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Live Blog: Chicagoland Inline Tour and Marathon, 2011

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July 23 and 24, 2011

Planet report

1:51 pm | Men's Race - "He isn't human!"

Chicagoland Inline Marathon

Elite Men

  1. Joey Mantia 1:09:25
  2. Julian Rivera
  3. Justin Stelly
  4. Drew Valinski
  5. Michael Cheek

Master Men

  1. Ryan Chrisler 1:18:48
  2. Amrit Singh
  3. Jeffrey Neal
  4. Norm Kirby
  5. Gary Blank

Vet Men

  1. Hernan Diaz 1:21:08
  2. Herb Gayle
  3. Constant Montpellier
  4. Lenny Willcox
  5. Matt Robinson

Elite Women

  1. Briana Kramer 1:24:38
  2. Janelle Cole
  3. Morgane Echarour
  4. Darian O'Neal
  5. Barbara Navas

Master Women

  1. Marcy Turek 1:25:03

full results

It was another lonely marathon for Atom Wheel’s Joey Mantia.

This time he finished four and a half minutes ahead of the pack. Last time (at the Road Rash), it was five minutes.

Mantia, 25, from Ocala, FL, said his plan today was to stay with the pack, at least for a while, on the wet racecourse.

“But it was so slow at the start,” he says. “I just kept up a good pace,” and within a mile he was gone, along with Tru-Rev’s Julian Rivera and Bont’s Justin Stelly.

The three skated together for a few minutes, but after the first turnaround, about a mile into the race, Mantia started hammering.

Rivera immediately dropped back. Stelly hung on a little longer, and ”then I realized he isn’t human” and dropped back.

“After 600 meters, I couldn’t follow his stride anymore,” says Stelly, 24, of Lafayette, LA. “He was just ripping. So I went back to the pack.”

Mantia skated the remaining 25 or so miles alone.

“Somewhere along the way, I got a little tired and contemplated going back to the pack,” he says. But instead, he continued to extend his lead.

He finished the race in a time of 1 hour, 9 minutes and 25 seconds.

“It felt good,” he says. “With Worlds” — the FIRS World Speed Skating Championships — “coming up, this was a good test for me. … I knew I was going to push pretty hard.”

Julian Rivera finished second in a time of 1:13:55. Stelly was right behind him.

Mantia has been training this summer in Salt Lake City, for both inline and long-track ice racing. “The ice training has improved my condition 100 percent and helped my technique.”

He says his inline training consists of 26 miles of “skating really hard.” He also trains on a road bike.

For the past six years, Mantia has been the top man at the World Championships, winning 28 gold medals. This year, he faces a challenge from Bart Swings.

Mantia has nothing but compliments for the young Belgian.

“He’s very strong and he really works hard,” Mantia says. “He reminds me of myself when I was younger.”

12:56 pm | Women's Race

Bont’s Briana Kramer has a knack for getting to the finish line first in a marathon. She did it at last year’s NorthShore Inline Marathon and this year’s Texas Road Rash. And she did it again today in the Chicagoland Inline Marathon, not only relying on her fast legs and conditioning, but on her ability to thread the needle in traffic.

Today, it looked at a couple points like Ezeefit’s Janelle Cole, 14, of Rockford, MI, was going to get the victory

Two miles before the finish, the 14-year-old girl from Rockford, MI, took off when the women’s pack got stuck behind a group of master skaters spread out on a hill.

After the women got past the men, Kramer, along with her Bont teammate Barbara Navas and Darian O’Neal went after Cole.

Just before they caught her, “she went into a corner way too fast and ate it,” says Kramer, 19, of Salt Lake City.

But the girl bounced back up and started skating just as Kramer came by. At that point, Bont’s Barbara Navas dropped back, replaced by Toronto Inline’s Morgane Echardour in the lead pack.

The women kept up a hard pace until several hundred yards before the finish line, when Cole started sprinting.

O’Neal and Kramer followed her and tried to get by her on the inside. But O’Neal couldn’t pass and was holding up Kramer, right behind her. Kramer tried going around on the outside. But it was too far.

She moved back to the inside and tried to pass Cole there, but there were two pro men in her way on the inside. But fortunately for Kramer, “Janelle was really nice,” she says, and seeing that Kramer had no room to pass, moved to the outside to make a path.

Kramer sprinted by her and went on to win comfortably. Cole was second; Echardour, third.

The win sealed Kramer’s victory in the three-race Chicagoland Inline Tour. Tonight, Kramer flies back to Salt Lake City, where she is training in US Olympic Committee’s inline-to-ice program.

Later this summer, she plans to compete in Outdoor Nationals for a place on the USA Roller Sports World Team.

