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Bahati Foundation sweeps US season opener

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Bahati Foundation celebrate on the podium

Bahati Foundation celebrate on the podium (Image credit: Wil Matthews)
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The women in action

The women in action (Image credit: Wil Matthews)
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a pre-race chat

a pre-race chat (Image credit: Wil Matthews)
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The pre-race Peanut Butter & Co team meeting

The pre-race Peanut Butter & Co team meeting (Image credit: Wil Matthews)
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Matt Rice (Bahati Foundation Pro Cycling Team) goes solo

Matt Rice (Bahati Foundation Pro Cycling Team) goes solo (Image credit: Wil Matthews)
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Matt Rice wins!

Matt Rice wins! (Image credit: Wil Matthews)
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Time to catch up after the winter

Time to catch up after the winter (Image credit: Wil Matthews)
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UnitedHealthcare lead the chase

UnitedHealthcare lead the chase (Image credit: Wil Matthews)
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UnitedHealthcare director Mike Tamayo lets his riders know how many laps remain.

UnitedHealthcare director Mike Tamayo lets his riders know how many laps remain. (Image credit: Wil Matthews)
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The trophies on offer

The trophies on offer (Image credit: Wil Matthews)
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Cornering near the courthouse

Cornering near the courthouse (Image credit: Wil Matthews)
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Rahsaan Bahati wins the field sprint for second place.

Rahsaan Bahati wins the field sprint for second place. (Image credit: Wil Matthews)
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The hand of Rahsaan Bahati featuring Major Taylor wristbands.

The hand of Rahsaan Bahati featuring Major Taylor wristbands. (Image credit: Wil Matthews)
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Tim Johnson and his UnitedHealthcare teammates.

Tim Johnson and his UnitedHealthcare teammates. (Image credit: Wil Matthews)
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Rahsaan Bahati (Bahati Foundation Pro Cycling)

Rahsaan Bahati (Bahati Foundation Pro Cycling) (Image credit: Wil Matthews)
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Benjamin Jacques-Maynes (Bissell Pro Cycling)

Benjamin Jacques-Maynes (Bissell Pro Cycling) (Image credit: Wil Matthews)
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A California Giant Berry Farms rider leads the break in the men's criterium.

A California Giant Berry Farms rider leads the break in the men's criterium. (Image credit: Wil Matthews)
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Action in the women's criterium.

Action in the women's criterium. (Image credit: Wil Matthews)
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The HTC - Columbia lead-out train works for their sprinter Ina Teutenberg.

The HTC - Columbia lead-out train works for their sprinter Ina Teutenberg. (Image credit: Wil Matthews)
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Ina Teutenberg (HTC-Columbia) awaits the start.

Ina Teutenberg (HTC-Columbia) awaits the start. (Image credit: Wil Matthews)
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Tim Johnson (UnitedHealthcare) in the break.

Tim Johnson (UnitedHealthcare) in the break. (Image credit: Wil Matthews)

Bahati Foundation Pro Cycling Team kicked off the new season in dominating fashion with a one, two and three podium sweep at the Merco Credit Union, while Ina-Yoko Teutenberg (HTC-Columbia) used her speed to win the women's race despite a crash during the final laps.

The Merco Credit Union Cycling Classic annually hosts a stellar turn out of professional and elite level cyclist and the Downtown Grand Prix criterium traditionally kicks off the US racing season. The women contested a 52km and the men a 64km race that started mid-day under sunny skies. The 1.3km course is a well-designed mix of technical challenges including a chicane through the Old Courthouse Park and wide-open roads that cater to the fastest field sprints.

Breakaway star Matt Rice held off a chasing peloton to take the victory in the men's race ahead of his teammates Rahsaan Bahati and Hilton Clarke after they outpaced the other sprinters in the bunch kick to the line.

