Eric Marcotte (Team SmartStop) secured his second national title, after winning the road race last year, when he won the USA Cycling Professional Criterium Championships on Saturday in Greenville, South Carolina. He made his winning attack through the last corner, upsetting the UnitedHealthcare blue train, and crossing the finish line first ahead of Ty Magner (Hincapie) and Luke Keough (UnitedHealthcare).
Defending champion John Murphy (UnitedHealthcare) was the first rider called to the start line of the men’s 120-minute race. He lapped the field and won last year ahead of his teammate Brad White, while Daniel Holloway (Athlete Octane).
A smaller than usual field of riders took to the start line as only professional riders were eligible to start the pro criterium championships. Alongside Murphy on the start line were US road champion Eric Marcotte (SmartStop), Tom Zirbel (Optum) and Adam Myerson (Astellas Pro Cycling), who is racing in his final season.
It was an active first half of the men’s criterium, however, it wasn’t until mid-race that a front group of roughly 15 riders formed. Of that group Murphy, Marcotte, Magner and Tom Soladay (Optum Pro Cycling) broke away and although the move looked to be promising, they pulled the plug and sat up, allowing the lead group to swell back up to 15 riders with 41 laps to go.
Adrian Hegyvary (UnitedHealthcare) was one of the first riders to gain a solo gap that ignited a chase group of five riders to form behind. Optum’s Tom Zirbel headed the chase group and brought the breakaway back into the fold. Murphy was the next to make a move, however, he too was brought back. No matter what combination of riders went up the road, none stuck for longer than a few seconds. Attacks also came from Hincapie Racing and Optum.
The gap between the 15-rider breakaway and the main field continued to grow to roughly 30 seconds, but was closer to lapping the field in the final laps.
With 13 laps to go, the four UnitedHealthcare riders in the front group began to set up their train in anticipation of a sprint. However, just when the race seemed to settle in behind them, Soladay made a strong solo move.
He quickly gained a 15 seconds on the chase group led by the UnitedHealthcare riders. Hincapie’s Oscar Clark also attacked to try and join Soladay up the road.
As Clark was caught, Soladay’s teammate Zirbel attacked taking Murphy, White and Marcotte in tow, but the 15-man group was back together with three laps to go.
UnitedHealthcare reorganized themselves ahead of the group with riders from SmartStop, Marcotte and Travis McCabe, sitting behind. Clark made another attack but he was brought back as the bell rang for one lap to go.
UnitedHealthcare led through the last lap with Keough ready for the sprint, Hincapie’s Magner on his wheel.
The surprise attack came from Marcotte, who jumped into the last corner and came out of it with a fierce sprint toward the finish line. It was a bold move that paid off with the victory.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Eric Marcotte (USA) Team SmartStop||2:02:15|
|2||Tyler Magner (USA) Hincapie Racing Team||0:00:01|
|3||Luke Keough (USA) UnitedHealthcare|
|4||John Murphy (USA) UnitedHealthcare|
|5||Eric Young (USA) Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies||0:00:02|
|6||Hogan Sills (USA) Astellas Cycling Team|
|7||Travis McCabe (USA) Team SmartStop||0:00:03|
|8||Peter Olejniczak (USA) Astellas Cycling Team||0:00:05|
|9||Thomas Soladay (USA) Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies||0:00:06|
|10||Bradley White (USA) UnitedHealthcare||0:00:08|
|11||Thomas Zirbel (USA) Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies|
|12||Shane Kline (USA) Team SmartStop||0:00:15|
|13||Oscar Clark (USA) Hincapie Racing Team||0:00:31|
|14||Scott Zwizanski (USA) Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies|
|15||Adrian Hegyvary (USA) UnitedHealthcare||0:00:43|
|16||Drew Christopher (USA) Champion System - Stans NoTubes||0:01:14|
|17||Brandon Feehery (USA) Astellas Cycling Team||0:01:19|
|18||James LaBerge (USA) Champion System - Stans NoTubes|
|19||Justin Williams (USA) Astellas Cycling Team||0:01:20|
|20||Adam Myerson (USA) Astellas Cycling Team|
|21||Evan Murphy (USA) Lupus Racing Team||0:01:21|
|22||James Schurman (USA) Lupus Racing Team||0:01:26|
|23||Conor Mullervy (USA) Champion System - Stans NoTubes||0:01:39|
|24||Robert Sweeting (USA) Team SmartStop||0:01:42|
|25||Mac Brennan (USA) Hincapie Racing Team||0:01:45|
|26||Hilton Clarke (Aus) UnitedHealthcare||0:02:14|