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Sea Otter Classic – Road Race – Cromwell and Leipheimer Win

by Andrew Rogers

April 17, 2009 (Monterey, CA) – Tiffany Cromwell (Petaluma) was cooking as Colavita/Sutter Home dominated the pro cat 1/2 women’s road race on Friday. On a day where Colavita wanted to get out and attack the field, and with four of the top five finishers on their team there was no doubt they were there to show Tibco and others who’s team was in the frying pan. The field was also dominated by Kiwi and Austrailian riders while no Canadian women competed.

Cromwell, a petite blonde fresh from Australia, was in fine form as she left the field gawking in her wake while she steamed up the past 4km without an attacker in sight. “I was put into a really good position and my legs are good and as I’ve been racing in Australia – it was good timing for me.”

Crowell won by over 30 seconds as the race for second place became the most dramatic element of the crash-less race. Crowell’s team mate, Cath Cheatley and Joanne Kiesanowski (Team Tibco) almost crashed into each other during the last uphill 50 meters. Cheatley, who crashed hard in China only three months ago breaking her hip, looked fully recovered though she had barely raced since then.

“Being back on the bike and getting into competition was really important for me, I needed to feel the burn and put a good race back into my legs. I hope this is a good indicator of my upcoming season.”

Kelly Benjamin, Cromwell’s powerful team mate who won the pro women’s crit on Thursday, started the race but pulled out after three laps. “I wanted to get my teammates out in front and pull them around for a few laps since my goal is Saturday’s finals and I want fresher legs – it worked out fantastic for the team.”

Tibco’s Kiesanowski ruined the Colavita block party by edging out Cheatley near the line commenting, “That was a tough race, Colavita was amazing how they worked together.”

Leipheimer in Charge
On a warm day with softer winds than normal here, Levi Leipheimer (USA) Astansaid before the race he wasn’t planning on going for a win – so much for predictions. The 110.4km/69-mile men’s pro 1/2 and U/23 race came down to Leipheimer, the lone star from Astana and the Bissel team jockeying for a piece of him and as he coasted home. Canada’s lone entry Spencer Smitheman (Above Category Racing) finished in 32nd.

Leipheimer made the last hill, which began at a 6% grade and ended around 8%, look too easy as he was all alone (over four seconds ahead of Bissels’s Paul Mach) looking fresh after the 3km uphill finish line. “Believe me, this was not as easy as it looked – it was windy and hot,” commented Leipheimer.

Although the temperatures rose during the morning, a breeze began to bring up head winds that separated the groups giving Leipheimer the necessary push to attack and lead the pack for the rest of the race.

“I felt really good today and wanted to come here to train for the Giro. That’s why I came, to support the local races and be home to train – and this is the kind of course that is different enough than the rest of the races, perfect for what I need in the Spring in Italy.”

The Bissel team fought hard and its deep team showed true grit and commitment during the race as they chased Leipheimer on his breakaway with Mach staying with him through the last climb. As it happened, the podium was filled with all three finishers (Bissel’s Mach and Morgan Schmitt respectively) and Leipheimer from Santa Rosa added, “We’ve got great hills and weather for riding, it doesn’t surprise me to see them along side me – we train on the same terrain.”

Bissel’s main threat, Mach agreed, “This course suits me really well, not as shaded as in the hills around Santa Rosa, but very similar climbs, I love this course, but it’s really tough.” Bissel did exactly what it came to prove on both days of road racing – that they’re the Men’s pro team to beat and so far they’ve demonstrated this. Sunday’s circuit race at 10am will be the last day of competition for the men’s pro teams with Leipheimer planning to race as well.


Elite Women

1. Tiffany Cromwell (Petaluma) 2:20:40
2. Joanne Kiesanowski (Team Tibco) 0:34
3. Catherine Cheatley (Petaluma)
4. Rachel Heal (Petaluma) 2:02
5. Tina Pic (Colavita/Sutter Home)
6. Jenn Halladay (Bobs Bicycles Cycling Club) 2:03
7. Emma Rickards (Team Tibco) 2:06
8. Ruth Clemence (Simple Green)
9. Annie Malouin (Team Webcor Av) 2:12
10. Olivia Dillon (Touchstone Climbing) 2:23
11. Melinda Weiner (Kahala Lagrange) 2:34
12. Kelly Mcdonald (Touchstone Climbing) 3:31
13. Rushlee Buchanan (Brisbane) 4:14
14. Coryn Rivera (Metro VW) 7:04
15. Kimberly Fong (Wines Of Washington) 7:06
16. Kathryn Donovan (Kahala Lagrange) 7:15
17. Kate Ligler (Dolce Vita) 9:40
18. Yukie Nakamura (Metromint Cycling) 11:28
19. Ashley Anderson (Metro VW) 12:16
20. Alison Rosenthal (Team Tibco) 13:29
21. Stacy SiMS (USA Team Kenda) 20:10
22. Kelsey Withrow (Menlo Park)
DNF Jane Despas (Colavita/Sutter Home)
DNF Kelly Benjamin

