Thursday, March 26, 2009

Redlands Stage 1: Ruiter, Erker Top Oregon Riders

The Redlands Bicycle Classic is underway in California, and Oregon riders and teams are in the thick of it.

Bend's Christina Ruiter (Value Act Capital) finished 10th in the short uphill opening time trial.

Portland-based Veloforma had a good showing, placing rider Melisa McWirther in 13th. Banana Belt #4 winner Alice Pennington took 50th, one spot ahead of Banana Belt #3 winner Robin Secrist, who was a Cat. 4 just last year.

Veloforma director sportif Russell Cree said sickness and work commitments held up some of the other team riders from participating, but he was pleased with results so far. Cree said rider Christina Smith crashed during the time trial but is OK and will continue this weekend.

In the men's race, Portlander Jacob Erker (Kelly Benefits Strategies) finished 14th, the best Oregon men's finisher on the day. Land Rover/Orbea's top riders limited their losses to just over a minute on the winner.

MEN, 194 starters

14. Erker, Jacob Kelly Benefits Strategies 09:45.85 at 25.97
117. Liberles, Josh Ten Speed Drive / BH Bicycles 10:43.79 at 1:23.91

60. Van Uden, Roman Land Rover-ORBEA 10:14.91 at 55.03
77. Tuckerman, Aaron Land Rover-ORBEA 10:22.54 at 1:02.66
84. Camut, Jim Land Rover-ORBEA 10:26.10 at 1:06.22
87. Elken, Evan Land Rover-ORBEA 10:28.50 at 1:08.62
88. Sweeting, Bobby Land Rover-ORBEA 10:29.39 at 1:09.51
100. Hunn, Logan Land Rover-ORBEA 10:34.94 at 1:15.06
115. Bartlett, Josh Land Rover-ORBEA 10:43.55 at 1:23.67
145. Taylor, Ryan Land Rover-ORBEA 11:01.22 at 1:41.34

WOMEN, 138 starters

10. Ruiter, Christina Value Act Capital 11:49.97 at1:09.30
53. Billington, Hilary Team Lip Smackers 12:42.06 at2:01.39
56. Sanborn, Melissa Vanderkitten Racing 12:45.98 at2:05.31
73. Turnbull, Lisa Velo Classic Tours / Incycle 13:07.79 at2:27.12
100. Cohen, Jacqueline Velo Classic Tours / Incycle 13:33.72 at2:53.05
103. Benjamin, Kelly Colavita Sutter Home 13:38.71 at2:58.04

13. McWhirther, Melisa Veloforma / Zym 11:51.82 at1:11.15
41. Savage, Sabrina Veloforma / Zym 12:23.54 at1:42.87
50. Pennington, Alice Veloforma / Zym 12:39.32 at1:58.65
51. Secrist, Robin Veloforma / Zym 12:39.53 at1:58.86
79. Smith, Christina Veloforma / Zym 13:12.91 at2:32.24

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Oregon's UCI Team Visits Cancer Patients In California

The Oregon-based Land Rover/Orbea Professional Cycling Team has more important goals than simply winning bicycle races.

The team, which benefits the Lance Armstrong Foundation by raising funds and awareness about cancer, spent a day this week visiting a children's cancer ward while in California for the Redlands Bicycle Classic.

Team manager David Godfrey, racer Evan Elken and the rest of the team met with pediatric cancer patients at Loma Linda University Children's Hospital Tuesday.

"The guys were overwhelmed yesterday at their hospital visit," said team manager Norrene Godfrey. "They didn’t expect media and photographers to show up – a little shocking for the new guys on the team."

Elken said the hospital visit and other such events throughout the season are the inspiration for the team.

"This is how the team was started ... with this in mind," he told reporters.

The Press-Enterprise newspaper covered the event and has posted a video. You can see it HERE.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Oregon Racers Ready For Redlands

The 25th edition of California's Redlands Bicycle Classic is set to take off this Thursday with four stages that will wrap up on Sunday. Riders will tackle a prologue time trial, a downtown criterium and two circuit races. The men's field will have 200 riders. The women will have 150 competitors. Teams are limited to eight riders.

