T-Mobile International

I spent all day at the T-Mobile International bike race in San Francisco. The main attractions were Armstrong, Vinokourov, Simoni, and Garzelli. However, despite all this star power (which is awesome to see in an American race), it was the local teams that came to play. Armstrong, suffering from a stomach flu, dropped out after 50 miles, and Saeco largely stayed under the radar. It did appear that Telekom was trying to do it's sponsor right and placed riders in the main breakaway groups, but Saturn managed to deliver an excellent one two punch with McCormack (current US champion) and Horner each attacking on the final laps.

Horner, who suffered a flat tire bridging up to the breakaway group, took on a tire from the Mavic neutral support car and quickly caught the leaders. McCormack then attacked, was reeled in, and then quickly followed by an attack from Horner. Horner's attack turned out to be the last as he was able to build up a sizable lead and cruise to victory. McCormack also attacked again and sat in the second place position.

US Postal managed to launch a last minute attempt by Ekimov to try and catch McCormack, but it was too little too late. Compared to last year, US Postal looked very disorganized and never controlled the pace, except for a single lap where Armstrong took control of the pace... and then promptly dropped out. With Tour riders Hincapie, Landis, CheChu, Beltran, and Heras serving duty in the Vuelta, and at least two riders (Armstrong, Padrnos, and possibly one other) dropping out, this was about all that could be expected. It was impressive to see Ekimov motoring around Embarcadero Plaza, and it's too bad that he couldn't steal the day.

- Horner and Cooke win in San Francisco (Velonews)
- Race Summary Minute-by-Minute
- cyclingnews.com Race Summary

Update: added cyclingnews summary, and I also wanted to note (now that I've watched my TiVo recording of the event) that Armstrong predicted Horner to win the race while being interviewed at the start of the race. Not bad.

related articles: San Francisco Grand Prix