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Clarke escapes incident to claim Andersen Banducci Twilight Criterium

Field sprints decided the winners of both the women and men's race in the Andersen Banducci Twilight Criterium in Boise, Idaho. Kimberly Wells (Exergy TWENTY16) took the victory in the pro women's race and Hilton Clarke (United Healthcare) avoided a last lap crash to win the pro men's race.

Men -
Boise, Idaho was the next stop of the USA Crits series. The field would race on a .85 kilometer rectangular course with wide downtown streets. The men faced an hour and a half of racing the women had raced on earlier.

From the gun the attacks were frequent and fueled by the multiple primes being offered.

With over 25 minutes completed, Tyler Riedesel (Canyon Bicycles-Shimano) made the first serious move of the race going solo. However, it was short lived and the peloton led by Sergio Hernandez (Predator Cycling) caught Riedesel.

Numerous attacks were launched but none had the strength to slip free of the peloton. Always monitoring the action and not allowing anyone too much of a lead were the SmartStop-Mountain Khakis and United Healthcare squads.

Alex Candelario, the lone Optum p/b Kelly Benefits rider, went off the front and gained a six second lead. United Healthcare squad was not allowing that dangerous move much leeway and went to the front to keep it in check. Six seconds wasn't enough and Candelario's attack was snuffed out.

With 26 laps remaining Michael Weicht (CashCall Cycling) and Mat Stephens (Elbowz Racing) formed a two-man break. Three laps later Timothy Root (Elite Protocol p/b LOOK) joined the break to make three.

Back in the chasing group Karl Menzies (United Healthcare) was leading the charge. Root was able to hang on to take a fifty dollar prime, but immediately following the finish line Menzies caught and passed the Elite Protocol p/b LOOK rider.

Numerous counter attacks jumped away snagging the many fifty dollar primes being offered, but none had the strength to hold off the blue train of the United Healthcare squad.

With 14 laps to go Ben Chaddock (TeamSmartStop p/b Mountain Khakis) went solo but after a couple of laps he was joined by Kevin Mullervy (Team Champion System p/b Stan's NoTubes) and Pete Morris (Team Clif Bar Cycling).

With nine laps remaining the six riders of the United Healthcare squad went to the front. Within four laps the escape group was caught. The blue train were rotating their riders off the front in a smooth single file keeping the speed over 30 miles per hour.

With one lap to go United Healthcare seemed to have the race wrapped up. Their riders were taking strong pulls at the front and the victory seemed a formality. The lead out by Menzies on the second to last straight away was so strong he caused a small split in the group. But coming through the final corner Carlos Alzate's front wheel slid out sending him to the ground and into the curb. His teammate Luke Keough crashed into him, pitching him into the air. Swerving hard Hilton Clarke was able to avoid his teammates' crash, but was forced to start his sprint very early.

Clarke was able to hold off the field and take the victory, his third career win, and second in a row at the Boise criterium. In second place was Ricardo Escuela (Team Predator Carbon Repair) and Candelario in third.

"A couple of my guys crashed in the last corner. That's not how I wanted to win it," said Clarke in the post-race interview. "I love his town and the people and it's great to win this race again."

Throughout much of the race the United Healthcare squad stayed near the front but weren't part of any major moves.

"Our tactic was to hang back and just do the sprint," explained Clarke. "Everyone seemed happy with that and we're happy to get the win."

Women -
Numerous points and cash primes kept the pace active during much of the race. By the midway point the peloton was still together. But following a mid-race points prime Lauren Tamayo (ExergyTwenty16) rolled off the front and began to create a sizable gap between herself and the peloton. After several solo laps she had carved out a 23 second gap.

Lindsay Bayer (Colavita/Fine Cooking) tried to bridge across but after a couple of laps dangling off the front she was reabsorbed. This motivated the pack and they finally caught Tamayo with 17 laps remaining in the race.

With the lap cards getting into the single digits the peloton was altogether.

Kristin McGrath (ExergyTwenty16) broke away with seven to go and was just off the front by no more than a few seconds. With three to go the gap was further reduced to just meters, but the peloton still couldn't bring back McGrath.

"That was a great move. That's the right time to go," explained McGrath's teammate Wells. "But the bunch was closing in and it kept the speed high."

On the bell lap McGrath still had a five second gap. Chasing hard were the yellow kits of Care4Cycling p/b Solomon Corp. Just before the final corner McGrath was caught and it was a field sprint.

Sprinting out of the final turn Kimberly Wells (Exergy TWENTY16) was the fastest taking the win with Erica Allar (Care4Cycling p/b Solomon Corp) second and Jennifer Purcell (Team Colavita Fine Cooking) crossing the line in third.

After the race Wells explained the race strategy as well as thanked to her team.

"I was fortunate enough to have an aggressive and strong team. I relied on the girls to be on the attack," said Wells. "When it looked like nothing was going to stick, I was excited for the sprint."