“I was definitely surprised,” said team co-owner and runner up Rahsaan Bahati. “This is just a great way to set the tone for the season. We have this foundation and we are working hard to inspire the youth. Today just goes to show that the guys are so motivated. Everyone here has been working their tails off to preform well. We had tons of support, we celebrated at a nice dinner and now we are going to sit down and talk about the road race.”

The racing started fast as riders from some teams sprinted for early primes others pushed to form an early breakaway. UnitedHealthcare, Bahati Foundation and Bissell were the dominant teams in strength and numbers, both set a strong tempo at the front of the field. An early move contained one rider form each teams along with representation from Trek-Livestrong and California Giant Berry Farms. The escapees drove the break to a maximum time gap of 30 seconds, however ten laps later, the field was all back together.

Other teams making an impact on the race include the new Yahoo! Cycling Team and Safeway-Bicycles Plus. They moved to the front to take an opportunity at a breakaway wherever possible. A late-race breakaway stormed off the front and the gap increased to nearly 30 seconds aided by powerhouse riders Ben Jacques-Maynes (Bissell), Iggy Silva (Trek-Livestrong), Andrew Talansky (California Giant Berry Farms), Philip Mooney (Yahoo! Cycling Team) and Matt Rice (Bahati Foundation).

The responsibility to bring the break back lay on the shoulders of UnitedHealthcare who sported a nine-man roster at the weekend’s racing. The men rallied at the front in a controlled attempt to bring back the break away reducing the margin to 20 seconds with five laps to go. Bahati Foundation was resolved of having to chase with Rice riding strong up front in the breakaway. The team waited patiently behind UnitedHealthcare, using the break to their advantage.

“It was pretty simple because we have Hilton on the team it works really well to our advantage,” Bahati said. “He is good enough to ride in the break and win or win from the sprint. We wanted to have all the workers relax and pay attention and maybe launch Hilton in a break.”

“We were lucky to have Rice there who called that move and we stuck to our cards with him,” he added. “UnitedHealthcare missed the break so we had a free ride. We sat on their wheel, they did a great job to bring the break back but Rice had already attacked with one lap to go. It was a perfect day, UnitedHealthcare caught the rest of the riders in the last turn and we were in the right position to go for the field sprint.”

UnitedHealthcare looked to be bringing the breakaway riders back with precise timing to enable an exciting sprint finale. Five of the breakaway riders Jacques-Maynes, Silva, Talansky and Mooney were caught before the last corner. However Rice bravely took his chance and continued to fight for the victory and succeeded by a narrow margin.

Teutenberg wins crash-filled sprint

Saturday was a day for the sprinters and Ina-Yoko Teutenberg (HTC-Columbia) proved the fastest woman in the peloton when she won the Merco Cycling Classic Downtown Grand Prix.

An unfortunate crash happened with three laps to go causing several rider injuries and the race to come to a complete standstill. Race officials stopped the race and allowed for one neutral lap before resuming with five laps to go.

Teutenberg had attacked several times during the race but avoided the crash and had enough energy to outpace American Shelley Evans (Peanut Butter & Co TWENTY12) and teammate Chloe Hosking in the final sprint.

“Because of the crash, I lost my lead-out and I was lucky in the end,” Teutenberg said. “I was nearly taken out and lucky to stay on and hold it to the line. I didn’t win by much and Shelley came close. It got a bit tight at the end and in this race you have to go all the way from the front to the line.”

HTC-Columbia set the tone of the day with several attacks from the go. When one attack failed to gain the necessary time gap, another set off right behind. First Teutenberg, followed by Kim Anderson but their individual strengths were not enough to hold off the chasing teams TIBCO, Webcor-Builders, Colavita-Baci and Peanut Butter & Co. TWENTY12.

Several small breakaways managed to sneak some time ahead of the peloton but none were successful in making it to the finish line ahead of the sprint-heavy field. HTC-Columbia was then the first team to move to the front protecting its sprinter and former event winner Teutenberg. TIBCO followed in close pursuit setting up a platform for its former US Criterium National Champion Brooke Miller. Colavita-Baci’s new directeurs and retired riders Tina Pic, the current US Criterium National Champion and Rachel Heal gave a sprint strategy to the squad’s go-to speedster Kelly Benjamin.

