Companioni a champion in Tampa

Jamis-Sutter Home rider tops Brennan from breakaway

The 2016 TUFMED USA CRITS Championship Series started off with a bang in Tampa, Florida on Saturday, with Ruben Companioni (Jamis-Sutter Home) taking top honors after handily lapping the talented 80 plus field with Mac Brennan (Holowesko Citadel Racing Team p/b Hincapie Sportswear).

Brennan’s teammate, Travis McCabe, took third at the end of the night, crossing the line first out of a late break of six riders that included Aldo Ilesic (Astellas Cycling Team) and Oscar Clark (Holowesko-Citadel).

“It is very important for me, because it is the first race of the series and I am very happy when I win,” Companioni said after his win. “I was worried because I knew Brennan was strong. I was feeling good on the final lap and knew I could win on the sprint.”

Companioni, who finished second at the Grand Prix two years ago, credited his victory to a strong pre-season training program.

“I have been training the last two months in Colombia with my teammate, Javier Acevedo,” the Cuban rider said. “My preparation this season has been very strong.”

And “strong” the Cuban powerhouse proved to be on the flat, 0.54-mile, four-corner circuit. The Jamis rider challenged the Astellas and Holowesko-Citadel teams and, after finishing second to Daniel Holloway (GIANT Racing) last year, looks to be an obvious contender for the overall crown.

Holloway came out of the gates firing on all cylinders on the first of 10 races in the TUFMED USA CRITS Series. Coming off several six-day races in Europe, Holloway looked to be in good form and showed it by testing his legs at the front in the opening laps of the race.

Starting off the high stakes action was Oscar Clark (Holowesko-Citadel), who took a flyer around 12 minutes into race, taking several riders with him up the road. The move was short lived, however, when Companioni sensed the danger and brought the move back.

Holowesko-Citadel set off with an aggressive string of attacks in response that also turned out to be fruitless. The next serious move came 35 minutes into the race, when Companioni attacked and took Mac Brennan with him up the road. The duo whittled out a 30 second gap at the mid point in the race, despite Astellas and Finish Strong missing the move.

Ed Veal (RealDeal/D'Ornellas), bronze medalist in the Pan Am Games team pursuit, and Clark tried to bridge across when the leaders were already enjoying a half a lap lead. Astellas took over the front of the field, but were unable to contain the leading duo, who eventually lapped the field with 15 minutes left in the race.

Meanwhile, at the front of the field, McCabe, Clark, Fletcher Lydick (Team Finish Strong), who will wear the BikeReg Best Young Rider jersey in Clearwater next weekend, Justin Pfaff (Stradalli-Wizard Racing Development Team), Aldo Ilesic (Astellas), Frank Travieso (UnitedHealthcare of Georgia p/b The 706 Project) and Thomas Gibbons (UnitedHealthcare of Georgia p/b The 706 Project) escaped up the road and gained a max lead of 17 seconds.

After catching the back of the main field, Companioni attacked in pursuit of the seven leaders with less than 10 laps to go. Brennan bridged across and again, both were working together to catch the lead group on the road.

With one lap to go, Ilesic attacked his breakaway companions early on the backstretch. McCabe reacted immediately and overtook the Astellas rider for third place.

Companioni easily powered away with the win out of the fourth corner, gaining a bike length on Brennan before posting up for victory.

