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Keough wins Crystal Cup in UnitedHealthcare sweep

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Jake Keough (United Healthcare) celebrates victory in the men's race in Crystal City.

Jake Keough (United Healthcare) celebrates victory in the men's race in Crystal City.
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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The United HealthCare-Maxxis train leaves town with one to go.

The United HealthCare-Maxxis train leaves town with one to go.
(Image credit: Todd Leister)
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It was a United HealthCare sweep on the podium today.

It was a United HealthCare sweep on the podium today.
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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The military colour guard and Miss America got the racing started today in front of the Air Force Memorial.

The military colour guard and Miss America got the racing started today in front of the Air Force Memorial.
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Riders wait for the ceremonial start and watch as the Air Force did a helicopter fly over this year.

Riders wait for the ceremonial start and watch as the Air Force did a helicopter fly over this year.
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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The men head towards town, with the Pentagon in the distance.

The men head towards town, with the Pentagon in the distance.
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Riding along the water and in towards downtown Crystal City.

Riding along the water and in towards downtown Crystal City.
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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The men line up for the real start downtown.

The men line up for the real start downtown.
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Crystal City's tall buildings were the backdrop for today's racing.

Crystal City's tall buildings were the backdrop for today's racing.
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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A little bit of green amongst the city streets.

A little bit of green amongst the city streets.
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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United HealthCare-Maxxis had the front of the race locked down heading into the last couple of laps.

United HealthCare-Maxxis had the front of the race locked down heading into the last couple of laps.
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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The United HealthCare-Maxxis podium (L-R): Hilton Clarke, Jacob Keough and Karl Menzies.

The United HealthCare-Maxxis podium (L-R): Hilton Clarke, Jacob Keough and Karl Menzies.
(Image credit: Todd Leister)
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After taking a high-speed spill in the final 50 metres the day before, Teresa Cliff-Ryan (Colavita-Baci) surprised all by showing up at the Crystal Cup.

After taking a high-speed spill in the final 50 metres the day before, Teresa Cliff-Ryan (Colavita-Baci) surprised all by showing up at the Crystal Cup.
(Image credit: Todd Leister)
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With her team controlling the pace Catherine Cheatley (Colavita-Baci) stayed put until the time was right.

With her team controlling the pace Catherine Cheatley (Colavita-Baci) stayed put until the time was right.
(Image credit: Todd Leister)
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Robin Farina (Vera Bradley Foundation) surges and checks the effect.

Robin Farina (Vera Bradley Foundation) surges and checks the effect.
(Image credit: Todd Leister)
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Team Kenda made an attack that would create the first serious break.

Team Kenda made an attack that would create the first serious break.
(Image credit: Todd Leister)
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Catherine Cheatley (Colavita-Baci) goes to the front and creates the winning move.

Catherine Cheatley (Colavita-Baci) goes to the front and creates the winning move.
(Image credit: Todd Leister)
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Sinead Miller (Peanut Butter & Co) rode like an Army of one, and received little support.

Sinead Miller (Peanut Butter & Co) rode like an Army of one, and received little support.
(Image credit: Todd Leister)
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Rolled up sleeves were the proper attire for the day's conditions.

Rolled up sleeves were the proper attire for the day's conditions.
(Image credit: Todd Leister)
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Without radios Catherine Cheatley (Colavita-Baci) looks to her Director for instructions.

Without radios Catherine Cheatley (Colavita-Baci) looks to her Director for instructions.
(Image credit: Todd Leister)
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The women's break gained 1:22 minutes on the field.

The women's break gained 1:22 minutes on the field.
(Image credit: Todd Leister)
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Catherine Cheatley (Colavita-Baci) leads the break.

Catherine Cheatley (Colavita-Baci) leads the break.
(Image credit: Todd Leister)
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Local rider Erin Sillman (Fruit 66) receives encouragement from the crowd.

Local rider Erin Sillman (Fruit 66) receives encouragement from the crowd.
(Image credit: Todd Leister)
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One to go and the field goes after fourth place.

