Rasmussen comes good in Philadelphia

Alex Rasmussen secured the hat-trick for HTC-Highroad at the TD Bank International Championship, delivering the ProTeam's third consecutive victory on the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Rasmussen repeated the performance of André Greipel in 2009 and Matt Goss in 2010 as the 26-year-old Dane prevailed on Sunday in a spirited field sprint finale for his first victory of the season and the biggest road win of his career.

For the second straight year Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) finished as runner-up, while UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling's German fast man Robert Förster rounded out the podium in third place.

HTC-Highroad only started five riders, with 20-year-old Australian Leigh Howard as the designated sprinter, but things went off script just prior to the final ascent of Lemon Hill with three kilometres remaining as the day's final three escapees, Francisco Mancebo Perez (Realcyclist.com Cycling Team), Andrès Miguel Diaz Corrales (Team Exergy) and Bruno Langlois (Team Spidertech Powered By C10) were swept up.

"We were supposed to do the lead-out for [Leigh] Howard but there was a big mess in the end. He almost crashed before the last climb with 3km to go and he was off my wheel," said Rasmussen.

Inside of the final kilometre, the hopes of Canadian Pro Continental squad Team Spidertech powered by C10 were dashed as Kevin Lacombe, Martin Gilbert and Pat McCarty all went down rounding Logan Circle, adding to the chaos in the finale.

"There was a big fight for position before the roundabout, then the crash happened and luckily I was on the inside in front of it so there were maybe 20 guys left for the sprint," continued Rasmussen. "I went back to fifteenth position and went early, using the draft of the other guys to get to the front - it was a long sprint.

"It was not exactly what we planned, but in the end it turned out good."

"It's pretty monumental," added HTC-Highroad directeur sportif Allan Peiper. "We came here with five riders because after the crash in the Giro where we lost [Marco] Pinotti and [Craig] Lewis to broken bones we had a re-shuffle to the selection and came here with a bare-bones team, but five good riders who were motivated."

Rasmussen, a four-time world champion and an Olympic silver medalist on the track in the scratch, Madison and team pursuit disciplines, drew from his experience on the boards to deliver the win.

"The track experience was useful in the end. There was a big fight and I used my seated track sprint because I had so much acid in my legs. I had to sit down a couple of times in the sprint."

Unlike the previous year where Peter Sagan returned to Europe after his impressive Amgen Tour of California debut only to fly back to the United States a handful of days before the TD Bank International Championship, this time around he remained in California to train and arrived with plenty of time to spare on Wednesday. Everything was going to plan for the 21-year-old Slovakian until the final pass of Logan Circle.

"I was very far behind, maybe in 15th position after the turn," said Sagan, who finished fast yet again, but just shy of Rasmussen.

Förster enjoyed the full-support of his eight UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling teammates throughout the 250km parcours which he parlayed into a podium appearance in the US's most prestigious one-day race.

"I thought today I had the legs to win this race and the boys worked for me and gave me the perfect lead-out," said Förster. "After 250km it's a different sprint. We started a little bit too early in the headwind and if I waited 10 metres more maybe I would have got it. They caught me five metres before the line."

In it for the long haul

As the 154-rider field toed the line for the 27th edition of the TD Bank International Championship, conditions were perfect, cool and overcast, for a run at the fastest-ever edition of the race when Argentine sprinter Juan Jose Haedo stopped the clock in 5:45:51.

At the end of the opening 23.2km circuit to Manayunk and back, New Zealand's Glen Chadwick (Pure Black Racing), no stranger to breakaways in Philadelphia, initiated the main escape of the day with a solo attack. As the peloton rolled along Kelly Drive for its second of 10 trips along the Schuylkill River four riders jumped from the field and bridged to Chadwick: Bruno Langlois (Team Spidertech Powered By C10), Alex Hagman (Jelly Belly p/b Kenda), Roman Kilun (Kenda/5-hour Energy Pro Cycling presented by Geargrinder) and Quinn Keogh (Team Exergy).

The peloton was content with the composition of the break and the quintet's lead ballooned to six minutes on their third trip to Manayunk and its infamous Wall, the steeply-pitched 800-metre ascent which is the signature feature of the event.

The break enjoyed a maximum advantage of nearly 10 minutes on the fourth trip to Manayunk before the teams of the sprinters began to chip into the lead. Meanwhile, competition for the King of the Mountains classification, where the first three over the Manayunk Wall and Lemon Hill each lap scored points, grew fierce in the break. The escape splintered on the first few ascents of the Manayunk Wall as riders vied for maximum points, but once the KOM became a two-man contest between Hagman and Keogh cohesion prevailed with thoughts of keeping the escape alive as long as possible.

