Crit racers to converge in Pennsylvania

Mark Hekman

Mark Hekman (Image credit: Kurt Jambretz)

Some of the best American men's and women's teams will take to the streets of West Chester, Pennsylvania, for the fifth Annual Iron Hill Twilight Criterium on Saturday, July 11. The race marks the second stop on the USA Crits National Series calendar.

Last year's winner Mark Hekman (Team Mountain Khakis) will return to defend. Thus far, Hekman's season has been a good one, with top five finishes at Tulsa Tough and the Kelly Cup, as well as a second place finish at the Athens Twilight Criterium. The illusive win, however, has escaped the former bassonist thus far.

"The Ironhill Twilight is a rising icon in American criterium racing with a great enthusiastic crowd that makes racing this event electric. I would like to be the first two-time winner," said Hekman. "The course is well suited to my strengths." So hungry he is for his first win in 2009, Hekman has opted to start off his honeymoon in West Chester.

The 2007 and 2008 USA CRITS Series champions, Frank Travieso and Yosvany Falcon, both racing for Miami-based Champion Porsche presented by Racer's Edge, will also be in attendance. The The Cuban duo has had its own wins lately and will be ready against their former teammate Hekman. Travieso joked, "After the race he [Hekman] will be wishing he was still a bassonist."

Olympic team member Bobby Lea racing for OUCH presented by Maxxis, Cheyne Hoag, Clay Murfet, and Shane Kline of Kelly Benefit Strategies are also racers to watch. The Colavita-Sutter Home presented by Cooking Light and the New Zealand National teams will also be fielding teams.

The one-kilometer course usually produces tactical racing and in the past, the event has been won from solo breakaways and bunch sprints.

Racing starts at 5:15 pm with the feature women's event at 6:45 pm and the men's race at 7:45 pm local time.

The first race of the USA CRITS series was the Athens Twilight Criterium in Athens, Georgia on April 25. The next stop is the Presbyterian Hospital Invitational in Charlotte, North Carolina on August 8.

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