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George Hincapie at the 1999 Tour of Flanders
(Copyright photoreporter Sirotti, courtesy of CycleGossip.com)

2002 NEWS

Randall Makes a Run for Glory at the International
Altoona, PA, August 4

Andrew Randall has continued his run of success at the International. After his 5th place finish in the opening road stage, he demonstrated that his early performances weren't flukes by hopping in the six-man race-winning break in Stage Five. After a hard-fought sprint, he came home in 4th place. However, even more importantly, he earned enough points during the day's intermediate sprints to don the blue leader's jersey in the points competition.

Showing his savvy, he managed to defend the jersey until the last stage, where he was finally overwhelmed by Charles Dionne and the dogged determination of the 7UP/Nutra-Fig squad.

Cameron Hughes also put in a fine performance for Kissena at the International. While Andrew blasted away, Hughes rode a smart race, riding his way to 12th place in the classification. This placing marked his second top-fifteen result at a National Calendar event since joining the team.

Randall and Kissena Getting it Done in Altoona
Altoona, PA, July 31

Andrew Randall has continued to deliver for Kissena, this time at The International (formerly known as the Tour de 'Toona). After a strong ride in the opening 4 mile prologue landed him in 10th place, 19 seconds behind Svein Tuft (Prime Alliance), Randall remained patient in the first stage, a 118 km circuit race. As a powerful, but ultimately doomed breakaway, tried to take the field by surprise Randall waited for the inevitable. And when things came back together, he was ready to finish things off, grabbing 5th on the day and crossing the line as the first amateur.

Yamamoto Second at Clam Festival
Yarmouth, ME, July 21

Yasuhiro Yamamoto continues to ride exceptionally well for Kissena, this time with a strong performance near his adopted home of Lewiston, ME. Toeing the line at the Yarmouth Clam Festival Road Race, Yamamoto hung tough to finish second behind Shawn McCormack (Trek/Goodales).

Randall and Yamamoto Strong at Tour of the Hilltowns
Windsor, MA, July 20

Andrew Randall and Yasuhiro Yamamoto took on the aptly named Tour of the Hilltowns and tackled the punishing course with great success. Emerging with the lead group of seven riders at the crest of East Hawley Road, a winding 9 km climb rising 400 m in altitude which traditionally sees the day's selection, the pair rode well to the finish in the scorching July heat with Randall claiming third and Yamamoto fifth on the day.

Kissena Rides Their New and Old Horses to Success at Fitchburg
Fitchburg, MA, June 27-30

Kissena capped off one of its more successful efforts in recent years at the Fitchburg Stage Race. Indeed each stage saw riders from the team in or near the top-20, and the team had a couple of serious flirtations with the podium.

Stage one saw Billy Innes and Andrew Randall get the better of a handful of pros as well as being the top two amateur finishers, with Innes snagging 17th place (17:10) and Randall 15th (17:08).

Stage Two saw Yasuhiro Yamamoto come home near the front of the hard-charging field to grab 23rd on the day and third in the bunch sprint behind sprinter extraordinaire, Ivan Dominguez (Saturn).

In Stage Three, Cameron Hughes quickly began earning his keep with a spectacular 7th place finish on top of Mt. Wachusset, just 51 seconds back of the stage winner Chris Horner (Prime Alliance).

Then, on the 4th and final stage, Andrew Randall rubbed elbows with the cream of the sprinting world to come home in 6th spot, taking honors as the first amateur. Yasuhiro Yamamoto continued to show his wily ways and grabbed 15th on the last day to complement Randall's fine performance.

In the classification, Kissena put in a fine performance as well, with only a handful of seconds separating some of the team's riders from the top-fifteen spots. Cameron Hughes finished a fine 23rd overall, Yasuhiro Yamamoto took home 28th place, and Nat Faulkner snagged 30th.

