Rasmussen improvises a win for HTC-Highroad in Philly
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Sunday, June 5, 2011

Rasmussen improvises a win for HTC-Highroad in Philly

by VeloNation Press at 6:09 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling

The original plan for HTC-Highroad was to put Madison world champ Leigh Howard in position to take the field sprint win in the TD Bank International in Philadelphia. Everything was going according to plan into the final short circuit before the finish, until Howard suffered a mechanical and was out of the running. But ready to take up the flag was Alex Rasmussen who jumped off the UnitedHealthcare lead-out train to grab the win ahead of Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) and Robert Förster (UnitedHeathcare.)

"It was not exactly what we planned but it turned out good," said Rasmussen after the race. "I liked the race and The Wall -- it's not too hard for me so I can get over it, because it's not that long and only a short steep climb."

Both HTC-Highroad and the other ProTeam Liquigas-Cannondale were under-manned compared to the domestic teams, starting only five and six riders respectively. And early in the race American Ted King of Liquigas-Cannondale crashed out with a suspected broken collarbone, leaving them with only five. This resulted in a less-controlled race compared to previous years where the big Euro teams hit the gas and shredded the field half-way through.

"We could not go up and control the race like we normally would, so we had to count on the other teams like Liquigas and UnitedHealthcare to work as well," said Rasmussen. In addition to that, the traditional heat and humidity were not present so the attrition rate was quite low, meaning a much larger field for the sprint. "A lot of other teams thought they had a good sprinter too so it was going to come down to a sprint."

As directeur sportif Allan Peiper explained afterwards, the team’s Plan A was affected by a mechanical at a crucial point. "Leigh Howard's derailleur failed at Lemon hill with three kilometres to go," says Peiper, "But we had maintained a dominant presence in the peloton and the guys were able to keep the group together."

Off the Lemon Hill climb the field came into the final two kilometres with UnitedHealthcare driving the front, looking to set up Förster. But their plan fell a few meters too short as the long drag to the line from the final turn, some 700 meters, was a little too long.

TD Bank International"The boys made a very good lead-out," the German said. "They worked for me all day and I even had a crash once on the wall. But the lead-out was a little too early. I started the sprint a little too early and it was a headwind, so they caught me five meters before the line. But this is the sport and thanks to my teammates for doing a perfect job today."

The pre-race favorite coming off an impressive Tour of California was Peter Sagan who finished second here last year. But the Liquigas-Cannondale rider was again a runner-up, due in part to his smaller team. "It was very difficult because we had only six riders and one rider crashed, so after that we only have five for the finish," Sagan said.

"I don't know if I will come back next year. Now it is two times I was second [here], so maybe..."

In addition to third place, the domestic teams also took home the King of the Mountain prize with Alex Hagman (Jelly Belly) who soaked up enough points riding in the breakaway. "We just wanted some television coverage and if we get in the breakaway then maybe go for the KOM," said Hagman. "I lucked out and it worked in my favour."

Once he had the prize sewn up, the reality of domestic races versus European races was illustrated for him. "The last time over the hill I was popped so I just had to ride in to the finish. This is one of the longest one-day races we do in the country so the last three circuits were just survival for me."

Jelly Belly also had another positive result with Ken Hanson taking fourth in the final sprint.

A familiar name was on the start line and also near the top of the finish results as former winner here Freddie Rodriguez (Team Exergy) is making a return to racing, and finished impressively just outside the top-ten.

Earlier in the race Glen Chadwick (Pure Black Racing) made his familiar early attack and was solo for a half-lap, building a gap of more than a minute on his own. He was joined later by four other riders and pushed their gap to more than nine minutes. But like previous years enough teams had a sprint hope to pitch-in with the chasing work, and that brought things back together for the final gallop and Rasmussen’s win.


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TD Bank International Cycling Championship, Philadelophia (1.HC, 251km):

