Belgian Brecht Dhaene gave his new UCI Continental Astellas Cycling Team its first win on US soil in the Winston Salem Classic Criterium. The 25-year-old held off the charging field after spending most of the race as part of a three-rider breakaway, the rest of which was caught with 100m to go.
Luke Keough (UnitedHealthcare) was second from the field, while Daniel Holloway (Athlete Octane) rounded out the podium.
Dhaene was off the front with Remi Pelletier-Roy (Garneau-Quebecor) and David Cueli (UnitedHealthcare of Georgia) for more than an hour of the 90 minute race, and while they had a 15 second lead with three laps remaining, the field finally closed it down only on the last lap, but timed it just a hair too late.
"I knew I was not able to beat them in the sprint, so I tried the attack and it worked out fine," Dhaene said. "I wanted to have a win in the next few races because I knew my shape was right."
The trio, clearly exhausted, could see the single-file peloton led by the orange helmets of Optum and the white and blue of UnitedHealthcare charging just behind, but Dhaene was able to hold on by a bike length as his previous companions were caught.
"I was on the brink of an explosion," Dhaene said of the last few meters. "I had tunnel vision. I only saw the line and it was all I was counting on at that moment."
It was David and Goliath: a three-man break of riders from relatively small teams up against the UnitedHealthcare juggernaut, the team which has dominated all of the USA Cycling National Criterium Calendar for years. Off the front for the better part of an hour, the trio of Pelletier-Roy (Garneau-Quebecor), Dhaene (Astellas) and Cueli (UnitedHealthcare of Georgia) had 15 seconds on the UHC-led field with 15 laps to go, and it seemed impossible that they would stay away, but there seemed to be no agreement back in the field as to who should do the work to chase the trio down.
With two laps to go, UHC and Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies were 12 seconds behind when the orange-helmeted team finally came surging to the fore on the hunt.
The trio made a critical error, beginning to look at each other instead of keeping their heads down as they entered the last lap and saw the field behind. That brief moment of indecision was enough to halve the gap, and the three riders were dangling with two turns to go, but only Cueli and Pelletier-Roy were caught.
Dhaene kept on powering away and held off the chasing field, the Belgian an entirely unexpected name at the top of the podium. Pelletier-Roy held on for fourth ahead of Incycle's Ricardo Escuela.
Shane Kline (SmartStop) took over the lead in the USA Crits series thanks to his sixth place on the day.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Brecht Dhaene (Bel) Astellas Cycling||1:29:48|
|2||Luke Keough (USA) UnitedHealthcare||0:00:00|
|3||Daniel Holloway (USA) Athlete Octane Cycling||0:00:01|
|4||Remi Pelletier-Roy (Can) Garneau-Québecor||0:00:01|
|5||Ricardo Escuela (Arg) Incycle - Predator Cycling Team||0:00:01|
|6||Shane Kline (USA) SmartStop||0:00:02|
|7||Alexander Ray (NZl) Hincapie Sportswear Development||0:00:02|
|8||Isaac Howe (USA) Champion System - Stan's NoTube||0:00:03|
|9||Carlos Alzate (Col) UnitedHealthcare||0:00:03|
|10||Brad Huff (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strateg||0:00:03|
|11||Travis McCabe (USA) SmartStop||0:00:03|
|12||Thomas Brown (USA) Astellas Cycling||0:00:04|
|13||Ben Renkema (USA) Stan's NoTubes p/b Proferrin||0:00:04|
|14||Adam Myerson 52534 SmartStop||0:00:04|
|15||Rafael A. Meran (Dom) CRCA/Foundation||0:00:04|
|16||Adam Farabaugh (USA) Garneau-Québecor||0:00:04|
