Frank Pipp (Bissell) played the perfect tactical game in a late-race, three-man break to capture victory at the Downers Grove ‘warm up’ criterium held on the eve of the US Pro Criterium Championships. He outpaced Tasmanian, Karl Menzies (OUCH p/b Maxxis) and Jeremy Powers (Jelly Belly) in third place.
"I know a lot of people in this area so it was nice to win in front of these crowds," said Pipp who has spent a lot of time racing in the Chicago area. "Jeremy was in the wind for the last half a lap and I was fresh from sitting on Karl’s wheel."
Pipp attacked a mid-race break of some 20 riders during the final three laps of the race. He was quickly followed by Powers, a savvy cyclo-cross rider keen to make a debut podium in a criterium.
"This is the first time I’ve ever had a podium at a big race on the road so it’s awesome and I’m so happy," said Powers, who captures plenty of podium time during the cyclo-cross season. "Danny Van Haute, our directeur, said to do what we wanted tonight and I moved forward to start covering moves. I was psyched because I saw Frank go and I knew that was the move."
Menzies jumped out of the chase group in pursuit of the two escapees on the last lap. He successfully made it across, however, it was so close to the finish line that his effort to connect may have come at the cost of his notoriously snappy sprint. Power attacked with half a lap to go and Pipp played his cards right again, looking at Menzies, the strongest sprinter in the group, to chase.
"He’s [Karl Menzies] not the kind of rider you want to bridge across to the break," said Pipp. "He’s a great friend of mine but head-to-head Karl is very tough to beat. Luckily he had to do a lot of work to bridge across to us and his tank might have emptied a little bit. Jeremy and I were not going slow. Jeremy attacked, I watched him go and looked at Karl to chase it. I knew which ever one of us tried to chase would be hard-pressed to get the win."
The Downers Grove warm-up race is traditionally held on the eve of the championship event. Many of the fastest sprinters in the nation started the race torn between wanting to win and saving their legs for the more important race held the following day. Some 160 riders lined up to start but only a handful finished.
"On Bissell, we said we weren’t going to contest the win if it was a field sprint." said Pipp. "It’s too crazy, especially if you think you have a shot tomorrow."
Notorious speedsters caught sitting up before the race ended included Defending Champion Rashaan Bahati (Rock Racing), Sebastian Haedo and Alejandro Borrajo (Colavita-Sutter Home) and Alex Candelario (Kelly Benefit Strategies).
"I told my guys to try to get in the break, but if they didn’t make it then to sit up from the field and save their legs for tomorrow," said former US Pro Criterium Champion Jonas Carney, who now directs the Kelly Benefit Strategies team. "It’s too dangerous and tomorrow is important. It’s good for the guys to race, to get ready for tomorrow."
A highly active first half of the pro-men’s 50-kilometre race resulted in a breakaway of some twenty riders. They included Powers, Pipp and Menzies along with Bernard Van Ulden and Matt Crane (Jelly Belly), Luis Amaran (Colavita-Sutter Home), Ivan Dominguez (Rock Racing), Alex Candelario (Kelly Benefit Strategies), Michael Creed (Team Type 1), Clayton Borrows and Stephen Kincaid (CRCA-Empire), Andy Jacques-Maynes (Bissell), Andrew Pinfold (OUCH p/b Maxxis) and Chad Hartley (Geargrinders).
