Bajadali edges Cantwell in dramatic finish

Andrew Bajadali (Kelly Benefit Strategies) went for the Gamblers prime of $580, took the cash, and then put his head down to grit out a final torturous lap. He rounded the last corner a good five seconds clear of the field.

However, it was a nail-biting finish with the charging pack bearing down on Bajadali and traveling a good 5-10 mph faster than him. Jonathon Cantwell (Fly V Australia), convinced he had won, began prematurely celebrating, but the video judge showed that the win went to Bajadali by just two inches.

Bajadali ended Team MTN’s string of wins as he signalled Kelly Benefit Strategies' arrival at the International Cycling Classic.

How it unfolded

Ninety-five starters lined up in front of huge crowds at the Cedarburg Cycling Classic. The race was held on a speedy, 1.2 mile, four-corner circuit that zipped through Historic Downtown Cedarburg.

From the gun, Garmin-Slipstream’s Riccardo Van de Velde and Rock Racing’s Sergio Hernandez shot out to 20 seconds for the first few laps. They were swallowed up just before the first round of the APC Nutrition red jersey sprint points. The battle for the red jersey intensified as Geargrinder did their best to maneuver their key sprinter, Rob White, into position, but White was ousted by a the current points leader, Jay Thompson (Team MTN).

Shortly after the first sprint Jonathon Cantwell (Fly V Australia) attacked hard, but his efforts only served to help a breakaway of four riders establish and power clear. The breakaway contained dangerous riders: Superweek veteran Alexander Candelario (Kelly Benefits), Sheldon Deeny (Bissell Pro Cycling), Columbian Diego Garavito (Aerocat Cycling Team), and Anthony Bennett (U25 Jittery Joes).

The four worked well together to open up a 40 second gap on the field. However Team MTN and Geargrinder were intent on bringing them back before the second round of sprint points. The field was strung out as the peloton worked hard to pull back the leaders. The leaders were eventually pulled back to set up an exciting round of sprints.

The South African Team MTN yet again triumphed in a fine display of team riding. Thompson again collected maximum points as Van Heerden successfully blocked their Geargrinder rivals to take second. Geargrinder's riders were powerless to pass the South African duo.

After mid-point in the race, there was a large split formed at the front of the field that contained the Yellow jersey. Subsequently, Bernard Sulzberger (Fly V Australia), Neil Shirley (Kelly Benefit Strategies) and Riccardo Van de Velde (Garmin Slipstream) were able to establish a good lead.

The trio looked to be a potential winning breakaway, but Team MTN drove hard to bring them back, frustrated they had missed out on the last round of APC sprint points. Robert White (Geargrinder) managed to take some valuable points, this time over Jay Thompson, who was unable to score on that occasion.

With 17 laps to go, Jay Thompson attacked hard to almost single-handedly bring back the breakaway trio, and set up for the last 15 laps of the race. Prime after prime was given out; keeping the crowd excited and the riders hungry. Thompson was leading the charge with seven other riders to take a $65 prime. But when the primes kept coming, the field quickly brought them back in no time to set up a field sprint for a $100 prime. Thompson, still with power, led out teammate Van Heerden for the sprint win.

The bell signifying prime kept ringing lap after lap, causing a number of riders to be ejected from the back of the peloton. Andrew Bradley (Gourmetfein) managed to steal two successive $100 primes with only six laps remaining. This prime fest only served to wind up the pace as Andrew Bajadali burst out of the field to claim the final Gamblers prime, and the win, by the slimmest of margins.

"The last few laps were kind of a blur, but my plan was to go for the Gamblers prime with two to go," said Bajadali after the finish. "I saw that I had a good gap on the field and put my head down. With about a half lap to go [to the prime] my teammate and TT guru Reid Mumford bridged solo and ripped it hard the rest of the way and dropped me off perfectly.

"After the line I looked back and still had a good gap so I just went all out for one more lap. I was dying the whole way and I knew it was going to be close. I decided to throw my bike at the right moment and won by millimeters."

"I was stoked that my effort paid off because nine times out of ten, a move like that will not stick to the finish. Kelly Benefit Strategies are here to have a great time at the races and race hard. The main objective is to get in some hard training for some bigger races coming up in August."

Cantwell thought he had won his first Superweek stage and with the speed he was going, most onlookers also believed that he had won. However, the video camera showed he had finished second, with Bernard Sulzberger in third position.