|17||Oscar Clark (USA) Hincapie Sportswear Development||0:00:05|
|18||David Cueli (USA) UnitedHealthcare of GA p/b The|
|19||Alder Martz (USA) Hincapie Sportswear Development||0:00:06|
|20||Timothy Rugg (USA) Battley Ducati-Spokes Etc p/b D||0:00:06|
|21||Michael Woods (Can) Amore & Vita – Selle SMP||0:00:06|
|22||Logan Loader (USA) Amore & Vita – Selle SMP||0:00:06|
|23||Pierrick Naud (Can) Garneau-Québecor||0:00:06|
|24||David Guttenplan (USA) SeaSucker / Guttenplan Coaching||0:00:07|
|25||Viesturs Luksevics (Lat) Amore & Vita – Selle SMP||0:00:08|
|26||Mat Stephens (USA) Battley Ducati/District Taco/Sp||0:00:08|
|27||Mike Friedman (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strateg||0:00:09|
|28||Chris Uberti (USA) Astellas Cycling||0:00:09|
|29||Frank Travieso (USA) UnitedHealthcare of GA p/b The||0:00:12|
|30||Devin Clark (USA) Athlete Octane Cycling||0:00:12|
|31||Ryan Anderson (Can) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strateg||0:00:13|
|32||Geron Williams (Guy) CRCA/Foundation||0:00:13|
|33||Nathaniel Ward 217857 East Composite Team|
|34||Ryan Roth (Can) Jet Fuel Coffee - Norco Bicycle||0:00:14|
|35||Chad Hartley (USA) Athlete Octane Cycling||0:00:15|
|36||Andrew Scarano (USA) UnitedHealthcare of GA p/b The||0:00:16|
|37||Andrew Dahlheim (USA) Athlete Octane Cycling||0:00:16|
|38||Mac Brennan (USA) BISSELL-ABG-GIANT||0:00:16|
|39||Uri Martins (Mex) Amore & Vita – Selle SMP||0:00:16|
|40||Josh Johnson (USA) BISSELL-ABG-GIANT||0:00:17|
|41||Anton Varabel (Can) Jet Fuel Coffee - Norco Bicycle||0:00:17|
|42||Rudolph Napolitano Incycle - Predator Cycling Team|
|43||Zach Bell (Can) SmartStop||0:00:17|
|44||Dennis Ramirez Mejia (USA) Gateway Harley Davidson / Trek||0:00:17|
|45||Jean-Michel Lachance (Can) Silber Pro Cycling Team||0:00:18|
|46||David Goodman (USA) UnitedHealthcare of GA p/b The||0:00:19|
|47||Stephan Hirsch (Ger) BISSELL-ABG-GIANT||0:00:19|
|48||Gavriel Epstein (Can) Champion System - Stan's NoTube||0:00:19|
|49||Tyler Coplea (USA) Gateway Harley Davidson / Trek||0:00:19|
|50||Travis Samuel (Can) Jet Fuel Coffee - Norco Bicycle||0:00:19|
|51||Curtis White (USA) CCB Racing||0:00:20|
|52||Robert Sweeting (USA) 5hr Energy p/b Kenda||0:00:20|
|53||Toms Skujins (Lat) Hincapie Sportswear Development||0:00:20|
|54||Tim Mitchell (USA) CCB Racing||0:00:20|
|55||Kevin Massicoti (Can) Jet Fuel Coffee - Norco Bicycle||0:00:21|
|56||Matt Moosa (USA) Stan's NoTubes p/b Proferrin||0:00:21|
|57||Derrick St-John (Can) Silber Pro Cycling Team||0:00:22|
|58||Orlando Garibay (Mex) Incycle - Predator Cycling Team||0:00:26|
|59||David Williams (USA) 5hr Energy p/b Kenda||0:00:26|
|60||Taylor Shelden (USA) 5hr Energy p/b Kenda||0:00:26|
|61||Daniel Chabanov (USA) CRCA/Foundation||0:00:26|
|62||Christopher Drew (USA) SeaSucker/Guttenplan||0:00:27|
|63||Sean Barrie (USA) Battley Ducati-Spokes Etc p/b D|
|64||Travis Livermon (USA) SmartStop||0:00:27|
|65||Stephan Hall (Aus) Incycle - Predator Cycling Team||0:00:27|
|66||Dion Smith (NZl) Hincapie Sportswear Development||0:00:30|
|67||Alex Candelario (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strateg|
|68||Benjamin Chaddock (Can) Garneau-Québecor||0:00:30|
|69||Kevin Mullervy (USA) Champion System - Stan's NoTube||0:00:31|
|70||Tyler Brandt (USA) BMW Development Team|
|71||Andres Alzate Escobar (Col) Champion System - Stan's NoTube||0:00:31|
|72||Karl Menzies (Aus) UnitedHealthcare||0:00:33|
|73||Bradley White (USA) UnitedHealthcare|
|74||Matt Bruner (USA) The Happy Tooth||0:00:44|
|75||Scott Zwizanski (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strateg||0:00:49|
|76||Christian Parrett (USA) 5hr Energy p/b Kenda||0:01:01|
|77||Bruno Langlois (Can) 5hr Energy p/b Kenda||0:01:08|