Saturday, April 18, 2009

Swan, Turnbull grab wins at sunny Eugene-Roubaix

(UPDATE: Complete photo galleries for the Eugene-Roubaix morning races are now posted HERE.)

EUGENE - Team Oregon's Chris Swan won the Men's Pro/1/2 Eugene-Roubaix Sunday ahead of Seth Hosmer (HP Chiropractic) and Steven Beardsley (Gentle Lovers) as a breakaway of six approached the line together.

Therapeutic Associates Inc. rider Lisa Turnbull followed up her win at Kings Valley last weekend by taking the women's race in a two-up sprint with breakaway companion Lindsay Fox (Team Oregon) after the pair put more than four minutes into the chasing field.

Early morning cloud cover gave way to sunny skies and summer-like temps Sunday afternoon on the 13-mile course west of Eugene, brushing against the southern tip of Fern Ridge Reservoir.

Men Pro/1/2

Mark Blackwelder started the festivities early with a solo escape on the first of five laps in the 65-mile men’s race. The Gentle Lovers rider built a lead of more than a minute on the field before five more riders jumped across the gap to join him on the fourth lap. Swan, Beardsley, Jeff Bannink (Team Type-1), Seth Hosmer (HP Chiropractic) and Rob English (Midtown Direct) made the crossing. The new grouping at the front appeared to give Gentle Lovers an advantage with two riders in the break, although Blackwelder had been cooking himself out front alone for the entire race when his teammate arrived.

After reeling-in the solo rider, the new lead group started adding more time to the gap.

“We got organized nice and quick,” Swan said. “We rode hard, and we rode as a group really well.”

With most of the well-stocked teams represented in the break, the field behind settled in for field sprint for seventh. The lead group continued to pour it on until they rounded the corner for the long straightaway to the finish, beginning with a short stretch of hard-packed gravel road.

“As we got onto the dirt we started cat-and-mousing,” Swan said. “I was kind of watching Beardsley. He’s the strongest sprinter in the group and had his teammate to lead him out. The sprint started kind of early. I moved around Beardsley and had a little gap on those guys.”

Hosmer and Beardsley crossed the line next, followed by Bannink, English and Blackwelder. Kennett Peterson (Team Oregon) won the field sprint for seventh.

Women 1/2/3

Fresh off her field-sprint win in front of Kelly Benjamin (Colavita Sutter Home) and Robin Secrist (Veloforma) at the Kings Valley Road race April 11, Therapeutic Associates Inc. rider Lisa Turnbull turned up the heat again Saturday in a two-rider breakaway on the second of three laps with Team Oregon’s Lindsay Fox.

The small women’s field struggled to chase but eventually lost about four minutes to the escapees.

“We worked really well together,” Turnbull said, explaining the sizeable time split the two riders achieved. “And I had a teammate sitting back in the pack who wasn’t working.”

With their lead well established on the final lap, the two escapees approached the line for the two-up sprint, where the more experienced Turnbull took a lead out from Fox, who started the season winning Cat. 4 races.

“I sat on her wheel for awhile,” Turnbull said of the closing sprint.

She eventually came around the Team Oregon breakaway companion for a comfortable win. Fox also seemed pleased with the finish.

“I led her out really well,” she joked.

Masters Men 40+

With a slightly smaller field and one less lap, the Masters 40+ event began to look a lot like a condensed version of the Pro/1/2 race when River City Bicycles’ Tim Butler soloed away from the group on the first of four laps and looked determined to stay away.

Butler rode by himself for more than two laps and built a significant lead when Mark Steger (Nike) decided to take matters into his own hands.

“The peleton wasn’t, uh, well they weren’t really racing so I decided to give it a go,” Steger said.

He caught Butler about six miles later on the back side of the course and the two quickly forged an alliance to power the break and stay away until the finish. Butler said Steger showed up just in time.

“When (Steger) bridged up I was pretty gassed,” Butler said. “He sat on and rested, and then we took even pulls for the rest of the race.”

Steger, who considers himself a sprinter and not usually one for small breakaway tries, said sometimes you have to take the risks if you don’t want to end up sprinting for the consolation prizes.

“If we had gotten caught we surely would have lost in the sprint,” he said of the day’s escape effort. “So we made a commitment to stay away. We had to work together to stay away from the field. And it worked out wonderfully today.”

At the finale, Steger put his sprint to work in the last 200 meters and opened a gap to finish just ahead of Butler. Half Fast Velo’s Mark Magilner led the field across the line for third.


Men Pro/1/2
1. Chris Swan (Team Oregon)
2. Seth Hosmer (HP Chiropractic)
3. Steven Beardsley (Gentle Lovers)
4. Jeff Bannink (Team Type-1)
5. Rob English (Midtown Direct)
6. Mark Blackwelder (Gentle Lovers)
7. Kennett Peterson (Team Oregon)

Women Pro/1/2/3
1. Lisa Turnbull (Therapeutic Associates Inc.)
2. Lindsay Fox (Team Oregon)

Men Masters 40+
1. Mark Steger (Nike)
2. Tim Butler (River City Bicycles)
3. Mark Magilner (Half Fast Velo)