Rodriguez holds off Gibbons and Magner to win Sunny King Criterium

Alfredo Rodriguez (Best Buddies Racing) won the Sunny King Criterium in a field sprint With the victory he becomes the first men’s leader in the American Criterium Cup. Thomas Gibbons (Automatic-ABUS Racing) captured second and Ty Magner (L39ION of Los Angeles) secured the final podium spot in a frantic uphill sprint with 25 riders.

The Best Buddies Racing squad placed all six riders at the front of the race in the final three laps to close down multiple attacks from Project Echelon Racing, Nashville Local Wolfpack, and ButcherBox Cycling, as well as favoured sprinters Magner and Frank Travieso (Blazers). 

“I am excited to win the first event in the American Criterium Cup for Best Buddies Racing, Mike Hernandez and our Director Thomas Craven have really made this team feel special…like a family.  I am looking forward to racing the rest of the series and every other race that we can get to during the rest of the season with these guys,” Rodriguez said after his first victory of the season, taking second place at Birmingham Hammerfest in March.

“Everything was perfect. The plan was all race to go together. But for me it was hard because I crashed in the first lap. My hand hurt the entire race.” 

The men’s race under the lights saw a big pileup on turn four after the opening lap, causing the race to be neutralised, and then stopped, for almost 15 minutes. When the race resumed with 57 laps to go, Automatic took over at the front of the race

A dozen laps later, a two-rider breakaway - Agusto Sanchez (Emanuel Ibarry and 2NDBIKE TEAM) and Michael Hernandez (Best Buddies Racing) built a solid gap of 20 seconds on the 88 riders behind. The gap held steady around the 1.1-km course with Automatic-ABUS Racing working on the front for the chase. 

As the lap count went down, much like the cold temperatures after the sun had set, Project Echelon launched Brandon Feehery for a mid-race sprint with 30 laps to go, which ignited a full chase from behind and the gap to the leaders was cut in half to 10 seconds.

The reset button was hit with 28km to go and all was back together. Three laps later it was Bryan Gomez of Best Buddies who took control at the front and began to stretch out the peloton. Then Magner moved off the front as well. Last year’s winner Tanner Ward (Best Buddies Racing) gave it a go at the front for a few laps, only to have the field regroup with 19 laps to go.

Best Buddies’ then launched another attack, which shredded the string of riders behind into multiple groups. A couple of Automatic Riders were there, but it was Sanchez who came back to pick up a prime and tried a a solo attack, a second breakaway of the night for him. Time was running out.

Three riders bridged up - Spencer Moavenzadeh (ButcherBox Cycling), Kyle Tiesler (Nashville Local Wolfpack) and Ruben Campanioni (Best Buddies) to join Sanchez. Andy Scarano (NGCA Elite pb Tyler Perry Studios) and Gomez put in a move to the front group to make it a pack of six.

Automatic Racing closed down the move with 12 to go. With six to go, Best Buddies Racing and ButcherBox worked at the front yet again. Best Buddies used all six riders at the front and led out Rodriguez to the win.

