Team Type 1-Sanofi stamped their authority on the 28th edition of the TD Bank Philadelphia International Championship as first year professional Aleksandr Serebryakov claimed the biggest victory of his young career, while teammate and lead-out man Aldo Ino Ilesic completed the 1-2 finish for the US-based Pro Continental squad in the premier one-day race on the US calendar.
Fred Rodriguez (Team Exergy), the Philadelphia race's 2001 champion and only former winner to start today, finished in third place in the sprint finale to round out the podium.
Team Type 1's Daniele Colli placed fourth followed by John Murphy (Kenda-5 Hour Energy) in fifth place.
"This was my third race in America, and it was a victory on a great American team in a great American city," said Serebryakov, a 25-year-old Russian. "I can't thank my teammates and the staff enough, everything worked today like clockwork."
"It was a nervous finish, but it's all about the teamwork today," said Team Type 1-Sanofi General Manager Vassili Davidenko. "Serebryakov had a good lead-out in Aldo, who has good experience in this race. When everybody went to the left, they went to the right. It was the right time and that's how they found themselves at the front in the right spot."
Fred Rodriguez is also a rider with a great amount of experience on the streets of Philadelphia, and after returning to the professional ranks at the TD Bank Philadelphia International Championship last year following a 1.5 year hiatus from the sport the 38-year-old American sprinter has showcased lately a rich vein of form.
"I got stuck a little in the wind and when they came by they came by fast," said Rodriguez of the Team Type 1-Sanofi surge. "I picked the left side and I just came up to a wall of Team Type 1 guys. I had nowhere to pass so I basically snuck my bike in between them. I thought I might be able to get third or second, but that's all I could do.
"My goal is I'm trying to make a bid for the Olympic team. I have great legs and I feel I could support Tyler [Farrar]. He's one of maybe 10 guys in the world who can maybe outsprint [Mark] Cavendish. That was one of my main jobs with Robbie McEwen for many years so it would be cool to go to London."
In addition to placing three riders in the top-four at the finish, Team Type 1-Sanofi's Kiel Reijnen claimed the KOM prize after arriving first atop the Manayunk Wall the first four ascents plus the Pro Continental squad claimed the race's first-ever team prize.
"On Saturday we talked at the team meeting about the KOM competition, how it was just up there, open, waiting to be claimed," said Davidenko. "Kiel had great form at the US Nationals last week, and so from the start in Philly today he made sure to write his name on Manayunk Wall every time we came through.
"When we saw that he had the KOM jersey today all sewn up in the middle of the race, that gave us the confidence to go to the front and chase down a breakaway as a team. Joe Eldridge, Aleksandr Efimkin, Joey Rosskopf and Martijn Verschoor all worked all day to keep those three sprinters (Serebryakov, Ilesic and Colli) fresh for the finish."
For the second straight year a three-man break made it to the final, 5-kilometre long short lap only to be swept up inside the final two kilometres. Andres Miguel Diaz Corrales (Team Exergy), also in the late break in 2011, plus Thomas Rabou (Competitive Cyclist Racing Team) were the final survivors of what initially was a five-man escape which formed on the fifth of seven large, 23.6km laps, just past the midway point of the 200km race.
Diaz, Rabou and Clinton Avery (Champion System) began their first of five finishing laps between Lemon Hill and Logan Square with a 2:10 advantage over the peloton, but spirited chasing by UnitedHealthcare and Team Type 1-Sanofi, with Spidertech powered by C10 and Bissell later supplying support, cut the break's advantage to a slender 20 seconds as the bell rang for the final circuit.
Avery dropped off the pace as the final short circuit began, but Diaz and Rabou still held a 15-second lead at the top of Lemon Hill, but were caught soon after returning to Kelly Drive near the Philadelphia Museum of Art to set up the sprint finale.
Changes to a tried-and-true race format
For the first time in the history of the men's professional race, extending back to 1985 when Eric Heiden won the inaugural event, the distance was reduced from 250 kilometres to 199.8 kilometres. The route for the race remains the same, but for 2012 a change was instituted in the amount of main laps and finishing circuits.
As in previous editions, the men's race opened with parade laps on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway around Logan Circle, near the Philadelphia Museum of Art, before tackling the 23.6-kilometre main circuit that heads north on Kelly Drive along the Schuylkill River toward the Manayunk district.
In Manayunk awaits the race's signature feature, a steep, 800-metre hill known as "The Wall", followed by a descent back onto Kelly Drive for a return trip along the Schuylkill, with detours for the climbs of Strawberry Mansion and Lemon Hill, before rounding back onto the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
The men's race concludes with short, 5.4-kilometre laps around Lemon Hill and Logan Circle.
