Keough, Clarke give UnitedHealthcare 1-2 in Crystal City

Fader comes around to win women's race


United Healthcare cemented its ownership of the Air Force Cycling Classic with a convincing win for Jake Keough (United Health Care) in both the Crystal Cup and the Omnium. The Crystal Cup, an 80-minute race through the offices and shops of Crystal City, is held directly after the Crystal Ride, a popular non-competitive cycling event run along the Potomac River. The large crowds of the Crystal Ride were on hand to watch the blue train of United Health Care successfully set up Jake Keough and Hilton Clarke in the second of this National Criterium Calendar event.

Experience was the name of the game for the United Health Care squad whose past success at the race provided them important intelligence. "It's such a fast open course, we knew that we could bring back a break on the last couple of laps," said UHC Director Mike Tamayo who has brought winning riders to the last several editions of the race. "So the math was right, and the boys executed it perfectly."

The UHC sprint squad used their well-oiled tactics to run a near perfect finish for Hilton Clarke and Jake Keough. "Karl Menzies and Boy Van Poppel took the whole straight, and 200 hundred to go I went, and left Jake a little bit of room on the side," said Hilton Clarke who finished second on the stage and in the overall omnium. "He's really snappy in the end, and he just went past in the last 50 meters."

Jake Keough, one of four Keough brothers in the day’s race, demonstrated the kick that is turning him into one of the great American sprint talents. "I feel pretty fast still in the crits," said Keough "This year has been a progression to try and be better in Europe. I've had some bad luck, I've crashed a bunch of time this year, but it's still coming." Keough's victory was his third successive win at the Crystal Cup.

After finishing fourth and fifth on day one of the Air Force Cycling Classic, Team Exergy was motivated to activate the race from the start. Exergy riders Logan Loader and Andre Diaz both tried their hand at the front of the race. Diaz’s eight-lap move was the most promising effort of the race but was never given too much rope by the ever-present United Health Care squad. With several of the races strongest sprinters and a well-oiled lead out crew United Health Care did not appear interested in letting any break too far up the road. A heroic late race attack led my Adam Myerson (Mountain Khakis) that included Ben Chaddock (Team Exergy), Phil Mooney (Jamis-Sutter Home), and Russ Langley (X/O Communications Battley p/b Cisco) was reeled in on the last lap by the well-timed efforts of the United Healthcare crew. Coming down the long final straight Hilton Clarke looked like he was in position to win, but had left room for his teammate Jake Keough to come through for the win. Behind Keough and Clarke, Carlos Alzate attached himself to the end of the United Health Care train and avoided a chaotic finish, which saw his teammate Logan Loader relegated for making contact with another rider during the sprint.

Hilton Clarke's performances at both days of the Air Force Cycling Classic kept him at the top of the NCC standings, ahead of Team Exergy rider Carlos Alzate. Clarke is cautious around his superstitious teammates when discussing National Criterium Calendar standings. "Any time I mention it my teammates start yelling at Me.' said Clarke "I keep half an eye on it, but don't tell my teammates."


Two of the top sprinters on the National Criterium Calendar circuit, Leah Kirchman (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) and Joeanne Kiesanowski (Tibco), were well placed by their teams for the final sprint in the Air Force Cycling Classic Crystal, but were surprised by Sarah Fader (Pepper Palace), who passed both riders in the final run up to the finish. The race marked a return to form for Fader, who had raced for several top programs in the past including, Team Lipton, Aarons, under her maiden name Sarah Caravella.

For Sarah Fader's young team, Pepper Palace, contending for the win at an NCC level event was a new experience. "We are a brand new team to this level of racing. I took these girls and I said 'All right, it's time to race with the big girls.'" said Fader filled the role of Director and Road Captain. "I'm actually horse because I was yelling, yelling. "Go! Cover that! Cover that!" My team was like 'I'm tired!' and I said 'As long as you're in the race your going to do something.' They stepped it up and rode to a whole new level."

The long maneuverable roads made it harder for Tibco and Optum to put riders off the front than at the previous days event, the Clarendon Cup. The change in setting provided an opportunity for smaller teams to play a bigger role in the race. "You hope for a break because sometimes your chances are better out of a break than a field sprint." said Meredith Miller, winner of the day's Most Aggressive award. "Today with the nature of the course, it being wide open, and you being able to see the field in front of you, it's kind of hard to get anything away because they are always, right there, with such long straight aways."