The series continues on May 21 in Rochester, New York for the MVP Health Care Rochester Twilight Criterium. The bulk of the series offers seven races in seven states during the summer months and concludes on Labor Day, September 5, with the Benton Park Classic, the fourth and final day of the Bommarito Audi Gateway Cup.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Alfredo Rodriquez (Best Buddies Racing) 1:30:43
3Ty Magner (L39ION of Los Angeles)
4Brandon Feehery (Project Echelon Racing) 0:00:01
5Asa Black (First Internet Bank)
6Kyle Tiesler (Nashville Local Wolfpack)
7Bryan Gomez (Best Buddies Racing)
8Drew Dillman (Texas Roadhouse Cycling Team PB Athletic Brewin) 0:00:02
9Tim Smith (Alliance St. Louis) 0:00:03
10Ismael Collado Acosta (Rockland Cycling Velo)
11Brock Mason (Flicker | Hub Bikes)
12Spencer Moavenzadeh (ButcherBox Cycling p/b LOOK)
13Sebastian Cano (SoFLo Racing p/b Proteinex)
14Jaime Castaneda (Emanuel Ibarry and 2ndBike Team) 0:00:04
15Frank Travieso (Blazers)
16Will Hardin (Project Echelon Racing) 0:00:05
17Brendan Cornett
18Elvys Noel Reyes (Emanuel Ibarry and 2NDBIKE TEAM)
19John Bowie (Robson Forensic P/B Extra Sweet)
21Johnny Purvis (First Internet Bank Cycling)
22Gabriel Mendez (NGCA Elite team p/b Tyler Perry Studios) 0:00:06
23Samuel Blackmon (Nashville Local Wolfpack)
24William Seitz (Robson Forensic P/B Extra Sweet)
25Kody B?åbler (Flicker | Hub Bikes) 0:00:07
26Marvin Angarita (DCC) 0:00:10
27Hank Brandes ( 0:00:12
28Leon Santamaria (SoFlo Racing)
29Taylor Herron (Marx Bensdorf)
30Michael Hernandez (Best Buddies Racing) 0:00:14
31Kyle Perry (Texas Roadhouse Cycling Team PB Athletic Brewin)
32Mark Baerd (Team Elevate Racing)
33Andy Scarano (NGCA Elite team p/b Tyler Perry Studios and Phar) 0:00:15
34Aaron Beebe (Texas Roadhouse Cycling Team PB Athletic Brewin) 0:00:16
35Bryant Funston (Marx-Bensdorf / BPC Cycling Team) 0:00:18
36Corey Lockwood (ButcherBox Cycling p/b LOOK) 0:00:19
37Cristian Rios (Emanuel Ibarry and 2NDBIKE TEAM) 0:00:22
38Ruben Companioni (Best Buddies Racing)
39Xavier Santana (SoFLo Racing p/b Proteinex) 0:00:25
40Agusto Sanchez (Emanuel Ibarry and 2NDBIKE TEAM) 0:00:32
41Eric Hill (Project Echelon Racing)
42Caleb Langley (First Internet Bank Cycling) 0:00:33
43Sam Rosenholtz (ButcherBox Cycling p/b LOOK) 0:00:53
44Tanner Ward (Best Buddies Racing) 0:01:56
45Hugo Scala (Project Echelon Racing) 0:02:21
46Evan Hartig (Project Echelon Racing)
47Oliver Flautt (ButcherBox Cycling p/b LOOK)
48Cade Bickmore (Texas Roadhouse Cycling Team PB Athletic Brewin)
49Timothy J. Killelea (Nashville Local WOLFPACK)
51Hank Beaver (The Paceline Project)
52Zack Rivenbark ( 0:02:48
53Yuniet Del Toro (Total Cycling Racing Team)
54Fergus Arthur (Texas Roadhouse Cycling Team PB Athletic Brewin)
55jonathan Ogando (Emanuel Ibarry and 2NDBIKE TEAM)
56Leonardo Hernandez (US Military Endurance Sports)
57Andrew Knight (NGCA Elite team p/b Tyler Perry Studios)
58Alex Wieseler (Nashville Local Wolfpack)
59Jack White (BSCG Support Clean Sport)
60Kevin Solomon (Pinnacle Velo)
62Joey Martinez (Vite Racing)
63jp Primm (Nashville local Wolfpack)
64Nick Luther (NGCA Elite team p/b Tyler Perry Studios and Phar)
65Dennis Ramirez (DCC)
DNFAma Nsek (Best Buddies Racing)
DNFMatt Winstead (Velo Roussillon Racing Club# 16728)
DNFJonathan Brown (Blazers)
DNFRomello Crawford (Blazers)
DNFJoshua Kelly (Blazers)
DNFClever Jose Martinez (Blazers)
DNFDante Young (Blazers)
DNFDavid Guttenplan (BSCG / Support Clean Sport / Guttenplan Coaching)
DNFEddy Huntsman (ButcherBox Cycling p/b LOOK)
DNFCesar Marte (Emanuel Ibarry and 2NDBIKE TEAM)
DNFJoe Waters (Empyr Cycling)
DNFMaximus Anderson (Kelly Benefits Strategies Elite Cycling Team)
DNFOsias Lozano (Robson Forensic P/B Extra Sweet)
DNFLuis David Rivera (SoFLo Racing p/b Proteinex)
DNFRobert Binkley (Southern Velo)
DNFAndrew Crater (Team
DNFLee Yarbro
DNFJonathan Hanahan (Alliance St. Louis)
DNFEduardo Cruz (ButcherBox Cycling p/b LOOK)
DNFAustin Anderson (Empyr Cycling)
DNFJohn Becker (First Internet Bank Cycling)
DNFChris Baker (Nashville Local WOLFPACK)
DNFMichael Mcbrian (NGCA Elite team p/b Tyler Perry Studios and Phar)
DNFNicholas Rogers (Pinnacle Velo)

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Jackie Tyson
North American Production editor

Jackie has been involved in professional sports for more than 30 years in news reporting, sports marketing and public relations. She founded Peloton Sports in 1998, a sports marketing and public relations agency, which managed projects for Tour de Georgia, Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah and USA Cycling. She also founded Bike Alpharetta Inc, a Georgia non-profit to promote safe cycling. She is proud to have worked in professional baseball for six years - from selling advertising to pulling the tarp for several minor league teams. She has climbed l'Alpe d'Huez three times (not fast). Her favorite road and gravel rides are around horse farms in north Georgia (USA) and around lavender fields in Provence (France), and some mtb rides in Park City, Utah (USA).

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