Gary Smith of Sitka wasn't too worried when Dan Harrington of Haines made a move about 16 miles into Sunday's final stage of the Tour of Juneau, then Tony Jacobsen of Juneau joined Harrington on the breakaway.
Harrington and Jacobsen led the main pack by anywhere from 30 seconds to a minute for the next 21-plus miles, while Smith was content to let them ride on ahead. Finally, as the 22-member pack started to close the gap on the breakaway as the riders raced through the final rolling section of the course on Point Lena Loop Road, Smith made his move.
Smith caught a fading Harrington and then Jacobsen over the stage's last 500 yards to win the 37.4-mile Auke Rec Long Course Road Race stage by one second, with Jacobsen finishing in second place and Harrington barely holding off the rest of the pack for third place. The stage win was Smith's third of the three-day Tour of Juneau, following victories in Friday's Eaglecrest Hill Climb and Saturday's False Outer Point Time Trial, giving Smith the overall championship.
"I kind of figured out those two were out of the running in the overall points standings," said Smith, who decided it would be to his advantage if he let Harrington and Jacobsen win most of the three midrace sprint bonus points. "If those two guys are taking all the bonus points, that's great.
"Then, as we came to the end of the race, I realized if I stayed in the main pack I could finish in 20th place and not get enough points to win the overall," Smith added. "I put a move on to get up in front of the group, then when I got to the front and rested a bit, I realized I could close the gap on those two. I knew Dan Harrington and Dan Graves, they're wise on the sprint, so I wanted to make sure I was ahead of them. I don't have that great of a sprint."
Smith posted a time of 1 hour, 32 minutes, 39 seconds for Sunday's stage victory, followed by Jacobsen in 1:32:40 and Harrington in 1:32:41. The trio of Dave Fleischhauer of Olympia, Wash., Chris Chiles of Juneau and Hans Moser of Juneau took fourth through sixth places, all in 1:32:42, then there was a 14-rider pack that tied for seventh place in 1:32:43.
Women's winner Julie Graves of Juneau also finished in 1:32:42, giving her a decisive victory over Angie Wright, who took second in 1:46:14. Morgan Davis took third in 1:49:48 and Betsy Fischer was fourth in 1:56:29.
In the overall standings, Smith finished with 126 points. Fleischhauer, a 15-year-old junior rider in town to visit his uncle, took second overall with 113 points, followed by Harrington with 110, defending champion Dan Graves with 106 and Jacobsen with 106. Ties were broken by how many points riders had through the first two stages.
Julie Graves won the women's title for the second year with 116 points, followed by Wright with 113, Fischer with 108 and Davis with 74. Graves said she was happy to ride with the main pack after breaking her back last fall in a paragliding accident.
"I was with it, all except the first few guys," Graves said. "Just to ride with the pack was awesome. It was such a big group."
Harrington made his move as the riders approached Eagle Beach, and Jacobsen bridged up to him about a mile later. Both said they were surprised by how long they held their breakaway, expecting the main pack to catch them shortly after the turnaround.
"We just rode for one prime (bonus sprint)," Harrington said. "We were surprised each time we came up to a prime and we were still in front. We took turns winning the bonuses."
"It was before the turnaround, I think right past the hill just past Eagle Beach, when Dan went," Jacobsen said. "When I saw him go, I thought I'm going to go with him but it took me a long time to catch him. I thought if we could get to the turnaround, we'd have a tailwind on the way back and we might be able to hold them off. We were surprised, we really were, with how long we were in front. I think there was some infighting in the pack, and the guys were watching each other for points."
One of the riders in the pack, Dave Pusich of Juneau, said the pack wasn't working together to reel in the two breakaway riders.
"It was steady, but no one was pulling," Pusich said. "We tried to get them going, but no one really wanted to work. Gary was amazing the way he finally caught them. He's a smart rider."
Dan Graves agreed, and so did Fleischhauer.
"We were kind of inconsistent," Graves said. "No one really wanted it. It was a fast pace in the paceline, but Tony and Dan kept it going. The paceline wasn't really dogging it, we were a lot faster than last year, but Dan and Tony were good."
"We couldn't get the pack to work together at all," Fleischhauer said. "I think if we'd worked together we could have caught them. But I think the pack forgot we were chasing them."
The race did have one scary moment when Jerry Buckley of Juneau crashed about Mile 22.5 on the way out the road. According to several riders in the main pack, Buckley drifted into Mike McCann of Whitehorse, Yukon Territory. Buckley's quick-release clip somehow locked onto McCann's derailleur, and the two riders wobbled and crossed the yellow line. McCann was able to shake loose from Buckley and stay upright, but Buckley skidded across the pavement and hit a guardrail.