"Sarah came from behind us all, had a very fast sprint and got us all," said second place finisher Joeanne Kiesanowsky who will represent New Zealand on the velodrome at the Olympics later this summer. "They are really good races. They are just an hour long, and so it's really good for my track preparation."

Tibco started attacking the field from the gun, and sent riders off the front continuously until the closing laps of the race. The most promising move of the race came when Emma Grant (Optum) bridged up to Jennifer Purcell (Tibco) and Sonja Evers (Team Sticky Fingers.) The trio worked hard to stay away for five laps, and was able to establish a lead of 15 seconds but was absorbed into the pack with three laps to go. Tibco continued their incessant attacks ensuring high safe speeds, and forcing the field to snake across the road in order to stay in contact. Kirchman and Kiesanowski were watched each other closely but mistimed their sprints, and failed to account for Sarah Fader, who inched by them in the final meters of the race. Kiesanowski would beat Kirchman to the line for second place in the stage, but Kirchman's third place finish was enough to give her the overall win in the Air Force Cycling Classic Omnium.

For Optum Director Rachel Heal, whose squad heads off to Nature Valley Grand Prix where their main sponsor Optum Health is headquartered, it was a mixed result. "Although we won the overall we didn't get the stage," said Heal "So its good and bad."

Full Results

Elite men
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Jake Keough (United HealthCare p/b Maxxis)    
2 Hilton Clarke (United HealthCare p/b Maxxis)    
3 Carlos Alzate (Team Exergy)    
4 Demis Aleman (Jamis - Sutter Home)    
5 Karl Menzies (United HealthCare p/b Maxxis)    
6 Anuar Manan (Champion Systems Pro Cycling)    
7 Luke Keough (Mountain Khakis)    
8 David Lozano (Team Type I Development)    
9 Bobby Lea (Pure Energy Cycling/ProAir-HFA)    
10 Neil Bezdek (Mountain Khakis)    
11 Eric Workowski    
12 Keck Baker (X/O Communications Battley)    
14 Issac Howe (Kendal/5-Hour)    
13 Logan Loader (Team Exergy)    
15 Jackie Driscoll (Jamis - Sutter Home)    
15 Gavriel Epstein (Champion System)    
16 Curtis Winsor (Kendal)    
17 Tim Rugg (Champion System)    
18 John Bergmann (Team Clif Bar Cycling)    
19 Nima Ebrahimnejad (Kelly Benefit Strategies/Latera)    
20 S. Charles Zamastil (160Over90 CCN Sports)    
21 Boy Van Poppel (United HealthCare p/b Maxxis)    
22 Ryan McKinney (Clean Currents p/b Beyer Kia/DC)    
23 Paul Mica (NCVC/UnitedHealthcare)    
24 Erik Broo (Happy Tooth Racing)    
25 Jackie Simes (Jamis - Sutter Home)    
26 Ryan DeWald (X/O Communications Battley)    
27 Nick Rogers (160Over90 CCN Sports)    
28 Zac Felpel (Kelly Benefit Strategies/Latera)    
29 Jesper Hansen (Denmark National Team)    
30 Jesse Keough (Champion System)    
31 Donald Brew (Clean Currents p/b Beyer Kia/DC)    
32 David Bozak (Clean Currents p/b Beyer Kia/DC)    
33 Alexey Shmidt (Team Type I Development)    
34 Anders Ddamgaard (Denmark National Team)    
35 Peter Van Diijk (Jamis - Sutter Home)    
36 Sean Barrie (X/O Communications Battley)    
37 Igor Volshteyn (Champion System)    
38 Gabe Lloyd (X/O Communications Battley)    
39 Paolo Cravanzola (Team Type I Development)    
