May 21, 2005 – The third edition of the Tour of Connecticut began yesterday evening, and this year, the race is being run as a timed stage race. Stage one featured the now familiar New Haven criterium, a fast 80 laps on a flat, four corner, 1/2 mile circuit. A fast pace and strong control of the field by Navigators Insurance, Colavita, and Webcor, discouraged any sustained breaks, and the field remained intact as the final 20 laps approached.
Navigators Insurance sent Chris Baldwin and Cesar Grajales to the front with 17 laps remaining, and the team lined up behind. With Baldwin, Grajales and Shawn Milne setting tempo, the field was drawn into a long line, stretching the entire distance of the finishing straight. The Colavita team made several attempts to over take the Navigators express in the final 10 laps, but each attempt was pushed back, and with two laps to go, Canadian Mark Walters was setting a blistering pace with the sprint train of Oleg Grishkine, Vassili Davidenko, and Olympic Sprint champ, Marty Nothstein in tow.
One last push by Colavita on the last lap put their sprinters JJ Haedo and Sebastian Alexandre in position, but out of the last turn it was all Davidenko as the Russian Rocket blasted across the line a wheel in front of Haedo and Alexandre.
Davidenko wears the leader”šs jersey for Saturday’s 100km “Climbers Cup” stage two in Waterbury.
Stage 1 Results
1. Vassili Davidenko (Navigators Insurance)
2. J.J. Haedo (Colavita)
3. Sebastian Alexandre (Colavita)