One to go and the field goes after fourth place.
(Image credit: Todd Leister)
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Carla Swart (Vera Bradley Foundation) out sprinted former teammate Catherine Cheatley (Colavita-Baci) to win the 2010 Crystal Cup.

Carla Swart (Vera Bradley Foundation) out sprinted former teammate Catherine Cheatley (Colavita-Baci) to win the 2010 Crystal Cup.
(Image credit: Todd Leister)
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Sarah Caravella (Team Card) takes the field sprint for fourth.

Sarah Caravella (Team Card) takes the field sprint for fourth.
(Image credit: Todd Leister)
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28-year-old local rider and former field hockey player Erin Sillman (Fruit 66) was discovered riding on a bike path

28-year-old local rider and former field hockey player Erin Sillman (Fruit 66) was discovered riding on a bike path
(Image credit: Todd Leister)
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Carla Swart (Vera Bradley Foundation) receives the Crystal Cup.

Carla Swart (Vera Bradley Foundation) receives the Crystal Cup.
(Image credit: Todd Leister)
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Women's podium (L-R): Catherine Cheatley (Colavita-Baci), Carla Swart (Vera Bradley Foundation) and Erin Sillman (Fruit 66).

Women's podium (L-R): Catherine Cheatley (Colavita-Baci), Carla Swart (Vera Bradley Foundation) and Erin Sillman (Fruit 66).
(Image credit: Todd Leister)
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The heat and humidity forced the officials to allow feeding despite the high-speeds.

The heat and humidity forced the officials to allow feeding despite the high-speeds.
(Image credit: Todd Leister)
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Phil Gaimon (Kenda) launches the first attack.

Phil Gaimon (Kenda) launches the first attack.
(Image credit: Todd Leister)
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If it moved, United HealthCare-Maxxis was on it.

If it moved, United HealthCare-Maxxis was on it.
(Image credit: Todd Leister)
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Alejando Borrajo (Jamis-Sutter Home) joined Phil Gaimon (Kenda) in the first attempt at a breakaway.

Alejando Borrajo (Jamis-Sutter Home) joined Phil Gaimon (Kenda) in the first attempt at a breakaway.
(Image credit: Todd Leister)
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Sprinter Yuri Metlushenko (Amore-Vita) nursed a sore knee all weekend.

Sprinter Yuri Metlushenko (Amore-Vita) nursed a sore knee all weekend.
(Image credit: Todd Leister)
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A bruised and battered Chuck Hutcheson (Battley Harley Davidson) soldiers on.

A bruised and battered Chuck Hutcheson (Battley Harley Davidson) soldiers on.
(Image credit: Todd Leister)
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A group of six go away early in the race.

A group of six go away early in the race.
(Image credit: Todd Leister)
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United HealthCare-Maxxis watched every move.

United HealthCare-Maxxis watched every move.
(Image credit: Todd Leister)
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Justin Lindine (BieReg) rode strong and participated in an early break.

Justin Lindine (BieReg) rode strong and participated in an early break.
(Image credit: Todd Leister)
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United HealthCare-Maxxis made it clear that it was in control today.

United HealthCare-Maxxis made it clear that it was in control today.
(Image credit: Todd Leister)
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With United HealthCare-Maxxis driving the pace, there wasn't much time to catch your breath.

With United HealthCare-Maxxis driving the pace, there wasn't much time to catch your breath.
(Image credit: Todd Leister)
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As the sign says, welcome to Crystal City.

As the sign says, welcome to Crystal City.
(Image credit: Todd Leister)
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The field averaged 28 miles-per-hour today.

The field averaged 28 miles-per-hour today.
(Image credit: Todd Leister)
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Crystal City closed its streets for a day of racing.

Crystal City closed its streets for a day of racing.
(Image credit: Todd Leister)
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Josh Dillon (BikeReg) looks back as he goes for a prime sprint.

Josh Dillon (BikeReg) looks back as he goes for a prime sprint.
(Image credit: Todd Leister)
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Corporate America hovered over today's race.

Corporate America hovered over today's race.
(Image credit: Todd Leister)
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Jake Rytlewski (Kenda) and Evan Fader (Kelly) created an alliance that lasted several laps.

