Bajadali edges Cantwell in dramatic finish

Caravella takes Whitnall park criterium

Andrew Bajadali (Kelly Benefit Strategies) went for the Gamblers prime of $580, took the cash, and then put his head down to grit out a final torturous lap. He rounded the last corner a good five seconds clear of the field.

However, it was a nail-biting finish with the charging pack bearing down on Bajadali and traveling a good 5-10 mph faster than him. Jonathon Cantwell (Fly V Australia), convinced he had won, began prematurely celebrating, but the video judge showed that the win went to Bajadali by just two inches.

Bajadali ended Team MTN’s string of wins as he signalled Kelly Benefit Strategies' arrival at the International Cycling Classic.

How it unfolded

Ninety-five starters lined up in front of huge crowds at the Cedarburg Cycling Classic. The race was held on a speedy, 1.2 mile, four-corner circuit that zipped through Historic Downtown Cedarburg.

From the gun, Garmin-Slipstream’s Riccardo Van de Velde and Rock Racing’s Sergio Hernandez shot out to 20 seconds for the first few laps. They were swallowed up just before the first round of the APC Nutrition red jersey sprint points. The battle for the red jersey intensified as Geargrinder did their best to maneuver their key sprinter, Rob White, into position, but White was ousted by a the current points leader, Jay Thompson (Team MTN).

Shortly after the first sprint Jonathon Cantwell (Fly V Australia) attacked hard, but his efforts only served to help a breakaway of four riders establish and power clear. The breakaway contained dangerous riders: Superweek veteran Alexander Candelario (Kelly Benefits), Sheldon Deeny (Bissell Pro Cycling), Columbian Diego Garavito (Aerocat Cycling Team), and Anthony Bennett (U25 Jittery Joes).

The four worked well together to open up a 40 second gap on the field. However Team MTN and Geargrinder were intent on bringing them back before the second round of sprint points. The field was strung out as the peloton worked hard to pull back the leaders. The leaders were eventually pulled back to set up an exciting round of sprints.

The South African Team MTN yet again triumphed in a fine display of team riding. Thompson again collected maximum points as Van Heerden successfully blocked their Geargrinder rivals to take second. Geargrinder's riders were powerless to pass the South African duo.

After mid-point in the race, there was a large split formed at the front of the field that contained the Yellow jersey. Subsequently, Bernard Sulzberger (Fly V Australia), Neil Shirley (Kelly Benefit Strategies) and Riccardo Van de Velde (Garmin Slipstream) were able to establish a good lead.

The trio looked to be a potential winning breakaway, but Team MTN drove hard to bring them back, frustrated they had missed out on the last round of APC sprint points. Robert White (Geargrinder) managed to take some valuable points, this time over Jay Thompson, who was unable to score on that occasion.

With 17 laps to go, Jay Thompson attacked hard to almost single-handedly bring back the breakaway trio, and set up for the last 15 laps of the race. Prime after prime was given out; keeping the crowd excited and the riders hungry. Thompson was leading the charge with seven other riders to take a $65 prime. But when the primes kept coming, the field quickly brought them back in no time to set up a field sprint for a $100 prime. Thompson, still with power, led out teammate Van Heerden for the sprint win.

The bell signifying prime kept ringing lap after lap, causing a number of riders to be ejected from the back of the peloton. Andrew Bradley (Gourmetfein) managed to steal two successive $100 primes with only six laps remaining. This prime fest only served to wind up the pace as Andrew Bajadali burst out of the field to claim the final Gamblers prime, and the win, by the slimmest of margins.

"The last few laps were kind of a blur, but my plan was to go for the Gamblers prime with two to go," said Bajadali after the finish. "I saw that I had a good gap on the field and put my head down. With about a half lap to go [to the prime] my teammate and TT guru Reid Mumford bridged solo and ripped it hard the rest of the way and dropped me off perfectly.

"After the line I looked back and still had a good gap so I just went all out for one more lap. I was dying the whole way and I knew it was going to be close. I decided to throw my bike at the right moment and won by millimeters."

"I was stoked that my effort paid off because nine times out of ten, a move like that will not stick to the finish. Kelly Benefit Strategies are here to have a great time at the races and race hard. The main objective is to get in some hard training for some bigger races coming up in August."

Cantwell thought he had won his first Superweek stage and with the speed he was going, most onlookers also believed that he had won. However, the video camera showed he had finished second, with Bernard Sulzberger in third position.

Cantwell still has four more days to try and achieve his elusive win. He won the 2008 International Cycling Classic without winning a stage, and is third overall this year with 171 points in the general classification so far. Hans Dekkers (Garmin Slipstream) is in second place with 211 points as Sulzberger continues to extend his lead.

