Fraser Gives HealthNet Presented by Maxxis a Second Win in the Series at Trenton

HealthNet Presented by Maxxis rider Gord Fraser sprinted to victory in the Wachovia Cycling Series- Trenton Race. Fraser, the Canadian National Road Champion, edged Fred Rodriguez, the defending U.S. Professional Road Champion, who had also finshed second in Lancaster on Tuesday night. Team CSC rider Lars Michaelson finished third in the race.

The winning time in the 91-mile race around downtown Trenton was 2 hours 57 minutes 59 seconds.

Team CSC rider Bobby Julich took home sprint honors in this race, winning six intermediate sprints for a total of 33 points. On the podium, Julich said that this race was the first one in which he had won a sprint-related prize.

As VeloNews pointed out in its race summary, HealthNet won its second consecutive sprint in the Wachovia Cycling Series and third consecutive sprint race, if you count the CSC Invitational in Arlington, VA on May 29.

The riders in the press conferences have talked of the HealthNet Presented by Maxxis team as if it was the American equivalent of Fassa Bartolo-- untouchable when they're in sync. The difference in my mind is that Fassa has one clear leader, Alessandro Petacchi, while HealthNet has four sprinters that can win one a U.S.-style road race: Ivan Dominguez, Tyler Farrar, Gord Fraser, and Greg Henderson.

I say "U.S.-style road race" because these 91-mile races are short for riders who spend most of their time in Europe. Gord Fraser pointed out that Sunday's 156-mile Wachovia USPRO Championship is more like the one day races that typically take place in Europe than the races contested here. He meant to make us think that the advantage swings to teams like Davitamon-Lotto and away from HealthNet. We'll see.

U.S. cycling legend Davis Phinney attended the race and was greeted warmly by both spectators and competitors. Phinney is in town to see the Wachovia Cycling Series races and to participate in a fund-raiser for his Davis Phinney Foundation (fighting Parkinson's Disease) that will take place after the USPRO Cycling Championship in Philadelphia on Sunday. I will provide more details on this event when I receive them.

Update: I wondered why I was the only one who referred to a race like Wachovia Cycling Series- Trenton as a criterium. The reason is that a criterium is usually a circuit race that has only four turns. All of the races in the Wachovia Cycling Series have more than four turns. Sorry for any confusion.

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