Jake Rytlewski (Kenda) and Evan Fader (Kelly) created an alliance that lasted several laps.
(Image credit: Todd Leister)
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Ukraine National Champion Valodymyr Starchick (Amore-Vita) in action.

Ukraine National Champion Valodymyr Starchick (Amore-Vita) in action.
(Image credit: Todd Leister)
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Jackie Simes (Jamis-Sutter Home) leads the field.

Jackie Simes (Jamis-Sutter Home) leads the field.
(Image credit: Todd Leister)
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The moto driver signals two to go; it must be time for the United HealthCare-Maxxis show.

The moto driver signals two to go; it must be time for the United HealthCare-Maxxis show.
(Image credit: Todd Leister)
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It's one, two and three for United HealthCare-Maxxis.

It's one, two and three for United HealthCare-Maxxis.
(Image credit: Todd Leister)
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Robin Farina (Vera Bradley Foundation) sprints to women's win in Crystal City.

Robin Farina (Vera Bradley Foundation) sprints to women's win in Crystal City.
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)

The UnitedHealthcare p/b Maxxis team sprinted to the top three spots on the podium at the Air Force Cycling Classic's Crystal City Cup on Sunday in Virginia. Jake Keough crossed the line first with a victory salute ahead of his two lead-out men Karl Menzies, who placed second, and the previous day's Clarendon Cup winner Hilton Clarke in third.

"The wind was tricky today, so Hilton went on the right and that allowed me to get the run up to Karl," Keough said. "I felt other guys coming up on my shoulder and I kept going. I looked across and we were all together so it really could not have been better."

"We showed yesterday that we had all eight of us there at the end and Hilton had the legs to kill it," he added. "I think it was obvious that we had the full lead-out today and it was just a matter of putting it all together right. I couldn't be happier with how this weekend has gone for us."

UnitedHealthcare p/b Maxxis stretched its legs at the front of the peloton for the remaining four laps with an eight-man lead-out. Keough took the reins on the back of the train behind his last lead-out men Menzies and Clarke.

"Since the start of the season we've known that we have the fastest group of riders," Keough said. "It was kind of irrelevant who was the main sprinter today because we were all coming to the line together with fast sprinters. I've normally been the last sprinter and no matter what the order is in the line up it works out."

Some 120 Pro riders hovered under an overpass to stay out of the sun before the start of the AirForce Cycling Classic's Crystal City Cup. The warm temperatures from the previous day's 100 km Clarendon Cup might have zapped the rider's legs of some energy but it was nothing compared to the still, heavy air that weighed down the peloton before the start of the 90-minute criterium on-hand.

Fausto Fognini (Amore e Vita) kicked off the race with a strong attack followed by Justin Linden (BikeReg.com-Cannondale) and Stephen Cummings (Haymarket). The trio worked well together but the moved proved to be too early and did not include representation from the several other dominant squads.

Richmond Pro Cycling and BikeReg.com-Cannondale continued to put forth multiple strong attacks that shook up the peloton and forced a chase from behind. Josh Dillon (BikeReg.com-Cannondale) launched himself off the front to win a pair of Shimano racing wheels.

Jake Rytlewski (Kenda p/b Geargrinder) and Evan Fader (Kelly Benefit Strategies-LSV) initiated a two-man move that struggled to gain more than a mere 10-second gap ahead of an active field. Their efforts acted as a launching pad for the previous day's breakaway rider Sergey Grechin (Amore e Vita) allowing him to gain a few seconds. Next to go was the dangerously fast sprinter Alejandro Borrajo (Jamis-Sutter Home p/b Colavita) and Phil Gaimon (Kenda-Geargrinder).

Daniel Holt (Team Type 1) rode off the front solo and was followed by a reshuffling group of riders that included Alessandro Bazzana (Fly V Australia), Adrian Hagyvary and Jonny Clarke (UnitedHealthcare p/b Maxxis), Joey Rosskopf (Mountain Khakis f/b Jittery Joes), Chris Monteleone (Kenda-Geargrinder) and Guido Palma (Jamis-Sutter Home p/b Colavita).

