Jonathan Cantwell (Fly V Australia) sprinted to victory at the Dana Point Grand Prix criterium held on Sunday. The savvy criterium rider weaved his way through a crash-filled finale to outpace Jamis-Sutter Home brothers Alejandro Borrajo in second place and Anibal Borrajo in third.
"This is one of my [career] highlights, being an NRC race," said Cantwell, who dedicated his victory to his the late Jorge Alvarado. "This is the first time I've done the Dana Point Grand Prix and it is one of my better wins so far. It was a good job by UnitedHealthcare but, coming into the final corner it was Jamis that took over and I got on their wheel and had a pretty good run to the line. I had the legs on the day.
"The finish was chaotic with ten laps to go," he continued. "Bahati Racing and UnitedHealthcare were so desperate for the win, I guess you could say. There was a lot of fighting going on and we were just waiting for or chance to move to the front.
"With two or three laps to go there was a big crash near the front that caused a lot of catastrophe. I just told my guys and UnitedHealthcare to just keep going because you can't stop the race with three laps to go. That crash took out Bahati and a few other guys."
The Indie Hops Dana Point Grand Prix's $15,000 criterium marked the second event on the National Racing Calendar (NRC) series that started at the Redlands Bicycle Classic last month. The weekend kicked off at the previous day's Killer Cove Time Trial won by Brad White (UnitedHealthcare).
In the end it was White's teammate Andrew Pinfold who won the Dana Point Grand Prix Mayor's Cup title by virtue of his second place in the previous day's time trial and his strong performance in the criterium.
"The jersey wasn't that contested and not much controlling of the race specifically for that," said White, who was arguably the most active rider in the bunch. "Our plan was to cover things going up the road and make sure we were in the moves. When things were in the last 20 minutes we kept it controlled and took the front when it looked like a break wasn't going to stick. That's what we did. Once we had it dialed in things started to get a bit derailed at the end."
Peloton honours Jorge Alvarado
Some 120 pro riders lined up to start the Indie Hops Dana Point Grand Prix in honour of Bahati Foundation rider Jorge Alvarado, the 28-year-old who died after being struck by a vehicle while on a training ride near Redlands, California on Thursday morning.
Tears welled in the eyes of the crowds and the assembled peloton as race announcers Dave Towle and Steve Hegg called up Alvarado's teammate and defending race champion Rahsaan Bahati to the line.
Towle called up the remaining Bahati Foundation riders including Hilton Clarke, Devan Dunn, Floyd Landis and Matt Rice to join him at the start. The peloton removed their helmets and remembered Alvarado in a moment of silence. The five-rider team lead the field through one opening lap in honour of Alvarado before starting the 90 minute race.
"I know Jorge would be looking down on you and say, "race to win," said the team's manager Steve Owens. "Give it your best and, as Dave Towle would say, 'let's do this'."
Notable riders competing in the race include Tony Cruz and Freddy Rodriguez. Both talents previously signed contracts with Rock Racing before the team was denied a UCI license and downgraded to the amateur ranks in March.
The racing started aggressively and several breakaways formed at the 30-minute mark. A flurry of attacks came from Jamis-Sutter Home, Bissell, Bahati Foundation and UnitedHealthcare. Brad White was arguably the most aggressive rider of the day, launching multiple attacks in the first half of the race.
Sean Mazich (Jelly Belly) took a flyer 45 minutes in but his move was caught and countered by Daniel Ramsey (Williams Cycle), followed by Floyd Landis (Bahati Foundation). The front of the peloton was highly animated but no one was strong enough to stay away for more than a few seconds.
It wasn't before long that White was back on the front making another move. His efforts formed a group of nine riders that included Ken Hanson (Team Type 1), Jonathan Cantwell (Fly V Australia), Matt Rice (Bahati Foundation) along with one unidentified rider from each team Bissell, Trek-Livestrong, Jamis-Sutter Home and Bahati Foundation. The peloton reeled them back in with 25 minutes to go.
Cody O'Reilly (Bissell) and one of the Bike Religion riders formed a late-race move. Ivan Dominguez (Jamis-Sutter Home p/b Colavita) successfully bridged across putting all the sprinters on the edge of their seats back in the peloton while taking some pressure off his teammates in the final laps.
