Ahlstrand wins Univest Grand Prix

Swedes take top two spots ahead of America's Frey

An all-out effort by the powerful Amore Vita squad and series of aggressive attacks by Neil Shirley of Kelly Benefits Strategies helped close a 40-second gap with two kilometers to go in Saturday's Univest Grand Prix. But it was the final strike by Cykelcity's Jonas Alhstrand that gave the young Swedish champion his first international elite victory.

Ahlstrand's countryman Michael Olsson of the PA Lightning team took second, and American Nick Frey of Jamis Sutter Home/Colavita got third in the reconfigured North American Pro-Am classic that featured constant attacks and breakaways and led to the largest pack sprint in race history.

"We watched the large groups go and come back, go and come back," Ahlstrand said. "I had good legs but Amore Vita had five guys left and they pushed really hard."

Amore Vita, with defending Souderton champion Volodomyr Starchyk and two-time Doylestown winner Yuriy Metlushenko in the field, sent all of their guys to the front in the final laps, setting a pace that was impossible for the breakaway to withstand. Yet even after the pack came together in the final kilometer, Shirley kept attacking until Ahlstrand's jump with 500 meters to go on a downhill sprint.

Shirley - along with Amore Vita's Vladislav Borisov of Russia, Canadian Ryan Roth of Spidertech Powered by Planet Energy and Frank Pipp of Bissell Pro Cycling - looked to have the winning break with three laps left.

"We hit the final five circuits and it was 'game on,'" said Shirley, who expected his attacks to wear out the others. "I looked at the other guys, and I could tell they were feeling it. I felt we were going to be able to keep it up but the pack came up faster than expected."

The new Univest Grand Prix course designed by race organizer John Eustice of Sparta Cycling featured 11 laps on a 5.8-mile figure eight shaped course in Souderton, Franconia and Telford and five finishing laps on a 3.8-mile loop in Souderton. The course was designed to enhance spectator appeal, and large crowds gathered at the finish line and along Souderton's deceptively steep Wile Avenue hil..

"Based on the spectacular finish, the daylong racing action, the crowd attendance and enthusiasm, I feel absolutely certain I made the right decision to change the race course," Eustice said afterward. "This is the future of road racing, especially in urban areas and maybe even in Europe."

None of the early breaks was able to maintain a consistent lead and riders kept reshuffling the early standings, but the constant turns and 16 times up Wile Avenue kept the strongest riders in contention until the end. However, with only three kilometers left it looked like the winning break of four riders would stay away until defending champions Amore Vita went to the front and hit the gas.

"It was really close at the end. I had to throw my bike across the line for third," said Frey, who also won the Bergey's First American Award in his fourth attempt to finish the Univest Grand Prix. "That hill, going up every single time, was like a grinder. This was a European-style race - always hard and aggressive."

Olsson said the race was really fast right from the start. He had some difficulty adjusting to the almost constant turns but found his rhythm as the race progressed, he said.

Cykelcity coach Aike Visbeek, a Univest Grand Prix veteran, who earlier in the week said the new course had national championship potential, said the race lived up to its promise. "It was exciting to the finish," he said.

Visbeek said he was surprised that the final break was pulled back but it played right into Cykelcity's strategy.

"With almost 40 seconds to go and one lap, I thought it was going to be incredibly tight," he said. "But we had four guys and there were all prepared to work for Jonas."

In addition to the top three places and Frey's Best American award, other awards included the yellow jersey to Ahlstrand; the best sprinter jersey to Joey Rosskofh of Team Mountain Khakis/Jittery Joe's Coffee, the king of the mountains jersey to defending jersey holder Bernardo Colex Tepoz of Amore Vita and the most aggressive rider jersey to Neil Shirley.

