Saturday, August 15, 2009

Nicoletti, Wilcoxon take OBRA crit championships on exciting Albany course

PHOTO: Senior Women's winner Jade Wilcoxon (left, in red) kicks for the line Sunday in Albany.

ALBANY -- Gentle Lovers' workhorse Sam Nicoletti scored his first Senior Men's win in fashion Saturday by taking the OBRA Criterium Championship on a fast six-corner course in Albany.

Jade Wilcoxon (Flywheel Bicycle Solutions) took the Senior Women's title earlier in the day in front of fast-charging field, with Pamela Archer (Therapeutic Associates Cycling/GENR8) second and Tina Brubaker (Veloforma) in third.

Wilcoxon rode safely in the group, chasing down attacks and joining others briefly off the front before things came back together as the finale approached. The powerful sprinter bolted into final corner and onto the long finishing straight, where she was immediately challenged by Archer and Brubaker. But the challengers couldn't close down the gap opened up by the Flywheel rider's initial burst.

Attacks early and often typified the Senior Men's race. Favorites Steven Beardsley, who was leading a contingent of five Gentle Lovers riders, and Chris Hamilton (Rapha Racing) tried reapeatedly to make something happen, while riders from well-represented teams such as HPChiro, Team Oregon, and Therapeutic Associates joined the action upfront.

With the big guns watching each other and covering most of the moves, a group of four darkhorses -- soon whittled to just three -- rolled off the front and dangled just out of reach of the bunch.

"I don't think a lot of people see me as much of a threat," said Nicoletti, who atatcked with 10 to go and was soon joined by HPChiro's Jason Riffle, unattached rider Sean Passage and Therapeutic Associates' Tim Jones.

While the leaders shed Riffle after a lap prime, the peloton didn't seem to be pressing the chase.

"Before today my best place was 14th," Nicoletti said. "So I don't think anybody was too hot to chase me."

In fact, the chasers behind were left in a typical conundrum. If they chased too hard, they'd be towing Nicolettti's teammate and pre-race favorite Beardsley to the finish line.

"I didn't think we were rolling too fast," Nicoletti said. "So the guys behind must have been really sticking to everybody else. With two to go I knew they weren't going to make the rest of it up. We were just dangling off the front, and I saw (Gentle Lovers') pink on the front behind us, so..."

With Passage taking a monster pull on the last lap to keep the breakaway in front of the quickly closing field, Nicoletti sat in and prepared his sprint, where he jumped out of the last corner into the closing straight.

"I can usually get out of my saddle and sprint a little bit," he said. "Enough today."

PHOTO: Masters men 50-59 winner Dickie Mallison on the podium with second-place finisher Michael Manning.

OBRA Criterium Championships
Aug. 15, Albany, Oregon

Jr. Women
1. Fiona Graham (Specialized/River City Bicycles)
2. Hannah McDade (Beaverton Bicycle Club)
3. Audrey Green
Men 15-16
1. Joe Prettyman (Beaverton Bicycle Club)
2. Austin Boswell (Lowes Cycling Team)
3. Colby Wait-Molyneux (North River Racing)
Men 17-18
1. Phelan Kostur (Fred Meyer/Lakseside Cycling Team)
2. Zach Bowden (Fred Meyer/Lakseside Cycling Team)
3. Stephen Jones (Land Shark)

PHOTO: Tina Brubaker (Veloforma) navigates a corner in the Senior Woman's race.

Cat 4
1. Kalli Phillips (Poplollies)
2. Amanda Atwill (Bend Bike 'n' Sport)
3. Alice Chang (Hammer Velo)
Masters 30-39
1. Jill Howe (Therapeutic Associates Cycling/GENR8)
2. Lisa Turnbull (Therapeutic Associates Cycling/GENR8)
3. Tessa Sugahara Team group Health)
Masters 40-49
1. Jan Moss (Team Group Health)
2. Betty Tucker (Pacific Power Blue Sky)
3. Meg Mautner (Bike Central)
Masters 50+
1. Cary Fisher (Pacific Power Blue Sky)
2. Melissa Boyd (Pacific Power Blue Sky)
3. Flo Liebowitz (Pacific Power Blue Sky)
Senior Women
1. Jade Wilcoxon (Flywheel Bicycle Solutions)
2. Pamela Archer (Therapeutic Associates Cycling/GENR8)
3. Tina Brubaker (Veloforma)

PHOTO: CAPA Cycling Team's Joe Dengel (left) beats Word-RCB's Alex Lightman to the line in the Men's Cat 3 race Sunday.

Cat 4
1. Geoffrey Green (Capitol Velo)
2. Erik Mills
3. Rob Angelo (Therapeutic Associates Cycling/GENR8)
Cat 3
1. Joe Dengel (CAPA Cycling Team)
2. Alex Lightman (Word-RCB)
3. TJ Paskewich (Therapeutic Associates Cycling/GENR8)
Masters 30-39
1. Donald Reeb
2. Chris Hamilton (Rapha Racing)
3. Mark Hibbard
Masters 40-49
1. Eric Martin (
2. Mark Steger (NIKE)
3. Todd Fawcett
Masters 50-59
1. Dickie Mallison (Mellow Johnny's Bike Shop)
2. Michael Manning (Three Rivers Racing)
3. Ivan Meadors (Finnegan's Toys/Discover Chiropractic)
Masters 60+
1. Ron Magnus
2. John Forbes (Fred Meyer/Lakseside Cycling Team)
3. Don Hanson (ZteaM)
Senior Men
1. Samuel Nicoletti (Gentle Lovers)
2. Sean Passage
3. Tim Jones (Therapeutic Associates Cycling/GENR8)