The breakaway neutralised as multiple riders tried to bridge across from the field. Next to go was Soren Peterson (Hagens Berman) and a rider from Pista Palace. With six laps to go Peterson continued on and picked up nearly $1000 in cash primes along the way.
Crash-marred race finale
UnitedHealthcare was the first team to set up an organised train at the front of the field likely setting up its sprinters Eric Barlevav, Andrew Pinfold and Jake Keough. Bahati Foundation moved in behind the lead train. Inside five laps to go, a crash near the front of the field brought many riders down, including several from the Bahati Foundation.
Rahsaan Bahati was one of the riders who crashed and stated that the accident was deliberate. "It was pretty straightforward in that the UnitedHealthcare rider Jake Keough deliberately crashed me," he said. "I understand that crashes happen but that was so blatant and caused a huge pile up."
Officials forced the peloton to slow the next time through the sixth corner where the crash took place. When all was clear, UnitedHealthcare continued with a strong lead-out through the final laps. Bahati was reported to have thrown a water bottle into the field from the sidelines.
White was positioned at the front of his lead-out train and noted that he did not see what caused the accident but that none of his teammates would purposely cause a crash.
"I'm not one hundred percent sure what happened because I was in the front so I don't know what was going on behind except to hear yelling," said White. "Things went to plan for us. Adian [Hegyvary] was leading Pinfold and Jake Keough was behind him. Pinfold started to go but the computer fell into his spokes as a result of Rahsaan, who threw his glasses into the peloton. They had to hesitate and the last 200 metres so we lost it there. We executed it exactly how we needed to but we had some bad luck."
"There is always some jostling for the wheels behind and sometimes there isn't a lot of respect for the team setting up the train and there should be," he added. "We try to do our jobs as professionals. It's dangerous if you crash you are out and you get less chances to race. It's not professional, you need to race with your legs. Criteriums are aggressive and edgy but it needs to be safe out there."
UnitedHealthcare riders were overtaken in the last few hundred meters of the race by podium finishers Cantwell and Alejandro and Anibal Borrajo.
The top 10 sprinters included Ken Hanson (Team Type 1) in fourth, Justin Williams (Trek-Livestrong) in fifth, Jeremiah Wiscovitch (Williams Cycling) in sixth, Jacob Keough and Andrew Pinfold (UnitedHealthcare) in seventh and eighth respectively, James Williamson (Two Wheeler) in ninth and Eric Marcotte (Pista Palace) rounded out the top 10.
Juniors are doin' it for themselves
Talented junior rider Kendall Ryan (Now-MS Society Cycling Team) captured a victory at the women's Pro 1/2/3 Dana Point Grand Prix criterium on Sunday. Ryan took the reins during the bunch sprint and outrode Maria Lechuga (Unattached) and fellow junior Coryn Rivera (Peanut Butter & Co. TWENTY 12), who finished second and third respectively.
"This feels really good," said Ryan, who outlined her season and future ambitions. "This year hopefully I will do well at the junior world championships this August in Italy; hopefully I will qualify to go to that. In the future I would like to race in Europe and do all the big pro races."
The Dana Point Grand Prix criterium marked the second event on the National Racing Calendar (NRC) series that started at the Redlands Bicycle Classic last month. The weekend kicked off at the previous day's Killer Cove Time Trial. Ryan's performance in the opening event coupled with her winning criterium made her the overall champion of the Mayor's Cup jersey.
Ryan and Rivera are highly decorated junior racers, both aged 17 and competing against the professional peloton. Last year, Ryan won the Madison at the US junior track national championships, second in the scratch race and fourth in the Keirin. She also placed third in the Under 23 US national time trial championships and fourth in the road race. Rivera is a 25-time US junior national champion.
"It's good to see the juniors racing well," said Rivera. "I love it a lot. Even before the race the officials tell us juniors to take it easy on the women. It's funny to see us rolling out gears after the race and at the podium. I hope to see more junior riders move up on to the podium as well."
The women raced for a total of 55 minutes on a wide, open L-shaped circuit that included a small riser before the sixth and final corner. The race started fast, with attacks coming from virtually every team, including Helens-Cannondale, NOW-MS Society, Vanderkitten, InCycle-SCVelo and Herbalife LaGrange.
"It was just me today," Rivera added. "For me I stayed patient and watched for moves where all of the bigger local teams were represented. I tried to go in a break with Kendall Ryan but the course was to short, fast and technical for anything to stay away."