Cantwell still has four more days to try and achieve his elusive win. He won the 2008 International Cycling Classic without winning a stage, and is third overall this year with 171 points in the general classification so far. Hans Dekkers (Garmin Slipstream) is in second place with 211 points as Sulzberger continues to extend his lead.

Jay Thompson retains his APC Nutrition red jersey after an impressive display of power and team tactics, and currently sits on 127 points, four points clear of Robert White (Geargrinder). James Semper (Geargrinder) is third with 108 points. With four more races this series to determine who will win the overall sprint competition, the competition looks to have narrowed to a two-man race.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Full Results
1Andrew Bajadali (Kelly Benefit Strategies)
2Jonathan Cantwell (Fly V/Australia)
3Bernard Sulzberger (Fly V Australia)
4Juan Van Heerden (Team Mtn)
5Hans Dekkers (Garmin Slipstream Pro-Tour)
6Juan Pablo Dotti (Aerocat Cycling Team)
7Andreas Muller (No Radunion)
8Adam Bergman (Texas Roadhouse Cycling Team)
9Ronnie Strange (Hotel San Jose/Rgm Advisors)
10Alexander Candelario (Kelly Benefit Strategies)
11James Stemper (Team Geargrinder)
12Phillip Mann (Ciclismo)
13Sheldon Deeny (Bissell Pro Cycling Team)
14Michael Van Eerd (Team Yrc Now Ms)
15Derek Dixon (Hdr p/b Lombardis Sports)
16Logan Loader (Team Mountain Khakis)
17Ricardo Van Der Velde (Garmin Slipstream Pro-Tour)
18Sergio Hernandez (Rock Racing)
19Nick Bennette (Metlife Cycling)
20Nicholas Martinez (Now Ms Society)
21Andrew Armstrong (Matrix/Rbm)
22Jason Lowetz (Team Bearclaw)
23Carlos Calcerrada (Aerocat Cycling Team)
24Jason Doverspike (Woodcock Cycle/ Team Manitoba)
25Adam Farabaugh (Empire)
26Jason Short (Rbm Matrix)
27Timothy Henry
28Stephen Kincaid (Empire)
29Dan Lionberg
30Darin Divine (Divine Electric Norcal)
31Victor Ayala (Kahala La-Grange)
32Neil Shirley (Kelly Benefit Strategies)
33Brian Koeneman (Wheel & Sprocket)
34Alex Voitik (Verizon Wireless Racing)
35Brian Kaker (Team Beans & Barley)
36Daniel Bowman (Kelly Benefit Strategies)
37Brad Sheehan (Minuteman Road Club)
38John Bergmann (Team Clif Bar Cycling)
39Chris Arndt (Team Wheel And Sprocket)
40Steen Rose (Solar Eclipse)
41Jacob Erker (Kelly Benefit Strategies)
42Ian Mclead (Team Mtn)
43Logan Garey (Team Rio Grande)
44Christopher Mcgarity (Team Saskatchewan)
45Gustavo-Adolfo Mendez (Kahala La-Grange)
46Andrew Bradley (Gourmetfein)
47Patrick Fasse (Ski Utah Cycling Team)
48Diego Garavito (Aerocat Cycling Team)
49Christopher Wherry (Hotel San Jose/Redbudsports)
50Christoff Van Heerden (Team Mtn)
51Jay Thomson (Team Mtn)
52Clayton Goldsmith (Team Wheel & Sprocket)
53Robert White (Team Geargrinder)
54Eric Bennett (Now-Ms Society)
55Anthony Bennett (Jittery Joe's U25 p/b Kudzu.Com)
56Luis-Alejandro Zamudio (Kahala La-Grange)
57Aaron Beardsley (Team Clif Bar)
58Timothy Hargrave (Team Type 1)
59Hans Higdon (Hampshire Cycle Club)
60Aaron Whalen (Horizon Organic p/b Prerace.Com)
61Jonathan Chodroff (Ouch Presented By Maxxis)
62Brian Nieport (National Engineering)
63Ted Hopkins (Cycles Veloce Simple Green)
64Aaron Molloy (Minuteman Road Club)
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Sprint 1
1Jay Thomson (Team Mtn)
2Robert White (Team Geargrinder)
3Ricardo Van Der Velde (Garmin Slipstream Pro-Tour)
4Sergio Hernandez (Rock Racing)
5Juan Van Heerden (Team Mtn)
6James Stemper (Team Geargrinder)