In this year's 28th edition, the amount of main circuits has been reduced from 10 to seven while the number of finishing circuits has been increased from three to five resulting in a new race distance of 199.8 kilometres. Shorter, yes, but still one of the longest races the peloton will face all season on US soil.
Despite a slew of attacks during the early phase of the race, nothing significant stuck until a large group separated from the peloton midway through the third of seven big laps. This escape by approximately 30 riders held a 40-second advantage over the peloton at the end of the lap, 79 kilometres into the race. With riders from 12 of the 17 teams in the break, including six of Optum Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies' eight starters, there was potentially plenty of horsepower to push the pace, but after stretching the lead to one minute half way through the following lap, a spirited chase in the peloton slashed the break's lead to just 19 seconds at the conclusion of the fourth large lap, with just over one half of the race completed.
As the peloton neared Manayunk for the fifth time it was gruppo compatto at the head of the race, but a new, smaller escape would form later in the lap and would nearly steal the race. Five riders went out on the attack, including Clinton Avery (Champion System Pro Cycling Team), Thomas Rabou (Competitive Cyclist Racing Team), Andres Miguel Diaz Corrales (Team Exergy) plus a pair of riders with strong ties to Pennsylvania in Scott Zwizanski (Optum Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) and Bobby Lea (Team CykelCity.se p/b Pure Energy Cycling-ProAir HFA).
On the penultimate main lap the break's advantage topped three minutes but on each of the final two ascents of the Manayunk Wall the group's horsepower decreased by one rider as first Lea was dropped on the sixth ascent while Zwizanski came off on the seventh and final trip up the Wall.
In another first for the TD Bank Philadelphia International Championship's 28-year history, on the final main lap a storm cell blew through the course, briefly dousing the peloton in rain for the first time ever on race day in Philadelphia as the skies turned black and the wind kicked up substantially.
Blue skies and sunshine soon returned, however, as the seven main circuits were completed leaving the new, lengthier endgame to complete: five laps of the finishing circuit. Avery, Rabou and Diaz entered the short laps with a 2:10 advantage over the peloton, but a perfectly timed chase spearheaded principally by Team Type 1-Sanofi and UnitedHealthcare would ultimately doom the break's bid to upset the sprinters only two kilometres from the race's conclusion.
|1||Aleksandr Serebryakov (Rus) Team Type 1 - Sanofi||4:32:06|
|2||Aldo Ino Ilesic (Slo) Team Type 1 - Sanofi|
|3||Fred Rodriguez (USA) Team Exergy|
|4||Daniele Colli (Ita) Team Type 1 - Sanofi|
|5||John Murphy (USA) Kenda - 5 Hour Energy|
|6||Alexander Candelario (USA) Optum Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies|
|7||Jose Fernando Antogna (Arg) Jamis-Sutter Home|
|8||Robert Förster (Ger) Team UnitedHealthcare|
|9||Aaron Kemps (Aus) Champion System Pro Cycling Team|
|10||Luca Damiani (Ita) Kenda - 5 Hour Energy|
|11||Frank Pipp (USA) Bissell Cycling|
|12||Andy Jacques-Maynes (USA) Kenda - 5 Hour Energy|
|13||Eric Young (USA) Bissell Cycling|
|14||Matthias Friedemann (Ger) Champion System Pro Cycling Team|
|15||Muhamad Adiq Othman (Mas) Champion System Pro Cycling Team|
|16||Zachary Bell (Can) Spidertech Powered By C10|
|17||Tyler Magner (USA) BMC-Hincapie Sportswear Development Cycling Team|
|18||Cole House (USA) Competitive Cyclist Racing Team|
|19||Cesar Grajales (Col) Competitive Cyclist Racing Team|
|20||William Clarke (Aus) Champion System Pro Cycling Team|
|21||Kyle Wamsley (USA) Jamis-Sutter Home|
