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First Union Grand Prix - USA
May 14, 1995

The jersey has changed, but not the man. Italian Roberto Gaggioli blew kisses to the crowd as he won the First Union Grand Prix, pulling away from Americans Fred Rodriguez and Norm Alvis in the final 75 meters to take home the $15,000 prize. Maybe more appropriately, Gaggioli was the freshest survivor of the 120-mile race through Atlanta's downtown. "When Roberto went, I just didn't have anything left," Rodriguez said. "That was it."

Alvis said the same. Rodriguez of the US National Team finished second, two seconds behind, and Saturn's Alvis third, six seconds behind. Montgomery-Bell's Darren Baker was fourth, 17 seconds behind. Chann McRae of the US National Team was fifth, winning the sprint of a group of nine riders 1:17 behind. Coming just a week after a brutally tough Tour DuPont, many in the 135-rider field were still feeling the effects.

Gaggioli, the former Coors Light sprinter now riding for the Guiltless Gourmet, didn't ride in DuPont. Instead, Gaggioli said, he trained just as hard. But that's Gaggioli, flambouyant while filling bulletin board fodder. Still, the affects of DuPont on the field were obvious, especially in the final selection. Alvis initiated the final breakaway with eight miles left in the race, counter-attacking after the lead group of 14 riders chased down USA's Chann McRae and Latvian Juris Silovs. "We went pretty hard," McRae said. "When we got caught, Fred went."

McRae and Silovs spent 10 miles away. "When the Latvian and Chann went away, it took a long time to get them back," Alvis said. "I realized people didn't have the gas left to go. So I figured it was time to go." Gaggioli, Rodriguez and Saab's Andy Bishop followed, but Bishop got dropped. The rest could not.

It was a strong day for the US National Team, which had three riders in the final group of 17 that left everyone else behind. That group split from a pack of 30. Motorola's Lance Armstrong was in that group, but with teammates  and George Hincapie in the lead group, Armstrong didn't chase.  Andreu and Hincapie faded in the final miles, the result of their work at the Tour DuPont. "I guess I was still tired from DuPont," said Hincapie, who finished seventh. Andreu agreed that he lost his edge in the final miles. "We were all pretty tired," Andreu said. "Lance was tired, too, because he didn't train much all week."

Still, Motorola was a main animator throughout the 16 laps on the 7.5-mile circuit. Hincapie and Andreu were in most of the main selections. "We spent all day keeping the race together," Andreu said. "Nobody else would chase, and it was constant attacking. If we'd attack, then they'd sure all chase. We did a lot of work and in the end we paid for it."

Andreu finished 12th at 1:23. The pace was fast from the start, picking right up where the frantic DuPont style left off. On the third lap, Bart Bowen of Saturn and John Lieswyn of the US National Team escaped. They got 34 seconds on the group, but were joined by four others including Andreu, Marty Jemison of Montgomery-Bell, Alexandr Kedruk of Ukraine and Thomas Craven of Chevrolet-LA Sheriff. When that group came back after eight miles of freedom, Jemison and Jeff Evanshine of the US National Team attacked. That duo quickly got 20 seconds up the road. They stayed away for two laps before Michael Carter of Navigators, Derek Bouchard-Hall of Shaklee, Declan Lonergan of Saab, Paul McCormack of Saab, Jeff Rutter of Scott Bikyle Flyers, Alan McCormack of Guiltless Gourmet and Hincapie joined them.

The nine-man breakaway had a 1:20 lead until Armstrong decided to carry the entire field to them. Once back together, the attacks continued, and 60 miles into the race another group of 17 escaped including Armstrong, Bowen, Bishop, McRae, Silovs, Gaggioli, Baker, Andreu, Hincapie, Alvis, Chris Horner of Nutra-Fig, Dirk Friel of Guiltless Gourmet, Oleg Galkin of Ukraine, Mike McCarthy of Saturn, Mark McCormack of Saab and Matt Koschara of Navigators. Missing the group was Rodriguez. "I worked hard to try to chase, but I couldn't bridge," Rodriguez said. "Then a group of my guys came up and they just towed me up to the group." Lieswyn, Evanshine, John Peters and Chris Wherry helped get Rodriguez to the lead group, which bulged to 30 when that chase group arrived. Others in that group included Steve Hegg of Chevrolet-LA Sheriff and Bobby Julich of Motorola. But continuing with the trend, there was no rest for the weary. "It was just constant attacks," Baker said. "Everyone was trying to get away." The rest of the field realized the race was up the road and backed off.

Final Standings

After another cloudy start on the northern coast of Brittany at Perros Guirec, fierce racing began almost immediately, as Motorola's Frankie Andreu, in an attempt to make up his five seconds deficit on Durand, attacked after just 3 kilometres. But he was swept up by an active field just five kilometres short of his objective, the sprint bonus at Pommerit Jaudy.

So Motorola tried but failed to snatch the yellow jersey in the opening hour of today's race. Now the American team will struggle to make up Frankie Andreu's 27 second time deficit on Laurent Jalabert in the 67 km stage 3 team time trial, where the Frenchman's ONCE team are certain to acquit themselves well.

1995 Tour de France

after stage 3, the team time trial, in which Motorola lost over a minute and Frankie dropped from 5th overall to 24th.

"This is our holiday for the 4th of July"

stage 4 - Frankie finished 5th

before stage 5:

"Today's gonna be crazy too. There's a left, a right and then a sweeper comin' around and when that happens, guys go all over the place...so it's gonna be crazy plus we have tailwinds so it's gonna be fast...but we have our 11's on so we're safe...[chuckle]...later"

stage 8 - time trial

before stage 10 when asked for a forcast:

"Another hot day...another steamer"

A moment of silence before the 16th stage.

1995 Tour de France
Frankie Andreu
stage finish g.c.
prologue 7th 7th
1 47th 5th
2 42nd 10th
3 t.t.t. 24th
4 5th 23rd
5 10th 22nd
6 149th 22nd
7 135th 101st
8 129th 104th
9 74th -
10 89th 95th
11 129th 104th
12 124th 107th
13 7th 93rd
14 125th 93rd
15 63rd 88th
16 all riders s.t. 87th
17 - -
18 90th 85th
19 50th 82nd
20 10th 82nd

after Lance won stage 18:

"This is great. I mean, this is what we come to the Tour de France for...to win a race and this is what a...everybody on the team wants, you know, and so a...yeah, it's fantastic, you know, we're super happy to win today. It's great for Lance."

stage 19 - time trial

after stage 19:

"Very fast course I think a...Miguel's gonna be flyin' I mean it's a little dangerous 'cause of the corners, they're big sweepin' corners, so in the rain, you know, I mean, you're, you're pushin' it but you know it's like the second to the last day, especially Miguel you know, he's not gonna take the chances a...to do somethin' stupid and crash so you gotta be careful but...a, real long gradual uphills and the last part's kinda hard but it's fast."

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