A preliminary list of riders who call(ed) Oregon home:

Melissa Sanborn (Vanderkitten Racing) Portland
Hilary Billington (Team Lip Smackers) Portland
Lisa Turnbull (Velo Classic Tours P/b Springfield
Jacqueline Cohen (Velo Classic Tours/ Bend
Kelly Benjamin (Colavita Sutter Home/Cooking Light) Portland OR
Christina Ruiter (Value Act Capital Cycling Team) Bend

Josh Liberles (Ten Speed Drive/Bh Bicycles) Portland
Jacob Erker (Kelly Benefits Strategies) Portland
Aaron Olson (Colavita Sutter Home/Cooking Light) Santa Barbara, CA



Josh Bartlett, Windham, NH
Jim Camut, Johnstown, PA
Roman Van, Uden Auckland, New Zeland
Logan Hunn, Auckland, New Zeland
Ryan Taylor, Charlottetown, PEI
Carson Miller, Bend, OR
Aaron Barry Tuckerman, Blenheim, New Zeland
Bobby Sweeting Sarasota, FL
* Banana Belt #3 winner Evan Elken will replace one of the team's younger riders for the Redlands roster, according to team manager David Godfrey.


Melisa Mcwhirther, Mesa, AZ
Christina Smith, Denton, TX
Sabrina Savage, Mesa, AZ
Robin Secrist, Kirkland, WA
Alice Pennington, Hood River
Becka Hartkop, Salem
Miranda Moon, Banks
Susan Peithman, Portland

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Rathe, Pennington Win Banana Belt Finale

Jacob Rathe (Hammer/CMG) won the Men's Pro/1/2 event and Alice Pennington (Veloforma) claimed top prize in the Women's 1/2/3 at Sunday's Banana Belt #4 around Henry Hagg Lake. Contested under relatively mild weather, the men’s race covered 77 miles and the women tackled 44.


Veloforma’s Alice Pennington celebrated her first complete race with the 2009 Banana Belt women’s field by winning a bunch sprint for the top prize ahead of Team Group Health’s Jen Akeroyd and Therapeutic Associates’ Jill Howe.

Pennington, a Hood River racer who earlier this season finished second at the USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Ultra-Endurance Calendar’s Mas O Menos in Terlingua, Texas, has been testing her road racing legs in the Senior Men’s Cat. 3 field and crashed out of last weekend's women's race, but it didn’t take long for her to put that behind her. With a contingent of Veloforma teammates controlling the front of the race, several short-lived break attempts served only as preamble to the all-out rush to the line on the last of four laps.

Pennington’s experience paid off with a win on the line just ahead of early season powerhouses Akeroyd and Howe.

MEN PRO/1/2/3

The Hammer/CMG Racing Team pulled off a hat trick Sunday by picking off the top three spots in the Pro/1/2 field’s mad dash for the line.

Jacob Rathe crossed the line first, ahead of an obviously pleased Marcel deLisser and third-placed teammate Austin Arguello, whose aggressive riding throughout the 77-mile day allowed his teammates to reserve their top effort for the fast, slightly downhill bunch sprint after the race came back together on the final lap.

“I was just trying to be aggressive and try and get in some breakaways,” said Arguello (pictured), who literally did not miss a chance to go down the road and was off the front for 5 ½ laps of the seven-lap race.

Arguello’s adventures didn’t go unnoticed by his teammates, who were obliged to let others expend energy chasing back Arguello and his changing cast of breakaway comrades.

“He was gone the whole race,” Rathe said. “Every time a group went he was with them.”

When the main bunch caught the last serious escape attempt on the closing lap, Arguello saved his final move to ignite the free-for-all to the finish line.

“I went on the bridge,” He said. “Marcel moved on my wheel and Jacob went though a little gap and won.”

Rathe said the final dash was chaotic.

“I was just trying to work my way up the right,” he said. “There were a lot of people moving around and doing stuff. I just kind of poked through a few holes and all of a sudden I was out in front. That’s a good feeling.”

Cyclepath’s Aaron Sanders, who fought his way back to the front of the field after getting gapped off on Lee Hill nearing the finish, crossed the line in fourth.

The Hammer/CMG Racing Team will collect its laurels and head to Rochester, Washington, for the Independence Valley Road Race on Saturday, March 28, and the Piece of Cake Road Race the next day in Woodland, Washington.


Men pro/1/2/3
1. Jacob Rathe (Hammer/CMG)
2. Marcel deLisser (Hammer/CMG)
3. Austin Arguello (Hammer/CMG)
4. Aaron Sander (CyclePath)
5. David Root (Therapeutic Associates Inc.)

Women pro/1/2/3

1. Alice Pennington (Veloforma)
2. Jen Akeroyd (Team group Health)
3. Jill Howe (Therapeutic Associates Inc.)
4. Joanna Mensher (Gentle Lovers)
5. Heather Gunderson (Veloforma)