11:28 am | Other Pro Finishes

Simmons' Ryan Chrisler wins the master men's race, standing up and coasting in comfortably. Behind him three skaters hawk for second place.

Asphalt Beach's Hernan Diaz wins the sprint for first place in the veterans race. Hoigaard's Herb Gayle is second; Il Peloton's Constant Montpellier, third.

Bont's Briana Kramer wins the sprint for first place among the elite women. Ezeefit's Janelle Cole is second; Toronto Inline's Morgane Echardour, third.

11:19 | Field Sprint

Tru-Rev's Julian Rivera beats Bont's Justin Stelly in the field sprint for second place. Beating Stelly hs to be some consolation for Rivera, who finished second to him last year in the NorthShore Inline Marathon.

The race officials are not sure who finished after Stelly in fourth place. (Update: Drew Valinsky finished fourth; Michael Cheek, fifth.)

11:13 | Super Mantia, Again

Atom Wheel's Joey Mantia wins the Chicagoland Inline Marathon, having led the race wire to wire.

Here's the call by Matt Meyer: "Here he comes. He's alone all by himself. He just cruising. He stands up now, arms in the air, flexs his muscles, lifts his leg, and crosses the finish line."

11:05 am | Pelotons

The master men's pack caught the three-man breakaway. The dozen master men are all together with one lap to go.

The pro women are still together in a tight pack. The lead veteran men's pack overtook them on the turnaround, just past the finish line.

Cannon Valley's John Schulte was leading the vet pack of 15 to 20 men.

10:55 am | Stretching the lead

Joey Mantia has extended his lead to two and a half minutes in front of the chase pack, with one 8.7-mile lap to go. "He's just cruising along ... doesn't even look like he's tired."

Toronto Inline's Peter Doucet is now leading the chase pack of nine skaters. Excel's Francisco Ramirez and another skater are working together to catch the chase back.

The second chase pack, including Adams Inline's David Sarmiento and Ty Fidler, have fallen further back.

10:40 am | The rest of the pros

After the pro elite men, the next group of skaters across the line was a breakaway of three Canadian master men in blue skinsuits. They were a minute ahead of the chase pack, led by Asphalt Beach's Amrit Singh. But they looked tired and it appeared they would be caught by the hard-charging chase pack.

Next came the women's pro pack, all in a bunch, skating "at a decent, steady pace," says Matt Meyer. Bont's Barbara Navas was at the head of the line.

The veteran men were all together in a long line with Asphalt Beach's Hernan Diaz still at the front.

10:30 am | Mantia on Solo Breakaway

Atom Wheel's Joey Mantia has a minute and a half lead at the end of the first lap. Bont's Justin Stelly was leading a chase pack of eight skaters when it came across the line. Another minute and a half back, Adams Inline's David Sarmiento was leading a second chase pack.

"Joey looks really smooth," says Matt Meyer. "The other guys are working hard to try to catch up."

The rain has stopped falling.

10:02 am | Start of Pro Marathons

First the elite men went, skating conservatively on the wet pavement and forming into three lines. Two minutes later, the elite and master women started, skating "as slow as snails" before forming into a single line, says Matt Meyer. Then the master men went off, and finally the veteran men.

The starts with the most skaters were the pro elite and veterans, both of which appeared to have between 30 and 40 skaters.

The marathon is three loops of the 8.7 mile racecourse.

9:50 am | Waiting

The elite man are warming up in a light rain but have yet to be called to the starting line. The wind is fierce. "They're having a hard time keeping the tents up," Matt Meyer tells us.

9:20 am Sunday | Wet

"It can't get anymore soaked than this," our race reporter Matt Meyer tells us. After heavy rain earlier this morning, "it's let up. But it's still raining."

The recreational, fitness and advanced skaters are still out on the course, finishing their full and half marathon. The elite marathon is scheduled to start in 15 minutes. No word yet on whether there will be a delay.

The tour results are posted from yesterday.

Elite Men:

  1. Joey Mantia 35 points
  2. Julia Rivera 25
  3. Jake Powers 22
  4. Justin Stelly 18

Elite Women:

  1. Barbara Navas 27
  2. Briana Kramer 26
  3. Janelle Cole 22

4:05 pm | 2-mile time trial

They ran the time trial the way they do it in the Tour de France. The slowest skater in the 10K was the first to go, followed by the next slowest, until finally the fastest skater, Joey Mantia, was the last to go.

Thirty seconds separated the starts for each skater. Some of the skaters, including Mantia and Justin Stelly, passed the skaters in front of them.

