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Lacombe's lunge gets it for Planet Energy

Kevin Lacombe (Planet Energy) used his speedy sprint to claim victory at the 26th annual Chris Thater Memorial criterium held in Binghamton, New York, on Sunday. The French-Canadian won the bunch kick, outpacing runner-up Sebastian Haedo (Colavita-Sutter Home) and Yosvany Falcon (Champion Porsche) in third.

Over 100 pro men lined up to start the late-summer criterium that typically marks the final stages of the National Racing Calendar series in the United States. Full teams included Planet Energy and Colavita-Sutter Home alongside teams of lesser numbers - Bissell, Mountain Khakis, Kelly Benefit Strategies and Subway-Avanti. Notable amateur level teams included GS Mengoni, CRCA-Empire, Richmond Pro, Aerocat Cycling, and Kenda Pro.

The men's field took on a two kilometre circuit that included a tiresome hill each lap, totaling an 80-kilometre criterium. Francois Paresien (Planet Energy) kicked off the race with the first breakaway. His move ignited several chase groups behind but all attempts to bridge across were short-lived.

The second move of the day included Paresien again and his teammate Ryan Roth, Anibal Borrajo (Colavita-Sutter Home), Clay Murfet (Kelly Benefit Strategies), and Amauri Perez (GS Mengoni). The five-rider break continued to work well together until Murfet was requested to sit up from the break and help his Kelly Benefit Strategies teammates in a high speed chase from the peloton.

"There were a lot of small breaks today and we had David Veilleux and Jake Keough in the bunch so it wasn't really my job to work in the break," said Murfet." It was really windy and I was told to come back and help chase."

They successfully reeled in the breakaway with three laps to go, just in time for Peter Latham (Bissell) to make his move. Latham was followed by a handful of strong riders, most notably, Luis Amaran and Alejandro Borrajo (Colavita-Sutter Home) who were trying to hold the field together in hopes of a bunch sprint.

"Colavita was pulling pretty hard," said Murfet of the final two laps. "Veilleux was trying to keep Jake out of trouble while Colavita was doing a lead-out and Planet Energy was up there too."

New Zealand time trial champion Jeremy Vennell (Bissell) was the next to go but he too was reeled back in by the Colavita-Sutter Home train and Planet Energy, which sat close to the front waiting for an opportunity to attack. Lacombe found that winning opportunity on the descent and rounded the final two corners ahead of Haedo and Falcon.

The 26th annual Chris Thater Memorial criterium is a project of the Broome County STOP-DWI Program to heighten awareness about the drunk-driving problem. Chris Thater was a young cyclist whose life was taken from a drunk driving accident.

There is only one more opportunity to for riders and teams to pick up points toward the NRC ranking this summer at the 100k Classic held next weekend in Atlanta. The individual classification is currently lead by Tom Zirbel (Bissell) and the team classification is lead by Colavita-Sutter Home.

The Chris Thater Memorial also marks the fourth round of the USA Crit Series, a six-event series currently lead by Jake Keough (Kelly Benefit Strategies).


