipotle-First Solar Development Team), riding in his first race with USA Cycling, placed third in the final results while another rider, Ian Boswell (Bend, Ore.), who was riding for Bontrager Livestrong in this race, was the runner-up, finishing 15 seconds after the winner Michael Andersen (DEN). Berry trailed Andersen by 52 seconds.
Larry Warbasse (Traverse City, Mich./BMC-Hincapie Sportswear Cycling Team) overcame a broken wheel rim to finish 24th, 2:40 behind Andersen.
Early in the race, three riders attacked the field, opening a gap that grew as large as 40 seconds on the chase group of approximately 15 riders. Berry was in that 15-rider chase group, charging hard despite plummeting temperatures and falling rain and hail.
"The weather was rough, but I feel that it played to my advantage," Berry said. "I knew a lot of people weren't going to take a lot of risks. I had a great opportunity being here, so I took a quite a bit of risk."
Riding with Boswell with approximately 10 kilometers remaining in the 180-kilometer race, Berry attacked on the St. Nicholas climb. He was unable to shake Boswell, but the move created enough of a gap behind them to secure spots on the podium for the two Americans.
"I'm really grateful for the opportunity," Berry said about his first race with USA Cycling. "(Coach) Marcello (Albasini) really didn't give me a lot of direction. He just wanted to see what I could do. I hope I showed well."
The race, one of the most prestigious U23 races in the world, featured teams from 11 different countries, including national teams from Australia and Austria.
Six U23 men on Saturday contested the ZLM Tour, the third race in the Nations Cup series, in Zeeland, Netherlands. The flat course stretched nearly 190 kilometers on a windy day in Belgium.
Anders Newbury (Fairfield, Vt./Chipotle-First Solar Development Team) put himself in a 10-rider breakaway early in the race. Eamon Lucas (Fremont, Calif./California Giant Berry Farms-Specialized), who was in the chase group, bridged up with a group of 11 other riders, making the breakaway 22 riders. Working together, the breakaway grew its lead to six minutes on the remainder of the field. Newbury and Lucas attempted to attack the breakaway late in the race, but all of their moves were covered.
Lucas placed 15th in the general classification, just five seconds behind the winner Maxime Daniel (FRA), who completed the race in 4:26:33. Newbury, who briefly opened a gap on the breakaway late in the race, placed 22nd, 1:13 back. Tanner Putt (Park City, Utah/BMC-Hincapie Sportswear Cycling Team) was 3:10 behind the winner in 26th place while Ty Magner (Athens, Ga./BMC-Hincapie Sportswear Development Team) finished 6:17 back in 72nd place.
Tanner Putt (Park City, Utah/BMC-Hincapie Sportswear Cycling team) overcame harsh crosswinds and rain on Wednesday to finish 10th at La Côte Picarde in France.
An early crash whittled the field down, and forced two of the USA Cycling riders to not finish the race.
As the race reached the finishing circuits, the sun came out to help the riders navigate the hills a bit easier. The field would split up on the hills as the climbers distinguished themselves, but it would come back together on the descents and flatter terrain.
With a couple kilometers remaining in the race, Putt, Nate Brown (Covington, Tenn./Bontrager Livestrong Team) and Gavin Mannion (Dedham, Mass./Bontrager Livestrong Team) were in the lead group. But a the wind and roundabouts on the course created a hectic scene and the American riders were unable to find each other, leaving each rider to sprint for himself. The five USA Cycling riders each finished 12 seconds behind the winner Vegard Breen (NOR) in the final results. Putt finished 10th, while Mannion, Brown, Lawson Craddock (Austin, Texas/Bontrager Livestrong Team) and Ty Magner (Athens, Ga./BMC-Hincapie Sportswear Development Team) finished 33rd, 58th, 73rd and 85th respectively.
"It was a really tough race. It was really windy," Putt explained. "The field split up in the first two kilometers after the neutral start. It all came back together, but as it came back together there was a really big crash. After that, it was really cold and rainy. I found myself in a good position for the sprint. I went for the sprint and ended up 10th."
GP Palio Recioto
On Tuesday, a pair of USA Cycling's six U23 riders posted a top-10 finish at GP Palio Recioto in Italy. Ian Boswell (Bend, Ore./Bontrager Livestrong) finished in fifth place, 32 seconds behind Francesco Manuel Bongiorno (ITA) while Larry Warbasse (Traverse City, Mich./BMC-Hincapie Sportswear Cycling Team) was 1:08 behind Bongiorno in eighth place in the final results.
Also contesting the race for USA Cycling were:
Max Durtschi (Sun Valley, Idaho/Chipotle-First Solar Development Team) Ryan Eastman (Petaluma, Calif./Team Swift) Paul Lynch (Colchester, Conn./Team Type I Development)
JUNIORS T.J. Eisenhart (Lehi, Utah/Velosport Racing) swept each of the nine King of the Mountain sprints to secure that jersey at the 14th edition of the Grand Prix Bati Metallo in Ville-Pommeroeul, Belgium on Sunday.
Eisenhart, who placed 96th in the final results, rode into a move 10 kilometers into the race and scampered to the top of the first climb in Wiheries, approximately 15 kilometers into the 127.1-kilometer race, where he barely edged Jan Logier (BEL) for the first King of the Mountain points. Eisenhart remained in the 10-rider breakaway for the majority of the race, crossing each of the nine King of the Mountain lines first to earn that recognition.
