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Dominguez eliminated while leading Redlands Sprint competition

Ivan Dominguez (Toyota-United Pro)

Ivan Dominguez (Toyota-United Pro) (Image credit: Larry Rosa)

Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team sprinter Ivan Dominguez said he is very disappointed that race officials decided not to allow him to start Saturday afternoon’s Centennial Bank/KWB Wealth Managers Criterium at the 23rd Annual Redlands Bicycle Classic. Dominguez finished 39 seconds outside the time cut designated for Friday’s Stage 1, 93-mile (156.6 km) Redlands Ford Oak Glen Road Race. The time cut was equal to the winner’s time, plus 10 percent, or four hours, 29 minutes and 34 seconds.

Dominguez, cramping from a big effort that saw him in a breakaway for 75 km, crossed the finish line in 4:30:13. He was one of 17 riders who finished outside the time limit. “In all the big races, the officials make exceptions,” Dominguez said. “At the Tour of Georgia, they make exceptions. At the Tour of California, they make big exceptions to keep the more prominent riders in the race.”

Dominguez figured prominently in the early going of Friday’s stage to Oak Glen, attacking at the 52 km mark and taking three riders with him. Eventually, the four gained a maximum three minutes’ lead before being caught on the second-to-last climb of the day. During his escape, Dominguez won one of three intermediate sprints and finished second in the two others. His 17 points earned him the sprint lead and race officials presented him with the green jersey after the race.

“I was the one who made the break go and made it a show for everybody,” Dominguez said. “That’s kind of what racing is, it’s a show. People want to see riders racing aggressively and that’s what I was doing. I wasn’t just sitting in the group. I was driving that breakaway.”

Dominguez said confusion reigned at the finish line, as race officials first told him he didn’t have any points so he could not have been the sprint leader. “Then they came back and said they made a mistake and gave me the jersey on the podium,” he said.

Saturday morning, though, Domingeuz was informed he would not be allowed to start the Stage 2, 90-minute criterium and would have to return the jersey.