With three laps to go, all breakaway attempts were reeled back into the field by the beginning of the sprinter's lead-out trains. UnitedHealthcare p/b Maxxis was the first rally at the front with a series of strong sprinters in tow that included Clarke, Menzies and Keough. They were swiftly followed by the Bissell team working for Daniel Holloway, Fly V Australia protected Ben Kersten and Jamis-Sutter Home p/b Colavita supporting Ivan Dominguez.

"Coming on the team, I am not just the one sprinting," Clarke said. "We were all still there with 200 metres to go and so we had a lot of depth in this sprint today, even though we started the lead-out a little too early. We lined up with Menzies, me then Keough and sometimes in these lead-outs you don't know if you are going to run out of guys so if we did, Keough would have been the last guy we were leading out. But today, Menzies and I were still sort of shooting for the win and we were all sprinting for the line together and Jake got it."

Farina brings home the Crystal Cup

Robin Farina (Vera Bradley Foundation) won the sprint against a late-race breakaway of three riders to win the Air Force Cycling Classic's Crystal City Cup held in Virginia on Sunday. The breakaway specialist lead-out the sprint through the final corner and held off Cath Cheatley (Colavita-Baci p/b Cooking Light) who placed second and local rider Erin Silman (Fruit 66) in third.

"I'm really happy about this win because the whole weekend was a great event," Farina said. "I thought the courses were fun and we are happy with getting third yesterday and the win today."

"Cath was sitting on me from the last turn," she added. "I've been working on sprinting lately so I was watching her from under my arm. I felt like I had some confidence today. I made sure I was in a gear that I could keep going during the sprint."

The 40-rider women's field welcomed the cloud cover that took the edge off of the stifling 90 degree heat during the 60-minute criterium at the Crystal City Cup.

"The heat made it tough out there," Farina said. "It was a long race in the heat yesterday, too, so I don't think we could have made it for much longer today. I think it affected the pack but I felt good in the breakaway. I thought maybe I was doing too much too early so I was worried that the heat would catch up with me later in the race. I hydrated well and felt OK."

Several small breakaways rolled off the front of the field but none gained more than a few metres before they were brought back by strong teams like Colavita-Baci, Vera Bradley Foundation and Kenda.

"I was in a breakaway first with Andrea Dvorak from Colavita and Sinead Miller from Peanut Butter," Farina said. "We had a little room on that one but I think it was a little too early. I think maybe it wasn't a good break for us. Sarah Caravella came across and she is a good sprinter so I sat up and let the field come back."

Vera Bradley Foundation had three riders participating in the weekend's set of criteriums with Robin Farina, Carla Swart and the previous day's Clarendon Cup podium finisher Erica Allar. The three women were aggressive despite being short handed and responded to many of the attacks that came from the dominant Colavita-Baci squad.

Cath Cheatley initiated the winning breakaway and was followed by Farina and a local Crystal City rider Erin Silman (Fruit 66). The cycling newcomer hung on to the fast-pace set by the break's two veteran racers.

"I was watching Cath and Dvorak the whole race, covering them for a break," Farina said. "We knew they were going to be aggressive and that they would be OK with having a break. Cath and I drove the break and Erin seemed happy to sit on. She knew early that she wasn't going to out sprint us or go for primes she was there for the ride."

Farina lead the trio through the final three corners and onto the finishing straightaway with Cheatley and Silman on her wheel. She paid close attention to Cheatley, who started her sprint with 400 metres to go. Farina reacted to Cheatley's attack and was strong enough to maintain her lead all the way to the finish line.

Brief Results

Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) Team
1Jake Keough (UnitedHealthcare p/b Maxxis)
2Karl Menzies (UnitedHealthcare p/b Maxxis)
3Hilton Clarke (UnitedHealthcare p/b Maxxis)

Elite women
#Rider Name (Country) Team
1Robin Farina (Vera Bradley Foundation)
2Cath Cheatley (Colavita-Baci p/b Cooking Light)
3Erin Silman (Fruit 66)

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