An all-out effort by the powerful Amore Vita squad and series of aggressive attacks by Neil Shirley of Kelly Benefits Strategies helped close a 40-second gap with two kilometers to go in Saturday's Univest Grand Prix. But it was the final strike by Cykelcity's Jonas Alhstrand that gave the young Swedish champion his first international elite victory.
Ahlstrand's countryman Michael Olsson of the PA Lightning team took second, and American Nick Frey of Jamis Sutter Home/Colavita got third in the reconfigured North American Pro-Am classic that featured constant attacks and breakaways and led to the largest pack sprint in race history.
"We watched the large groups go and come back, go and come back," Ahlstrand said. "I had good legs but Amore Vita had five guys left and they pushed really hard."
Amore Vita, with defending Souderton champion Volodomyr Starchyk and two-time Doylestown winner Yuriy Metlushenko in the field, sent all of their guys to the front in the final laps, setting a pace that was impossible for the breakaway to withstand. Yet even after the pack came together in the final kilometer, Shirley kept attacking until Ahlstrand's jump with 500 meters to go on a downhill sprint.
Shirley - along with Amore Vita's Vladislav Borisov of Russia, Canadian Ryan Roth of Spidertech Powered by Planet Energy and Frank Pipp of Bissell Pro Cycling - looked to have the winning break with three laps left.
"We hit the final five circuits and it was 'game on,'" said Shirley, who expected his attacks to wear out the others. "I looked at the other guys, and I could tell they were feeling it. I felt we were going to be able to keep it up but the pack came up faster than expected."
The new Univest Grand Prix course designed by race organizer John Eustice of Sparta Cycling featured 11 laps on a 5.8-mile figure eight shaped course in Souderton, Franconia and Telford and five finishing laps on a 3.8-mile loop in Souderton. The course was designed to enhance spectator appeal, and large crowds gathered at the finish line and along Souderton's deceptively steep Wile Avenue hil..
"Based on the spectacular finish, the daylong racing action, the crowd attendance and enthusiasm, I feel absolutely certain I made the right decision to change the race course," Eustice said afterward. "This is the future of road racing, especially in urban areas and maybe even in Europe."
None of the early breaks was able to maintain a consistent lead and riders kept reshuffling the early standings, but the constant turns and 16 times up Wile Avenue kept the strongest riders in contention until the end. However, with only three kilometers left it looked like the winning break of four riders would stay away until defending champions Amore Vita went to the front and hit the gas.
"It was really close at the end. I had to throw my bike across the line for third," said Frey, who also won the Bergey's First American Award in his fourth attempt to finish the Univest Grand Prix. "That hill, going up every single time, was like a grinder. This was a European-style race - always hard and aggressive."
Olsson said the race was really fast right from the start. He had some difficulty adjusting to the almost constant turns but found his rhythm as the race progressed, he said.
Cykelcity coach Aike Visbeek, a Univest Grand Prix veteran, who earlier in the week said the new course had national championship potential, said the race lived up to its promise. "It was exciting to the finish," he said.
Visbeek said he was surprised that the final break was pulled back but it played right into Cykelcity's strategy.
"With almost 40 seconds to go and one lap, I thought it was going to be incredibly tight," he said. "But we had four guys and there were all prepared to work for Jonas."
In addition to the top three places and Frey's Best American award, other awards included the yellow jersey to Ahlstrand; the best sprinter jersey to Joey Rosskofh of Team Mountain Khakis/Jittery Joe's Coffee, the king of the mountains jersey to defending jersey holder Bernardo Colex Tepoz of Amore Vita and the most aggressive rider jersey to Neil Shirley.
