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Podium Sweep and USGP U23 Series Overall for the Berries in Bend

Discussion in 'Specialized' started by I-am-Specialized, Dec 18, 2012.

  1. I-am-Specialized

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    <p>Another podium sweep for the California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized under23 riders, Yannick Eckmann, Cody Kaiser and Tobin Ortenblad on the final day of the USGP Deschutes Brewery Cup in Bend Oregon on Sunday. Eckmann finished fifth in the elite men’s race and not only stood on the top step of the U23 podium but claimed the overall USGP Under23 series. A strong ninth in the elite men’s race, Kaiser was second under23.</p><p>
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    “Last year, going into this weekend, I was leading on the last day but then in Bend, Zach McDonald beat me both days, he got the overall by six points. If I would have won the last day, I would have won the overall. It’s good to have the jersey.” said a happy but tired Eckmann.</p><p>
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    “Sunday’s race went really well. It was easily my best ride of the year.” added Kaiser who finished second overall in the USGP U23 series.</p><p>
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    Calfornia Giant Berry Farms/Specialized sweep U23 podium: Yannick Eckmann first, Cody Kaiser second and Tobin Ortenblad third – photo courtesy Wil Matthews</p><p>
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    After strong starts, Eckmann made his way into the 11-rider lead group while Kaiser was close behind in the chase group. And then it was time to fight to stay on</p><p>
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    Eckmann had to dig deep the whole race. “My mistake was that I was always the last person in the group, I should have moved up, I was dangling in the back, getting dropped and catching back on, back and forth and it took a lot of energy out of me. Every single time that I got dropped, I told myself, ‘I have to get up there, this is my group, I don’t want to fall back’, so I dug deep to catch back on. And then I was on for a little bit and then I got dropped again a little bit and back on, back and forth. With two laps to go, (Ryan) Trebon went to the front, and then that’s where our big group was starting to break off and I was a little bit off the back again, and tried my best to stay on everybody’s wheel.”</p><p>
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    Kaiser explained, “I got off to a great start and was able to follow some good wheels and work my way as far up as possible. Coming through on lap one I was sitting around 15th. I ended up getting into a group with Todd Wells and Jamey Driscoll for most of the race. Those two guys kept the gas on and we were able to work our way into the top ten before they dropped me with two laps to go. I was able to catch Geoff Kabush on the last lap and hold him off until the finish.”</p><p>
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    Tim Johnson (Cannondale-cyclocrossworld.com) soloed to the win after capitalizing on an early bobble by his teammate Ryan Trebon.</p><p>
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    Going into the weekend, Eckmann’s goals were to finish top six and claim the overall. “I feel great. I got all my goals.” he said. ‘During the race too, that was in my head, I always counted how many people are in my group, so I knew that I had to race well to get top six to get my goal. Then when I would get dropped, I would use that again , to get top six I have to go harder, that kept me up there for sure today. I’m happy I got it.”</p><p>
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    Kaiser was very happy to be fighting at the front. “I am so stoked on how the day went and I am now really excited to be a contender in the race rather than trying to catch the race in front of me.”</p><p>
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    Earlier that day, Meredith Miller pulled out of the elite women’s race on only her second weekend of racing after being eight weeks off the bike following an injury.</p><p>
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    “It just wasn’t going very well. Sort of the same thing that happened in LA, the first day I felt pretty good, not that I had a great result on Saturday but it was okay all thing considered. And then on Sunday my back started to flare up again and my legs aren’t there.” commented Miller who finished ninth in Saturday’s race.</p>

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