Commerce Bank Triple Crown 2: T-Mobile wins another

Can T-Mobile lead Austrian Bernhard Eisel to a hat trick this Sunday in Philadelphia? His convincing

Can T-Mobile lead Austrian Bernhard Eisel to a hat trick this Sunday in Philadelphia? His convincing
PIC: Bernhard Eisel (courtesy) Austrian powerhouse Bernhard Eisel (T-Mobile) won his second consecutive Commerce Bank Triple Crown of Cycling event, taking the second race into Reading, Pennsylvania away from the 175-plus riders in warm, sunny conditions. Eisel's T-Mobile team is vying for the overall hat trick, aiming directly for victory on June 10th in Philadelphia at the Commerce Bank Philadelphia International Championships. With three days to dry out after the wet affair in Lancaster last weekend, racers were greeted with dry roads and favorable conditions. The tough Reading course tested the riders who climbed steep Mount Penn three times and surely played an important role in the final outcome of the event. The first seven of ten laps, however, did not take the riders over the climb. However, the rolling 6.7 "short lap" had plenty of twisting, rolling terrain to test the bunch. Three riders rolled away early and established a one minute gap. These riders included Jamier de Jesus Zapata (Caico) from Columbia, Kasper Klostergaard (CSC) from Denmark and Canadian Christian Meier (Symmetrics Cycling Team) and although they worked smoothly together their lead was kept in check by the T-Moble, Toyota United and Health Net p/b Maxxis teams. As the racers rounded the turn for their first ascent of the Mount Penn climb on the eighth lap, the three escapees were about to be absorbed by the hard charging group but showing true resolve Zapata was just able to stay clear to the top of the climb and scoop up the fist of three rounds of points for the Berks Packing Top Dog Competition awarded to the best climber on the day. Scores of riders were shelled on the slopes of the mountain with the group dwindling to fewer than 70 riders as the riders crossed the line and headed out on their second to last lap. The field was paired down each of the next two trips up Mount Penn, but no rider was able to establish a big enough advantage over the climb to make it stick. As the riders flew down the mountain that overlooks the historic city of Reading, teams with enough horsepower left up front began positioning their sprinters for the final push to the line. Recognizing the importance of leading into the final two high speed corners, Eisel decided to start his sprint well before the line. By the time he exited the final turn, he had his winning margin secured. As Eisel coasted across the line, waiving his arms in his own unique victory salute, the battle for second and third raged. The impressive Argentinean Alejandro Borrajo (Rite Aid) was able to get the better of the Russian veteran Oleg Grishkin (Navigators Insurance) as both earned well deserved trips to the podium. Confirming Colombia's place as the country that consistently produces the best climbers in the world, The Berks Packing Top Dog climbing competition was won by the Gregoria Ladino (Tecos de la University). Eisel now leads in the Commerce Bank Triple Crown overall competition awarded to the most consistent rider over the three race series. Second place is currently held by Sergey Lagutin (Navigators Insurance) and Alejandro Borrajo is in third. Stage 2 Commerce Bank Triple Crown: Reading Classic (75 miles) Results 1. Bernhard Eisel (Aus, T-Mobile) 2:48:54 2. Alejandro Barrajo (Arg, Rite Aid) 00:00:00 3. Oleg Grishkin (Rus, Navigators Insurance) 00:00:00 4. Sergey Lagutin (Uzb, Navigators Insurance) 00:00:00 5. Charles Dionne (Can, Colavita-Sutter Home) 00:00:00 6. Kayle Leogrande (USA, Rock Racing) 00:00:00 7. Rory Sutherland (Aus, Health Net-Maxxis) 00:00:00 8. John Freddy Parra (Col, Tecos-Trek) 00:00:00 9. Martin Pedersen (Den, Team CSC) 00:00:00 10. Caleb Manion (USA, Toyota-United) 00:00:00
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