Racing continues Sunday at the always-fast Univest Criterium of Doylestown, which includes 50 miles of high-speed action on a 1.4-mile course around the perimeter of the Doylestown Arts Festival in Bucks County.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Jonas Ahlstrand (Swe) Team Cykelcity||3:06:07|
|2||Michael Olsson (Swe) PA Lightning|
|3||Nick Frey (USA) Jamis Sutter Home|
|4||Frank Pipp (USA) Bissell Pro Cycling Team|
|5||Alexander Candelario (USA) Kelly Benefit Strategies|
|6||Simon Lambert Lemay (Can) Spidertech-Planet Energy|
|7||Sean Sullivan (Aus) Team Hotel San Jose-Juwi Solar|
|8||Will Goodfellow (Can) Bikereg.com-Cannondale|
|9||Sebastian Balck (Swe) Team Cykelcity|
|10||Neil Shirley (USA) Kelly Benefit Strategies|
|11||Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) Team Cykelcity|
|12||Yuriy Metlushenko (Ukr) Amore & Vita Conad|
|13||Karl Menzies (Aus) Team UnitedHealthcare-Maxxis|
|14||Neil Bezdek (USA) Team Mountain Khakis-Jittery Joe’s|
|15||Jacob Keough (USA) Team UnitedHealthcare-Maxxis|
|16||Andrew Guptill (USA) Jamis Sutter Home|
|17||Spencer Smitheman (Can) Hagens Berman LLP Cycling Team|
|18||Ryan Roth (Can) Spidertech-Planet Energy|
|19||Peter Van Agtmaal (Ned) Global Dutch Cycling Team|
|20||Benjamin Jacques-Maynes (USA) Bissell Pro Cycling Team|
|21||Kyle Wamsley (USA) Bissell Pro Cycling Team|
|22||Ian Holt (USA) Battley Harley-Davidson|
|23||Matthew Cooke (USA) Team Mountain Khakis-Jittery Joe’s|
|24||Hamish Presbury (NZl) Team New Zealand Pro Cycling|
|25||Vladislav Borisov (Rus) Amore & Vita Conad|
|26||Charles Hutcheson (USA) Battley Harley-Davidson|
|27||Peter Hurst (USA) Axa Equitable Cycling Team|
|28||Antoine Duchesne (Can) Team Tour De Quebec|
|29||Paul Mach (USA) Bissell Pro Cycling Team|
|30||John Delong (USA) Haymarket Club|
|31||Kennett Peterson (USA) Hagens Berman LLP Cycling Team|
|32||Chris Johnson (USA) Alliance Environmental|
|33||Hugo Houle (Can) Team Tour De Quebec|
|34||John Loehner (USA) AXA Equitable Cycling Team|
|35||Antoine Matteau (Can) Team Tour De Quebec|
|36||Jake Hollenbach (USA) AXA Equitable Cycling Team|
|37||Keck Baker (USA) Battley Harley-Davidson|
|38||Jonathan Clarke (Aus) Team UnitedHealthcare-Maxxis|
|39||Michael Chauner (USA) PA Lightning|
|40||Sam Steele (NZl) Team New Zealand Pro Cycling|
|41||Volodymyr Starchyk (Ukr) Amore & Vita Conad|
|42||John Jackie W Simes Iv (USA) Jamis Sutter Home|
|43||Austin Roach (USA) Met Life-Grosolar|
|44||Logan Hutchings (NZl) Team Hotel San Jose-Juwi Solar|
|45||Daniel Bowman (USA) Kelly Benefit Strategies|
|46||Kevin Gottlieb (USA) Haymarket Club|
|47||Lucas Euser (USA) Spidertech-Planet Energy|
|48||Lang Reynolds (USA) Hagens Berman LLP Cycling Team|
|49||Amos Brumble (USA) CCB Wheelworks|
|50||Johan Lindgren (Swe) Team Cykelcity|
|51||Chris Gruber (Can) Bikyle-Mazur Coaching (alternate)|
|52||Jonathan Mumford (USA) Kelly Benefit Strategies|
|53||Jordan Cheyne (Can) Bikyle-Mazur Coaching||0:00:15|
|54||Marc De Maar (Ned) Team UnitedHealthcare-Maxxis||0:00:17|
|55||Charly Vives (Can) Spidertech-Planet Energy||0:00:20|
|56||Heath Blackgrove (NZl) Team Hotel San Jose-Juwi Solar||0:00:44|
|57||Justin Lindine (USA) Bikereg.com_Cannondale||0:01:00|
|58||Igor Volshteyn (USA) Champion System Racing-Cycles Gladiator Wines|
|59||Cameron Cogburn (USA) CCB Wheelworks|
|60||Stefan Rothe (Ger) Team Hotel San Jose-Juwi Solar|
|61||Tyler Wren (USA) Jamis Sutter Home|
|62||Peter Morse (Can) Jetfuel Coffee|
|63||Andy Jacques-Maynes (USA) Bissell Pro Cycling Team||0:01:11|
|64||Alex Bhogal (Ger) Bikyle-Mazur Coaching||0:01:29|
|65||Bobby Lea (USA) Team New Zealand Pro Cycling||0:01:37|