|1||Frank Pipp (Usa) Bissell||1:09:00|
|2||Karl Menzies (Aus) Ouch Presented By Maxxis|
|3||Jeremy Powers (Usa) Jelly Belly|
|4||Clayton Barrows (Usa) Crca/Empire Cycling Team|
|5||Mike Creed (Usa) Team Type 1|
|6||Bernard Van Ulden (Usa) Jelly Belly|
|7||Eric Barlevev (Usa) Team Mtn Khakis Pb Epno|
|8||Chad Hartley (Usa) Team Geargrinder|
|9||Mark Hekman (Usa) Team Mtn Khakis Pb Epno|
|10||Jeff Schroetlin (Usa) Abd Cycling Team|
|11||Andy Jacques-Maynes (Usa) Bissell|
|12||Stephan Kincaid (Usa) Crca/Empire Cycling Team|
|13||Ben Kersten (Usa) Fly-V Australia|
|14||Adam Bergman (Usa) Texas Roadhouse Cycling Team|
|15||Isaac Howe (Usa) Team Mtn Khakis Pb Epno|
|16||Kyle Gritters (Usa) Southern California Velo|
|17||Ben Renkema (Usa) Kenda Pro Cycling P/B Spinergy|
|18||Ronnie Strange (Usa) Team Hotel San Jose/Redbudsp|
|19||Adam Myerson (Usa) Team Mountain Khakis|
|20||Yosvany Falcon (Usa) Champion Porsche|
|21||Phillip Mann (Usa) Ciclismo Racing|
|22||Freddie Rodriguez (Usa) Rock Racing|
|23||Brad Huff (Usa) Jelly Belly|
|24||Jim Stemper (Usa) Team Geargrinder|
|25||Ivan Dominguez (Usa) Rock Racing|
|26||Eric Schildge (Usa) Bikereg.Com/Cannondale|
|27||Jaime Gandara (Usa) Kenda Pro Cycling P/B Spinergy|
|28||Steve Tilford (Usa) Tradewind Energy/The Trek Sto|
|29||Davide Frattini (Usa) Colavita Sutter Home|
|30||David Wiswell (Usa) Gs Mesgoni Usa|
|31||Zach Watson (Usa) Abd Cycling Team|
|32||Robert Scheffler (Usa) None|
|33||Adam Carr (Usa) Ten Speed Drive/Bh Bicycles|
|34||Chad Cagle (Usa) Mercy Cycling|
|35||Corey Steinbrecher (Usa) Waste Management|
|36||Rob Evans (Usa) Rhvilla/Ias|
|37||William Marshall (Usa) Mercy Elite Cycling Team|
|38||Seth Hansley (Usa) Champion Porsche|
|39||Justin Williams (Usa) Rock Racing|
|40||Matthew Spohn (Usa) Dynaflo Racing|
|41||Tom Soladay (Usa) Team Mtn Khakis Pb Epno|
|42||Ryan Freund (Usa) Abd Cycling Team|
|43||David Mcneal (Usa) Blue Chip Racing|
|44||Mathew Ankney (Usa) Mercy Cycling Team|
|45||Matt Crane (Usa) Jelly Belly|
|46||Rob White (Usa) Team Geargrinder|
|47||Justin England (Usa) Cal Giant|
|48||Michael Margarite (Usa) Crca/Empire Cycling Team|
|49||Elliot Gaunt (Usa) Gpoa Cannondale|
|50||Latham Peter (Nzl) Bissell|
|51||Sean Mazich (Usa) Waste Management|
|52||Austin Roach (Usa) Metlife Cycling Team|
|53||Andrew Pinfold (Can) Ouch Presented By Maxxis|
|54||Alder Martz (Usa) Dlp Racing|
|55||John Murphy (Usa) Ouch Presented By Maxxis|
|56||Roman Kilun (Usa) Ouch Presented By Maxxis|
|57||Bryan Mcvey (Usa) Vision Quest|
|58||Luis Amaran (Usa) Colavita Sutter Home|
|59||Josh Carter (Usa) Abd Cycling Team|
|60||Gregg Brandt (Usa) Bianchi/Gp|
|61||David Hackworthy (Usa) Bianchi/Grand Performance|
|62||Eric Marcotte (Usa) Bicycle Haus|
|63||Jake Hollenbach (Usa) Crca/Empire Cycling Team|
|64||Alex Welch (Usa) Mercy|
|65||Nick Reistad (Usa) Jelly Belly|
|66||Bobby Lea (Usa) Ouch Presented By Maxxis|
|67||James Mattis (Usa) Cal Giant/Specialized|
|68||Bryce Mead (Usa) Jelly Belly|
|69||Scott Zwizanski (Usa) Kelly Benefit Strategies|
|70||Luca Damiani (Usa) Colavita Sutter Home|
|71||Anibal Borrajo (Usa) Colavita Sutter Home|
|72||Frank Travieso (Usa) Champion Porsche|
|73||Nicholas Bennette (Usa) Metlife Pro-Am Cycling|
|74||Pat Lemieux (Usa) Texas Roadhouse|
|75||Joseph Schmalz (Usa) Mercy Cycling Team|
|76||Benn Van Der Genugten (Usa) Kenda Pro Cycling P/B Spinergy|