Kissena Adds Two New Riders
June 27

Kissena has capitalized on the folding of several smaller teams at the mid-point of the season by picking up two new talented riders. Cameron Hughes, an Australian riding for the Pharmacia team, and Andrew Randall, a Canadian riding for Jetfuel, have joined the Kissena ranks and will see action with the team at Fitchburg.

Yamamoto and Kissena Victorious at Tour of Southeast Ohio
Columbus, OH, June 18-23

The Kissena boys traveled west this past week to compete in the six-day Adelphia Tour of Southeast Ohio. The race, one of the only amateur only stage races in the country, is a place for up-and-coming riders to shine. Kissena represented itself well throughout the race, with Billy Innes narrowly missing the podium on the second stage in fourth spot, Nat Faulkner finishing 7th overall, and Yasuhiro Yamamoto winning the last stage en route to a sixth place finish overall.

Innes Crowned Regional Time Trial Champion
Colebrook, CT, June 15

In miserably wet and cool conditions, Billy Innes blitzed the smooth asphalt of Route 8 in Southern Massachusetts as he eked out a magnificent victory in the New England Regional Time Trial Championship. Smashing the course record previously held by Kissena's Sean Nealy, Billy came home in 52:27 to best Curt Davis (Wheelworks/Cannondale) by 5 seconds. In addition to the praise and admiration of his peers, Innes also won a coveted Festina watch. Keith Miller also represented Kissena at the event, grabbing 11th in the Pro/1/2/3 event.

Innes 7th, Faulkner 8th at Housatonic Hills Road Race
Southbury, CT, June 16

Faulkner 4th at Lake Falls Criterium, Hawkins 7th
Auburn, ME, June 9

Once again, Nat Faulkner took top honors for Kissena, grabbing 4th in the bucolic town of Auburn. Ably lead out by teammate Matt Hawkins, Faulkner made a mad dash for the line. Hawkins, managed to hang on after his lead-out for 7th place.

Faulkner 2nd at Auburn Road Race
Auburn, ME, June 8

Nat Faulkner attacked hard to grab second place in a particularly grueling edition of this Maine Classic that saw only 27 of 120 starters finish the 66 mile test. Faulkner took off in pursuit of an untouchable John Hamblen (Wheelworks/Cannondale) with 15 miles to go winning a two-up sprint at the line. Yasuhiro Yamamoto, aggressive throughout the race, nailed down 7th on the day as well. In addition, Matt Hawkins became the Maine State Champion by virtue of his 16th place finish

Faulkner and Kissena Victorious at Bear Mountain Spring Classic
Harriman State Park, NY, May 12

On one of the most unforgiving circuits in North America, Nat Faulkner won Sparta Cycling’s Bear Mountain Spring Classic in commanding fashion. The race, held at Bear Mountain State Park in Harriman, NY, featured a cold, driving rain for much of the 98-mile Pro-1-2-3 contest, turning this race into an epic event.

After an uneventful first lap, which saw some minor shuffling in the main pack, the field hit the climb on lap two and the selection was made: Derek Bouchard-Hall (Mercury), Charlie Issendorf, Adam Myerson (both G.S. Mengoni), Billy Innes, Ben Stafford, Eneas Freyre (all Kissena) and Mike Jones (Wheelworks), three members of a visiting team from Holland, as well as some other strong men, rode to a two minute gap in short fashion. The rain began to pour from the hovering clouds and the temperature dropped to around 50 degrees. All the group could do to keep warm was ride harder, yet, despite their efforts, the gap never grew to more than a couple of minutes. After a few more laps, Freyre and Innes began attacking the breakaway group in the hopes of softening things up. Bouchard-Hall made it his mission to chase things down and the efforts of Freyre and Innes were short lived. Nevertheless, a few riders were dropped as the gap to the remnants of the field slowly dwindled. Alex Weil (Kissena), sensing a perfect opportunity, excitedly bridged the gap, followed shortly thereafter by a brilliant solo move on the climb by Kissena's Faulkner.