HTC-Columbia took a strong hold over the front of the peloton in hot pursuit of a sprint victory. Rounding the final corner Teutenberg got the early jump outpacing Evans at the line.

“I am, for sure, not in top form right now,” Teutenberg said. “Shelley has track Worlds coming up and she raced amazingly in New Zealand. She is racing strong right now. We had that in our minds that she is the fittest of the field right now and has a lot of motivation after winning a huge race in New Zealand. We have been training really hard but we are just starting to race and she is at a different training level than we are.”

The early-season US racing continue at the Merco Cycling Classic Foothills Road Race on Sunday, March 7.

Pro Men
1Matty Rice (Bahati Foundation Pro Cycling)1:22:19
2Rahsaan Bahati (Bahati Foundation Pro Cycling)
3Hilton Clarke (Bahati Foundation Pro Cycling)
4Eric Barlevav (UnitedHealthcare p/b Maxxis)
5Cole House (BMC Racing)
6Benjamin Jacques-Maynes (Bissell Pro Cycling)
7Andrew Talansky (California Giant Berry Farms)
8Andy Jacques-Maynes (Bissell Pro Cycling)
9Sterling Magnell (God & Father)
10Philip Mooney (Yahoo! Cycling Team)
11Iggy Silva (Trek-Livestrong U-23)
12Fabrice Dubost (Webcor alto velo)
13Bryan Larsen (Team Ranchos)
14Steve Reaney (California Giant Berry Farms)
15Brian Bosch (Yahoo! Cycling Team)
16Randy Bramblett (Williams Cycling)
17Joshua Carling (Williams Cycling)
18Jared Barrilleaux (California Giant Berry)
19Bob Newman (Pacific State Bank Cycling Team)
20William Dugan (Team Type 1)
21Paul Penn (wells fargo team)
22Alex Jarman (Swami's DET FPPI)
23Adam Carr (Adageo Energy Pro Cycling)
24Jonathan Clarke (UnitedHealthcare p/b Maxxis)
25Collin Samaan
26Jeremy Vennell (Bissell Pro Cycling)
27Kit Karzen (NOW-MS Society)
28Sergio Hernandez (NOW-MS Society)
29Austin Carroll (Adageo Energy Pro Cycling)
30Ryan Parnes (Yahoo! Cycling Team)
31Patrick Briggs (Yahoo! Cycling Team)
32Evan Huffman (Yahoo! Cycling Team)
33Mark Shimahara (Team Clif Bar)
34Paul Mach (Bissell Pro Cycling)
35Keith Hillier (Davis Bike Club)
36Phillip Snodgrass (Wells Fargo Racing)
37Cory Domingues (hutch's)
38Hendrik Pohl (Fusion Sport)
39Michael Jasinski (Chico Corsa Cycling Club)
40Jesse Moore (California Giant Berry Farms)
41Andrew Goessling (ALA Cycling p/b Lombardi Sport)
42Nic Hamilton (Trek Red Truck p/b Mosaic Home)
43Brandon Trafton (California Giant Berry Farms)
44Brandon Correia (Godspeed Courier / Mojo Bicycle)
45Aaron Gomez (Art's Horse)
46James Laberge (Team Specialized Racing Junior)
47James Mattis (California Giant Berry Farms)
48Filip Vanacht (Yahoo! Cycling Team)
49John Wilk (Yahoo! Cycling Team)
50Michael Tymoff (ALA Cycling p/b Lombardi Sport)
51Jim Riley (Godspeed Courier / Mojo Bicycle)
52Michael Gil (Godspeed Courier / Mojo Bicycle)
53Kevin Klein (Yahoo! Cycling Team)