  Click on the arrowsat the top of the column to sort the race results.
Country Result Name Team Time
den DEN 1 Alex Rasmussen (HTC-Highroad) 05:59:04
svk SVK 2 Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) s.t.
ger GER 3 Robert Förster (UnitedHealthcare Presented By Maxxis) s.t.
usa USA 4 Ken Hanson (Jelly Belly Presented By Kenda) s.t.
slo SLO 5 Jure Kocjan (Team Type 1) s.t.
nzl NZL 6 James Williamson (Pureblack Racing) s.t.
ger GER 7 Matthias Friedemann (Champion System) s.t.
usa USA 8 Yosvany Falcon (RealCyclist.com) s.t.
aus AUS 9 Aaron Kemps (V Australia Pro Cycling Team) s.t.
col COL 10 Carlos Eduardo Alzate Escobar (Team Exergy) s.t.
usa USA 11 Shawn Milne (Kenda Presented By Gear Grinder) s.t.
usa USA 12 Fred Rodriguez (Team Exergy) 00:00:03
aus AUS 13 Hilton Clarke (UnitedHealthcare Presented By Maxxis) s.t.
arg ARG 14 Alejandro Alberto Borrajo (Jamis - Sutter Home Presented By Colav...) s.t.
slo SLO 15 Aldo Ino Ilesic (Team Type 1) 00:00:05
ukr UKR 16 Serhy Grechyn (Amore & Vita - Conad) s.t.
nzl NZL 17 Thomas Scully (Team Chipotle) s.t.
usa USA 18 Alex Candelario (Kelly Benefit Strategies - OptumHealth ) s.t.
usa USA 19 Frank Travieso (RealCyclist.com) s.t.
usa USA 20 Daniel Summerhill (Team Chipotle) s.t.
ned NED 21 Martijn Verschoor (Team Type 1) 00:00:08
ita ITA 22 Valerio Agnoli (Liquigas-Cannondale) s.t.
aus AUS 23 Bernard Sulzberger (V Australia Pro Cycling Team) s.t.
ita ITA 24 Daniele Callegarin (Team Type 1) 00:00:10
ita ITA 25 Daniele Ratto (Geox-TMC Transformers) s.t.
nzl NZL 26 Scott Lyttle (Pureblack Racing) 00:00:12
usa USA 27 Joshua Berry (RealCyclist.com) 00:00:15
usa USA 28 Bernard Van Ulden (Jelly Belly Presented By Kenda) s.t.
ita ITA 29 Alessandro Bazzana (Team Type 1) s.t.
rsa RSA 30 Jay Robert Thomson (Bissel Pro Cycling) s.t.
aus AUS 31 Jonathan Cantwell (V Australia Pro Cycling Team) s.t.
esp ESP 32 Javier Mejias Leal (Team Type 1) s.t.
ita ITA 33 Luca Damiani (Kenda Presented By Gear Grinder) s.t.
usa USA 34 Eric Young (Bissel Pro Cycling) 00:00:20
aus AUS 35 Tommy Nankervis (RealCyclist.com) s.t.
blr BLR 36 Andrei Krasilnikau (Team Chipotle) s.t.
aus AUS 37 Michael Smith (Danish National Team) s.t.
usa USA 38 Rob Squire (Team Chipotle) s.t.
usa USA 39 Michael Chauner (Team CykelCity.se) s.t.
usa USA 40 Jake Rytlewski (Kenda Presented By Gear Grinder) s.t.
sui SUI 41 Joris Boillat (Champion System) s.t.
usa USA 42 Robert Sweeting (Kenda Presented By Gear Grinder) s.t.
CHN 43 Kin San Wu (Champion System) s.t.
usa USA 44 Sergio Hernandez (Jelly Belly Presented By Kenda) s.t.
can CAN 45 Ben Chaddock (Team Exergy) s.t.
nzl NZL 46 Roman Van Uden (Pureblack Racing) s.t.
usa USA 47 Andrew Bajadali (Kelly Benefit Strategies - OptumHealth ) s.t.
ita ITA 48 Simone Ponzi (Liquigas-Cannondale) s.t.
aus AUS 49 Karl Menzies (UnitedHealthcare Presented By Maxxis) 00:00:29
svk SVK 50 Juraj Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) 00:00:33
aus AUS 51 Hayden Brooks (V Australia ) 00:00:35
can CAN 52 Zach Bell (SpiderTech powered by C10) 00:00:37
can CAN 53 Andrew Pinfold (UnitedHealthcare Presented By Maxxis) 00:00:40
swe SWE 54 Jimmy Rönn (Team CykelCity.se) s.t.
ita ITA 55 Andrea Grendene (Team Type 1) 00:00:43
