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2007 NEWS

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Walters and rollin in top-5 in front of wild "hometown" crowd at the rochester saturn twilight crit

Rochester, New York (June 23, 2007) Racing before a crowd of 30,000 rowdy fans and in the shadow of the Eastman Kodak Building in downtown Rochester, the Kodak Gallery Pro Cycling Team, presented by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. placed Dominique Rollin and Mark Walters in a break-away of six that lapped the field. Walters and Rollin finished 4th and 5th respectively. 

Riding short handed due to a sinus infection that is circulating through the team, six Kodak Gallery riders took the line under calm and cool evening skies. Not long after the start, the team was reduced to five as Dan Timmerman, still recovering from a sinus infection, was forced to abandon.

Fewer than ten laps into the race, a break away of five riders formed and began to earn an advantage over the field. Riding with a full squad of its strongest riders, Navigators Insurance was in control of the field. Recognizing the break included Navigator’s two strongest sprinters, they and the Kodak Gallery team controlled the front of the field to allow the breakaway to go clear.

As the advantage grew to nearly 10-seconds, Kodak Gallery’s Walters jumped away from the field on the home stretch and bridged solo to the breakaway. Now six strong, the breakaway buried the hammer and surged ahead. In the coming laps, the gap grew steadily until it became clear the lead six were going to catch and lap the field.

Showing his experience, Kodak Gallery’s Jesse Anthony astutely began dropping back through the field of 150 riders as the breakaway closed in. On the long finishing stretch, Anthony sat up and looked over his shoulder waiting for the catch. Recognizing the tactic, race announcer Richard Fries screamed in excitement to the crowd of thousands who lined the street six-deep in places. The crowd went absolutely mad and the cheers were deafening as the catch was made and Anthony powerfully pulled the breakaway riders back to the field and on through to the front.

The race featured a “clean finish” protocol not typically practiced in the United States. To eliminate the prospect of spectator confusion, the rules were set prior to the race that if the field was lapped, the field sprint would be held with three-laps to go. After the field sprint, all lapped riders would leave the course. This set up a very dramatic final two laps where only the six riders who lapped the field would race to determine the final podium order.

In the season’s most incredible display of fan frenzy, the crowd of 30,000 fans made so much noise and cheered so eagerly the packed finish line stands shook with excitement. After the race and in the airport the following morning, cycling veterans still laughed and talked in awe about the fevered scene.

As the six leaders crossed the line with one lap to go, Mark Walters attacked and opened a small gap. When the riders came into view racing down the course’s back stretch, they were all back together. On the slight downhill, Dominique Rollin attacked catching the riders a bit off guard and opening a small advantage as they disappeared into the darkness. As the riders came into view under the finishing area lights it became clear that Navigator’s Hilton Armstrong would defend his title. Walters crossed the line in fourth and Rollin in fifth.

After the race, team director, Robin Zellner shared his thoughts on the team’s performance, “With all of the racing and travel these riders have done in the past six weeks, I am totally impressed with their performance tonight! Despite needing a good rest period, our guys showed excellent strength and skill in getting our top two finishers in the evening’s key breakaway. I was also excited to see Cody O’Reilly and Mike Dietrich riding so well at the front of a very strong  field. The entire team put on a great show for our fans in Rochester. Racing here is a high-point for the team each season - we have the most generous hosts for the week, great events with Kodak employees at their corporate headquarters. Simply put, the fans here are the best in the world! It is truly amazing how much noise and excitement they create! I am already looking forward to coming back next season!”


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