James Sharp of Hanau sets out on the fastest ride of the day during Saturday’s time trial at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, the second event on the U.S. Forces Europe road cycling championship series.

James Sharp of Hanau sets out on the fastest ride of the day during Saturday’s time trial at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, the second event on the U.S. Forces Europe road cycling championship series. (Rusty Bryan / S&S)

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany — Moments after dominating Saturday’s 11.2-kilometer Eifel Classic time trial — the second of seven events in the U.S. Forces Europe Road Cycling championship series — Hanau’s James Sharp turned his thoughts to Sunday’s 51.5-kilometer road race.

“I’ll just go out and attack and see who can stay with me,” the 40-years-and-older masters rider said after clocking an overall best time of 15 minutes, 46.38 seconds on Saturday.

Sharp, a former Armed Forces team rider and current mountain bike racer, will be looking to avenge his loss in April’s road event at Aviano, Italy, in a race likely to be run in a repeat of Saturday’s warm, sunny weather. Sharp won his age category in Aviano, the first event of the season, but was denied the overall crown when Merle Richard exploited the boost provided by his fellow Ramstein riders to victory.

“I’m solo,” Sharp said. “I fell victim to some team tactics.”

Team tactics are likely to be on the agenda in Sunday’s race, according to time trial men’s open champ Benjamin Martinelli of Heidelberg.

“I’ve brought along some friends,” said Martinelli, who clocked 16:25.88 in the time trial. “They’ll help me watch for breakaways, and if I miss a breakaway, they’ll help me get back to the front.

“I’m going to be like Lance Armstrong, except just one-tenth of a degree as effective.”

Martinelli, a triathlete who decided he enjoyed the road cycling portion of that grueling discipline enough to pursue it more intently, knows who’s going to be doing a lot of the breaking away.

“I’m going to be keeping an eye on that guy over there,” he said with a nod toward Sharp.

“I’ll try to get some breakaways,” Sharp said by way of confirmation, “and see what happens.”

What might happen is some severe oxygen debt and muscle fatigue. But Sharp isn’t worried.

“Cycling involves a lot of pain,” he said. “If you don’t like pain, you should be doing something else.”

Sunday could not come a moment too soon for Saturday’s women’s time trial champion, Ursula Cunneen of Spangdahlem.

“I like road races,” she said. “The longer the better.”

Sunday’s race for women is just under 31 kilometers, but Cunneen, who said she’d prefer to ride the men’s distance of 51.5 kilometers, will take anything over another time trial.

“Time trials are torture,” she said after covering the course in 19:10.63. “You can’t really pace yourself. You just have to go all out and suffer.”

Sunday’s race, scheduled to depart on the perimeter road just behind the commissary at 2 p.m., will complete the Eifel Classic races for this year.

Races at Kaiserslautern-Ramstein in August and at Sembach in September will round out the 2006 series.

Eifel Classic

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany — Results from Saturday’s Eifel Classic time trial, second event on the 2006 U.S. Forces Europe Road Cycling championship series. All riders covered 11.2 kilometers:

Women: 1, Urusla Cunneen (Spangdahlem) 19 minutes, 10.63 seconds; 2, Lori Nix (Schwetzingen) 20:46.91; 3, Keri Cullen (Mildenhall) 20:52.16; 4, Michelle Rosignol (Spang) 23:20.06; 5, Maria Eoff (Kaiserslautern) 23:23.56; Sunnie Brownell (Kais) 24:11.86.

Men’s Open: 1, Benjamin Martinelli (Heidelberg) 16 minutes, 25.88 seconds; 2, Michael Slotten (Spang) 17:13.66; 3, Nikolas Kinder (Ramstein) 17:15.52; 4, Chris Fritzsche (Aviano) 17:19.50; 5, Shawn Deal (Vilseck) 18:25.40; 6, Jon Deason (Mannheim) 20:25.84; 7, Jeffrey Puckett (Spang) 20:27.43; 8, David Wetherington (Spang) 21:09.32; 9, Isaiah Adams (Spang) 28:41.48.

Men’s Seniors (30-39 years): 1, Peter Callamari (Sembach) 17:19.84; 2, Dennis Wingler (Spang) 17:34.25; 3, Roger Towberman (Mildenhall) 17:40.09; 4, Anthony Givogue (Mannheim) 18:15.39; 5, Lewis Plotts (Vilseck) 18:17.55; 6, David Hammerschmidt (Ramstein) 18:23.52; 7, Todd Stubbs (Heidelberg) 18:27.47; 8, Walter Johnston (Heid) 18:32.16; 9, David Schreffler (Unavailable) 18:33.19; 10, Seth Lininger (Spang) 18:36.05; 11, Calvin Vonada (Bamberg) 18:45.83; 12, Spencer Templeton (Heid) 19:11.66; 13, Christopher Upeslacis (Oberammergau) 19:52.40; 14, Howard Pepper (Hanau) 19:54.52; 15, Kevin Pick (Heid) 21:10.98; 16, Michael Minkler (Ramstein) 21:58.68; 17, Marcio Fletes (Ramstein) 22:23.50; 18, Dennis Palmer (Stuttgart) 23:29.36.

Men’s Masters (40 years and older): 1, James Sharp (Hanau) 15:46.38; 2, Robert Dettmer (Heidelberg) 17:06.11; 3, Jeff Clayton (Stuttgart) 17:45.20; 4, Larry Kinder (Ramstein) 17:48.11; 5, Phil Tinsley (Heid) 18:04.29; 6, Bryan Simpson (Heid) 18:45.52; 7, Daniel Gruver (Ansbach) 19:11.52; 8, Reynaldo Gonzalez (Kaiserslautern) 19:15.89; 9, Jinjong Chung (Vilseck) 19:36.75; 10, Rafael Rodriguez (Vilseck) 19:46.13; 11, Jack Nevin (Spangdahlem) 20:28.43; 12, Bryan Schulte (Oberammergau) 20:41.65; 13, Joseph Sweet (Ramstein) 20:57.86; 14, Alan Kingsley (Spang) 21:32.77; 15, Robert Eoff (Kais) 22:06.24; 16, Bill Whitman (Darmstadt) 22:42.91; 17, Joseph Shelley (Mannheim) 24:40.01.

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