May 29, 2005 — Navigators Insurance’s Kirk O’Bee, fresh from a flight to the U.S. from Belgium, took the second step on the podium in Alexandria, Virginia today, in the 8th CSC Invitational (formerly the Clarendon Cup) Criterium.
This 100-Km Criterium is always a fast and hard event as many of the top players in North America are in attendance, as this race marks the start of the most important week of racing in the U.S. The star-studded field went single-file straight from the starter’s whistle in search of glory. With riders from Navigators, CSC, Colavita and HealthNet at the front, the attacks and high speeds remained constant for the first 50-Km. Navigators’ David O’Loughlin got things stirred up at the mid-way point with a powerful attack that caused a swift and strong reaction from the field.
Once the dust settled, there were 19 riders in a breakaway, with the odds going to HealthNet with five, followed by Navigators with four, then Colavita with two. Although CSC had Bobby Julich in the break, the Pro Tour squad didn’t like the composition and sent the team to the front of the peloton to reel in the leaders. As the gap of 40-seconds came down, the damage to the field continued as riders were being blown out the back of the peloton by the powerful CSC chase. With the field recovering from the effort, a counter-attack was launched by Navigators’ Kirk O’Bee, Bobby Julich (CSC), Ivan Stevic (Aerospace Engineering) and Ivan Dominguez (HealthNet).
With less than 20 laps remaining on the 1.5-Km course, the four leaders had a 40-seconds lead on the peloton, and the motivation to take it all the way to the end. Nearly lapping the field, the final two laps saw Julich and Stevic attacking the break in an effort to rid themselves of the 2 faster riders. From the final turn to the line, it was a drag race between O’Bee and Dominguez, with Dominguez taking the win in a photo finish over O’Bee, as Stevic held on for 3rd.
1. Ivan Dominguez (HealthNet)
2. Kirk O’Bee (Navigators Insurance)
3. Ivan Stevic (Aerospace Engineering)