Marcotte, McCabe give SmartStop 1-2 in US Pro championship

Howes only WorldTour rider on podium in Chattanooga

Eric Marcotte claimed the biggest victory of his career with a hard-fought, tactically perfect execution of the USA Cycling Professional Championship men's road race, powering to the win just ahead of teammate Travis McCabe for a SmartStop 1-2.

Alex Howes of Garmin-Sharp rounded out the podium.

Marcotte, 33, hails from Marquette, Michigan and came to professional cycling after a long amateur career. The former double master's national champion (road and criterium, 2011), moved across to the SmartStop team from ELBOWZ Racing with McCabe this season after several impressive results including a third place overall at the Nature Valley Grand Prix. 

Marcotte was part of the day's early breakaway, which was joined by McCabe and Howes who attacked from the field to form a ten-rider leading group that split and reformed, split, mixed and formed again, then split and finally came together just before the final turn. Marcotte led out the sprint for McCabe but took the win instead.

How it unfolded

The 83-rider field set off from downtown Chattanooga under sunny skies and warm, humid weather for their 166.7km race, beginning with four small circuits in town before they tackled four long loops containing Lookout Mountain.

Ben King (Garmin Sharp) attacked from the gun, and while his first surge did not form the escape group, he managed to get into the day's long breakaway that went clear on the second short lap.

It was Optum's Brad Huff who sparked the successful move, and King tacked onto the train as it departed with Chris Jones and Brad White (UHC), Tyler Wren (Jamis Hagens Berman), Sam Bassetti and Jim Stemper (5 Hour Energy), Eric Young (Optum), Julian Kyer and Eric Marcotte (SmartStop), and Kevin Gottlieb (Airgas).

Young was dropped on the first trip up Lookout Mountain, and stayed with a chasing group with Nathan Brown (Garmin-Sharp), Bjorn Selander and Joseph Schmalz (Hincapie Sportswear Development), but that group never rejoined the front of the race.

Back in the peloton, chasing five minutes behind, Taylor Phinney (BMC Racing) crashed out of the race on the descent, and suffered a fracture to his leg. Lucas Euser (UnitedHealthcare) went down in the same incident and did not continue, but was uninjured.

The situation heated up on the third large lap, when Jesse Anthony (Optum) attacked into the climb. Peter Stetina (BMC) went after him on the climb, passing him and continuing on in pursuit, but he was pulled back by the Garmin-led peloton.

The pace of Phil Gaimon and Tom Danielson whittled down the peloton to around 20 riders.

The breakaway stayed mostly together until the final lap, when an attack from King split the group into two, with Jones, Stemper and Kyer the only riders able to follow the Garmin rider's pace. The peloton was greatly reduced, following 1:10 behind the break, and various riders in between.

As they entered the local laps, Marcotte was able to bridge back up to the leaders, and then Jones, White and Wren came across with Garmin's Alex Howes on the first of three closing circuits, but King was suffering and was dropped from the move shortly after.

With two laps to go, it was Jones, White, Wren, Stemper, Kyer, Marcotte and Howes being chased by a group of five Scott Zwizanski (Optum), Matthew Busche (Trek) Jacob Rathe (Jelly Belly), Travis McCabe (SmartStop) and Carson Miller (Jamis) which picked up King on his way out of the leading group. Only 20 seconds separated the two groups, with the peloton a minute behind.

The groups all came together on the penultimate trip up Kent Street, but then King and White were shelled.

McCabe launched an attack with Zwizanski, an Stemper was able to bridge across, leaving the rest behind as they headed into one lap to go.

The trio looked like they would duke it out for the podium, but with only 500m to go, first Jones and then the entire chasing group caught the three leaders and Marcotte went to the front to lead out McCabe, but instead took the victory by millimeters over his teammate, with Howes coming in third.


# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Eric Marcotte (Team SmartStop) 4:17:59  
2 Travis McCabe (Team SmartStop)    
3 Alex Howes (Garmin Sharp)    
4 Chris Jones (UnitedHealthcare)    
5 Julian Kyer (Team SmartStop)    
6 James Stemper (5-hour Energy)    
7 Jacob Rathe (Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis)    
8 Scott Zwizanski (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies )    
9 Tyler Wren (Jamis Hagens Berman) 0:00:03  
10 Matthew Busche (Trek Factory Racing) 0:00:07  
11 Carson Miller (Jamis Hagens Berman)    
12 Chris Butler (Hincapie Sportswear Development Team)    
13 Kiel Reijnen (UnitedHealthcare )    
14 Joshua Berry (Team SmartStop) 0:02:26  
15 Oscar Clark (Hincapie Sportswear Development Team)    
16 Benjamin King (Garmin Sharp)    
17 Edward King (Cannondale)    
18 Kevin Gottlieb (Airgas Cycling) 0:03:29  
19 Gavin Mannion (5-hour Energy)    
20 Carter Jones (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies )    
21 Tanner Putt (Bissell Development Team)    
22 Rob Squire (Jamis Hagens Berman)    
23 Robin Carpenter (Hincapie Sportswear Development Team) 0:08:30  
24 Bjorn Selander (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)    
25 Jake Rytlewski (Astellas Cycling Team)    
26 Michael Olheiser (InCycle-Predator Components)    
27 Phillip Gaimon (Garmin Sharp)    
28 Fred Rodriguez (Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis)    
29 Jeff Louder (UnitedHealthcare)    
30 Cameron Cogburn (Team SmartStop)    
31 Taylor Sheldon (5-hour Energy)    
32 Jonathan Hornbeck (5-hour Energy)    
DNF Travis Livermon (Team SmartStop)    
DNF Benjamin Dilley (Team Novo Nordisk)    
DNF Chris Uberti (Astellas Cycling Team)    
DNF Hogan Sills (Astellas Cycling Team)    
DNF Stephen Hyde (Astellas Cycling Team)    
DNF Zack Noonan (Airgas Cycling)    
DNF Kennett Peterson (FireFighters Upsala CK)    
DNF Thomas Gibbons (Cibel)    
DNF Peter Stetina (BMC Racing Team)    
DNF Andrew Sjogren (Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis)    
DNF Daniel Summerhill (UnitedHealthcare)    
DNF Joseph Schmalz (Hincapie Sportswear Development Team)    
DNF Joey Rosskopf (Hincapie Sportswear Development Team)    
DNF Thomas Soladay (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)    
DNF Shane Kline (Team SmartStop)    
DNF Sam Bassetti (5-hour Energy)    
DNF Chad Beyer (5-hour Energy)    
DNF Christian Parrett (5-hour Energy)    
DNF David Williams (5-hour Energy)    
DNF Caleb Fairly (Garmin Sharp)    
DNF Nathan Brown (Garmin Sharp)    
DNF Thomas Danielson (Garmin Sharp)    
DNF Adam Farabaugh (MatthewGarneau Québecor)    
DNF Griffin Easter (Airgas Cycling)    
DNF Bradley White (UnitedHealthcar)    
DNF Benjamin Jacques-Maynes (Jamis Hagens Berman)    
DNF Matt Cooke (Jamis Hagens Berman)    
DNF Jacob King (Hincapie Sportswear Development Team)    
DNF Charlie Hough (Hincapie Sportswear Development Team)    
DNF Lucas Euser (UnitedHealthcare)    
DNF Connor McCutcheon (Airgas Cycling)    
DNF Ian Burnett (Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis)    
DNF Steve Fisher (Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis)    
DNF Jonathan Freter (Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis)    
DNF Sean Mazich (Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis)    
DNF Gregory Daniel (Bissell Development Team)    
DNF Eric Young (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)    
DNF Ty Magner (Hincapie Sportswear Development Team)    
DNF Charles Bradley Huff (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)    
DNF Alex Candelario (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)    
DNF Ian Crane (Jamis Hagens Berman)    
DNF Stephen Leece (Jamis Hagens Berman)    
DNF Taylor Phinney (BMC Racing Team)    
DNF John Murphy (UnitedHealthcare)    
DNF Logan Loader (Amore & Vita Selle SMP)    
DNF Jonah Tannos (InCycle-Predator Components )    
DNF Calixto Bello (ManuelInCycle-Predator Components )    
DNF Samuel Hunter Grove(SamuelInCycle-Predator Components )    
DNF Tom Zirbel (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)    
DNF Jesse Anthony (ptum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)    
DNF Ryan Eastman (Bissell Development Team)    

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