Pipp pips the rest in Crit champs curtain raiser

Bissell rider triumphs from massive field

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).

1Frank Pipp (Usa) Bissell1:09:00 
2Karl Menzies (Aus) Ouch Presented By Maxxis  
3Jeremy Powers (Usa) Jelly Belly  
4Clayton Barrows (Usa) Crca/Empire Cycling Team  
5Mike Creed (Usa) Team Type 1  
6Bernard Van Ulden (Usa) Jelly Belly  
7Eric Barlevev (Usa) Team Mtn Khakis Pb Epno  
8Chad Hartley (Usa) Team Geargrinder  
9Mark Hekman (Usa) Team Mtn Khakis Pb Epno  
10Jeff Schroetlin (Usa) Abd Cycling Team  
11Andy Jacques-Maynes (Usa) Bissell  
12Stephan Kincaid (Usa) Crca/Empire Cycling Team  
13Ben Kersten (Usa) Fly-V Australia  
14Adam Bergman (Usa) Texas Roadhouse Cycling Team  
15Isaac Howe (Usa) Team Mtn Khakis Pb Epno  
16Kyle Gritters (Usa) Southern California Velo  
17Ben Renkema (Usa) Kenda Pro Cycling P/B Spinergy  
18Ronnie Strange (Usa) Team Hotel San Jose/Redbudsp  
19Adam Myerson (Usa) Team Mountain Khakis  
20Yosvany Falcon (Usa) Champion Porsche  
21Phillip Mann (Usa) Ciclismo Racing  
22Freddie Rodriguez (Usa) Rock Racing  
23Brad Huff (Usa) Jelly Belly  
24Jim Stemper (Usa) Team Geargrinder  
25Ivan Dominguez (Usa) Rock Racing  
26Eric Schildge (Usa) Bikereg.Com/Cannondale  
27Jaime Gandara (Usa) Kenda Pro Cycling P/B Spinergy  
28Steve Tilford (Usa) Tradewind Energy/The Trek Sto  
29Davide Frattini (Usa) Colavita Sutter Home  
30David Wiswell (Usa) Gs Mesgoni Usa  
31Zach Watson (Usa) Abd Cycling Team  
32Robert Scheffler (Usa) None  
33Adam Carr (Usa) Ten Speed Drive/Bh Bicycles  
34Chad Cagle (Usa) Mercy Cycling  
35Corey Steinbrecher (Usa) Waste Management  
36Rob Evans (Usa) Rhvilla/Ias  
37William Marshall (Usa) Mercy Elite Cycling Team  
38Seth Hansley (Usa) Champion Porsche  
39Justin Williams (Usa) Rock Racing  
40Matthew Spohn (Usa) Dynaflo Racing  
41Tom Soladay (Usa) Team Mtn Khakis Pb Epno  
42Ryan Freund (Usa) Abd Cycling Team  
43David Mcneal (Usa) Blue Chip Racing  
44Mathew Ankney (Usa) Mercy Cycling Team  
45Matt Crane (Usa) Jelly Belly  
46Rob White (Usa) Team Geargrinder  
47Justin England (Usa) Cal Giant  
48Michael Margarite (Usa) Crca/Empire Cycling Team  
49Elliot Gaunt (Usa) Gpoa Cannondale  
50Latham Peter (Nzl) Bissell  
51Sean Mazich (Usa) Waste Management  
52Austin Roach (Usa) Metlife Cycling Team  
53Andrew Pinfold (Can) Ouch Presented By Maxxis  
54Alder Martz (Usa) Dlp Racing  
55John Murphy (Usa) Ouch Presented By Maxxis  
56Roman Kilun (Usa) Ouch Presented By Maxxis  
57Bryan Mcvey (Usa) Vision Quest  
58Luis Amaran (Usa) Colavita Sutter Home  
59Josh Carter (Usa) Abd Cycling Team  
60Gregg Brandt (Usa) Bianchi/Gp  
61David Hackworthy (Usa) Bianchi/Grand Performance  
62Eric Marcotte (Usa) Bicycle Haus  
63Jake Hollenbach (Usa) Crca/Empire Cycling Team  
64Alex Welch (Usa) Mercy  
65Nick Reistad (Usa) Jelly Belly  
66Bobby Lea (Usa) Ouch Presented By Maxxis  
67James Mattis (Usa) Cal Giant/Specialized  
68Bryce Mead (Usa) Jelly Belly  
69Scott Zwizanski (Usa) Kelly Benefit Strategies  
70Luca Damiani (Usa) Colavita Sutter Home  
71Anibal Borrajo (Usa) Colavita Sutter Home  
72Frank Travieso (Usa) Champion Porsche  
73Nicholas Bennette (Usa) Metlife Pro-Am Cycling  
74Pat Lemieux (Usa) Texas Roadhouse  
75Joseph Schmalz (Usa) Mercy Cycling Team  
76Benn Van Der Genugten (Usa) Kenda Pro Cycling P/B Spinergy  
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