Racing continues Sunday at the always-fast Univest Criterium of Doylestown, which includes 50 miles of high-speed action on a 1.4-mile course around the perimeter of the Doylestown Arts Festival in Bucks County.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jonas Ahlstrand (Swe) Team Cykelcity3:06:07 
2Michael Olsson (Swe) PA Lightning  
3Nick Frey (USA) Jamis Sutter Home  
4Frank Pipp (USA) Bissell Pro Cycling Team  
5Alexander Candelario (USA) Kelly Benefit Strategies  
6Simon Lambert Lemay (Can) Spidertech-Planet Energy  
7Sean Sullivan (Aus) Team Hotel San Jose-Juwi Solar  
8Will Goodfellow (Can) Bikereg.com-Cannondale  
9Sebastian Balck (Swe) Team Cykelcity  
10Neil Shirley (USA) Kelly Benefit Strategies  
11Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) Team Cykelcity  
12Yuriy Metlushenko (Ukr) Amore & Vita Conad  
13Karl Menzies (Aus) Team UnitedHealthcare-Maxxis  
14Neil Bezdek (USA) Team Mountain Khakis-Jittery Joe’s  
15Jacob Keough (USA) Team UnitedHealthcare-Maxxis  
16Andrew Guptill (USA) Jamis Sutter Home  
17Spencer Smitheman (Can) Hagens Berman LLP Cycling Team  
18Ryan Roth (Can) Spidertech-Planet Energy  
19Peter Van Agtmaal (Ned) Global Dutch Cycling Team  
20Benjamin Jacques-Maynes (USA) Bissell Pro Cycling Team  
21Kyle Wamsley (USA) Bissell Pro Cycling Team  
22Ian Holt (USA) Battley Harley-Davidson  
23Matthew Cooke (USA) Team Mountain Khakis-Jittery Joe’s  
24Hamish Presbury (NZl) Team New Zealand Pro Cycling  
25Vladislav Borisov (Rus) Amore & Vita Conad  
26Charles Hutcheson (USA) Battley Harley-Davidson  
27Peter Hurst (USA) Axa Equitable Cycling Team  
28Antoine Duchesne (Can) Team Tour De Quebec  
29Paul Mach (USA) Bissell Pro Cycling Team  
30John Delong (USA) Haymarket Club  
31Kennett Peterson (USA) Hagens Berman LLP Cycling Team  
32Chris Johnson (USA) Alliance Environmental  
33Hugo Houle (Can) Team Tour De Quebec  
34John Loehner (USA) AXA Equitable Cycling Team  
35Antoine Matteau (Can) Team Tour De Quebec  
36Jake Hollenbach (USA) AXA Equitable Cycling Team  
37Keck Baker (USA) Battley Harley-Davidson  
38Jonathan Clarke (Aus) Team UnitedHealthcare-Maxxis  
39Michael Chauner (USA) PA Lightning  
40Sam Steele (NZl) Team New Zealand Pro Cycling  
41Volodymyr Starchyk (Ukr) Amore & Vita Conad  
42John Jackie W Simes Iv (USA) Jamis Sutter Home  
43Austin Roach (USA) Met Life-Grosolar  
44Logan Hutchings (NZl) Team Hotel San Jose-Juwi Solar  
45Daniel Bowman (USA) Kelly Benefit Strategies  
46Kevin Gottlieb (USA) Haymarket Club  
47Lucas Euser (USA) Spidertech-Planet Energy  
48Lang Reynolds (USA) Hagens Berman LLP Cycling Team  
49Amos Brumble (USA) CCB Wheelworks  
50Johan Lindgren (Swe) Team Cykelcity  
51Chris Gruber (Can) Bikyle-Mazur Coaching (alternate)  
52Jonathan Mumford (USA) Kelly Benefit Strategies  
53Jordan Cheyne (Can) Bikyle-Mazur Coaching0:00:15 
54Marc De Maar (Ned) Team UnitedHealthcare-Maxxis0:00:17 
55Charly Vives (Can) Spidertech-Planet Energy0:00:20 
56Heath Blackgrove (NZl) Team Hotel San Jose-Juwi Solar0:00:44 
57Justin Lindine (USA) Bikereg.com_Cannondale0:01:00 
58Igor Volshteyn (USA) Champion System Racing-Cycles Gladiator Wines  
59Cameron Cogburn (USA) CCB Wheelworks  
60Stefan Rothe (Ger) Team Hotel San Jose-Juwi Solar  
61Tyler Wren (USA) Jamis Sutter Home  
62Peter Morse (Can) Jetfuel Coffee  
63Andy Jacques-Maynes (USA) Bissell Pro Cycling Team0:01:11 
64Alex Bhogal (Ger) Bikyle-Mazur Coaching0:01:29 