Elite Men

1. Levi Leipheimer (Astana) 2:58:05
2. Paul Mach (Bissell Pro Cycling) 0:04
3. Morgan Schmitt (Bissell Pro Cycling) 0:20
4. Ben Jacques-Mayne (Bissell Pro Cycling) 0:30
5. Luism Romero Amaran (Colavita/Sutter Home) 0:31
6. Christopher Jones (Team Type 1) 0:35
7. Alex Howes (Garmin/Holowesko/Felt) 0:38
8. Nathaniel English (Zteam) 0:41
9. Caleb Fairly (Felt-VMG) 1:21
10. Luca Ortolani (San Francisco) 1:33
11. Burke Swindlehurst (Bissell Pro Cycling) 2:35
12. Daniel Holloway (Garmin/Holowesko/Felt) 5:18
13. Vincent Owens (Hdr P/B Lombardi Sports)
14. Samuel Pickman (Specialized) 5:38
15. Ian Tuttle (Above Category Racing) 6:05
16. Thomas Nelson (Liquid Fitness/Adage) 6:35
17. Andy Jacques-Maynes (Bissell Pro Cycling) 6:49
18. Chris Winn (Rmcef)
19. Adam Switters (Colavita/Sutter Home)
20. Alejandro Borrajo (Nashvillecyclist:Com) 6:50
21. Evan Hyde (Fly V Australia)
22. Hayden Brooks (Hdr P/B Lombardi Sports) 6:51
23. Tyler Brandt (Above Category) 6:52
24. Kris Lunning (Swamis/Fppi) 6:53
25. Jason King (Colavita/Sutter Home)
26. Anibal Borrajo (Iscorp/Nova Cycle)
27. Zack Stein (Now-MS Society) 6:54
28. Aaron Schneider (Fly V Australia) 6:55
29. Ben King (Liquid Fitness/Adage)
30. Rudolph Napolitano (Liquid Fitness/Adage)
31. Matt Landen (California Giant/Specialized)
32. Julian Martinez (Now-MS Society) 6:57
33. Spencer Smitheman (Above Category Racing) 6:58
34. Chris Turner (Rmcef) 6:59
35. Ian Holt (California Giant/Specialized) 7:01
36. Jesse Moore (California Giant/Specialized)
37. John Hunt (Berkeley)
38. Ryan Ramos (Bissell Pro Cycling) 7:02
39. Peter Latham (Team Waste Mgmt) 7:04
40. Evan Bowman (California Giant/Specialized) 7:07
41. Tyler Dibble (Plowman Craven) 7:15
42. Neil Coleman (Webcor/Alto Velo) 7:16
43. Thomas Novikoff (Colavita/Sutter Home)
44. Guido Palma (Bissell Pro Cycling) 7:19
45. Tim Farnham (Swamis/Fppi) 7:22
46. Corey Farrell (Cmg) 7:35
47. Marcel Delisser (Colavita/Sutter Home) 7:42
48. Lucas Haedo (Bhten Speed Drive/) 8:25
49. Justin Maka (Cyclepaths/Wild Cherry) 14:12
50. Nathan Freed (Norcal Elite Cycling) 19:56
51. Shaun Harless (Leanderq Tx Sua) 28:22
52. Daniel Carruthers (Cyclepaths/Wild Cherries) 7:25
53. Nick Schaffner (Bpg) 7:29
54. Jd Bergmann (California Giant/Specialized) 8:10
55. Osvaldo Olmos (Swamis/Fppi) 26:20
56. Zack Simkover (Swamis/Fppi) 9:52
57. Chris Daggs (Team Ranchos) 21:40
58. Eric Sammuli (Black Dog Pro) 21:41
59. Ryan Sabga (Fly V Australia) 26:55
DNF Steven George (Santa Rosa)
DNF Jeremy Vennell (Bike Religion)
DNF Albert Gonzales (Klein Real Estate)
DNF Kevin Klein (Liquid Fitness/Adage)
DNF Travis Wilkerson (Swamis/Fppi)
DNF Rob Carr (Swamis-Fppi)
DNF Alex Jarman (Boise Id USA)
DNF Dylan Jones (Bissell Pro Cycling)
DNF Kirk Obee (Rmcef)
DNF Tucker Olander (Bissell Pro Cycling)
DNF Cody O’Reilly (Now-MS Society)
DNF Peter Rennie (San Rafael)
DNF David Van Orsdel (Liquid Fitness-Adage)
DNF Josh Horowitz (Liquid Cycling)
DNF Justin Kerr (Bend Or USA)
DNF Sean Passage (Zteam)
DNF Lucas Binder (California Giant/Specialized)
DNF Dirk Copeland (Chico Corsa)
DNF Michael Cordova (Liquid Fitness/Adage)
DNF Mitch Gantz (Petaluma)
DNF Adrian Hedderman (Rock Racing)
DNF Danny Finneran (U23 Lombardi Sports)
DNF Matthew Obregon (Bissell Pro Cycling)
DNF Joao Correia (Pista Palace)
DNS Colby Elliot (San Francisco)
DNS Luca Ortolani (Durango)
DNS Ned Overend (Leadville)
DNS David Quist (Team Clif Bar)
DNS Mark Shimahara (Metromint Cycling)
DNS Connor Spencer

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