John Tomac of Chatsworth continued his domination of amateur cycling Friday as he teamed with Jim Copeland, Mike McCarthy and Nate Reiss for an unexpected victory in the men's team time trial in the U. S. National Cycling Championships.
Tomac, the defending world and national mountain bike champion as well as the national criterium titlist, helped his quartet dethrone Shaklee. The winning Celestial Seasonings team completed the 100-kilometer course over rolling hills in 2 hours, 5 minutes and 44 seconds.
"It's similar to mountain biking," said Tomac, who, like McCarthy, had never before ridden in a team time trial. "But you never get a chance to stop. It's all out for two hours."
"It really hurt," said Reiss, a resident of Boulder, Colo. "We saw that they (Shaklee) were falling apart at the turnaround and it kept us going. . . . We all took our turns being the strongest rider."
Tomac, who fell Wednesday during the individual time trial and finished ninth, is favored to defend his criterium title Sunday and is also considered a threat to win Thursday's road race.
Team Shaklee, which included six-time national champion Kent Bostick of Albuquerque, N.M.; John Stenner of Greeley, Colo.; national individual time trial champion John Frey of Albuquerque and Mark Waite, of Park Ridge, N.J., finished second in 2:07:18.
Shaklee was hampered when Waite was unable to cope with the 90-degree temperatures and dropped out after approximately 16 miles. The remaining team members rode as a trio until the finish.
"He (Waite) assured us he was prepared, but he wasn't," Bostick said. "He didn't have it from the word go. He wasn't fair to himself and he wasn't fair to me."
Three other men and one woman from the Valley area placed in the top four of their respective team races.
Team Montgomery, composed of Thurlow Rogers of Van Nuys, Jay Vonderahe of Thousand Oaks, Steve Hegg of Dana Point and David Nicholson of Seattle was third in 2:09:13.
John Wordin of West Hills rode on the Shaklee II team that finished fourth in 2:10.52.
In the women's 50-kilometer race, Team Montgomery, composed of Donna Rillings of Conifer, Colo.; Marion Clignet of Bethesda, Md.; Susan Griesbach of Fullerton and Carolyn Donnelly of Albuquerque, upset the favorite, Team Lycra, and won in 1:09:37.
Team Lycra finished second. Team Mazda A, composed of Maureen Manley of Thousand Oaks, Linda Brenneman of Laguna Beach, Betsy Davis of Redondo Beach and Laura Peycke of Tyler, Tex., finished third in 1:10:00.
The nine-day event continues today with three qualifying heats of the men's criterium.