65Bobby Lea (USA) Team New Zealand Pro Cycling0:01:37 
66Joey Rosskopf (USA) Team Mountain Khakis-Jittery Joe’s  
67David Hoyle (USA) CCNS-Charlescoaching.com  
68Steven Gordon (USA) Haymarket Club0:01:53 
69Jesper Dahlstrom (Swe) PA Lightning0:01:55 
70Roberto Torres Aguiar-Santiago (PuR) Champion System Racing-Cycles Gladiator Wines0:02:07 
71Tim Mitchell (USA) Ccb Wheelworks0:02:11 
72Gavriel Epstein (USA) CRCA-Foundation Cycling  
73Fausto Fognini (Ita) Amore & Vita Conad  
74Serhy Hrechyn (Ukr) Amore & Vita Conad  
75Maint Berkenbosch (Ned) Global Dutch Cycling Team  
76Jonas Bjelkmark (Swe) Team Cykelcity0:02:18 
77Rodney Santiago Gerena (PuR) Champion System Reacing-Cycles Gladiator Wines  
78Scott Zwizanski (USA) Kelly Benefit Strategies0:02:41 
79Bernardo Colex Tepox (Mex) Amore & Vita Conad  
80Ryan Fleming (USA) Met Life-Grosolar  
81Nicholas Bennette (USA) Met Life-Grosolar  
82David Guttenplan (USA) Team Mountain Khakis-Jittery Joe’s0:03:53 
83Aliaksandr Bialiauski (Blr) CCB Wheelworks0:04:54 
84Nick Bax (USA) Battley Harley-Davidson  
85Russell Brown (USA) Haymarket Club  
86Sean Smith (USA) Champion System Reacing-Cycles Gladiator Wines0:05:15 
87Colin Sandberg (USA) Alliance Environmental (alternate)0:05:17 
88Andrew Hughson (NZl) Team New Zealand Pro Cycling0:05:19 
89Justin Steeds (Can) Bikyle/mazur Coaching0:05:33 
90Jose Escobar (USA) Battley Harley-Davidson  
91Franklin Burgos (USA) CRCA-Foundation Cycling  
92Brady Gibney (USA) Alliance Environmental  
93Nathaniel Wilson (USA) Haymarket Club0:05:41 
94J Gabriel Lloyd (USA) Met Life-Grosolar  
DNFShane Kline (USA) Bissell Pro Cycling Team  
DNFEric Boily (Can) Spidertech-Planet Energy  
DNFMark Batty (Can) Spidertech-Planet Energy  
DNFRichard Hoffarth (USA) Team Mountain Khakis-Jittery Joe’s  
DNFEric Schildge (USA) Team Mountain Khakis-Jittery Joe’s  
DNFTimothy Johnson (USA) Team UnitedHealthcare-Maxxis  
DNFRory Sutherland (Aus) Team UnitedHealthcare-Maxxis  
DNFBlair Berbert (USA) Alliance Environmental  
DNFClayton Barrows (USA) AXA Equitable Cycling Team  
DNFJohn Minturn (USA) AXA Equitable Cycling Team  
DNFJoseph Whitman (USA) AXA Equitable Cycling Team  
DNFTimothy Rugg (USA) Battley Harley-Davidson  
DNFJerome Townsend (USA) Bikereg.com-Cannondale  
DNFStephen Weller (USA) Bikereg.com_Cannondale  
DNFAdam Farabaugh (USA) Bikyle-Mazur Coaching  
DNFYahor Buben (Blr) CCB Wheelworks  
DNFAidan Charles (USA) CCNS-Charlescoaching.com  
DNFRon Larose (USA) CCNS-Charlescoaching.com  
DNFRyan Serbel (USA) CCNS-Charlescoaching.com  
DNFAlejandro Guzman (Dom) CRCA-Foundation Cycling  
DNFLisban Quintero (Col) CRCA-Foundation Cycling  
DNFErik Andrea (Ned) Global Dutch Cycling Team  
DNFWouter De Groot (Ned) Global Dutch Cycling Team  
DNFRuud Kooijmans (Ned) Global Dutch Cycling Team  
DNFPhillip Elsasser (USA) Hagens Berman LLP Cycling Team  
DNFSean Passage (USA) Hagens Berman LLP Cycling Team  
DNFMike Stubna (USA) Haymarket Club  
DNFRyan Aitcheson (Can) Jetfuel Coffee  
DNFDave Byer (Can) Jetfuel Coffee  
DNFKevin Hazzard (Can) Jetfuel Coffee  
DNFJoe Lewis (USA) Jetfuel Coffee  
DNFStephen Meyer (Can) Jetfuel Coffee  
DNFChristian Bertilsson (Swe) PA Lightning  
DNFJohan Landstrom (Swe) Team Cykelcity  
DNFChad Haga (USA) Team Hotel San Jose-Juwi Solar  
DNFJames Canny (NZl) Team New Zealand Pro Cycling  
DNFYannick Bedard (Can) Team Tour De Quebec  
DNFArnaud Papillon (Can) Team Tour De Quebec  


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