Elite Men:

  1. Joey Mantia (time) 4:40.5
  2. Julian Rivera 4:55.6
  3. Justin Stelly 4:58.8
  4. Jake Powers 5:00.4
  5. Drew Valinsky 5:03.5

Elite Women

  1. Janelle Cole: 5:30.5
  2. Briana Kramer 5:39.1
  3. Barbara Navas 5:43.7
  4. Darian O'Neal 5:48.5
  5. Nadine Currie-Jackson 6:01.3

Master Men

  1. Ryan Chrisler 5:14.6
  2. Norm Kirby 5:21.5
  3. Amrit Singh 5:24.3
  4. L.R. Cole 5:31.7
  5. Brent Bovitz 5:33.8

Master Women

  1. Marcy Turek 6:13.2

Advanced Women

  1. Margo Carvell 6:51.2
  2. Connie Ecklund

Veteran Men

  1. Constant Montpellier 5:26.1
  2. Hernan Diaz 5:37.0
  3. Lenny Willcok 5:41.5
  4. John Schulte 5:44.6
  5. Matt Robinson 5:46.3

Advanced Men

  1. Adam Houston 5:35.1
  2. Joey Roop-Eckart
  3. Larry Kaufman
  4. Chad McNamee
  5. Bruce Sienkowski

We don't have the updated Tour standings. But it's clear that Joey Mantia leads the elite men's division and Ryan Chrisler leads the master men.

Briana Kramer probably has the lead in the elite women's division. But we can't be sure without seeing the list of points awarded on intermediate and sprint laps.

(By the way, our sincere thanks to Matt Meyer, an injured Adams Test Team skater, who has been providing us with updates from the racecourse.)

1:45 pm | Open (Elite) Men's 10K Criterium

The Luigino/Atom steam roller starts rolling with Atom Wheels' Joey Mantia winning the 10K.

Mantia won comfortably, standing up before the line and raising an arm and a leg, in the usual SuperMantia style.

The race was fast. The pavement had dried, allowing most skaters to forego their rain wheels in favor of faster urethane. Of the 26 skaters who started, about half were left in the pack for the field sprint.

The 2-mile time trials start in an hour, a 3 p.m.

  1. Joey Mantia, 25, Ocala, FL (Atom Wheels)
  2. Jake Powers, 19, Greensboro, NC
  3. Julian Rivera, 26, Colombia (Tru-Rev)
  4. Chad Horne, 21, Danville, Va (Luigino/Atom)
  5. Keith Carroll (Powerslide)
  6. Justin Stelly, 24, Lafayette, LA (Bont USA)
  7. Wesley Gandy, 19 (Sports Quest Academy)
  8. Michael Cheek, 31, Greensboro, NC
  9. Jesse Pauley, 21, Kitchener, ON (Toronto Inline Skating Club)
  10. Ryan Weiderhold, 21, Harrisonburg, VA (Sports Quest Academy)

1:33 pm | Veteran Men's 10K Criterium

Asphalt Beach's Hernan Diaz, 51, of Shawnee, Kansas, wins the sprint for first place in the veteran men's 10K.

  1. Hernan Diaz
  2. Herb Gayle, 50, Toronto (Hoigaard's)
  3. Matt Robinson, 46
  4. Constant Montpellier, 49, St-Lazare (Il Peloton)
  5. Dennis Humphrey, 55, Delmar

12:56 pm | Master Men's 10K Criterium

Simmon's Ryan Chrisler of Derby, KS, wins the master men's 10K. The 10 skaters in the field maintained a steady pace, except on the prem laps, with Chrisler winning the final sprint.

  1. Ryan Chrisler
  2. Amrit Singh, 40, Asphalt Beach
  3. Norm Kirby, 44, Bont
  4. Jeffrey Neal, 41, Skater's Quest
  5. L.R. Cole, 44, Ezeefit

12:34 pm | Women's 10K Criterium

Bont's Barbara Navas, 20, of Miami won the women's 10K, just ahead of teammate Briana Kramer, 19, of Salt Lake City. Darian O'Neil, 15, a member of the 2010 junior US team, finished third.

Toronto Inline's Morgane Echardour was fourth; Ezeefit's Janelle Cole was fifth.

"They stayed together for much of the race," says Matt Meyer.

Navas, Kramer and O'Neil won the sprint prems.

The 10K is the first of three events that make up the Chicagoland Inline Tour, which is the points race for NROC pro skaters.

11:49 am | Saturday morning

It's wet, hot and humid at the racecourse in Hoffman Estates. It rained last night and this morning. It's not raining now, but it may later and the roads are still wet.

The first race of the day is underway: the 10K criterium for advanced (non pro) skaters.

We will post results when we get them.

Matt Meyer, who is providing updates from the racecourse, tells us that another fast skater has showed up to race: Tru-Rev's Julian Rivera, 26, of Colombia. Rivera won the 2009 NorthShore Inline Marathon.

Planet preview of the Chicagoland Inline Marathon Roller Montreal


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