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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014

Tue
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The Tour of America's Dairyland heads to the East Side Saturday for the Downer Classic.
The Tour of America's Dairyland heads to the East Side Saturday for the Downer Classic.

Locals in Team Geargrinder dominate ToAD

Most of the races during the Tour of America's Dairyland are criteriums, which means that riders are racing around a short, looped course. Fans can appreciate such courses because it brings their favorite riders around and around and gives the ability to cheer for your favorites regularly throughout the race.

Racers, on the other hand, might prefer a road race instead, a point-to-point race that isn't quite so repetitive and is always throwing new challenges their way. Spectators can still cheer for their favorite racers, but it's a less active role. You have a picnic, get up and cheer as the riders fly by, then return to your picnic.

The Tour of America's Dairyland's eighth stage provided a nice mix between the two. The long loop of nearly ten miles of rolling hills, scenic forest, and twisted country back roads dotted with dairy farms served as the backdrop for Stage 8, where Sarah Caravella (Team CARD) and James Stemper (Kenda Pro Cycling pb GEARGRINDER) closed the day in yellow.

The sixth and final lap around the day's 10-mile loop for the Pro Women ended with a spectacular field sprint. Carrie Cash Wooten (Team Vera Bradley Foundation), demonstrated once again her tremendous sprinting ability to snatch the win on the inside from Overall leader Caravella (Team CARD) who was pushing hard on the outside. Cari Higgins (Peanut Butter and Co TWENTY 12) made the day's top three complete with Caravella holding onto the yellow jersey.

The scorching overhead rays combined with extreme uphill climbs and fast descents made for a brutal day of extreme racing but seeing past the burn, racers including Men's podium star Yosvany Falcon (Bahati Foundation) commented on how they appreciated the beauty and intricacies of the course. Taking in the scenic landscape, even ToAD announcer Todd Busteed donned an ABD Cycling kit to race in Masters 4/5 and light-heartedly joked that he perhaps could have used a little more training to tame the beast known as the …

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Top women's finishers: Emma Petersen (3rd), Erica Allar (1st) and Carrie Cash-Wootten (2nd).
Top women's finishers: Emma Petersen (3rd), Erica Allar (1st) and Carrie Cash-Wootten (2nd). (Photo: John Wilke)
Top men's finishers: Andrew Gonzales (3rd), James Stemper (1st) and Rdolph Napolitano (2nd).
Top men's finishers: Andrew Gonzales (3rd), James Stemper (1st) and Rdolph Napolitano (2nd). (Photo: John Wilke)

ToAD Recap: Allar, Stemper take Appleton

With four days down, the Tour of America's Dairyland has had pretty good luck with weather so far. If you've managed to get out and see the races you've probably enjoyed the rousing competition under perfectly sunny skies. But an impending storm system looks to reveal the mightiest and most dedicated racers over the next few days.

Yesterday in Appleton, during the Women's Pro 1/2, Carrie Cash (Team Vera Bradley Foundation) delivered the perfect lead out, giving teammate Erica Allar (Team Vera Bradley Foundation), that podium spot she'd been craving. It was the perfect send off for Allar, the 2007 U23 National Criterium Champion, who will be leaving ToAD on the hunt for the Stars-and-Stripes at Nationals. While lending the assist to Allar, Cash landed second place and took over the Overall Leaders jersey, well deserved as she has consistently fought for podium positions through the early part of the tour. Emma Petersen (7th Groove-Reform Body Clinic) rounded out the podium.

Saturday was all Rahsaan Bahati (Bahaati Foundation) but James Stemper (Kenda Pro Cycling-GEARGRINDER) and his break mates made equally bold headlines as Stemper brought home a Father's Day victory as his Dad cheered from the sidelines. It was Stemper, Rudolph Napolitano (Liquid Fitness-Adageo Energy) and Andrew Gonzales (FCS-Metro Volkwagen) rocking a commanding gap by a dozen laps to go as the field did everything they could to drag them down, to no avail.

The 22-second gap started to close with seven left but after Stemper stole the $500 crowd prime, the adrenalin surge pushed it over the top as the breakaway kept hammering at nearly 30mph, extending the gap to 26 seconds. Mind-blowing to comprehend that a bruised Napolitano stood second on the podium when just 24 hours earlier he had crashed and flipped hard onto his back at Giro d Grafton. Gonzales, who was upgraded to a Cat 1 only two weeks ago, took that well-deserved third spot.

And the boxing match for the best …

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