usa USA 56 Emerson Oronte (Jelly Belly Presented By Kenda) 00:00:46
usa USA 57 Menso De Jong (Wonderful Pistachios Pro Cycling ) s.t.
usa USA 58 Alex Howes (Team Chipotle) s.t.
can CAN 59 Andrew Randell (SpiderTech powered by C10) s.t.
usa USA 60 Jason Donald (Kelly Benefit Strategies - OptumHealth ) s.t.
esp ESP 61 Rafael Valls Ferri (Geox-TMC Transformers) s.t.
MEX 62 Bernardo Colex Tepox (Amore & Vita - Conad) s.t.
rus RUS 63 Vladislav Borisov (Amore e Vita) s.t.
usa USA 64 Tom Zirbel (Jamis - Sutter Home Presented By Colav...) s.t.
esp ESP 65 David Blanco Rodiguez (Geox-TMC Transformers) s.t.
usa USA 66 Timothy Duggan (Liquigas-Cannondale) s.t.
usa USA 67 Caleb Fairly (HTC-Highroad) s.t.
irl IRL 68 Matthew Brammeier (HTC-Highroad) s.t.
ger GER 69 Holger Burkhardt (Champion System) s.t.
ned NED 70 Boy Van Poppel (UnitedHealthcare Presented By Maxxis) s.t.
usa USA 71 Dan Bowman (Kelly Benefit Strategies - OptumHealth ) s.t.
usa USA 72 Michael Creed (Kelly Benefit Strategies - OptumHealth ) s.t.
slo SLO 73 Marko Kump (Geox-TMC Transformers) 00:00:52
nzl NZL 74 Shem Rodger (Pureblack Racing) s.t.
sui SUI 75 Rubens Bertogliati (Team Type 1) 00:01:56
usa USA 76 Sean Mazich (Jelly Belly Presented By Kenda) s.t.
usa USA 77 Jonathan Reid Mumford (Kelly Benefit Strategies - OptumHealth ) s.t.
swe SWE 78 Patrik Moren (Amore & Vita - Conad) 00:01:58
swe SWE 79 Jonas Ahlstrand (Team CykelCity.se) s.t.
usa USA 80 Kyle Wamsley (Bissel Pro Cycling) 00:02:03
usa USA 81 Keogh Quinn (Team Exergy) 00:02:17
ger GER 82 Patrick Gretsch (HTC-Highroad) 00:02:41
aus AUS 83 Michael Freiberg (V Australia ) s.t.
aus AUS 84 Adam Leigh Howard (HTC-Highroad) 00:03:09
can CAN 85 Francois Parisien (SpiderTech powered by C10) 00:03:31
nzl NZL 86 Timothy Gudsell (Pureblack Racing) 00:03:38
nzl NZL 87 Daniel Barry (Pureblack Racing) s.t.
esp ESP 88 Francisco Mancebo (RealCyclist.com) 00:03:40
col COL 89 Andrès Miguel Diaz Corrales (Team Exergy) s.t.
usa USA 90 Jesse Anthony (Kelly Benefit Strategies - OptumHealth ) 00:03:45
can CAN 91 Ryan Anderson (SpiderTech powered by C10) 00:03:53
usa USA 92 Jacob Keough (UnitedHealthcare Presented By Maxxis) s.t.
usa USA 93 Taylor Sheldon (V Australia ) 00:04:11
aus AUS 94 Sean Sullivan (V Australia ) s.t.
usa USA 95 Andy Guptill (Jamis - Sutter Home Presented By Colav...) 00:04:35
aus AUS 96 Jonathan Clarke (UnitedHealthcare Presented By Maxxis) s.t.
usa USA 97 James Driscoll (Jamis - Sutter Home Presented By Colav...) s.t.
usa USA 98 Ian Burnett (RealCyclist.com) s.t.
can CAN 99 Bruno Langlois (SpiderTech powered by C10) 00:05:15
den DEN 100 John Kronborg Ebsen (Danish National Team) 00:06:06
usa USA 101 Alex Hagman (Jelly Belly Presented By Kenda) s.t.
ita ITA 102 Matteo Pelucchi (Geox-TMC Transformers) s.t.
usa USA 103 Pipp Frank (Bissel Pro Cycling) 00:06:45
aus AUS 104 William Dickeson (Jelly Belly Presented By Kenda) s.t.
nzl NZL 105 Michael James Northey (Pureblack Racing) 01:00:57
usa USA 106 Jonathan Patrick Mccarty (SpiderTech powered by C10) s.t.
usa USA 107 Eric Schildge (Jamis - Sutter Home) 01:10:57
usa USA 108 Iggy Silva (Wonderful Pistachios Pro Cycling ) s.t.
usa USA 109 Marsh Cooper (Kelly Benefit Strategies - OptumHealth ) s.t.

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