Ruben Companioni (Team Jamis Sutter Home) handily won the TUFMED USA CRITS Championship Series at Clearwater Classic on Saturday, pulling clear of a breakway group containing most of race favorites with two laps remaining. Travis McCabe and Mac Brennan, both with Holowesko|Citadel Cycling, finished in second and third place, respectively.
“I race by myself and I think it helps me,” Companioni said after his win. “The race was pretty hard, especially up the hill. When I had the chance to attack, I took it. I don’t consider myself a pure sprinter. I like to win by pulling away and not seeing anyone behind me.”
After winning the Tampa Grand Prix last weekend, Companioni’s victory at Clearwater has slightly extended his lead in the overall competition, but it all could change during the third stage of USA CRITS in Charlotte on April 30. McCabe trails the Jamis rider’s 535-point lead by 26 points. Brennan sits 70 points behind the leader.
The finale of the weeklong Sunshine Grand Prix was well attended by the all of the top pro teams. The 70-minute crit held on an undulating .6-mile course treated fans to plenty of no holds barred, high-speed action in downtown Clearwater, which saw aggressive racing straight from the starting gun.
In the early stages of the race, Sunshine Grand Prix sprint leader Chris Uberti (Finish Strong) went on the attack. Andsz Flaksis (Holowesko/Citadel) countered the move and was probably one of the most active riders in the race.
Flaksis managed to hang on to his lead by a slim margin while Jake Silverberg (Astellas Cycling) and Parker Kyzer (Finish Strong) chased in the gap. Daniel Holloway’s team, Giant Racing, was quick to assume control of the main bunch, eager to get their team leader and last year’s TUFMED USA CRITS overall winner into contention after a disappointing day at Tampa GP last weekend.
Despite all the action, no one seemed pleased with the combinations that were forming up the road. With 20 minutes left, Andrei Krasilnikau (Holowesko/Citadel) finally snapped the elastic that kept other riders from gaining any sort of substantial gap on the field. The Belarusian rider maintained a 10 second gap while Astellas gathered at the front of the pack to keep him in check.
Krasilnikau’s solo break was inevitably brought back as the race favorites began to sense the urgency during the latter part of the stage. Krasilnikau’s teammate, Oscar Clark, took off after a prime taking race favorites Companioni, McCabe, Brennan Holloway, Thomas Gibbons (706 Project), Ryan Aitcheson (Astellas), Aldo IIesic (Astellas), Fletcher Lydick (Finish Strong) and Hernandez (CCB Racing) along for the ride.
With eight laps remaining, Companioni attacked, obviously unwilling to take his chances in the final sprint. Seeing IIesic time-trialing the group back up to him, he sat up with six laps to go to reset his tactics.
As the break was under no pressure from the field, the next few laps were a game of cat and mouse until Companioni put on the pressure again. This time, it his efforts would stick. The Jamis rider held off the break, lead by Ilesic again, by a good 10 seconds before he posted up for victory.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Ruben Companioni (Jamis)||1:11:51|
|2||Travis McCabe (Holowesko|Citadel Cycling Team p/b Hincapie Sportswear)||0:00:02|
|3||Daniel Holloway (Giant Racing powered by Intelligentsia)||0:00:02|