The next installment in the thrilling TUFMED USA CRITS Series will be in Clearwater, Florida on March 26th. The TUFMED USA CRITS Pro Men’s race start time is 4:15PM ET and, as always, will be streamed live on Ultrasport.tv and Cyclingnews.com.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ruben Companioni (Jamis-Sutter Home)  
2Mac Brennan (Holowesko | Citadel Racing Team p/b Hincapie Racing)  
3Travis McCabe (Holowesko | Citadel Racing Team p/b Hincapie Racing)  
4Aldo Ino Ilesic (Astellas Cycling Team)  
5Thomas Gibbons (UnitedHealthcare of Georgia p/b The 706 Project)  
6Frank Travieso (UnitedHealthcare of Georgia p/b The 706 Project)  
7Oscar Clark (Holowesko | Citadel Racing Team p/b Hincapie Racing)  
8Fletcher Lydick (Team Finish Strong)  
9Chad Conley (Snyder Factory Racing)  
10Justin Pfaff (Stradalli/Wizard Racing Development Team P/B Wizard Coaching Services)  
11Daniel Holloway (GIANT Racing )  
12Ed Veal (Real Deal/D'Ornellas)  
13Geron Williams (Unattached)  
14Eamon Lucas (Astellas Cycling Team)  
15Ryan Aitcheson (Astellas Cycling Team)  
16Benjamin Renkema (Team Finish Strong)  
17Matt Moosa (Team Finish Strong)  
18Christopher Uberti (Team Finish Strong)  
19Ian Keough (Astellas Cycling Team)  
20Zack Kratche (Amore & Vita-USA Racing)  
21Enrique Lopez (Stradalli Cycle Safftti Smart Wear )  
22Connor Sallee (Plano Athletic Cycling Club/PACC)  
23Andrei Krasilnikau (Holowesko | Citadel Racing Team p/b Hincapie Racing)  
24Rainiel Sanchez (Topview Sports/Advanced Cycles)  
25Parker Kyzer (Finish Strong)  
26Darren Dowling (Sarasota Cycling Club)  
27Andrew Scarano (UnitedHealthcare of Georgia p/b The 706 Project)  
28Michael Gearren II (Cyclus Sports)  
29Frankie Gonzalez (Interactive Metronome Development)  
30Adam Morris (Palmer Cycling)  
31John Brizzard (Palmer Cycling)  
32Andsz Flaksis (Holowesko | Citadel Racing Team p/b Hincapie Racing)  
33Fredd Matute (Performance Team by Rossetti)  
34Willem Kaiser (UnitedHealthcare of Georgia p/b The 706 Project)  
35Samuel Connell (Stradalli/Wizard Racing Development Team P/B Wizard Coaching Services)  
36Albertus Rohling (Intelligentsia Coffee)  
37Emile Abraham (UnitedHealthcare of Georgia p/b The 706 Project)  
38Steven Perezluha (Support Clean Sport / SeaSucker / Guttenplan Coaching)  
DNFDanzie Stewart (Galiz Cycling Team)  
DNFDavid Monismith (Pioneer Mortgage pb Yourkey.com)  
DNFScott Cugno (Pioneer Mortgage pb Yourkey.com)  
DNFRoy Foley (LaRocco & Associates Final Touch Cycling Team)  
DNFBenjamin Richardson (Indiana University-Bloomington)  
DNFDoug Zell (Intelligentsia Coffee)  
DNFChris Tricoli (Support Clean Sport / SeaSucker / Guttenplan Coaching)  
DNFChad Hartley (GIANT Racing)  
DNFCharkie Huegel (Nine Lives Carbon Repair)  
DNFTimothy Burton (Real Deal/D'Ornellas)  
DNFAndrew Schluck (Unattached)  
DNFAndres Munera (Unattached)  
DNFLucas Wardein (Unattached)  
DNFChristopher Collins (Stradalli/Wizard Racing Development Team P/B Wizard Coaching Services)  
DNFJoshua Brown (Cyclus Sports)  
DNFArtur Sagat (Pioneer Mortgage pb Yourkey.com)  
DNFPatrick Diver (Unattached)  
DNFJames Brown (Intelligentsia Coffee)  
DNFAllison Anjos (Unattached)  
DNFYip Tsang (Performance Team by Rossetti)  
DNFBrian Karlow (Intelligentsia Coffee)  
DNFTravis Dorman (Team Truly Spokin)  
DNFBrian Davis (Compass Research Cycling Team)  
DNFBruno Moreira (LaRocco & Associates Final Touch Cycling Team)  
DNFBrian Sciba (Red Eye Velo)  
DNFMichael Heagney (Intelligentsia Coffee)  
DNFDavid Mesa (Red Peloton)  
DNFMarlon Williams (Galiz Cycling Team)  
DNFDavid Pavlik (Support Clean Sport / SeaSucker / Guttenplan Coaching)  
DNFAnton Varabei (Real Deal/D'Ornellas)  
DNFLucas Livermon (Cyclus Sports)  
DNFMarc Boults ( LaRocco & Associates Final Touch Cycling Team)  
DNFAdam Leibovitz (GIANT Racing)  
DNFNathan Labecki (GIANT Racing)  
DNFDevin Reavis (Boone Area Cyclists)  
DNFJose Frank Rodriguez (Stradalli Cycle-Safetti Smart Wear )  
DNFPatrick Sansbury (Racers Edge Cycle Shop / GetYourPowerUp.com)  
DNFBilly Jones (Intelligentsia Coffee)  
DNFJake Silverberg (Astellas Cycling Team)  
DNFAndrew Hammond (Palmer Cycling)  
DNFEdward Novak (Palmer Cycling)  
DNFMatt Green (Astellas Cycling Team)  
DNFFranklin Deese (Cyclus Sports)  
DNFOshane Williams (Galiz Cycling Team)  
DNFSebastian Morfin (Stradalli Cycle-Safetti Smart Wear )  
DNFAlex McLaughlin (Stradalli Cycle-Safetti Smart Wear )  
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