Helens-Cannondale launched several successful attacks in the final 10 laps that caused the field to splinter. The peloton was strung out and riders desperately hung on to the wheel in front. Dara Rogers (Helens-Cannondale) was the first to make her move and gained a nearly 15-second margin ahead of the field for three laps.
Her teammate Deborah Durand counter attacked and gained a slim lead for one lap. The squad benefited from the experience of teammate Suzanne Sonye, a sprinter for the former Saturn Pro Cycling Team, who sat mid-pack and used her savvy criterium skills to surf amongst the peloton during the race.
Julia LaFranchise (NOW-MS Society) was the next to make a move. She launched her timely effort with two-and-a-half laps to go and allowed her winning teammate Ryan to move into position near the front of the chasing field.
The peloton rounded the last lap intact, with riders from teams InCycle-SCVelo, Helens-Cannondale and NOW-MS Society rallying for the leading position. They climbed over the last riser and raced each other for the sixth and final corner. A crash near the front of the field caused approximately 15 riders to go down, although the top 10 sprinters narrowly missed the crash and continued on in pursuit of the finish line.
"Coming into the last corner I was way too far back," Rivera said. "I was about sixth wheel back and stuck on the inside. I had to do the best I could to make my way to the front."
Ryan came through as the winner ahead of Lechuga and Rivera. Notable top ten performances include Jennifer Weinbrecht (Herbalife LaGrange), Anna Lang and Jennifer Wilson (Vanderkitten), Julia LaFranchise (NOW-MS Society), Cara Bussell (TriSport Cycling-Eclipse), Erika Graves (Vanderkitten) and Beatriz Rodriguez (InCycle-SCVelo).
|1||Jonathan Cantwell (Fly V Austrailia)||1:29:49|
|2||Alejandro Borrajo (Jamis/Sutter Home p/b Colavita)|
|3||Anibal Borrajo (Jamis/Sutter Home p/b Colavita)|
|4||Kenneth Hanson (Team Type 1)||0:00:01|
|5||Justin Williams (Trek Livestrong U23)|
|6||Jeremiah Wiscovitch (Williams Cycling p/b SC VELO)|
|7||Jacob Keough (UnitedHealthcare p/b Maxxis)|
|8||Andrew Pinfold (UnitedHealthcare p/b Maxxis)||0:00:02|
|9||James Williamson (Two Wheeler/Specialized)|
|10||Eric Marcotte (Team Pista Palace)|
|11||Patrick Bevin (Team Rubicon-ORBEA)|
|12||Paul Che (Team Pista Palace)|
|13||Mike Tettleton (Bike Religion)|
|14||Chris Demarchi (Amgen-UBS Elite Masters)|
|15||Cody Stevenson (Adageo Energy Pro Cycling)|
|16||Hilton Clarke (Bahati Foundation Pro Cycling)|
|17||Sergio Hernandez (NOW-MS Society)|
|18||Bernie Sulzberger (Fly V Austrailia)||0:00:03|
|19||Andrew Crater (Unattached)|
|20||Sean Mazich (Jelly Belly Presented B)|
|21||Aaron Quesnell (ACQUA AL 2/SDBC)|
|22||Jonathan Parrish (KENDA Pro Cycling p/b Geargrinder)||0:00:04|
|23||Cody O'reilly (Bissell Pro Cycling Team)|
|25||Eder Frayre (Herbalife LaGrange)||0:00:05|
|26||Michael Telega (Team Pista Palace)|
|27||John Tzinberg (Bike Religion)||0:00:06|
|28||Nicholas Brandt-Sorenson (Unattached)|