Buckley's helmet shattered in three places and he was the only rider hurt in the accident. A nurse at the scene said she was joined by a doctor and the doctor didn't think Buckley had broken any major bones, but he probably had a concussion, some very bad road rash and they thought he might have a broken rib. Buckley was taken to the emergency room, but no further update was available.
Charles Bingham can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tour Of Juneau
Results of the third and final stage of the Tour of Juneau cycling event, sponsored by the Juneau Freewheelers Club. Sundays third stage was a 37.4-mile Auke Rec Long Course Road Race, along Glacier Highway from the ferry terminal to Mile 33 and back to the Lena Point Recreation Area. Ties in the overall standings are broken by how many points a rider had after the first two stages.
Unofficial overall standings
(riders are from Juneau unless noted)
Men - 1. Gary Smith, Sitka, 126 points; 2. Dave Fleischhauer, Olympia, Wash., 113; 3. Dan Harrington, Haines, 110; 4. Dan Graves, 106; 5. Tony Jacobsen, 106; 6. Steve Williams, Haines, 103; 7. Mike McCann, Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, 103; 8. Chris Scholes, 103; 9. John McConnochie, 96; 10. Dan Kelliher, Sitka, 95; 11. Dave Pusich, 88; 12. Obie Davis, 86; 13. Scott Fischer, 83; 14. Dave Bartlett, 82; 15. Frank Rue, 79; 16. Hans Moser, 73; 17. Chris Chiles, 73; 18. Julian Deiss, 72; 19. Evan McNeil, 71; 20. Ed Scholes, Denver, Colo., 67; 21. Dale McFarlin, 60; 22. Jeff Donaldson, 53; 23. Dave Ringle, 49; 24. Dave Coleman, 47; 25. Jerry Buckley, 39; 26. Terry Ward, 36; 27. Nate Soboleff, 32; 28. Al Graves, 31 29. Bill Lorenz, 30; 30. Dave Harju, 29; 31. Layne Brant, 24; 32. Fritz Moser, 24; 33. Karl Twelker, 22; 34. Tom Meyer, 21; 35. Mark Wipfli, 17; 36. Don Eagle, 17; 37. Steve Box, 10.
Women - 1. Julie Graves, 116 points; 2. Angie Wright, 113; 3. Betsy Fischer, 108; 4. Morgan Davis, 74; 5. Tara Jeans, 69; 6. Joann Quigg, 35; 7. Sarah Trent, 0.
Auke Rec Long Course Road Race
(race officials could not sort out the exact
placings in the tie for seventh due to size of pack)
Men - 1. Gary Smith, 1 hour, 32 minutes, 39 seconds, 43 points; 2. Tony Jacobsen, 1:32:40, 41; 3. Dan Harrington, 1:32:41, 39; 4. Dave Fleischhauer 1:32:42, 37; 5. Chris Chiles, 1:32:42, 36; 6. Hans Moser, 1:32:42, 35; 7. tie, Dan Graves 1:32:43, 34; 7. tie, Steve Williams, 1:32:43, 34; 7. tie, Mike McCann 1:32:43, 34; 7. tie, Chris Scholes, 1:32:43, 34; 7. tie, John McConnochie, 1:32:43, 34; 7. tie, Dan Kelliher, 1:32:43, 34; 7. tie, Dave Pusich, 1:32:43, 34; 7. tie, Obie Davis, 1:32:43, 34; 7. tie, Scott Fischer, 1:32:43, 34; 7. tie, Dave Bartlett, 1:32:43, 34; 7. tie, Frank Rue, 1:32:43, 34; 7. tie, Evan McNeil, 1:32:43, 34; 7. tie, Ed Scholes, 1:32:43, 34; 7. tie, Jeff Donaldson, 1:32:43, 34; 21. Julian Deiss, 1:33:13, 20; 22. Dave Ringle 1:33:28, 19; 23. Terry Ward, 1:33:29, 18; 24. Don Eagle, 1:33:49, 17; 25. Dale McFarlin, 1:45:07, 16; 26. Bill Lorenz, 1:49:39, 15; 27. Fritz Moser, 1:49:47, 14; 28. Nate Soboleff, 1:50:58, 13; 29. Dave Coleman, 1:54:26, 12; 30. Mark Wipfli, 1:56:24, 11; 31. Karl Twelker, 1:56:25, 10; 32. Layne Brant, 1:59:32, 9; DNF: Al Graves (assistance to injured rider); Tom Meyer (assistance to injured rider); Jerry Buckley (injured in accident).
Women - 1. Julie Graves, 1 hour, 32 minutes, 42 seconds, 40 points; 2. Angie Wright, 1:46:14, 39; 3. Morgan Davis, 1:49:48, 38; 4. Betsy Fischer, 1:56:29, 37; DNF: Sarah Trent (mechanical failure).