It was here that the attacking breakaway started to get loose, as the weather and rolling hills began to take its toll. Nat was clearly riding very well, just dancing on the pedals, and the remaining Kissena members in the breakaway group tried their best to keep him out of trouble. With two laps to go, the Tiorati Climb got the best of Innes, Jones and few others, leaving Nat and Alex alone with Bouchard-Hall, Issendorf (who had rolled to 45 second solo lead), as well as a few other tough riders. The climb seemed to be no problem for Nat and, after Charlie Issendorf was caught, Faulkner ripped off the front. Powering a massive gear, he initially brought Todd Herriot with him, before soloing away from the other rider with 15km to go. Cutting through the howling wind and rain on the final lap, Kissena’s Faulkner built a lead of 1:15. Crossing the finish line alone with a big smile, Nat raised his arms at his first big win this young season. Not to be outdone, Alex Weil squashed any would-be chasers behind Nat while nailing down 4th place on the day in the process.

Faulkner 4th at Sterling Road Race
Sterling, MA, May 11

Capitalizing on his great form, Nat Faulkner journeyed to the Sterling Road Race in search of more May success. After Derek Bouchard-Hall (Mercury) forged the race-winning move, Nat sat tight in the second group and handily won the bunch sprint for 4th with his eyes focused squarely on the Bear Mountain Road Race the next day.

Faulkner 2nd at Jiminy Peak Road Race
Hancock, MA, May 4

With a full contingent of eight riders present and accounted for, Kissena went to work at this inaugural season-opening classic. Attacking hard and early, Kissena helped keep the pace high and other teams on their toes all of which helped set up Nat Faulkner for a powerful 2nd place finish.

Read all about the race in Keith Miller's race report

Faulkner 4th at Monson Road Race
Monson, MA, April 24

With Kissena operating at half-power, as a few riders were still en route to New England, Nat Faulkner managed to find his legs in the later stages of the race and escape in a small group, ultimately garnering 4th place on the day. Meanwhile, Alex Weil rode strongly behind Nat nailing down 8th place.

Read all about the race in Keith Miller's race report

Innes Strong at Madera Stage Race
Madera, CA, April 19-21

Billy Innes turned in a fine performance under the scorching sun of California's central valley at the Madera Stage Race. Battling full squads from professional outfits O-foto/Lombardi's and Sierra-Nevada, Innes finished 5th in the criterium and 8th in the 100 mile road race en route to an 11th place in the classification in the three-day, four-stage event.

Kissena Keeps Sharp at Wards Ferry Road Race
Sonora, CA, April 8

Ben Stafford represented Kissena well this past weekend in the foothills of the Sierra-Nevada mountains. The technical and extremely undulating 12 mile course guaranteed it would be a race of attrition and, as the peloton splintered, Ben placed himself in the pivotal move of the 75 mile race. Mercury's Steve Flynn took home the top spot while Ben came home in sixth.

Kissena Finishes West Coast Trip
Fairfield, CA, March 30

Kissena closed the book on its early season campaign as the team finished up a grueling 6 week period of racing with the Solano Bicycle Classic in Fairfield, CA. April will see the team migrate back to the east coast to head up the racing campaign as the season opens in early May.

Kissena Victorious Across the Country
Branchbrook, NJ, March 24

Keith Miller began the 2002 season right where he left off the 2001 season - with a fine performance. This time, Keith blasted across to the winning break, helped whittle it down to 5 guys, and then dusted everybody in the sprint to claim victory.

Kissena Victorious at Another Dam Race
Parker, AZ, March 23

One of Kissena's newest riders, Matt Hawkins, got the ball rolling for Kissena early this year, scoring a victory in the opening stage of the Another Dam Race Stage Race. Attacking with 30 km to go, Matt soloed home for victory and possession of the leader's jersey.

1st - Matt Hawkins - Kissena Sports - 3:58:32
2nd - Oliver Stiler-Cote - Saturn Developmental - @ 8 seconds
3rd - Cody Harple - Essex County Velo - @ 19 seconds

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