Full results

Pro men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Hilton Clarke (United Healthcare)1:29:55
2Ricardo Escuela (Team Predator Carbon Repair)
3Alex Candelario (Optum Pro Cycling Team)
4Karl Menzies (United Healthcare)
5Logan Loader (CashCall Mortgage)0:00:04
6Conor Mullervy (Team Champion System p/b Stan')
7Rafael Meran (CRCA/Foundation)
8Colin Joyce (California Giant/Specialized)
9Euris Vidal (CRCA/Foundation)
10Isaac Howe (Team SmartStop-Mountain Khakis)
11Sergio Hernandez (Team Predator Carbon Repair)
12Shane Kline (Team SmartStop-Mountain Khakis)
13Gavriel Epstein (Team Champion System p/b Stan')
14Yannick Eckmann (California Giant/Specialized)
15Evan Murphy (CRCA/Foundation)
16Johnathan Freter (Panther/Bakehouse)
17Jesse Keough (CRCA/Foundation)
18Cameron Hoffman (LiVe Well p/b Bountiful Bicycl)
19Erik Slack (Canyon Bicycles-Shimano)
21Jean Michel Lachance (Team Predator Carbon Repair)
22John Bergmann (Team Clif Bar Cycling)
23Emile Abraham (Team Predator Carbon Repair)
24Rene Corella (Stage 17 Racing)
25Michael Weicht (CashCall Mortgage)
26Julio Mollinedo (Team Predator Carbon Repair)
27Cortlan Brown (Astellas Oncology)
28Robin Eckmann (California Giant/Specialized)
29Frank Travieso (Team SmartStop-Mountain Khakis)
30Neil Bezdek (CRCA/Foundation)0:00:10
31Allan Rego (Team Champion System p/b Stan')
32Joe Waters (Canyon Bicycles-Shimano)0:00:15
33Timothy Root (Elite Protocol p/b LOOK!)0:00:17
34George W. Cyrus (Landis - Trek)
35Blake Anton (Team Clif Bar Cycling)
36Kevin Mullervy (Team Champion System p/b Stan')
37Darren Goff (LiVe Well p/b Bountiful Bicycl)
38Kennett Peterson (Firefighters Racing UCI Elite)
39Robb Floth (Elite Protocol p/b LOOK!)
40Jared Gilyard (Landis - Trek)
41Ben Bertiger (Stage 17 Racing)
42Ian Moore (Stage 17 Racing)
43Hugo Fregoso (Elite Protocol p/b LOOK!)
44Michael Wilcox (Canyon Bicycles-Shimano)
45Tyler Riedesel (Canyon Bicycles-Shimano)
46Eric Losak (Team Clif Bar Cycling)
47Daniel Harm (Stage 17 Racing)0:00:23
48Joel Brazil (Audi/Kryki)
49Thomas Jondall (Landis - Trek)
50Grardo Medina (Stage 17 Racing)
51Fabrizio Von Nacher (CashCall Mortgage)
52Kurt Wolfgang (Canyon Bicycles-Shimano)0:00:33
53Jeremy Ward (Elite Protocol p/b LOOK!)
55Brian Mcculloch (CashCall Mortgage)
56Michael Jacques (Team Clif Bar Cycling)0:00:38
57Pete Morris (Team Clif Bar Cycling)
58Daniel Katz (Stage 17 Racing)
59Clinton Mortley (LiVe Well p/b Bountiful Bicycl)0:00:42
60Devan Dunn (CashCall Mortgage)0:00:50
61Brandon Lynch (Elite Protocol p/b LOOK!)
62Chris Barton (CashCall Mortgage)0:00:54
63Bobby Lea (Team SmartStop-Mountain Khakis)0:01:06
64Brad White (United Healthcare)
65David Benkoski (Team Clif Bar Cycling)0:01:09
66Adrian Hegyvary (United Healthcare)
67Clay Murfet (Team SmartStop-Mountain Khakis)
68Dan Bechtold (Elite Protocol p/b LOOK!)0:01:21

Elite women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Kimberly Wells (ExergyTwenty16)0:59:08
2Erica Allar (CARE4CYCLING P/B Soloman Corp)
3Jennifer Purcell (Team Colavita Fine Cooking)
4Tiffany Pezzulo (Primal Pro Women p/b BH)
5Laura Van Gilder (Mellow Mushroom)
6Lauren Tamayo (ExergyTwenty16)
7Lenore Pipes (CARE4CYCLING P/B Solomon Corp)
8Amy Cutler (Team EPS/CSS p/b Shebell & She)
9Morgan Patton (Team Novo Nordisk)
10Liza Rachetto (Vanderkitten)
11Kat Carr (SKINourishment p/b Paceline Pr)
12Shelby Reynolds (HELEN'S/CANNONDALE)
13Joanie Caron (Primal Pro Women p/b BH)
14Tina Pic (Team Colavita Fine Cooking)
15Emily Georgeson (HELEN'S/CANNONDALE)
16Jackie Crowell (ExergyTwenty16)
17Melina Bernicker (Primal Pro Wowen p/b BH)
18Irena Ossola (Team Kenda P/B RACC)
19Suzanne Sonye (HELEN'S/CANNONDALE)
20Sarah Carroll (SCCA/Starbucks Cycling)
21Annalisa Fish (Rockford/Clif)
22Kaelly Farnham (FCS|Zngine p/b Mr Restore)
23Heather Albert (Team Rep)
24Mikayla Lyman (DNA Cycling p/b Plan7)
25Kaytie Scott (Primal Pro Women p/b BH)
26Gabrielle Fortin (Team Kenda P/B RACC)
27Amity Elliot (Team Kenda P/B RACC)
28Priscilla Calderon (HELEN'S/CANNONDALE)
29Amber Brown (DNA Cycling p/b Plan7)
30Joy Mccullough (Primal Pro Women p/b BH)
31Michelle Ignash (HELEN'S/CANNONDALE)
32Lauren De Crescenzo (Team Kenda P/B RACC)
33Kristin Mcgrath (ExergyTwenty16)0:00:11
34Alison Tetrick (ExergyTwenty16)
35Lindsay Bayer (Team Colavita Fine Cooking)
36Andrea Dvorak (ExergyTwenty16)
37Jenn Reither (Vanerkitten)0:00:17
38Whitney Schultz (Team Colavita Fine Cooking)0:00:28
39Margaret Douglass (Bountiful Mazda Cycling Team)0:01:09
40Norrene Godfrey (Rubicon)


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