It was a dark and stormy night for the racers of the 30th Athens Twilight Criterium, an annual excuse for a gigantic party in the home of the University of Georgia.
Karl Menzies sprinted to victory from a six-man break which formed midway through the men's 80km event. Joining Menzies in the attack were Alessandro Bazzana (Fly V Australia), Hilton Clarke (Bahati Foundation), Luca Damiani (Kenda p/b Gear Grinder), Ken Hanson (Team Type 1) and Ty Magner (Locos Cycling Team).
The sextet worked well together, initially putting time into the field to gain an advantage before backing off when necessary to conserve some energy for the finale, which was sure to be interesting.
"With the conditions like they were, the top 20 guys in the race were always near the front," Menzies explained afterwards.
"There were a lot of attacks the first half of the race. We were covering everything. We had someone in every move. It just happened to be the one I was in that stuck."
Damiani instigated the decisive move but it was Menzies who made a solo bid with just over a lap to go that only Bazzana was able to cover.
"He [Bazzana] attacked through the bottom two corners, but coming out of the last corner I was able to get back up to him," Menzies said.
It was then a case of the towering Australian using his superior strength and speed to kick in the finale and take what was a much-needed win for both himself and the UnitedHealthcare team.
Even with the pitch black skies and pounding rain, the women's pro field waged a fast and furious battle on the four-corner course.
The Colavita-Baci team may have lost its star sprinter in Tina Pic when she retired this year, but the Georgia-based team found a solid replacement in Cliff-Ryan who claimed the victory in the Athens Twilight Criterium.
The in-line skater turned road racer soldiered through a pounding rain storm to emerge from the much-reduced field on the home stretch a clear winner.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Karl Menzies (UnitedHealthcare Professional)||1:45:28|
|2||Alessandro Bazzana (Fly V Australia)||0:00:00|
|3||Hilton Clarke (Bahati Foundation Pro Cycling)||0:00:02|
|4||Kenneth Hanson (Team Type 1)|
|5||Ty Magner (Locos Grill & Pub)||0:00:04|
|6||Luca Damiani (KENDA Pro Cycling presented by)||0:00:04|
|7||Alexey Schmidt (Team Type 1)||0:00:39|
|8||Jacob Keough (UnitedHealthcare pb Maxxis)||0:00:39|
|9||Eric Barlevav (UnitedHealthcare pb Maxxis)||0:00:40|
|10||Daniel Holt (Team Type 1)|
|11||Patrick Allison (Team Ion - United Healthcare)||0:00:40|
|12||Chad Burdzilauskas (KENDA Pro Cycling pb GearGrinder)||0:00:41|
|13||Adam Myerson (Team Mountain Khakis fueled by Jittery Joe's)||0:00:41|
|14||Adrian Hegyvary (UnitedHealthcare pb Maxxis)||0:00:41|
|15||Emile Abraham (Aerocat Racing)||0:00:41|
|16||Matthew Crane (UnitedHealthcare pb Maxxis)||0:00:41|
|17||Isaac Howe (Team Mountain Khakis fueled by Jittery Joe's)||0:00:41|
|18||Sean Sullivan (Team Hotel San Jose/Mellow Jonny)||0:00:41|
|19||Chad Hartley (KENDA Pro Cycling p/b Geargrinder)||0:00:42|
|20||Timothy Henry (Team Type 1 Development)||0:00:42|
|21||Yosvany Falcon (Bahati Foundation Pro Cycling)||0:00:42|
|22||Neil Bezdek (Team Mountain Khakis fb Jittery Joe's)||0:00:42|
|23||Joseph Rosskopf (Team Mountain Khakis fbJittery Joe's)||0:00:43|
|24||Christopher Schmidt (Haymarket Bicycles/HomeVisit)||0:00:43|
|25||Rich Harper (KENDA Pro Cycling presented by Geargrinder)||0:00:43|
|26||Thomas Brown (Team Mountain Khakis fbJittery Joe's)|
|27||David Guttenplan (Team Mountain Khakis fb Jittery Joe's)||0:00:44|
|28||Robert Lea (Bahati Foundation Pro Cycling)||0:00:45|
|29||Hayden Brooks (Fly V Australia)|
|31||Jonathan Clarke (UnitedHealthcare pb Maxxis)||0:00:56|
|32||Andrew Pinfold (UnitedHealthcare pb Maxxis)||0:01:08|
|33||Mark Hekman (Team Mountain Khakis fb Jittery Joe's)||0:01:16|
|34||Robert White (KENDA Pro Cycling pb Geargrinder)||0:03:19|
|35||Jared Nieters (Haymarket Bicycles/HomeVisit)||0:04:29|
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Theresa Cliff-Ryan (Colavita/Baci Pro Cycling)||0:59:31|
|2||Samantha Schneider (TEAM Tibco)||0:00:00|
|3||Erica Allar (Team Vera Bradley Foundation)|
|4||Christina Smith (Veloforma)|
|5||Lauren Tamayo (Peanut Butter & Co Twenty 12)|
|6||Tiffany Pezzulo (Threads.com/DFT)||0:00:01|
|7||Jennifer Reither (Vanderkitten Racing)||0:00:01|
|8||Kacey Manderfield (Cycle Loft)||0:00:01|
|9||Rachel Warner (BMW-Bianchi)||0:00:03|
|10||Elizabeth Morse Hill (Team Fuji)||0:00:03|
|11||Kori Seehafer (Team Type 1)||0:00:03|
|12||Kate Veronneau (Kutztown Cutters)||0:00:04|
|13||Rebecca Larson (Fulton Flyers)||0:00:06|
|14||Liza Rachetto (Threads.com/DFT)||0:00:35|
|15||Kate Ross (BMW-Bianchi)||0:00:37|
|17||Cinthia Lehner (Raleigh Allstars)||0:00:48|
|18||Laura Van Gilder (Mellow Mushroom)||0:00:56|
|19||Deb Sweeney Whitmore (BMW-Bianchi)||0:01:25|