Luke Keough takes sprint victory at TD Bank Mayor's Cup

Allar wins women's race at final National Criterium Calendar event

In the waning daylight of a sun soaked afternoon in Boston, Mayor Thomas M. Menino summed up Saturday's proceedings perfectly, declaring the fourth annual TD Bank Mayor's Cup Criterium a spectacular day for the city. "I love this event," he said. "And it's only going to keep getting bigger and better."

Indeed, the final event of USA Cycling's National Criterium Calendar series was one to remember — especially for anyone who likes exciting bike racing.

Both the pro men's and pro women's affairs were decided by less than half a bike length, with Massachusetts native Luke Keough (Team Mountain Khakis p/b SmartStop) and Arizonian Erica Allar (RideClean-PatentIt.com) each grabbing narrow victories at that end of 60-minute races contested on a tight and twisty 0.7-mile circuit that wound its way around Boston's historic City Hall Plaza. This prime downtown locale and perfect fall weather drew crowds in excess of 10,000 people.

The pro races are part of the two-day Boston Cycling Celebration, which also included amateur and junior criterium races on Saturday, plus Sunday's Hub on Wheels Charity Ride where over 6,000 participants will get to ride one of three routes (10, 30, or 50 miles) that pass scenic harbors, travel along tranquil pathways, and meander through Boston's myriad charming and eclectic neighborhoods.

Perhaps the only person who didn't have a good Saturday was Karl Menzies (UnitedHealthcare). The Aussie strongman was in prime position to take his first win of the 2012 season but he threw his hands up in victory just a tad too early, allowing Luke Keough to slip by on his left side. The difference at the line was about six inches.

"I'd never posted up and lost a race before, so I guess now I've done it all," said a philosophical Menzies, who didn't try to hide from his mistake. "It's more embarrassing than anything. The team did an awesome effort and I left the inside open for our sprinters because I didn't expect anyone else to be there. But credit to Mountain Khakis and Luke. They took the win. If I pedaled one more time, maybe I'd win the race. But that doesn't matter now."

Menzies attributed his gaffe in part to the fact that he's spent most of this season in the service of others, providing the final lead-out for Jake Keough (Luke's brother and a top sprinter himself) and Hilton Clarke, who'd wrapped up the overall NCC title before the race in Boston.

"That was part of the problem," added Menzies. "I was so excited to win my first race of the year. I never looked left and it cost me."

Luke Keough knows the feeling. Earlier this year at the under-23 national criterium championships in Georgia, he did the exact same thing. "I came out of the last turn first and put my hands up," he said. "But there was a big headwind and I got pipped at the end. I guess it happens to the best of us. I'm just glad it was different today. It's not the best way to win, but I'll take it. I'm from the Boston area and I had tons of friends and family here. It was such a great scene, and it's amazing the way the Mayor and his people are pushing cycling in this city."

Prior to the finish line drama, the race's major story was a four-man breakaway that established early in the race, opened a gap that maxed out at around 35 seconds, and didn't get reeled in until the penultimate lap. The escapees included Tim Mitchell (CCB), Alejandro Guzman (CRCA/Foundation), David Wenger (Bicycle Sport Shop), and Jean-Michel Lachance (Rossetti Devo). The quartet worked well together, gobbling up nearly all of the $3,000 in primes, but the big checks ($12,000 total) went to those near the front at the finish.

"We've been racing against UHC all year and we know what the script is," said Mountain Khaki's team captain Adam Myerson, whose teammate Shane Kline snagged third behind Menzies. "If they don't have a guy in that move we know it's coming back. So we tried to be attentive but we weren't chasing. We just didn't want to miss anything. We've been trying to go over the top of them all season long and failed every time. So for us to come from behind and do it was so awesome."

The women's race had a similar David vs. Goliath theme, though David (aka Allar) has been winning all season. The former Penn State student came to Boston having already wrapped up the overall NCC crown. But wanting to finish strong and also honor the recent death of a good friend was all the motivation she needed to keep pushing.

Despite having no teammates to counter the strength of the 5-rider Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies squad, Allar stayed patient while Optum's Janel Holcomb was off the front early in the race, and was able to dash past Optum's Jade Wilcoxson at the finish.

"I was solo so to beat a full Optum squad is really special," said Allar. "I just bided my time when Janel was in the break, figuring it would come back together. Then when Jane hit it hard going in to second to last turn I stayed patient. It was pretty far out so I just sat on her wheel and hit back on the last turn and was able to come around at end."

Wilcoxson settled for second, with the ageless Laura Van Gilder (Mellow Mushroom) in third.

"This is such a great event, plus they do equal prize money for men and women, which is great," said Allar of the $30,000 total prize purse. "My friend who passed away was one of my biggest supporters. He started a group called ‘Allar's Army' that came and cheered me on at races. So I really wanted to honor him today."