The quintet's advantage dropped precipitously near the race's midpoint and their advantage stood at just 3:20 by the seventh ascent of the Wall. Jesse Anthony and Andrew Bajadali of Kelly Benefit Strategies-OptumHealth set a fierce tempo on the Wall in the peloton and drew out Patrick Gretsch (HTC-Highroad), Leigh Howard (HTC-Highroad), Valerio Agnoli (Liquigas-Cannondale), Simone Ponzi (Liquigas-Cannondale), Kevin Lacombe and Pat McCarty (Team Spidertech Powered By C10), Rubens Bertogliati and Javier Megias Leal (Team Type 1-Sanofi Aventis), Andrew Pinfold (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling) and Andrès Miguel Diaz Corrales (Team Exergy).

This dangerous chase group was neutralised as they rounded Logan Circle at the finish of the lap and the peloton set out on their eight trip to Manayunk only 2:10 behind Chadwick, Hagman, Kilun, Langlois and Keogh.

Shuffling of the deck

Francisco Mancebo (Realcyclist.com) rocketed out of the peloton on the Manayunk Wall and was soon joined by Frank Pipp (Bissell Cycling) and Andrès Miguel Diaz Corrales (Team Exergy). By the end of the eighth large circuit the trio had joined the leading five but fireworks were underway behind as a 14-chase group trailed by only 27 seconds with the peloton only an additional 13 seconds in arrears at the start of the penultimate large lap.

Again, the dangerous chase group which contained Timothy Duggan (Liquigas-Cannondale), Rafael Valls Ferri (Geox-TMC), Pat McCarty (Team Spidertech Powered By C10), Alessandro Bazzana and Daniele Callegarin (Team Type 1-Sanofi Aventis), Serhy Hrechyn (Amore & Vita), Andrew Dahlheim and Kyle Wamsley (Bissell Cycling), Bernard Van Ulden (Jelly Belly p/b Kenda), Reid Mumford (Kelly Benefit Strategies - OptumHealth), Jacob Rytlewski (Kenda/5-hour Energy Pro Cycling presented by Geargrinder), Daniel Barry (Pureblack Racing), Michael Freiberg (V Australia) and Matt Cooke (Team Exergy) was neutralised, while up the road the eight-man break shattered, leaving only Mancebo, Pipp, Diaz and the resilient Langlois in the lead.

Hagman's effort did not go un-rewarded, however, as the Jelly Belly rider claimed the KOM prize by one point over Keogh.

On the final ascent of the Manayunk Wall Pipp cracked while Mancebo, Diaz and an inspired Langlois crested the summit 1:05 up on the peloton.

Three chasers, Scott Lyttle (Pureblack Racing), Jesse Anthony (Kelly Benefit Strategies-OptumHealth) and Alex Howes (Chipotle Development Team), set out in pursuit of the lead trio on the return trip along Kelly Drive and closed to within 36 seconds of Mancebo, Diaz and Langlois with only the three five-kilometre finishing circuits remaining, encompassing Lemon Hill and Logan Circle.

Lyttle, Anthony and Howes were caught, however, by a charging peloton exactly as they saw the lap card tick down to two to go. The tandem of Mancebo and Diaz, with Langlois in tow, still refused to relent as they held on to a 38-second lead.

But with powerhouse lead-out trains being set up by HTC-Highroad, Liquigas-Cannondale and UnitedHealthcare the catch was inevitable. The trio's margin shrunk to a scant 11 seconds when the bell rung for the final mini-circuit and with only three kilometres remaining it was gruppo compatto, leaving the day's spoils to the sprinters for the sixth straight year.



