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) TeamResult
1Eric Marcotte (Team SmartStop)4:17:59 
2Travis McCabe (Team SmartStop)  
3Alex Howes (Garmin Sharp)  
4Chris Jones (UnitedHealthcare)  
5Julian Kyer (Team SmartStop)  
6James Stemper (5-hour Energy)  
7Jacob Rathe (Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis)  
8Scott Zwizanski (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies )  
9Tyler Wren (Jamis Hagens Berman)0:00:03 
10Matthew Busche (Trek Factory Racing)0:00:07 
11Carson Miller (Jamis Hagens Berman)  
12Chris Butler (Hincapie Sportswear Development Team)  
13Kiel Reijnen (UnitedHealthcare )  
14Joshua Berry (Team SmartStop)0:02:26 
15Oscar Clark (Hincapie Sportswear Development Team)  
16Benjamin King (Garmin Sharp)  
17Edward King (Cannondale)  
18Kevin Gottlieb (Airgas Cycling)0:03:29 
19Gavin Mannion (5-hour Energy)  
20Carter Jones (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies )  
21Tanner Putt (Bissell Development Team)  
22Rob Squire (Jamis Hagens Berman)  
23Robin Carpenter (Hincapie Sportswear Development Team)0:08:30 
24Bjorn Selander (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)  
25Jake Rytlewski (Astellas Cycling Team)  
26Michael Olheiser (InCycle-Predator Components)  
27Phillip Gaimon (Garmin Sharp)  
28Fred Rodriguez (Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis)  
29Jeff Louder (UnitedHealthcare)  
30Cameron Cogburn (Team SmartStop)  
31Taylor Sheldon (5-hour Energy)  
32Jonathan Hornbeck (5-hour Energy)  
DNFTravis Livermon (Team SmartStop)  
DNFBenjamin Dilley (Team Novo Nordisk)  
DNFChris Uberti (Astellas Cycling Team)  
DNFHogan Sills (Astellas Cycling Team)  
DNFStephen Hyde (Astellas Cycling Team)  
DNFZack Noonan (Airgas Cycling)  
DNFKennett Peterson (FireFighters Upsala CK)  
DNFThomas Gibbons (Cibel)  
DNFPeter Stetina (BMC Racing Team)  
DNFAndrew Sjogren (Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis)  
DNFDaniel Summerhill (UnitedHealthcare)  
DNFJoseph Schmalz (Hincapie Sportswear Development Team)  
DNFJoey Rosskopf (Hincapie Sportswear Development Team)  
DNFThomas Soladay (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)  
DNFShane Kline (Team SmartStop)  
DNFSam Bassetti (5-hour Energy)  
DNFChad Beyer (5-hour Energy)  
DNFChristian Parrett (5-hour Energy)  
DNFDavid Williams (5-hour Energy)  
DNFCaleb Fairly (Garmin Sharp)  
DNFNathan Brown (Garmin Sharp)  
DNFThomas Danielson (Garmin Sharp)  
DNFAdam Farabaugh (MatthewGarneau Québecor)  
DNFGriffin Easter (Airgas Cycling)  
DNFBradley White (UnitedHealthcar)  
DNFBenjamin Jacques-Maynes (Jamis Hagens Berman)  
DNFMatt Cooke (Jamis Hagens Berman)  
DNFJacob King (Hincapie Sportswear Development Team)  
DNFCharlie Hough (Hincapie Sportswear Development Team)  
DNFLucas Euser (UnitedHealthcare)  
DNFConnor McCutcheon (Airgas Cycling)  
DNFIan Burnett (Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis)  
DNFSteve Fisher (Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis)  
DNFJonathan Freter (Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis)  
DNFSean Mazich (Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis)  
DNFGregory Daniel (Bissell Development Team)  
DNFEric Young (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)  
DNFTy Magner (Hincapie Sportswear Development Team)  
DNFCharles Bradley Huff (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)  
DNFAlex Candelario (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)  
DNFIan Crane (Jamis Hagens Berman)  
DNFStephen Leece (Jamis Hagens Berman)  
DNFTaylor Phinney (BMC Racing Team)  
DNFJohn Murphy (UnitedHealthcare)  
DNFLogan Loader (Amore & Vita Selle SMP)  
DNFJonah Tannos (InCycle-Predator Components )  
DNFCalixto Bello (ManuelInCycle-Predator Components )  
DNFSamuel Hunter Grove(SamuelInCycle-Predator Components )  
DNFTom Zirbel (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)  
DNFJesse Anthony (ptum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)  
DNFRyan Eastman (Bissell Development Team)  

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