The 17-year-old Eisenhart rode with the lead group until 15 kilometers remained in the race. A chase group featuring Belgium's most prominent young sprinters caught the leaders and turned the finale into a 12-rider bunch sprint to the finish line, won by Bavo Haemels (BEL).
"I really made the mistake of doing too much work in the break," Eisenhart said. "Some of the guys were able to stay off until the finish. I just wanted the KOMs. I just did way too much work and got exhausted. It happens. It's a lesson learned."
Overall, two of the USA Cycling riders finished with the main group as Logan Owen (Bremerton, Wash./Hagens Berman Cycling Team) and Alex Darville (Santa Barbara, Calif./Hammer Nutrition-CMG Racing Team) each finished 55 seconds behind Haemels, placing 31st and 47th, respectively. Colby Wait-Molyneux (Vancouver, Wash./Hammer Nutrition-CMG Racing Team) placed 99th.
A group of five women contested Halle Buizingen in Belgium on Sunday. The 121.3-kilometer race consisted of one 51-kilometer lap and six 12-kilometer circuits.
The USA Cycling contingent avoided a crash four kilometers into the race, which proved too much to overcome for those caught behind it.
A nine-rider breakaway, including several of the heavy hitters in the women's peloton included Tayler Wiles (Sandy, Utah/Team Exergy Twenty12) . The breakaway grew its advantage to one minute before the peloton began to gnaw away at the margin. As the breakaway's lead was trimmed to 25 seconds on the field, Elisa Longo Borghini (ITA) attacked, building a 35-second edge. The women brought Longho-Borghini back, creating a field sprint to the finish won by Chloe Hosking (AUS).
In the final results, Kristin McGrath (Boise, Idaho/Team Exergy Twenty12) and Janel Holcomb (San Diego, Calif./Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) each finished with the field, McGrath placing 18th and Holcomb finishing 32nd. Wiles was 1:24 back in 42nd place.
Mountain Bike At the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Houffalize, Belgium, a group of development riders contested the men's U23 and juniors cross-country races.
In the juniors men's race, Keegan Swenson (Park City, Utah/Cannondale Factory Racing) earned a spot on the podium, placing third, only 45 seconds behind Romain Seigle (FRA/Definitive Spectra). Shane Skelton (Shadow Hills, Calif./Whole Athlete-Specialized) was 9:23 back while Connor Bell (Harrisonburg, Va./Rocktown Racing) finished 11:25 behind Seigle.
In the men's U23 race, Russell Finsterwald (Colorado Springs, Colo./Subaru-Trek) was 4:35 behind the winner Ondrej Cink (CZE/Merida) in 22nd place. Kerry Werner (Banner Elk, N.C./BMC MTB Development Team) was 7:02 back in 39th place.
Joshua Berry (Coeur d'Alene, Idaho/Chipotle-First Solar Development Team) Max Durtschi (Sun Valley, Idaho/Chipotle-First Solar Development Team) Daniel Eaton (Mesa, Ariz./Mesa Cycles Shop and Racing Team) Ty Magner (Athens, Ga./BMC-Hincapie Sportswear Development Team) Anders Newbury (Fairfield, Vt./Chipotle-First Solar Development Team) Larry Warbasse (Traverse City, Mich./BMC-Hincapie Sportswear Cycling Team)
The following group of women are slated to contest La Flèche Wallonne Féminine tomorrow: Andrea Dvorak (Crozet, Va./Team Exergy Twenty12) Janel Holcomb (San Diego, Calif./Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) Kristin McGrath (Boise, Idaho/Team Exergy Twenty 12) Tayler Wiles (Sandy, Utah/Team Exergy Twenty12) Ruth Winder (Lafayette, CA/Vanderkitten)
The following group of six women are slated to compete in Omloop Boresele and GP Stand Roeselare on Saturday and Sunday, respectively: Theresa Cliff-Ryan (Cedar Springs, Mich./Team Exergy Twenty12) Megan Guarnier (Mountain View, Calif./Team TIBCO-To the Top) Janel Holcomb (San Diego, Calif./Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) Kristin McGrath (Boise, Idaho/Team Exergy Twenty 12) Tayler Wiles (Sandy, Utah/Team Exergy Twenty12) Ruth Winder (Lafayette, Calif./HDR p/b Lombardi Sports)
Joshua Berry placed third in the prestigious Liege Bastogne Liege on Saturday in Belgium. (Photo by Casey B. Gibson)
T.J. Eisenhart swept all nine sprints to win the King of the Mountains at G.P. Bati Metallo on Sunday. (Photo by Casey B. Gibson)
Keegan Swenson displaying his bounty after placing third in the juniors race in Houffalize, Belgium. (Photo by Rob Jones, CanadianCyclist.com)
About USA Cycling’s National Development Programs One of USA Cycling’s dual missions is to achieve sustained success in international cycling competition. To that end, USA Cycling maintains development programs for all disciplines of competitive cycling, including men’s and women’s U25 and junior road; mountain bike; track (endurance and sprint) and BMX development programs. These programs provide a structured pathway to the top tier of the sport through athlete development that begins with Junior racing series, Regional Development Camps and racing and moves through to international competition. For more about USA Cycling’s Athlete Development Programs, click here.
This Article Updated April 18, 2012 @ 12:33 PM
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