Full Results

Swipe to scroll horizontally
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Alex Rasmussen (Den) HTC-Highroad5:59:04
2Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-CannondaleRow 1 - Cell 2
3Robert Förster (Ger) UnitedHealthcare Pro CyclingRow 2 - Cell 2
4Ken Hanson (USA) Jelly Belly p/b KendaRow 3 - Cell 2
5Jure Kocjan (Slo) Team Type 1 - Sanofi AventisRow 4 - Cell 2
6James Williamson (NZl) Pureblack RacingRow 5 - Cell 2
7Matthias Friedemann (Ger) Champion SystemRow 6 - Cell 2
8Yosvany Falcon (Cub) Realcyclist.com Cycling TeamRow 7 - Cell 2
9Aaron Kemps (Aus) V Australia Pro Cycling TeamRow 8 - Cell 2
10Carlos Eduardo Alzate Escobar (Col) Team ExergyRow 9 - Cell 2
11Shawn Milne (USA) Kenda presented by Gear GrinderRow 10 - Cell 2
12Fred Rodriguez (USA) Team Exergy0:00:03
13Hilton Clarke (Aus) UnitedHealthcare Pro CyclingRow 12 - Cell 2
14Alejandro Alberto Borrajo (Arg) Jamis - Sutter HomeRow 13 - Cell 2
15Aldo Ino Ilesic (Slo) Team Type 1 - Sanofi Aventis0:00:05
16Serhy Hrechyn (Ukr) Amore & VitaRow 15 - Cell 2
17Thomas Scully (NZl) Chipotle Development TeamRow 16 - Cell 2
18Alexander Candelario (USA) Kelly Benefit Strategies - Optum HealthRow 17 - Cell 2
19Frank Travieso (USA) Realcyclist.com Cycling TeamRow 18 - Cell 2
20Danny Summerhill (USA) Chipotle Development TeamRow 19 - Cell 2
21Martijn Verschoor (Ned) Team Type 1 - Sanofi Aventis0:00:08
22Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Liquigas-CannondaleRow 21 - Cell 2
23Bernard Sulzberger (Aus) V Australia Pro Cycling TeamRow 22 - Cell 2
24Daniele Callegarin (Ita) Team Type 1 - Sanofi Aventis0:00:10
25Daniele Ratto (Ita) Geox-TMCRow 24 - Cell 2
26Scott Lyttle (NZl) Pureblack Racing0:00:12
27Joshua Berry (USA) Realcyclist.com Cycling Team0:00:15
28Bernard Van Ulden (USA) Jelly Belly p/b KendaRow 27 - Cell 2
29Alessandro Bazzana (Ita) Team Type 1 - Sanofi AventisRow 28 - Cell 2
30Jay Robert Thomson (RSA) Bissell Pro CyclingRow 29 - Cell 2
31Jonathan Cantwell (Aus) V Australia Pro Cycling TeamRow 30 - Cell 2
32Javier Megias Leal (Spa) Team Type 1 - Sanofi AventisRow 31 - Cell 2
33Luca Damiani (Ita) Kenda presented by Gear GrinderRow 32 - Cell 2
34Eric Young (USA) Bissell Pro Cycling0:00:20
35Tommy Nankervis (Aus) Realcyclist.com Cycling TeamRow 34 - Cell 2
36Andrei Krasilnikau (Blr) Chipotle Development TeamRow 35 - Cell 2
37Mical Smit Larsen (Den) Danish National TeamRow 36 - Cell 2
38Robbie Squire (USA) Chipotle Development TeamRow 37 - Cell 2
39Michael Chauner (USA) Team CykelCityRow 38 - Cell 2
40Jacob Rytlewski (USA) Kenda presented by Gear GrinderRow 39 - Cell 2
41Joris Boillat (Swi) Champion SystemRow 40 - Cell 2
42Robert Sweeting (USA) Kenda presented by Gear GrinderRow 41 - Cell 2
43Wu Kin San (HKg) Champion SystemRow 42 - Cell 2
44Sergio Hernandez (USA) Jelly Belly p/b KendaRow 43 - Cell 2
45Benjamin Chaddock (Can) Team ExergyRow 44 - Cell 2
46Roman Van Uden (NZl) Pureblack RacingRow 45 - Cell 2
47Andrew Bajadali (USA) Kelly Benefit Strategies - Optum HealthRow 46 - Cell 2
48Simone Ponzi (Ita) Liquigas-CannondaleRow 47 - Cell 2
49Karl Menzies (Aus) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling0:00:29
50Juraj Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale0:00:33
51Hayden Brooks (Aus) V Australia0:00:35
52Zachary Bell (Can) Team Spidertech Powered By C100:00:37
53Andrew Pinfold (Can) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling0:00:40
54Jimmy Ronn (Swe) Team CykelcityRow 53 - Cell 2
55Andrea Grendene (Ita) Team Type 1 - Sanofi Aventis0:00:43
56Emerson Oronte (USA) Jelly Belly p/b Kenda0:00:46
57Menso De Jong (USA) Wonderful Pistachios CyclingRow 56 - Cell 2
58Alex Howes (USA) Chipotle Development TeamRow 57 - Cell 2
59Andrew Randell (Can) Team Spidertech Powered By C10Row 58 - Cell 2
60Jason Donald (USA) Kelly Benefit Strategies - Optum HealthRow 59 - Cell 2
61Rafael Valls Ferri (Spa) Geox-TMCRow 60 - Cell 2
