The 41st Annual Point Premium Root Beer International Superweek presented by Time Warner Cable kicked off with the historic Beverley Hills Criterium on the night of July 10th in front of a lively crowd. Earlier in the day, rain threatened to dampen the show but the one mile loop dried out in time to provide a good high speed spectacle for the 5,000 plus crowd that was present.
Fly V's Bernard Sulzberger opened the Superweek series with a convincing win over Chad Burdzilauskas (Kenda Pro Cycling p/b Spinergy) on the technically challenging circuit.
Sulzberger commenting on how he won the race: "During the final lap, Burdzilauskas from Kenda made a jump on us before the second to last turn and I managed to get onto his wheel and came past him in the final 100 metres to win by a bike length.
"It was pretty close but we are happy to come out with the win after controlling much of the race." He also said that he was delighted with bagging the win at the first race of the Superweek series after getting a string of second and thirds last year.
Burdzilausakas was the sole Kenda Pro Cycling p/b Spinergy rider present at the race, but rode well to make both breakaways without a team present to help. He found some help from other riders without teams in Andy Crater (Wheel and Sprocket) and Rob Bush (Texas Road House).
Burdzilausakas described the finale as "very strung out and when Heath Blackgrove (Team Hotel San Jose) did a high powered lead-out for the two Aussies down the back section, I made my jump but Bernie's good positioning enabled him to use me as a lead-out and he got his bike around me at the line".
It was his first time doing the opening event of Superweek and he said that "it is a blast doing these types of races, you have more fun here than the heavily controlled NRC races, its just a completely different level of racing and it is all good training for some of the bigger events coming up such as Elk Grove and Chicago."
Jonathan Cantwell (Fly V) was suffering badly from cramps in the latter stages of the race and was helped up the hill by team-mate Curtis Gunn, but despite this, he still managed to snare a podium spot barely coming around Rob Bush (Texas Road House) at the finish line. Andy Crater (Wheel and Sprocket) rounded out the top five.
Early in the 100km criterium, a break of five riders went clear and this started a progression of riders leap-frogging across to join the breakaway. Cantwell was one of the key riders in establishing this early break and Burdzilausakas bridged across a few laps later. He was quickly joined by Sulzberger and a number of others including Crater.
The breakaway was 15 strong as they rolled away quickly to lap the field after the 60km point. Another breakaway went soon after. This time three Fly V riders were present (Gunn, Sulzberger, and Cantwell). Blackgrove had missed the first break but found some legs to ride strongly in the second break, helping lead-out the Australians at the end.
In a post-race interview with Athens Twilight winner Blackgrove expressed his disappointment in missing the early break. "We had just arrived in town after driving for three hours and had no time for an adequate warm-up and had to go from cold straight to race pace. This was difficult for myself and Carlos Vargas, but as the race progressed I was able to get into the second break as a consolation. It's still early yet and we have plenty of time to peak for the later events."
This years Superweek is shaping up to be a very good competition among elite riders and teams from all over the world. Some international teams include Team Exustar from Taiwan, Puerto Rico National Cycling Team, Fly V Australia, Team YRC Now MS from South Africa. A couple of the Garmin-Slipstream Pro-Tour team international riders are also present along with a smattering of strong domestic teams including Kenda Pro Cycling p/b Spinergy, Texas Roadhouse Cycling Team, Wheel & Sprocket, Team Hotel San Jose, Team Geargrinder, Team Mtn Khakis, and Rock Racing.
Stay tuned for further race reports during the Superweek Series
|1||Bernard Sulzberger (Fly V Australia)|
|2||Chad Burdzilauskas (Kenda Pro Cycling Presented By Spinergy)|
|3||Jonathan Cantwell (Fly V/Australia)|
|4||Robert Bush (Texas Roadhouse Cycling Team)|
|5||Andrew Crater (Wheel & Sprocket)|
|6||Jay Thomson (Team Mtn)|
|7||Robert White (Team Geargrinder)|
|8||James Stemper (Team Geargrinder)|
|9||Joseph Schmalz (Mercy Cycling Team)|
|10||Andrew Dahlheim (Metro Volkswagen Cycling Team)|
|11||Hector Pastorino (Zmotion)|
|12||Hans Dekkers (Garmin Slipstream Pro-Tour)|
|13||Matthias Schroger (Gourmetfein)|
|14||Gustavo Rullo (Zmotion)|
|15||Curtis Gunn (Fly V Australia)|
|16||Heath Blackgrove (Hotel San Jose/Rgm Advisors)|
|18||Nick Housley (Myogenesis P/B United Health Care)|
|19||Chad Hartley (Team Geargrinder)|
|20||Edgardo Richiez (Puerto Rico Cycling Team)|
|21||Michael Van Eerd (Team Yrc Now Ms)|
|22||Jason Lowetz (Team Bearclaw)|
|23||Juan Gaspari (Zmotion)|
|24||Bradley Potgiver (Team Mtn)|
|25||Efren Ortega (Puerto Rico Cycling Team)|
|26||Oneal Samuels (Myogenesis.Com P/B United Healthcare)|
|28||Ronnie Strange (Hotel San Jose/Rgm Advisors)|
|29||Wei-Cheng Lee (Team Exustar Taiwan)|
|30||Connor Sallee (Williams Cycling)|
|31||Gabriel Acabe (Puerto Rico Cycling Team)|
|32||Ian Mclead (Team Mtn)|
|33||Carlos Vargas (Hotel San Jose/Rgm Advisors)|
|34||Matthew Brandt (Mesa Cycles Racing Team)|
|35||Adam Mills (Mercy Cycling Team)|
|36||John Bergmann (Team Clif Bar Cycling)|
|37||Graf Andreos (Gourmetfein)|
|39||Aaron Beardsley (Team Clif Bar)|
|1||Jonathan Cantwell (Fly V/Australia)|
|2||Jay Thomson (Team Mtn)|
|3||Joseph Schmalz (Mercy Cycling Team)|
|4||Robert White (Team Geargrinder)|
|5||Andrew Dahlheim (Metro Volkswagen Cycling Team)|
|6||Hector Pastorino (Zmotion)|
|7||Matthias Schroger (Gourmetfein)|
|1||Jay Thomson (Team Mtn)|
|2||Hans Dekkers (Garmin Slipstream Pro-Tour)|
|3||Robert White (Team Geargrinder)|
|4||James Stemper (Team Geargrinder)|
|5||Jonathan Cantwell (Fly V/Australia)|
|6||Joseph Schmalz (Mercy Cycling Team)|
|7||Andrew Dahlheim (Metro Volkswagen Cycling Team)|
|1||Hans Dekkers (Garmin Slipstream Pro-Tour)|
|2||Jonathan Cantwell (Fly V/Australia)|
|3||Jay Thomson (Team Mtn)|
|4||Ronnie Strange (Hotel San Jose/Rgm Advisors)|
|5||Chad Hartley (Team Geargrinder)|
|6||Juan Van Heerden (Team Mtn)|
|7||Bernard Sulzberger (Fly V Australia)|
|1||Robert White (Team Geargrinder)|
|2||Hans Dekkers (Garmin Slipstream Pro-Tour)|
|3||Ronnie Strange (Hotel San Jose/Rgm Advisors)|
|4||Chad Hartley (Team Geargrinder)|
|5||Michael Van Eerd (Team Yrc Now Ms)|
|6||Juan Gaspari (Zmotion)|