|4||Michael Hernandez (CCCB Racing)||0:00:03|
|5||Aldo Ilesic (Astellas Cycling Team)||0:00:03|
|6||Thomas Gibbons (UnitedHealthcare of Georgia p/b The 706 Project)||0:00:03|
|7||Fletcher Lydick (Team Finish Strong)||0:00:03|
|8||Eamon Franck (Astellas Cycling Team)||0:00:07|
|9||Mac Brennan (Holowesko|Citadel Cycling Team p/b Hincapie Sportswear)||0:00:07|
|10||Benjamin Renkema (Team Finish Strong)||0:00:08|
|11||Brandon Feehery (Astellas Cycling Team)||0:00:08|
|12||Alexander Gil (Support Clean Sport / SeaSucker / Guttenplan Coaching)||0:00:08|
|13||Enrique Lopez (Stradalli Cycle-Safetti Smart Wear)||0:00:08|
|14||Jose Frank Rodriguez (Stradalli Cycle-Safetti Smart Wear)||0:00:08|
|15||Ian Keough (Astellas Cycling Team)||0:00:08|
|16||Frank Travieso (UnitedHealthcare of Georgia p/b The 706 Project)||0:00:08|
|17||Darren Dowling (Sarasota Cycliing Club)||0:00:08|
|18||Franklin Deese (Cyclus Sports)||0:00:08|
|20||Justin Pfaff (Stradalli/Wizard Racing Development Team p/b Wizard Coaching Services)||0:00:08|
|21||Matt Moosa (Team Finish Strong)||0:00:08|
|22||Nathan Labecki (Giant Racing powered by Intelligentsia)||0:00:09|
|23||Christopher Uberti (Team Finish Strong)||0:00:09|
|25||Alex Jensen (LaRocco & Associates)||0:00:09|
|26||Lucas Wardein (Fort Lewis College)||0:00:09|
|27||Sebastian Morfin (Stradalli Cycle-Safetti Smart Wear)||0:00:09|
|28||Michael Gearren (Cyclus Sports)||0:00:09|
|29||Chad Conley (Snyder Factory Racing)||0:00:09|
|30||Devin Reavis (Boone Area Cyclists)||0:00:09|
|31||Andrei Krasilnikau (Holowesko|Citadel Cycling Team p/b Hincapie Sportswear)||0:00:09|
|32||Artur Sagat (Pioneer Mortgage pb Yourkey.com)||0:00:10|
|34||Chris Tricoli (Support Clean Sport / SeaSucker / Guttenplan Coaching)||0:00:10|
|35||Joshua Brown (Cyclus Sports)||0:00:10|
|36||Adam Leibovitz (Giant Racing powered by Intelligentsia)||0:00:11|
|37||Willem Kaiser (UnitedHealthcare of Georgia p/b The 706 Project)||0:00:12|
|38||Lucas Livermon (Cyclus Sports)||0:00:12|
|39||Brian Sciba (RedEye Velo)||0:00:12|
|40||Samuel Connell (Stradalli/Wizard Racing Development Team p/b Wizard Coaching Services)||0:00:13|
|41||Andrew Scarano (UnitedHealthcare of Georgia p/b The 706 Project)||0:00:13|
|43||Connor Sallee (Plano Athletic Cycling Club/PACC)||0:00:17|
|44||David Mesa (Red Peloton)||0:00:18|
|45||Jake Silverberg (Astellas Cycling Team)||0:00:22|
|46||John Butler (Treasure Coast Racing)||0:00:22|
|47||Marlon Williams (Galiz Cycling Team)||0:00:24|
|48||Oscar Clark (Holowesko|Citadel Cycling Team p/b Hincapie Sportswear)||0:00:26|
|49||Andsz Flaksis (Holowesko|Citadel Cycling Team p/b Hincapie Sportswear)||0:00:27|
|50||Bruno Moreira (LaRocco & Associates)||0:00:28|
|51||Parker Kyzer (Team Finish Strong)||0:00:49|
|52||Ryan Aitcheson (Astellas Cycling Team)|
|54||Emile Abraham (UnitedHealthcare of Georgia p/b The 706 Project)|
|55||Oshane Williams (Galiz Cycling Team)|
|57||Rainiel Sanchez (Topview Sports/Advanced Cycles)|
|58||Chad Hartley (Giant Racing powered by Intelligentsia)|
|59||Ted Horwitz (Monster Media/Spy Racing)|
|60||Christopher Collins (Stradalli/Wizard Racing Development Team p/b Wizard Coaching Services)|
|62||Rolando Hernandez (Gearlink Racing)|
|63||Geron Williams (CRCA/Foundation)|
|65||David Monismith (Pioneer Mortgage pb Yourkey.com)|
|66||Marc Boults (LaRocco & Associates)|
|67||Danzie Stewart (Galiz Cycling Team)|