Jay Thompson retains his APC Nutrition red jersey after an impressive display of power and team tactics, and currently sits on 127 points, four points clear of Robert White (Geargrinder). James Semper (Geargrinder) is third with 108 points. With four more races this series to determine who will win the overall sprint competition, the competition looks to have narrowed to a two-man race.


Full Results

1 Andrew Bajadali (Kelly Benefit Strategies)    
2 Jonathan Cantwell (Fly V/Australia)    
3 Bernard Sulzberger (Fly V Australia)    
4 Juan Van Heerden (Team Mtn)    
5 Hans Dekkers (Garmin Slipstream Pro-Tour)    
6 Juan Pablo Dotti (Aerocat Cycling Team)    
7 Andreas Muller (No Radunion)    
8 Adam Bergman (Texas Roadhouse Cycling Team)    
9 Ronnie Strange (Hotel San Jose/Rgm Advisors)    
10 Alexander Candelario (Kelly Benefit Strategies)    
11 James Stemper (Team Geargrinder)    
12 Phillip Mann (Ciclismo)    
13 Sheldon Deeny (Bissell Pro Cycling Team)    
14 Michael Van Eerd (Team Yrc Now Ms)    
15 Derek Dixon (Hdr p/b Lombardis Sports)    
16 Logan Loader (Team Mountain Khakis)    
17 Ricardo Van Der Velde (Garmin Slipstream Pro-Tour)    
18 Sergio Hernandez (Rock Racing)    
19 Nick Bennette (Metlife Cycling)    
20 Nicholas Martinez (Now Ms Society)    
21 Andrew Armstrong (Matrix/Rbm)    
22 Jason Lowetz (Team Bearclaw)    
23 Carlos Calcerrada (Aerocat Cycling Team)    
24 Jason Doverspike (Woodcock Cycle/ Team Manitoba)    
25 Adam Farabaugh (Empire)    
26 Jason Short (Rbm Matrix)    
27 Timothy Henry    
28 Stephen Kincaid (Empire)    
29 Dan Lionberg    
30 Darin Divine (Divine Electric Norcal)    
31 Victor Ayala (Kahala La-Grange)    
32 Neil Shirley (Kelly Benefit Strategies)    
33 Brian Koeneman (Wheel & Sprocket)    
34 Alex Voitik (Verizon Wireless Racing)    
35 Brian Kaker (Team Beans & Barley)    
36 Daniel Bowman (Kelly Benefit Strategies)    
37 Brad Sheehan (Minuteman Road Club)    
38 John Bergmann (Team Clif Bar Cycling)    
39 Chris Arndt (Team Wheel And Sprocket)    
40 Steen Rose (Solar Eclipse)    
41 Jacob Erker (Kelly Benefit Strategies)    
42 Ian Mclead (Team Mtn)    
43 Logan Garey (Team Rio Grande)    
44 Christopher Mcgarity (Team Saskatchewan)    
45 Gustavo-Adolfo Mendez (Kahala La-Grange)    
46 Andrew Bradley (Gourmetfein)    
47 Patrick Fasse (Ski Utah Cycling Team)    
48 Diego Garavito (Aerocat Cycling Team)    
49 Christopher Wherry (Hotel San Jose/Redbudsports)    
50 Christoff Van Heerden (Team Mtn)    
51 Jay Thomson (Team Mtn)    
52 Clayton Goldsmith (Team Wheel & Sprocket)    
53 Robert White (Team Geargrinder)    
54 Eric Bennett (Now-Ms Society)    
55 Anthony Bennett (Jittery Joe's U25 p/b Kudzu.Com)    
56 Luis-Alejandro Zamudio (Kahala La-Grange)    
57 Aaron Beardsley (Team Clif Bar)    
58 Timothy Hargrave (Team Type 1)    
59 Hans Higdon (Hampshire Cycle Club)    
60 Aaron Whalen (Horizon Organic p/b Prerace.Com)    
61 Jonathan Chodroff (Ouch Presented By Maxxis)    
62 Brian Nieport (National Engineering)    
63 Ted Hopkins (Cycles Veloce Simple Green)    
64 Aaron Molloy (Minuteman Road Club)    
Sprint 1
1 Jay Thomson (Team Mtn)    
2 Robert White (Team Geargrinder)    
3 Ricardo Van Der Velde (Garmin Slipstream Pro-Tour)    