|66||Joey Rosskopf (USA) Team Mountain Khakis-Jittery Joe’s|
|67||David Hoyle (USA) CCNS-Charlescoaching.com|
|68||Steven Gordon (USA) Haymarket Club||0:01:53|
|69||Jesper Dahlstrom (Swe) PA Lightning||0:01:55|
|70||Roberto Torres Aguiar-Santiago (PuR) Champion System Racing-Cycles Gladiator Wines||0:02:07|
|71||Tim Mitchell (USA) Ccb Wheelworks||0:02:11|
|72||Gavriel Epstein (USA) CRCA-Foundation Cycling|
|73||Fausto Fognini (Ita) Amore & Vita Conad|
|74||Serhy Hrechyn (Ukr) Amore & Vita Conad|
|75||Maint Berkenbosch (Ned) Global Dutch Cycling Team|
|76||Jonas Bjelkmark (Swe) Team Cykelcity||0:02:18|
|77||Rodney Santiago Gerena (PuR) Champion System Reacing-Cycles Gladiator Wines|
|78||Scott Zwizanski (USA) Kelly Benefit Strategies||0:02:41|
|79||Bernardo Colex Tepox (Mex) Amore & Vita Conad|
|80||Ryan Fleming (USA) Met Life-Grosolar|
|81||Nicholas Bennette (USA) Met Life-Grosolar|
|82||David Guttenplan (USA) Team Mountain Khakis-Jittery Joe’s||0:03:53|
|83||Aliaksandr Bialiauski (Blr) CCB Wheelworks||0:04:54|
|84||Nick Bax (USA) Battley Harley-Davidson|
|85||Russell Brown (USA) Haymarket Club|
|86||Sean Smith (USA) Champion System Reacing-Cycles Gladiator Wines||0:05:15|
|87||Colin Sandberg (USA) Alliance Environmental (alternate)||0:05:17|
|88||Andrew Hughson (NZl) Team New Zealand Pro Cycling||0:05:19|
|89||Justin Steeds (Can) Bikyle/mazur Coaching||0:05:33|
|90||Jose Escobar (USA) Battley Harley-Davidson|
|91||Franklin Burgos (USA) CRCA-Foundation Cycling|
|92||Brady Gibney (USA) Alliance Environmental|
|93||Nathaniel Wilson (USA) Haymarket Club||0:05:41|
|94||J Gabriel Lloyd (USA) Met Life-Grosolar|
|DNF||Shane Kline (USA) Bissell Pro Cycling Team|
|DNF||Eric Boily (Can) Spidertech-Planet Energy|
|DNF||Mark Batty (Can) Spidertech-Planet Energy|
|DNF||Richard Hoffarth (USA) Team Mountain Khakis-Jittery Joe’s|
|DNF||Eric Schildge (USA) Team Mountain Khakis-Jittery Joe’s|
|DNF||Timothy Johnson (USA) Team UnitedHealthcare-Maxxis|
|DNF||Rory Sutherland (Aus) Team UnitedHealthcare-Maxxis|
|DNF||Blair Berbert (USA) Alliance Environmental|
|DNF||Clayton Barrows (USA) AXA Equitable Cycling Team|
|DNF||John Minturn (USA) AXA Equitable Cycling Team|
|DNF||Joseph Whitman (USA) AXA Equitable Cycling Team|
|DNF||Timothy Rugg (USA) Battley Harley-Davidson|
|DNF||Jerome Townsend (USA) Bikereg.com-Cannondale|
|DNF||Stephen Weller (USA) Bikereg.com_Cannondale|
|DNF||Adam Farabaugh (USA) Bikyle-Mazur Coaching|
|DNF||Yahor Buben (Blr) CCB Wheelworks|
|DNF||Aidan Charles (USA) CCNS-Charlescoaching.com|
|DNF||Ron Larose (USA) CCNS-Charlescoaching.com|
|DNF||Ryan Serbel (USA) CCNS-Charlescoaching.com|
|DNF||Alejandro Guzman (Dom) CRCA-Foundation Cycling|
|DNF||Lisban Quintero (Col) CRCA-Foundation Cycling|
|DNF||Erik Andrea (Ned) Global Dutch Cycling Team|
|DNF||Wouter De Groot (Ned) Global Dutch Cycling Team|
|DNF||Ruud Kooijmans (Ned) Global Dutch Cycling Team|
|DNF||Phillip Elsasser (USA) Hagens Berman LLP Cycling Team|
|DNF||Sean Passage (USA) Hagens Berman LLP Cycling Team|
|DNF||Mike Stubna (USA) Haymarket Club|
|DNF||Ryan Aitcheson (Can) Jetfuel Coffee|
|DNF||Dave Byer (Can) Jetfuel Coffee|
|DNF||Kevin Hazzard (Can) Jetfuel Coffee|
|DNF||Joe Lewis (USA) Jetfuel Coffee|
|DNF||Stephen Meyer (Can) Jetfuel Coffee|
|DNF||Christian Bertilsson (Swe) PA Lightning|
|DNF||Johan Landstrom (Swe) Team Cykelcity|
|DNF||Chad Haga (USA) Team Hotel San Jose-Juwi Solar|
|DNF||James Canny (NZl) Team New Zealand Pro Cycling|
|DNF||Yannick Bedard (Can) Team Tour De Quebec|
|DNF||Arnaud Papillon (Can) Team Tour De Quebec|
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