54Jorge Alvarado (Bahati Foundation Amateur Cycling)
55Bradley Gehrig (Cole Sport)
56Keith Miller (California Giant Berry Farms)
57Adrian Hegyvary (UnitedHealthcare p/b Maxxis)
58Robert Britton (Bissell Pro Cycling)
59Ian Boswell (Bissell Pro Cycling)
60Thomas Hubbard (NOW-MS Society)
61Jed Robert (Webcor)
62Osvaldo Olmos (California Giant Berry Farms)
63Nate Freed (Team Clif Bar)
64Alexander Blease (Chico Corsa)
65Alton Dunnigan (ALA Cycling p/b Lombardi Sport)
66Jose Soltren (Los Gatos)
67Carson Miller (Veloforma p/b Herriott Sports)
68Robert Macneill (Webcor/Alto Velo)
69Tyler Dibble (Yahoo! Cycling Team)
70Dirk Copeland (Yahoo! Cycling Team)
71Dean Laberge (Team Specialized Racing)
72Andres Gil (Williams Cycling)
73Morgan Ryan (Bahati Foundation Amateur Cycling)
74Bo Hebenstreit (Webcor/Alto Velo)
75Sam Bassetti (ALA Cycling p/b Lombardi Sport)
76Will Routley (Jelly Belly Cycling Team)
77Charlie Alexander (Davis Bike Club)
78Chris Coble (The Olympic Club)
79Nathanael Christensen (Williams Cycling)
80Christopher Carey (ALA Cycling p/b Lombardi Sport)
81Tyler Brandt (California Giant Berry Farms)
82Vincent Owens (Yahoo! Cycling Team)
83Corey Farrell (NOW-MS Society)
84Adam Switters (Yahoo Cycling Team)
85Rory Sutherland (UnitedHealthcare p/b Maxxis)
86Miles Lamon (Art's Horse)
87Dillon Clapp (Art's Horse)
88Peter Graf (ALA Cycling p/b Lombardi Sport)
89Chris Stastny (California Giant Berry Farms)
90Charlie Avis (Trek-Livestrong p/b Radioshack)
91Jd Bergmann (Team Clif Bar)
92Andrew Bosco (SC VELO)
93Cory Bruno
94Gabriel Byrne (Sportgenic/Squadra Ovest)
95Mack Chew (ALA Cycling p/b Lombardi Sport)
96Matthew Crane (UnitedHealthcare p/b Maxxis)
97Angelo Digiovine (Squadra Ovest Cycling)
98Jeremy Dixon (Herbalife-LaGrange)
99Devan Dunn (Bahati Foundation Amateur Cycling)
100Chad Gerlach
101Cory Greenberg
102James Hardy (Kaiser Permanente/ Team Oakland)
103Danny Heeley
104Michael Jacques (Team Clif Bar)
105Max Jenkins (UnitedHealthcare p/b Maxxis)
106Tim Johnson (UnitedHealthcare p/b Maxxis)
107Roman Kilun (UnitedHealthcare p/b Maxxis)
108Jenson Lee
109Stephen Leece (NOW MS-Society)
110Sean Mcbride (ALA Cycling p/b Lombardi Sport)
111Nicholas Oliver (Wells Fargo Racing)
112Morgan Schmitt (UnitedHealthcare p/b Maxxis)
113Aaron Schneider (NOW-MS Society)
114Matthew Shackley (NuVision Cyclery)
115Graham Simpson (Webcor/Alto Velo)
116Peter Taylor (Team Specialized Racing Junior)
117Tyler Wertenbruch (SLO Nexus-Gym One)
118Greg White (Davis Bike Club)
119Russell White (Davis Bike Club)
120Aaron Olson (
121Jeff Eisenberg (Fusion Sport)
122Josh Rennie (Team Cliff Bar)
123Justin Williams (Trek-Livestrong)
124Shaun Harless (Above Category Racing)
125Doran Mori (Team Cliff Bar)
126Jared Barrilleaux (California Giant Berry Farms)
127Aaron Gallardo (Helens)
128Lee Shuemake (Topsport)