|30||Joshua Webster (Williams Cycling p/b SC VELO)||0:00:08|
|31||Michael Herdman (Unattached)|
|32||Corey Farrell (Unattached)||0:00:09|
|33||Joshua Bartlett (Team Rubicon-ORBEA)|
|34||Eric Losak (Bike Religion)|
|35||Guido Palma (Jamis/Sutter Home p/b Colavita)|
|37||Travis Wilkerson (Adageo Energy Elite)|
|38||Nathaniel Deibler (Williams Cycling p/b SC VELO)||0:00:10|
|39||Tomo Hamasaki (ACQUA AL 2/SDBC)|
|40||Ivan Dominguez (Jamis/Sutter Home p/b Colavita)|
|41||Brian Cornelius (TriSports Cycling/Eclipse Racing)|
|43||David Kemp (Fly V Austrailia)||0:00:11|
|44||Floyd Landis (Bahati Foundation Pro C)|
|45||Andy Bestwick (Allegiant Airlines/Pain MD's.co)|
|46||Eric Bennet (Adageo Energy Pro Cycling)||0:00:13|
|47||Quinn Keogh (Team Rubicon-ORBEA)|
|48||James Gunn-Wilkinson (Team Pista Palace)|
|49||Patrick Caro (Bike Religion)|
|50||Adrian Hegyvary (UnitedHealthcare p/b Maxxis)||0:00:14|
|51||Christopher Mcdonald (socalcycling.com)|
|52||Chris Spence (Team Kaos-Alegent Health)|
|53||Skyler Bishop (Swami's Cycling Club)||0:00:16|
|54||Shawn Milne (Team Type 1)||0:00:17|
|55||Gustavo-Adolfo Mendez (Herbalife LaGrange)|
|56||Morgan Schmitt (UnitedHealthcare p/b Maxxis)||0:00:19|
|58||Martin Adamczyk (socalcycling.com)||0:00:38|
|59||Phillip Snodgrass (Wells Fargo Racing Team)||0:00:39|
|60||Jonathan Eropkin (SAFEWAY/Bicycles Plus/PureRed C)||0:00:48|
|61||Uriel Rayo (socalcycling.com)||0:00:55|
|62||Thomas Nelson (Adageo Energy Pro Cycling)||0:01:11|
|63||Shane Kline (Bissell Pro Cycling Team)|
|64||Mark Shimahara (TEAM CLIF BAR Cycling)||0:01:12|
|65||Jason Bausch (Herbalife LaGrange)|
|66||Colby Elliot (Bike Religion)|
|67||Frank Sarate (socalcycling.com)||0:01:13|
|68||Ben Kersten (Fly V Austrailia)||0:01:23|
|DNF||Anthony Aker (Team Pista Palace)|
|DNF||Jorge Alvarado (Bahati Foundation Elite Cycling)|
|DNF||Victor Ayala (Herbalife LaGrange)|
|DNF||Rahsaan Bahati (Bahati Foundation Pro Cycling)|
|DNF||Eric Barlevav (UnitedHealthcare p/b Maxxis)|
|DNF||Shane Buysse (socalcycling.com)|
|DNF||Austin Carroll (Adageo Energy)|
|DNF||Devan Dunn (Bahati Foundation Elite Cycling)|
|DNF||Tobias Eggli (Adageo Energy Pro Cycling)|
|DNF||James Esser (Unattached)|
|DNF||Raul Frias (Herbalife LaGrange)|
|DNF||Brandon Gritters (Williams Cycling p/b SC VELO)|
|DNF||Kyle Gritters (Williams Cycling p/b SC VELO)|
|DNF||Danny Heeley (NOW-MS Society)|
|DNF||Andy Jacques-Maynes (Bissell Pro Cycling Team)|
|DNF||Alex Jarman (Swami's Cycling Club)|
|DNF||Michael Johnson (Amgen-UBS Elite Masters)|
|DNF||Danny Kam (Herbalife LaGrange)|
|DNF||Robert Kamppila (CA Pools/DeWalt)|
|DNF||Roman Kilun (UnitedHealthcare p/b Maxxis)|
|DNF||Giddeon Massie (Bike Religion)|
|DNF||Ruben Meza (socalcycling.com)|
|DNF||Anthony Morrow (CA Pools/DeWalt)|
|DNF||Rudolph Napolitano (Team Helen's)|
|DNF||Mike Northey (Team Rubicon-ORBEA)|
|DNF||James Paolinetti (Amgen-UBS Elite Masters)|
|DNF||Joseph Pinkerton (Natural Grocers P/B XP Companie)|
|DNF||Armin Rahm (Herbalife LaGrange)|