1Keven Lacombe (Can) Planet Energy0:53:50
2Lucas Sebastian Haedo (Arg) Colavita Sutter Home
3Yosvany Falcon (USA) Champion Porsche
4Kyle Wamsley (USA) Colavita Sutter Home0:00:01
5Adam Myerson (USA) Mountain Khakis
6Jake Keough (USA) Kelly Benefit Strategies
7Clayton Barrows (USA) Empire Cycling/CRCA
8Jerome Townsend (USA) IF/Lionette's0:00:02
9Eric Schildge (USA)
10Frank Travieso (USA) Champion Porsche
11Emile Abraham (Tri) Aerocat Cycling Team
12Amauri Perez (Dom) GS Mengoni USA
13Lisban Quintero (USA) CRCA/Foundation
14Josh England (NZl) Subway Avanti0:00:03
15Alejandro Borrajo (Arg) Colavita Sutter Home
16Mark Hekman (USA) Mountain Khakis
17Hayden Godfrey (NZl) Subway Avanti
18Cody O'Reilly (USA) Bissell Pro Cycling
19Guillaume Boivin (Can) Planet Energy0:00:04
20Andres Diaz (Dom) GS Mengoni USA
21Amos Brumble (USA) CCB Racing
22Mark Walters (Can) MainLine BiKyle Mazur
23Jeremy Vennell (NZl) Bissell Pro Cycling
24Gavi Epstein (USA) ChampionSysGladiatorWi0:00:05
25Jamey Driscoll (USA) Rock Racing
26Melito Heredia (USA) Innovation Bike
27Neil Bezdek (Can) GS Mengoni USA
28Ryan DeWald (USA) Battley Harley Sonoma
29Bruno Langlois (Can) Planet Energy0:00:06
30David Veilleux (Can) Kelly Benefit Strategies0:00:07
31Timothy Farnham (USA) Bissell Pro Cycling
32Daniel Zmolik (USA) Empire Cycling/CRCA
33Nat Thompson (USA) ABRT/Team Latitude
34Clay Murfet (Aus) Kelly Benefit Strategies0:00:08
35Adam Farabaugh (USA) Hershey Cancer/Cannonda
36Adam Carr (USA) Ten Speed Drive BH Bicy
37Luis Amaran (Cub) Colavita Sutter Home0:00:09
38Jeff Buckles (USA) Richmond Pro Cycling0:00:10
39Jared Nieters (USA) Haymarket/Trakkers
40Stephan Kincaid (USA) Empire Cycling/CRCA
41Jim Baldesare (USA) Kenda Pro Cycling0:00:11
42Jaime Gandara (USA) Kenda Pro Cycling0:00:14
43Mathew Bell (Can) Hardwood Hills0:00:15
44Martin Gilbert (Can) Planet Energy0:00:16
45Justin Lindine (USA)
46Andy Crater (USA) Wheel & Sprocket0:00:20
47Steve Scholzen (USA) IS Corp
48Nick Benettez (USA) MetLife Cycling Team
49Bill Elliston (USA) Van Dessel Factory Team
50Josh Dillon (USA)
51Michael Mathis (USA) Empire Cycling/CRCA
52Aaron Fillion (Can) Ride With Rendall0:00:22
53Seth Hansley (USA) Champion Porsche0:00:29
54Jesse Anthony (USA) Team Type 1
55Isacc Howe (USA) Mountain Khakis0:00:30
56Ryan Roth (Can) Planet Energy0:00:34
57Francois Parisien (Can) Planet Energy
58Ryan Mele (USA) Richmond Pro Cycling0:00:44
59Matt Seagrave (USA) Richmond Pro Cycling0:00:49
60Brian Fouche (USA) Team Latitude/ABRT0:00:50
61Salvatore Scotto DiVetta (USA) GS Mengoni USA
62Mark Warno (USA) Immediate Mortg/Artemis
63Euris Rafael Vidal Paulino (Dom) ChampionSysGladiatorWi0:00:51
64Marc Boudreau (Can) Ride With Rendall
65Luca Damiani (USA) Colavita Sutter Home0:00:53
66Coupe Thom (USA)
67Stephen Weller (USA)
68Matt Rossman (USA) NorEast
69Dan Timmerman (USA)
70Alister Ratcliff (USA)
71John Loehner (USA) Empire Cycling/CRCA0:01:12
72Eugene Boronow (USA) GS Mengoni USA
73Steven Grant (USA) Inova Health NCVC0:01:14
74Peter Latham (NZl) Bissell Pro Cycling0:01:24
75Osmond Bakker (Can) EMD Serono Stevens0:01:35
76Jackie Simes (USA) Mountain Khakis0:01:36
77Davide Frattini (USA) Colavita Sutter Home0:01:42
78Jordan Cheyne (Can) MainLine BiKyle Mazur0:01:57
79Jeff Zygo (USA) MVP Health Care0:07:56
80Cory Scott (USA) College of William & Mary
81Alejandro Guzman (USA) CRCA/Foundation
82Jan Zak (Can) MainLine BiKyle Mazur
83Bryan Vaughan (USA) Haymarket Cycles
84Agustin Fraysse (Arg) Glen Spey
85Benjamin Salibra (USA) CRCA/Foundation
86Cesar Lopez (Can) Gotham-Toga


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Kirsten Frattini is an honours graduate of Kinesiology and Health Science from York University in Toronto, Canada. She has been involved in cycling from the community and grassroots level to professional cycling's WorldTour. She has worked in both print and digital publishing, and started with Cyclingnews as a North American Correspondent in 2006. Moving into a Production Editor's role in 2014, she produces and publishes international race coverage for all men's and women's races including Spring Classics, Grand Tours, World Championships and Olympic Games, and writes and edits news and features. As the Women's Editor at Cyclingnews, Kirsten also coordinates and oversees the global coverage of races, news, features and podcasts about women's professional cycling.

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