4 Sergio Hernandez (Rock Racing)    
5 Juan Van Heerden (Team Mtn)    
6 James Stemper (Team Geargrinder)    
7 Ronnie Strange (Hotel San Jose/Rgm Advisors)    
Sprint 2
1 Jay Thomson (Team Mtn)    
2 Ricardo Van Der Velde (Garmin Slipstream Pro-Tour)    
3 Daniel Bowman (Kelly Benefit Strategies)    
4 Robert White (Team Geargrinder)    
5 Ronnie Strange (Hotel San Jose/Rgm Advisors)    
6 Nick Housley (Myogenesis p/b United Health Care)    
7 Bernard Sulzberger (Fly V Australia)    
Sprint 3
1 Jay Thomson (Team Mtn)    
2 Christoff Van Heerden (Team Mtn)    
3 Robert White (Team Geargrinder)    
4 Chad Hartley (Team Geargrinder)    
5 James Stemper (Team Geargrinder)    
6 Diego Garavito (Aerocat Cycling Team)    
7 Bryan Fawley (Dallas Metal Fab / Park Place Dealerships)    
Sprint 4
1 Bernard Sulzberger (Fly V Australia)    
2 Ricardo Van Der Velde (Garmin Slipstream Pro-Tour)    
3 Neil Shirley (Kelly Benefit Strategies)    
4 Robert White (Team Geargrinder)    
5 James Stemper (Team Geargrinder)    
6 Christoff Van Heerden (Team Mtn)    
7 Hans Dekkers (Garmin Slipstream Pro-Tour)    
Women (Whitnall Park Criterium)
1 Sarah Caravella (Alan)    
2 Shontell Gauthier (Colavita Sutter Home p/b Cooking Light)    
3 Carrie Cash Wootten (Team Revolution)    
4 Mary-Ellen Ash (Sugarcrm)    
5 Karla Kingsley (Sugarcrm)    
6 Elizabeth Morse Hill (Hub Racing)    
7 Nicky Wangsgard (Colavita Sutter Home p/b Cooking Light)    
8 Emma Petersen (Team Ultralink)    
9 Julia Farell (Team Ultralink)    
10 Sheba Farrin (Hub Racing)    
11 Mei-Yu Hsiao (Team Exustar Taiwan)    
12 Melissa Dahlman (Mbrc/Flanders)    
13 Christine Roettger (Team Revolution)    
14 Leah Kirchmann (Team Manitoba)    
15 Ho-Hsun Huang (Team Exustar Taiwan)    
16 Amy Mcguire (Hub Racing)    
17 (Unknown Rider)    
18 Jeannie Kuhajek (Team Mack)    
19 Christine Riker (Dolce Vita Cycling)    
20 Sarah Demerly (Wolverine Sports Club)    
21 Sydney Brown (Mercy Cycling Team)    
22 Kate Ligler (Dolce Vita)    
23 Julie Kuliecza (Team Marshall Mechanical)    
24 Karlee Gendron (Woodcock Cycle Works/Team Manitoba)    
25 Sally Annis (Hub Racing)    
26 Mary Magnani (Dolce Vita Cycling)    
27 Gwen Inglis (Dft p/b Treads)    
28 Carola Berger (Nebc/Cycle Loft/Devonshire Dental)    
29 Hsiao-Chia Tseng (Team Exustar Taiwan)    
30 Julia Lafranchise (Now-Ms Society)    
31 Liz Leyden (Hub Racing)    
32 Josephine Giddens (Hub Racing)    
33 Sandra Hyra (Defined Fitness Training Llc)    
34 Priscilla Calderon (Now-Ms Society)    
Sprint 1
1 Carrie Cash Wootten (Team Revolution)    
2 Shontell Gauthier (Colavita Sutter Home p/b Cooking Light)    
3 Veronica Martinez (Hub Racing)    
4 Josephine Giddens (Hub Racing)    
5 Hsiao-Chia Tseng (Team Exustar Taiwan)    
Sprint 2
1 Mei-Yu Hsiao (Team Exustar Taiwan)    
2 Josephine Giddens (Hub Racing)    
3 Jeannie Kuhajek (Team Mack)    
4 Leah Kirchmann (Team Manitoba)    
5 Shontell Gauthier (Colavita Sutter Home p/b Cooking Light)    
Sprint 3
1 Mei-Yu Hsiao (Team Exustar Taiwan)    
2 Josephine Giddens (Hub Racing)    
3 Carrie Cash Wootten (Team Revolution)    
4 Veronica Martinez (Hub Racing)    
5 Shontell Gauthier (Colavita Sutter Home p/b Cooking Light)    


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