By Kirsten Robbins in Rochester, New York
Dominique Rollin (Toyota-United) timed his jump to perfection in the finale of the second stage of the UCI 2.2 Rochester Omnium Saturday, catching the lone breakaway rider Alessandro Bazzana (Successful Living) and then sneaking past the Italian in the final 400-metres to take the victory in the fourth annual Rochester criterium.
"I knew I could catch Bazzana," said French-Canadian Rollin. "But I didn't want to catch him right away just in case he sat on me and had time to recover for the sprint. I gauged my effort and tried to surprise him at the end – I had enough left over to sprint passed him."
Rollin moved into the lead of the race which is being scored as an omnium – with points for stage placings rather than cumulative time. He has 60 points ahead of second placed Ryan Roth (Team Race Pro) with 35 points. Luis Amaran (Colavita/Sutter Home) moved into third place with 29 points.
"It's a great day for Toyota-United," said Rollin regarding the team's stage victory and overall lead. "All the guys worked really hard to take over this jersey. With three guys well placed on GC, our jobs were to cover moves tonight. As soon as my break got away, our guys protected my lead and made sure we stayed away."
A winning break of eight riders escaped the field in the early laps of the criterium and gained a maximum of thirty seconds. The riders included Dionne and Mark Walters (Team Race Pro) along with Rollin, Bazzana, Tony Cruz and Martin Kohler (BMC), Luis Amaran (Colavita-Sutter Home) and Shawn Milne (Team Type 1).
Bazzana seized an opportunity to win the race when the break lulled with one lap to go. He gained an instant advantage on the group as he flew through the final corners toward what he thought was a win. Rollin sensed the threatening move and went after him.
"I really wanted to win today," said Bazzana who dedicated his podium to his grandmother, who recently passed away. "I wanted to sprint tonight, but when I saw the group slowed I decided to jump early – I really thought I had it."
Rollin controlled his effort to catch Bazzana on the last lap and surprise him on the last straightaway. "I knew I could get away from the others or win a sprint," said Rollin. "I accelerated and tried to bridge to Bazzana. I paced myself well and started my sprint with 400 metres to go."