Full Results

Elite men
1Luke Keough (Team Mountain Khakis/SmartStop)  
2Karl Menzies (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team)  
3Shane Kline (Team Mountain Khakis/SmartStop)  
4Hilton Clarke (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team)  
5Jacob Keough (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team)  
6Rafael A. Meran (CRCA/Foundation)  
7Cesar Marte (GS Mengoni USA)  
8Jesse Anthony (Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)  
9Isaac Howe (Kenda / 5-Hour Energy Pro Cycling)  
10Daniel Holt (Team Type 1 Devo)  
11Euris R. Vidal (CRCA/Foundation)  
12Adam Farabaugh (Ekoi.com-Gaspesien)  
13Jesse Keough (www.keoughcyclocross.com)  
14Robin Carpenter (Chipotle First Solar Developmen)  
15Adam Myerson (Team Mountain Khakis/SmartStop)  
16Robbie King (Boston Bicycle School)  
17Adam Carr (Ekoi.com-Gaspesien)  
18Neil Bezdek (Team Mountain Khakis/SmartStop)  
19Alexey Shmidt (Team Type 1 Devo)  
20Max Korus (Kenda / 5-Hour Energy Pro Cycling)  
21Ted King (Liquigas-Cannondale)  
22Andrea Ciacchini (Team Type 1 Devo)  
23Jeremy Durrin (J.A.M. Fund / NCC)  
24Anton Varabei (Jet Fuel Coffee/La Bicicletta)  
25Alejandro Guzman (CRCA/Foundation)  
26Michael Chauner (Pure Energy Cycling-ProAirHFA)  
27Thomas Brown (Team Mountain Khakis/SmartStop)  
28Jonathan Patrick McCarty (Team SpiderTech)  
29Etienne Samson (Deda / Hype)  
30Stephan Hirsch (United Healthcare of Georgia p/b the 706 Project)  
31Jean-Michel Lachance (Rossetti Devo)  
32Aaron Hubbell (Bissell-ABG-NUVO)  
33Eric Workowski (Pure Energy Cycling-ProAirHFA)  
34John Abate (Monster Media p/b MRI)  
35Victor Riquelme (Wonderful Pistachios Pro Cycling)  
36Sean McCarthy (J.A.M. Fund / NCC)  
37Jermaine Burrowes (WS United/ Mango Seed Restaurant)  
38Gavriel Epstein (Champion System p/b Stan's NoTubes)  
39Mike Margarite (Stan's NoTubes / AXA Equitable)  
40John Loehner (Stan's NoTubes / AXA Equitable)  
41Brett Kielick (160over90 p.b. Vie13/QCW)  
42Augusto Sanchez (GS Mengoni USA)  
43Paul Lynch (Team Type 1 Devo)  
44Frankie McCormack (Clif Bar / Pactimo)  
45Jake Hollenbach (Boston Bicycle School)  
46Bradley White (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team)  
47Nick Rogers (160over90 p.b. Vie13/QCW)  
48Paolo Cravanzola (Team Type 1 Devo)  
49Skip Foley (ATA Cycle)  
50Pete Custer (BIKE DOCTOR p/b DigiSource)  
51Ryan Mele (Stan's NoTubes / AXA Equitable)  
52Barry Miller (Pure Energy Cycling-ProAirHFA)  
53Kevin Wolfson (Boston Bicycle School)  
54Eugene Boronow (GS Mengoni USA)  
55Andy Scarano (United Healthcare of Georgia p/b the 706 Project)  
56Branden Russell (Team Type 1 Devo)  
57Tim Mitchell (CCB Racing)  
58Peter Bell (MetLife - NorEast Cycling)  
59Mark McCormack (Clif Bar/Pactimo)  
60David Casale (Tri-State Velo Amoroso's Racing)  
61Horace Burrowes (WS United/ Mango Seed Restaurant)  
62John Sakalowsky (Team Romeo)  
63Franklin Burgos (James Vincent Bicycles/ JV Racing)  
64Davide Frattini (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team)  
65Anthony Taylor (CRCA / Dave Jordan Coaching)  
66David Wenger (Bicycle Sport Shop p/b Integrity)  
67Daniel Summerhill (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team)  
DNFJohn Hanson (Boston Bicycle School)  
DNFClay Murfet (Team Mountain Khakis/SmartStop)  
Elite women
1Erica Allar (RideClean/PatentIt.com)  
2Jade Wilcoxson (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)  
3Laura Van Gilder (Mellow Mushroom)  
4Lindsay Bayer (Colavita-espnW Pro Cycling)  
5Jen McRae (787 Racing)  
6Kat Carr (Paceline Projects p/b Veloforma)  
7Lauren Tamayo (Exergy TWENTY12)  
8Jennifer Purcell (TIBCO/To The Top)  
9Brenna Lopez-Otero (Bend Memorial Clinic Total Care)  
10Amy McGuire (FCS/Rouse p/b Mr. Restore)  
11Laura Ralston (Team Kenda p/b Geargrinder)  
12Veronneau Kate (Pure Energy Cycling-ProAirHFA)  
13Annie Ewart (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)  
14Frances Morrison (J.A.M. Fund/NCC)  
15Anna Young (Pure Energy Cycling-ProAirHFA)  
16Emma Bast (Speedfix p/b Zubaz)  
17Crystal Anthony (Cyclocrossworld.com)  
18Kathleen Billington (Vanderkitten-Focus)  
19Jenny Ives (Farm Team Elite Women's Racing)  
20Mary Zider (Colavita-espnW Pro Cycling)  
21Amy Phillips (Mystique Cycling Team)  
22Victoria Hanks (Peanut Butter & Co. Human Zoom)  
23Martha Buckley (Wheelworks Racing)  
24Ann Marie Miller (CRCA/Eumaeus Asset Management)  
25Lindsay Myers (TIBCO/To The Top)  
26Kerrin Strevell (Farm Team Elite Women's Cycling)  
27Catherine Dessureault (Real Deal Racing /La Bicicletta)  
28Raquel Miller (Farm Team Elite Women's Racing)  
29Janel Holcomb (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)  
30Elizabeth McDonough (Arc-En-Ciel Racing Team)  
31Whitney Schultz (Paceline Projects p/b Veloforma)  
32Rachel Heal (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)  
DNFDebbie Milne (Absolute Racing/ MSMOC)  
DNFLyne Bessette  

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