62Bernardo Colex Tepoz (Mex) Amore e VitaRow 61 - Cell 2
63Vladislav Borisov (Rus) Amore e VitaRow 62 - Cell 2
64Tom Zirbel (USA) Jamis - Sutter HomeRow 63 - Cell 2
65David Blanco Rodriguez (Spa) Geox-TMCRow 64 - Cell 2
66Timothy Duggan (USA) Liquigas-CannondaleRow 65 - Cell 2
67Caleb Fairly (USA) HTC-HighroadRow 66 - Cell 2
68Matthew Brammeier (Irl) HTC-HighroadRow 67 - Cell 2
69Holger Burkhardt (Ger) Champion SystemRow 68 - Cell 2
70Boy Van Poppel (Ned) UnitedHealthcare Pro CyclingRow 69 - Cell 2
71Dan Bowman (USA) Kelly Benefit Strategies - Optum HealthRow 70 - Cell 2
72Michael Creed (USA) Kelly Benefit Strategies - Optum HealthRow 71 - Cell 2
73Marko Kump (Slo) Geox-TMC0:00:52
74Shem Rodger (NZl) Pureblack RacingRow 73 - Cell 2
75Rubens Bertogliati (Swi) Team Type 1 - Sanofi Aventis0:01:56
76Sean Mazich (USA) Jelly Belly p/b KendaRow 75 - Cell 2
77Reid Mumford (USA) Kelly Benefit Strategies - Optum HealthRow 76 - Cell 2
78Patrik Moren (Swe) Amore & Vita0:01:58
79Jonas Ahlstrand (Swe) Team CykelcityRow 78 - Cell 2
80Kyle Wamsley (USA) Bissell Cycling0:02:03
81Quinn Keogh (USA) Team Exergy0:02:17
82Patrick Gretsch (Ger) HTC-Highroad0:02:41
83Michael Freiberg (Aus) V AustraliaRow 82 - Cell 2
84Leigh Howard (Aus) HTC-Highroad0:03:09
85Francois Parisien (Can) Team Spidertech Powered By C100:03:31
86Timothy Gudsell (NZl) Pureblack Racing0:03:38
87Daniel Barry (NZl) Pureblack RacingRow 86 - Cell 2
88Francisco Mancebo Perez (Spa) Realcyclist.com Cycling Team0:03:40
89Andrès Miguel Diaz Corrales (Col) Team ExergyRow 88 - Cell 2
90Jesse Anthony (USA) Kelly Benefit Strategies - Optum Health0:03:45
91Ryan Anderson (Can) Team Spidertech Powered By C100:03:53
92Jake Keough (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro CyclingRow 91 - Cell 2
93Taylor Sheldon (USA) V Australia0:04:11
94Sean Sullivan (Aus) V AustraliaRow 93 - Cell 2
95Andy Guptill (USA) Jamis - Sutter Home0:04:35
96Jonathan Clarke (Aus) UnitedHealthcare Pro CyclingRow 95 - Cell 2
97James Driscoll (USA) Jamis - Sutter HomeRow 96 - Cell 2
98Ian Burnett (USA) Realcyclist.com Cycling TeamRow 97 - Cell 2
99Bruno Langlois (Can) Team Spidertech Powered By C100:05:15
100John Kronborg Ebsen (Den) Danish National Team0:06:06
101Alex Hagman (USA) Jelly Belly p/b KendaRow 100 - Cell 2
102Matteo Pelucchi (Ita) Geox-TMCRow 101 - Cell 2
103Frank Pipp (USA) Bissell Cycling0:06:45
104William Dickeson (Aus) Jelly Belly p/b KendaRow 103 - Cell 2
105Michael James Northey (NZl) Pureblack Racing1:00:57
106Jonathan Patrick McCarty (USA) Team Spidertech Powered By C10Row 105 - Cell 2
107Eric Schildge (USA) Jamis - Sutter Home1:10:57
108Iggy Silva (USA) Wonderful Pistachios Pro CyclingRow 107 - Cell 2
109Marsh Cooper (Can) Kelly Benefit Strategies - Optum HealthRow 108 - Cell 2
Swipe to scroll horizontally
King of the Mountain
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Alex Hagman (USA) Jelly Belly p/b Kenda45pts
2Quinn Keogh (USA) Team Exergy44Row 1 - Cell 3
3Andrès Miguel Diaz Corrales (Col) Team Exergy34Row 2 - Cell 3
4Francisco Mancebo Perez (Spa) Realcyclist.com Cycling Team30Row 3 - Cell 3
5Scott Lyttle (NZl) Pureblack Racing10Row 4 - Cell 3
6Bruno Langlois (Can) Team Spidertech Powered By C1010Row 5 - Cell 3
7Martijn Verschoor (Ned) Team Type 1 - Sanofi Aventis5Row 6 - Cell 3
8Alex Howes (USA) Chipotle Development Team5Row 7 - Cell 3
9Francois Parisien (Can) Team Spidertech Powered By C103Row 8 - Cell 3
10Frank Pipp (USA) Bissell Cycling2Row 9 - Cell 3
11Robbie Squire (USA) Chipotle Development Team1Row 10 - Cell 3


Thank you for reading 5 articles in the past 30 days*

Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read any 5 articles for free in each 30-day period, this automatically resets

After your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59

Join now for unlimited access

Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1