Saturn Sweeps Sea Otter
Saturn Sweeps Sea Otter Classic, Jeanson takes home crown
Final day victories for Saturn and Prime Alliance
– Reported by Team Saturn – The final stage of the four day Sea Otter Classic wrapped up Saturday in epic conditions as the wind swept the rain off the mountains and across Carmel Valley. With 99.5 hilly miles facing the remaining very small fields, the racing began similarly for both the men and the women, and, like Friday, saw the strong Saturn and Prime Alliance squads taking home victories.
The women’s race began with Saturn’s Ina Teutenberg and T-Mobile’s Dotsie Cowden escaping on the first 3.2 mile climb. The two some stayed away working together into the stiff head and cross winds. Behind, race leader Genevieve Jeanson’s Rona team worked diligently to keep the gap at one minute. Finally, two were brought back to the bunch after a series of attacks, and a second duo headed up the road. This time it was Dede Barry and Amy Moore, again from T-Mobile and Saturn making the Rona Team soldier away at the front. Again they were able to respond, dialing in their chase to bring Jeanson to the fore of the race midway up the middle of the 2.5 mile climb. From there she did what she does best, shattering the field and bringing with her only three others. As the four crested the hill, it was Saturn’s Lyne Bessette and Manon Jutras with Amber Neben, keen on getting to the finishing banner on the raceway. Chasing just seconds off the back was T-Mobile’s Kimberly Bruckner.
As the four streamed into the final kilometer, Jutras began her leadout for Bessette to take the victory. However, her powerful punch opened a gap, and with Bessette’s encouragement in her ear she put every last effort into a final push, crossing the finish for her second big win in Saturn colors. Winning the three up sprint was Bessette for second, and some crucial time bonuses. Jeanson was third, with Neben and Bruckner rounding out the top five. Saturn’s impressive ride did not touch Jeanson’s insurmountable lead, however, the duo ended up second and third in the overall, and second and third in the point’s competition. Saturday’s race wrapped up a three week California swing, and marks the beginning of a short break for the Saturn women’s field before the head to Bisbee, AZ for the Tour of Bisbee, beginning on April 25.
The men’s race also saw an early two man break make its mark on the race. However, the hard work of the twosome of Danny Pate (Prime Alliance) and Jacob Erker (Schroeder Iron) set up an opportunity for the strong Prime Alliance Team. As the two were caught, more attacks were launched but none were able to get a gap. As the front group splintered up the final climb, the strong men were left with Saturn’s race leader Nathan O’Neill, flanked by his second and third placed teammates, Tom Danielson and Chris Horner. As the small group edged its way onto the very slippery track, Prime Alliance’s Matt DeCanio seized a perfect opportunity slipped the group. At the same time, Danielson hit the deck as his bike slipped out from him, but his teammates had him up and pedaling again before the time lost affected his overall standings.
Meanwhile, DeCanio kept the gear rolling right across the finish earning a much deserved victory for the Prime Alliance Team, their second in as many days. DeCanio’s ride would move him up in the overall to fifth position. Fast man Gord Fraser took what was left of the field sprint over Matt Dubberly (Sierra Nevada). Saturn’s O’Neill retained his lead and received his final Leader’s Jersey, as well as the top honor of leading the Saturn Team to victory in the Team Classification. Tom Danielson and Chris Horner finished second and third respectively. The final overall podium looked very similar to that of the Redlands Classic a week ago where it was Horner, O’Neill Danielson, but Saturn 1, 2, 3 all the same. This group of Saturn men has a short respite before heading to the inaugural Tour of Georgia which kicks off in 10 days.
The Saturn Team also raced the Stazio Criterium, which was day one in the three day Colorado Cycling Festival, well known for the infamous Boulder Roubaix. The Team had a strong showing on the one mile course which featured a 400 meter hill. Saturn’s Will Frischkorn won on his home turf, coming solo out of a break of four which contained his teammate Ivan Dominguez who had bridged later in the race. Dominguez won the three up sprint for second over Mike Carter (Denver Spoke) was third and
Andy Bajadali (Ofoto) in fourth. Saturn’s Rahsaan Bahati won the field sprint for sixth.
Sea Otter Results
1. Manon Jutras – Saturn
2. Lyne Bessette – Saturn
3. Genevieve Jeanson – Rona
4. Amber Neben – T-Mobile
5. Kimberly Bruckner – T-Mobile
1 Geneviиve Jeanson (Can) Equipe Cycliste Rona-Esker 7.37.20
2 Lyne Bessette (Can) Saturn Cycling Team 1.37
3 Manon Jutras (Can) Saturn Cycling Team 2.02
4 Amber Neben (USA) Team T-Mobile USA 2.10
5 Kimberly Bruckner (USA) Team T-Mobile USA 2.14
Men Stage Four:
1 Matt Decanio (USA) Prime Alliance 3.55.06
2 Gord Fraser (Can) Health Net 0.38
3 Matt Dubberley (USA) Sierra Nevada – Cannondale
4 Svein Tuft (Can) Prime Alliance
5 Glen Mitchell (NZl) Navigators Cycling Team
Final classification after stage 4
1 Nathan O’Neill (Aus) Saturn Cycling Team 5.38.45
2 Tom Danielson (USA) Saturn Cycling Team 0.52
3 Chris Horner (USA) Saturn Cycling Team 1.16
4 Dave Zabriskie (USA) US Postal Service 1.19
5 Matt Decanio (USA) Prime Alliance 2.04