Pro Women
1Ina Teutenberg (HTC-Columbia)1:40:27
2Shelley Evans (Peanut Butter & Co.TWENTY12)
3Chole Hosking (HTC-Columbia)
4Brooke Miller (Team TIBCO/To The Top)
5Coryn Rivera (Peanut Butter & Co.TWENTY12)
6Kelly Benjamin
7Modesta Vzesniauskaite (Colavita/Baci)
8Rebecca Rising (Sierra Pacific Racing)
9Mary Maroon (Touchstone)
10Lindsay Myers (Webcor)
11Emma Mackie (Team TIBCO/To The Top)
12Elis Bradshaw (Touchstone Climbing)
13Olivia Dillon (Peanut Butter & Co TWENTY12)
14Maria Lechuga (Helens-Cannondale)0:00:04
15Ruth Winder (Peanut Butter & Co.TWENTY12)
16Ally Stacher (Webcor Builders Cycling Team)
17Jazzy Hurikino (Third Pillar)
18Vanessa Drigo (Touchstone Climbing)
19Lauren Liscinski (NOW-MS)
20Maura Kinsella (Webcor AV Bridge Team)
21Martina Patella (Third Pillar Racing)
22Marissa Axell (Touchstone Climbing Elite Wome)
23Amy Mcguire (Wheelworks Racing)
24Katrina Howard (Vapor Racing)
25Katharine Carroll (Peanut Butter & Co.TWENTY12)
26Tyler Stewart (Luna)
27Amy Gray-Smith (
28Kimberly White (Dolce Vita Cycling)
29Megan Guarnier (Team TIBCO/To the Top)
30Beverly Chaney (Team Roaring Mouse)
31Amanda Seigle (Metromint Cycling)
32Laura Hines (Helens-Cannondale)
33Cara Gillis (Specialied Designs for Women)
34Christina Yglesias (Proman Hit Squad)
35Katheryn Mattis (Webcor Builders)
36Mary-ellen Ash (Los Gatos)
37Lauren Hecht (Webcor)
38Emily Matthew (Third Pillar)
39Heather Nielson (Touchstone Climbing Elite Women)0:00:09
40Evelyn Stevens (HTC-Columbia)0:00:10
41Alisha Welsh (Peanut Butter & Co.TWENTY12)0:00:13
42Kim Anderson (HTC Columbia)0:00:16
43Devon Haskell (Team TIBCO/To The Top)0:00:40
44Megan Elliott
45Ruth Clemence (Specialized D4W/Bicycle Haus)
46Emilia Fahlin (HTC-Columbia)
47Heather Pryor
48Heather Sborz (Specialized/ D4W/ Bicycle Haus)
49Daniela Becker (Team Roaring Mouse)
50Mary Glenn Carrasco (Ohana Sport/Ducati)
51Carmen Elliott (Ohana Sport/Ducati)
52Kimberly Fong (SugarCRM)
53Anne Fulton (Los Gatos)
54Tracy Hogan (Third Pillar)
55Jerika Hutchinson (Team TIBCO/To The Top)
56Carol Irving (Touchstone Climbing)
57Karla Kingsley (Third Pillar)
58Kate Ligler (Dolce Vita Cycling)
59Yukie Nakamura (Metromint Cycling)
60Liza Rachetto (TREADS.COM/DFT)
61Jamie Schoenborn (Team Roaring Mouse)
62Melissa Schultz (Vanderkitten Racing)
63Alison Starnes (Team TIBCO/To The Top)
64Rita Szeto (Touchstone Climbing Women's Cy)
65Emily Weinert (Team TIBCO/To The Top)
66Kim Payne (Ohana Sport Ducati)
67Bess Tonkinson (Metromint)

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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 bike racing from the 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 cycling disciplines, edits news and writes features. Currently the Women's Editor at Cyclingnews, Kirsten coordinates global coverage of races, news, features and podcasts about women's professional cycling.

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