ToAD Final: Champagne and Cheese for Schneider Sisters, Labecki; Stemper Nation Deflated

Thanks to Lisa Downey for this final race report!

Skylar Schneider (Team TIBCO) won a huge wheel of cheese for taking the green Oarsman Capital Cat 2 Amateur jersey,.

Samantha Schneider (TIBCO To The Top), sprays the crowd with champagne from the top of the podium for winning the Pro Women’s Boston Store/Younkers Overall.

The Tour of America’s Dairyland concluded Sunday night at the East Tosa Gran Prix, a neighborhood overfloweth with fans’ physical and emotional presence from Start/Finish to house parties all around the four-corner rectangular course. Racers, exhausted and shells of themselves from 10 consecutive, competitive days behind them, had the collective look of “I don’t want to go to school today” but they knew the final day meant fun and treats, and the welcoming East Tosa crowd treated these riders from around the world to an inviting, thunderous applause through eight straight hours of racing.

Heintz take the win at the East Tosa Gran Prix.

The air heavy with humidity, a gradual uphill of a finishing stretch, and a headwind made for a challenging last day but the racers brought the show as hefty primes continued to permeate the Pro contests. Midway through the Pro Women’s race, Mandy Heintz (Fearless Femme), Amy Phillips (Pepper Palace) and Laura Jorgensen (Mellow Mushroom) went off the front with Colavita driving the field and Diana Penuela (Specialized Colombia) and Jeanne Kuhajek (Vanderkitten) leading the chase. Tina Pick (Fearless Femme) picked up a $250 prime with four remaining, which opened up the teller’s window for another $250 and an unfortunate multi-rider crash just past Start/Finish including teammates Erica Allar (Colivita-Fine Cooking) and Jen Purcell.

Jen Purcell is treated by the medical team after her crash.

Samantha Schneider watches while her sister and teammate Skylar is treated for minor scrapes she sustained in the crash near the end of the women’s pro race. Skylar chased after the crash and kept her overall lead in the series.

Then as it has on most ToAD afternoons, it all came down to the field sprint. With Jorgensen on the leadout and Heintz on attack, it was Heintz pulling through for the East Tosa Gran Prix win with Jorgensen and Phillips standing on the second and third podium steps, respectively.

In the Pro Women’s Boston Store/Younkers Overall, Sam Schneider (Team TIBCO) bested Pic by 11 points with Allar rounding out the top three. Schneider’s sister and teammate Skylar held on to the green Oarsman Capital Cat 2 Amateur jersey, just six points ahead of Jorgensen in a well-fought battle to the end. Team TIBCO also drove away with bragging rights to the Smart Choice MRI Team Omnium Overall title and a $2,500 check.

View from the top of the North Avenue climb just before the start of the men’s pro category at the East Tosa Gran Prix.

For the Pro Men, it was Athlete Octane who made the three-sweep of the night as foreshadowed by Daniel Holloway launching off the front out of the gate. Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, hometown of James Stemper and HQ of Stemper Nation, shot the 5-Hour Energy-KENDA rider with a dose of adrenaline. Stemper along Anthony Canevari (Athlete Octane) and Daniel Eaton (Canyon Bicycles-Shimano) broke free early on and landed on the podium at evening’s end.

James Stemper rounds turn one in an early break, but a flat with six laps to go deflated the Stemper Nation ‘s hope for a victory from their home town hero. Sorry, but that’s racing Jimmie, better luck next year.

The gap quickly widening, the break caught the field by the midpoint of the race. As they fought for podium position, the rest battled for fourth and prime money, the latter of which was pocketed largely in part by teammates Holloway and Chad Hartley, Alexander Ray (Hincapie), Team Clif Bar riders Paul Morris and Blake Anton, and David Guttenplan (Guttenplan Coaching). Stemper flatted with six laps to go, which knocked him out of the running for the top step of the podium but he still secured third as it was Canevari who sailed in for the win, with Eaton taking second. Ray took the field sprint for fourth.

Local hero Nate Labecki (ISCorp) takes turn three safely at speed every lap and held on to his Green Oarsman Capital Cat 2 Amateur jersey. Way to go Nate!

Cool down lap rehydration.

Holloway went home in the coveted yellow Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board Leader jersey with Owen Gillott (Hagens-Berman) and Brandon Feehery (Astellas) rounding out the Overall podium. Holloway and his teammates added to their pile of prime money, $2,500 as the Smart Choice MRI Pro Team Omnium winner. Nate Labecki (ISCorp) secured the Green Oarsman Capital Cat 2 Amateur jersey.

It’s been a phenomenal ride for the Tour of America’s Dairyland presented by Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board thanks to the support of incredible sponsors, racers, fans, volunteers, local municipalities, host housing families, officials, announcers and countless others who contributed to this year’s 11 days. See you in 2015!

High fives and milk were the choice of most young pros after the race finish.

For complete information: TourofAmericasDairyland.com FB:/TourofAmericasDairyland Twitter: @ToADCyclingRace #TofAD

 

 

About Dave Schlabowske, Deputy Director

Dave was the first full-time staff member hired to open the Bike Fed's Milwaukee office 11 years ago. A former professional photographer and life-long Milwaukee resident, Dave lives with his wife Liz and daughter Frankie in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's west side.

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