40 Andres Diaz (Team Exergy)    
41 Andy Baker (Bissell)    
42 Tony Hall (Champion System)    
43 Jared Nieters (X/O Communications Battle)    
44 Brett Kielick (160Over90 CCN Sports)    
45 Phil Mooney (Jamis - Sutter Home)    
46 Mark Warno (Antietam Velo Club)    
47 Jon Hamblen (Mountain Khakis)    
48 Aaron Kemps (Champion Systems Pro Cycling)    
49 Pat Raines (Mountain Khakis)    
50 John Grant (Texas Roadhouse Cycling Team)    
51 Ariel Mendez-Penate (Champion System)    
52 Jake Tremblay (Kelly Benefit Strategies/Latera)    
53 Adam Myerson (Mountain Khakis)    
54 Jaan Kirsipuu (Champion Systems Pro Cycling)    
55 Anders Lawaetz (Denmark National Team)    
56 Nicholas Keough (Champion System)    
57 Barry Miller (Pure Energy Cycling/ProAir-HFA)    
58 Mart Ojavee (Champion Systems Pro Cycling)    
59 Ben Chaddock (Team Exergy)    
60 Robert Forster (United HealthCare p/b Maxxis)    
61 Russ Langley (X/O Communications Battley)    
62 Justin Morris (Team Type I Development)    
63 Peter Warner (Bayside Velo/Bike Doctor)    
64 Adrian Hegyvary (United HealthCare p/b Maxxis)    
65 Matthew Furlow (160Over90 CCN Sports)    
DNF Gregory Abbott (NCVC/UnitedHealthcare)    
DNF Colin Jaskiewicz (Champion System)    
DNF Faustino Alzate (Team Exergy)    
DNF Neil Bezdek (Mountain Khakis)    
DNF Blair Berbert (Kelly Benefit Strategies/Latera)    
DNF Joshua Frick (Clean Currents p/b Beyer Kia/DC)    
Elite women
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Sarah Fader (Pepper Palace/Spin-Tech Trainin)    
2 Joanne Marie Kiesanowski (Team TIBCO / To The Top)    
3 Leah Kirchmann (Optum)    
4 Samantha Schneider (Team TIBCO / To The Top)    
5 Lex Albrecht (Optum)    
6 Jennifer Purcell (Team TIBCO / To The Top)    
7 Kacey Manderfield (Pure Energy Cycling-ProAirHFA)    
8 Kendall Ryan (Team TIBCO / To The Top)    
9 Colleen Gulick (Pure Energy Cycling-ProAirHFA)    
10 Emma Swatman (Team Kenda)    
11 Jessica Chong (Morgan Stanley Cycling Team)    
12 Cinthia Lehner (Pepper Palace)    
13 Erin Silliman (MVP Health Care Cycling)    
14 Kate Veronnean (Pure Energy)    
15 Emma Grant (Optum Pro Cycling)    
16 Anne Racioppi (Team EPS/CSS)    
17 Kristin Lotito (Pure Energy Cycling-ProAirHFA)    
18 Arley Kemmerer (MVP Health Care Cycling)    
19 Kristine Church (Peanut Butter & Co Human Zoom)    
20 Victoria Hanks (Peanut Butter & Co. Human Zoom)    
21 Jennifer Wheeler (Team TIBCO / To The Top)    
22 Julie Kuliecza (Evlow)    
23 Sue McQuiston (Annapolis Bicycle Racing Team)    
24 Amy Cutler (Riptide Cycling)    
25 Sonja Evers (Team Sticky Fingers)    
26 Beth Bonilla (Peanut Butter & Co Human Zoom)    
27 Erica Chard (Pepper Palace/Spin-Tech Trainin)    
28 Kathryn Clark (Team Kenda)    
29 Jennifer Maxwell (Team Kenda)    
30 Nicole Raspa (CAWES/iFractal p/b Specialized)    
31 colleen paine (Team Kenda)    
32 Marni Harker (Team Kenda)    
33 Bergen Watterson (Pepper Palace/Spin-Tech Trainin)    
34 Meredith Miller (Team TIBCO / To The Top)    
35 Rebecca Werner (SportVelo Racing)    
36 Anna Barensfeld (Team Optum)    
37 Young Anna (Pure Energy Cycling-ProAirHFA)    
DNF Rebecca Chan (CAWES/iFractal p/b Specialized)    
DNF Kelley Bethoney (Syn-Fit Race Team)    
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