|22||Henrik Abom (Swe) Team Cykelcity.se p/b Pure Energy Cycling-ProAir HFA|
|23||Thomas Brown (USA) Team Mountain Khakis/SmartStop|
|24||Alder Martz (USA) BMC-Hincapie Sportswear Development Cycling Team|
|25||Charles Bradley Huff (USA) Jelly Belly Cycling Team|
|26||Logan Loader (USA) Team Exergy|
|27||Clay Murfet (Aus) Team Mountain Khakis/SmartStop|
|28||Karl Menzies (Aus) Team UnitedHealthcare|
|29||Adam Myerson (USA) Team Mountain Khakis/SmartStop|
|30||Carlos Alzate Escobar (Col) Team Exergy|
|31||Craig Lewis (USA) Champion System Pro Cycling Team|
|32||Chris Monteleone (USA) Team Mountain Khakis/SmartStop|
|33||Jesper Hansen (Den) Danish National Team|
|34||Shawn Milne (USA) Kenda - 5 Hour Energy|
|35||Tom Zirbel (USA) Optum Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies|
|36||Andrew Bajadali (USA) Optum Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies|
|37||Christiaan Kriek (RSA) Jelly Belly Cycling Team|
|38||Taylor Sheldon (USA) Competitive Cyclist Racing Team|
|39||Mike Stone (USA) BMC-Hincapie Sportswear Development Cycling Team|
|40||Ryan Roth (Can) Spidertech Powered By C10|
|41||Luis Romero Amaran (Cub) Jamis-Sutter Home|
|42||Boy Van Poppel (Ned) Team UnitedHealthcare|
|43||Chad Beyer (USA) Competitive Cyclist Racing Team|
|44||Jeremy Vennell (NZl) Bissell Cycling|
|45||Tommy Nankervis (Aus) Competitive Cyclist Racing Team|
|46||Travis Livermon (USA) Team Mountain Khakis/SmartStop|
|47||Paul Mach (USA) Kenda - 5 Hour Energy|
|48||Antoine Matteau (Can) Ekoï.Com - Gaspesien|
|49||Jordan Brochu (Can) Ekoï.Com - Gaspesien|
|50||Roman Kilun (USA) Kenda - 5 Hour Energy|
|51||Francisco Mancebo (Spa) Competitive Cyclist Racing Team|
|52||Joris Boillat (Swi) Champion System Pro Cycling Team|
|53||Philip Lindau (Swe) Team Cykelcity.se p/b Pure Energy Cycling-ProAir HFA|
|54||Joseph Rosskopf (USA) Team Type 1 - Sanofi|
|55||Andrès Miguel Diaz Corrales (Col) Team Exergy|
|56||Alexander Hagman (USA) Jelly Belly Cycling Team|
|57||Flavio De Luna (Mex) Spidertech Powered By C10|
|58||Benjamin Jacques-Maynes (USA) Bissell Cycling||0:02:03|
|59||Andrew Dahlheim (USA) Bissell Cycling|
|60||Thomas Rabou (Ned) Competitive Cyclist Racing Team||0:02:20|
|61||Marsh Cooper (Can) Optum Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies|
|62||Davide Frattini (Ita) Team UnitedHealthcare||0:02:30|
|63||Luis Enrique Davila (Mex) Jelly Belly Cycling Team||0:02:34|
|64||Jay Thomson (RSA) Team UnitedHealthcare||0:02:44|
|65||James Driscoll (USA) Jamis-Sutter Home|
|66||Petrus Van Dijk (Ned) Jamis-Sutter Home||0:02:54|
|67||Clinton Robert Avery (NZl) Champion System Pro Cycling Team|
|68||Jesse Anthony (USA) Optum Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies||0:03:00|
|69||Philip Mooney (USA) Jamis-Sutter Home|
|70||Michael Jasinski (USA) Wonderful Pistachios Cycling|
|71||Edwin Wilson (Swe) Team Cykelcity.se p/b Pure Energy Cycling-ProAir HFA|
|72||Michael Olsson (Swe) Team Cykelcity.se p/b Pure Energy Cycling-ProAir HFA|
|73||Anders Christiansen (Den) Danish National Team|
|74||Jacob Keough (USA) Team UnitedHealthcare|
|75||Martijn Verschoor (Ned) Team Type 1 - Sanofi|
|76||Ken Hanson (USA) Optum Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies|
|77||Alexander Efimkin (Rus) Team Type 1 - Sanofi|
|78||Kiel Reijnen (USA) Team Type 1 - Sanofi|
|79||Michael Smith Larsen (Den) Danish National Team|
|80||Francois Parisien (Can) Spidertech Powered By C10|
|81||Neil Bezdek (USA) Team Mountain Khakis/SmartStop|
|82||David Williams (USA) Competitive Cyclist Racing Team|
|83||Andrew Baker (USA) Bissell Cycling|
|84||Michael Chauner (USA) Team Cykelcity.se p/b Pure Energy Cycling-ProAir HFA|
|85||Mart Ojavee (Est) Champion System Pro Cycling Team|
|86||Kevin Mullervy (USA) Team Exergy|
|87||Nic Hamlton (Can) Jelly Belly Cycling Team|
|88||Martin Gilbert (Can) Spidertech Powered By C10|