7Ronnie Strange (Hotel San Jose/Rgm Advisors)
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Sprint 2
1Jay Thomson (Team Mtn)
2Ricardo Van Der Velde (Garmin Slipstream Pro-Tour)
3Daniel Bowman (Kelly Benefit Strategies)
4Robert White (Team Geargrinder)
5Ronnie Strange (Hotel San Jose/Rgm Advisors)
6Nick Housley (Myogenesis p/b United Health Care)
7Bernard Sulzberger (Fly V Australia)
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Sprint 3
1Jay Thomson (Team Mtn)
2Christoff Van Heerden (Team Mtn)
3Robert White (Team Geargrinder)
4Chad Hartley (Team Geargrinder)
5James Stemper (Team Geargrinder)
6Diego Garavito (Aerocat Cycling Team)
7Bryan Fawley (Dallas Metal Fab / Park Place Dealerships)
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Sprint 4
1Bernard Sulzberger (Fly V Australia)
2Ricardo Van Der Velde (Garmin Slipstream Pro-Tour)
3Neil Shirley (Kelly Benefit Strategies)
4Robert White (Team Geargrinder)
5James Stemper (Team Geargrinder)
6Christoff Van Heerden (Team Mtn)
7Hans Dekkers (Garmin Slipstream Pro-Tour)
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Women (Whitnall Park Criterium)
1Sarah Caravella (Alan)
2Shontell Gauthier (Colavita Sutter Home p/b Cooking Light)
3Carrie Cash Wootten (Team Revolution)
4Mary-Ellen Ash (Sugarcrm)
5Karla Kingsley (Sugarcrm)
6Elizabeth Morse Hill (Hub Racing)
7Nicky Wangsgard (Colavita Sutter Home p/b Cooking Light)
8Emma Petersen (Team Ultralink)
9Julia Farell (Team Ultralink)
10Sheba Farrin (Hub Racing)
11Mei-Yu Hsiao (Team Exustar Taiwan)
12Melissa Dahlman (Mbrc/Flanders)
13Christine Roettger (Team Revolution)
14Leah Kirchmann (Team Manitoba)
15Ho-Hsun Huang (Team Exustar Taiwan)
16Amy Mcguire (Hub Racing)
17(Unknown Rider)
18Jeannie Kuhajek (Team Mack)
19Christine Riker (Dolce Vita Cycling)
20Sarah Demerly (Wolverine Sports Club)
21Sydney Brown (Mercy Cycling Team)
22Kate Ligler (Dolce Vita)
23Julie Kuliecza (Team Marshall Mechanical)
24Karlee Gendron (Woodcock Cycle Works/Team Manitoba)
25Sally Annis (Hub Racing)
26Mary Magnani (Dolce Vita Cycling)
27Gwen Inglis (Dft p/b Treads)
28Carola Berger (Nebc/Cycle Loft/Devonshire Dental)
29Hsiao-Chia Tseng (Team Exustar Taiwan)
30Julia Lafranchise (Now-Ms Society)
31Liz Leyden (Hub Racing)
32Josephine Giddens (Hub Racing)
33Sandra Hyra (Defined Fitness Training Llc)
34Priscilla Calderon (Now-Ms Society)
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Sprint 1
1Carrie Cash Wootten (Team Revolution)
2Shontell Gauthier (Colavita Sutter Home p/b Cooking Light)
3Veronica Martinez (Hub Racing)
4Josephine Giddens (Hub Racing)
5Hsiao-Chia Tseng (Team Exustar Taiwan)
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Sprint 2
1Mei-Yu Hsiao (Team Exustar Taiwan)
2Josephine Giddens (Hub Racing)
3Jeannie Kuhajek (Team Mack)
4Leah Kirchmann (Team Manitoba)
5Shontell Gauthier (Colavita Sutter Home p/b Cooking Light)
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Sprint 3
1Mei-Yu Hsiao (Team Exustar Taiwan)
2Josephine Giddens (Hub Racing)
3Carrie Cash Wootten (Team Revolution)
4Veronica Martinez (Hub Racing)
5Shontell Gauthier (Colavita Sutter Home p/b Cooking Light)


Thank you for reading 5 articles in the past 30 days*

Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read any 5 articles for free in each 30-day period, this automatically resets

After your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59

Join now for unlimited access

Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1