|DNF||Matthew Rice (Bahati Foundation Pro Cycling)|
|DNF||Victor Riquelme (TriSports Cycling/Eclipse Racin)|
|DNF||Thomas (Tommy) Robles (Sho-air/Sonance)|
|DNF||Andrew Salcedo (ACQUA AL 2/SDBC)|
|DNF||Aaron Tuckerman (Jelly Belly Pro Cycling)|
|DNF||Craig Turner (Team Redlands)|
|DNF||Roman Van Uden (Team Rubicon-ORBEA)|
|DNF||Kyle Wamsley (Bissell Pro Cycling Te)|
|DNF||Bradley White (UnitedHealthcare p/b Maxxis)|
|DNF||Diego Yepez (Unattached)|
|DNF||Luis-Alejandro Zamudio (Herbalife LaGrange)|
|DNF||Brian Lopes (Oakley/Ibis)|
|DNF||Anthony Canevari (Fullerton Bikes)|
|DNF||Joshua Webster (Williams Cycling p/b SC VELO)|
|DNS||Alessandro Bazzana (Fly V Australia)|
|DNS||Randy Bramblett (Williams Cycling)|
|DNS||Hayden Brooks (Fly V Austrailia)|
|DNS||Adam Carr (Adageo Energy)|
|DNS||Alfredo Cruz (Herbalife LaGrange)|
|DNS||Chris Daggs (Swami's Cycling Club)|
|DNS||John Gabriel (Sho-air/Sonance)|
|DNS||Aron Gadhia (Amgen-UBS Elite Masters)|
|DNS||Timothy Johnson (UnitedHealthcare p/b Maxxis)|
|DNS||Aaron Kemps (Fly V Austrailia)|
|DNS||Morgan Ryan (Bahati Foundation Elite Cycling)|
|DNS||Jeff Prinz (Big Orange/Cynergy Cycles)|
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Kendall Ryan (NOW-MS Society)||0:53:31|
|2||Maria Lechuga (Unattached)|
|3||Coryn Rivera (Peanut Butter & Co. TWENTY12)|
|4||Jennifer Weinbrecht (Herbalife LaGrange)|
|5||Anna Lang (Vanderkitten Racing presented b)|
|6||Jennifer Wilson (Vanderkitten Racing presented b)||0:00:01|
|7||Julia Lafranchise (NOW-MS Society)|
|8||Cara Bussell (TriSports Cycling/Eclipse Racin)|
|9||Erika Graves (Vanderkitten)|
|10||Beatriz Rodriguez (Southern California Velo)|
|11||Alexis Ryan (Team CICLE)||0:00:02|
|12||Alicia Boland (Paramount Racing)|
|13||Jenny Rios Pinal (Helens Cannondale)|
|14||Dianna Del Fante (Paramount Racing)||0:00:03|
|15||Priscilla Calderon (Southern California Velo)||0:00:04|
|16||Patricia Black (Morgan Stanley Cycling Team)|
|17||Trina Jacobson (ACQUA AL 2/SDBC)||0:00:05|
|18||Christen King (Home Depot Center Team)||0:00:06|
|19||Debbie Hunter (Bicycle Ranch)|
|20||Dara Rogers (Helens/Cannondale)||0:00:07|
|21||Amy Hutner (Herbalife LaGrange)||0:00:08|
|22||Rachel Tzinberg (Bike Religion)||0:00:09|
|23||Jennifer Reither (Vanderkitten Racing presented b)|
|24||Pamela Schuster (Southern California Velo)|
|25||Jennifer Johansen (NOW-MS Society)||0:00:12|
|26||Kelli Jones (ACQUA AL 2/SDBC)|
|27||Melinda Weiner (Herbalife LaGrange)||0:00:15|
|28||Hilary Crowley (Paramount Racing)||0:00:16|
|29||Ivie Crawford (NOW-MS Society)||0:00:17|
|30||Starla Teddergreen (Vanderkitten Racing presented b)||0:00:18|
|31||Cheryl Roth (Helens/Cannondale)||0:00:21|
|32||Suzanne Sonye (Helens/Cannondale)||0:00:23|
|33||Deborah Durand (Helens/Cannondale)||0:00:33|
|34||Kathryn Donovan (Southern California Velo)||0:00:59|
|35||Jule Hanson-Hines (LEADERBIKE/CANARI)||0:01:00|
|36||Lisa Young (ACQUA AL 2/SDBC)||0:01:24|
|37||Jenna Kowalski (NOW-MS Society)||0:03:01|
|38||Tammy Wildgoose (Paramount Racing)||0:03:03|