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Luke Keough, Allar seal USA CRITS titles with wins in Vail

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USA CRITS leader Luke Keough (SmartStop-Mountain Khakis) stamps his authority on the series with a victory at the final race in Vail.

USA CRITS leader Luke Keough (SmartStop-Mountain Khakis) stamps his authority on the series with a victory at the final race in Vail.
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)
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Jake Wells (Stan's NoTubes/AXA Equitable)

Jake Wells (Stan's NoTubes/AXA Equitable)
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)
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The men's peloton in action during the Tour of Vail.

The men's peloton in action during the Tour of Vail.
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)
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Time to adjust the heart rate monitor strap.

Time to adjust the heart rate monitor strap.
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)
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Action during the men's race at the Tour of Vail.

Action during the men's race at the Tour of Vail.
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)
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US pro criterium champion Ken Hanson (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) rides in second place.

US pro criterium champion Ken Hanson (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) rides in second place.
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)
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Riders on the attack at the Tour of Vail.

Riders on the attack at the Tour of Vail.
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)
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The men's peloton in action during the Tour of Vail.

The men's peloton in action during the Tour of Vail.
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)
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The men's peloton stretched out in a long, single line.

The men's peloton stretched out in a long, single line.
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)
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Fast racing keeps the men's peloton stretched out.

Fast racing keeps the men's peloton stretched out.
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)
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Reigning US pro criterium champion Ken Hanson (Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)

Reigning US pro criterium champion Ken Hanson (Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)
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Action during the men's race at the Tour of Vail.

Action during the men's race at the Tour of Vail.
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)
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A trio of Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies riders at the front: Mike Creed, Mike Friedman and Ken Hanson.

A trio of Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies riders at the front: Mike Creed, Mike Friedman and Ken Hanson.
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)
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Action during the men's race at the Tour of Vail.

Action during the men's race at the Tour of Vail.
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)
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A trio of Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies riders at the front: Mike Creed, Mike Friedman and Ken Hanson.

A trio of Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies riders at the front: Mike Creed, Mike Friedman and Ken Hanson.
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)
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The men's peloton heads out of the final corner to the start/finish line in Vail.

The men's peloton heads out of the final corner to the start/finish line in Vail.
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)
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Team SmartStop-Mountain Khakis would deliver teammate Luke Keough to victory in Vail.

Team SmartStop-Mountain Khakis would deliver teammate Luke Keough to victory in Vail.
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)
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Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies with their lead-out train for Ken Hanson.

Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies with their lead-out train for Ken Hanson.
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)
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Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies set the pace in the men's event.

Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies set the pace in the men's event.
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)
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Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies work for their sprinter Ken Hanson.

Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies work for their sprinter Ken Hanson.
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)
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Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies at the head of affairs.

Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies at the head of affairs.
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)
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On the attack at the Tour of Vail.

On the attack at the Tour of Vail.
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)
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Riders on the attack during the men's Tour of Vail.

Riders on the attack during the men's Tour of Vail.
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)
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Amity Elliott (Team Kenda) on the attack for fourth place.

Amity Elliott (Team Kenda) on the attack for fourth place.
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)
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The women's peloton in action during the Tour of Vail.

The women's peloton in action during the Tour of Vail.
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)
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Erica Allar (RideClean/PatentIt.com), Alison Powers (Now And Novartis For MS) and Whitney Schultz (Paceline Projects p/b Veloforma) in the winning break that lapped the field.

Erica Allar (RideClean/PatentIt.com), Alison Powers (Now And Novartis For MS) and Whitney Schultz (Paceline Projects p/b Veloforma) in the winning break that lapped the field.
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)
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Erica Allar (RideClean/PatentIt.com) leads Alison Powers (Now And Novartis For MS) and Whitney Schultz (Paceline Projects p/b Veloforma) in the winning break that lapped the field.

Erica Allar (RideClean/PatentIt.com) leads Alison Powers (Now And Novartis For MS) and Whitney Schultz (Paceline Projects p/b Veloforma) in the winning break that lapped the field.
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)
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The women's peloton in action during the Tour of Vail.

The women's peloton in action during the Tour of Vail.
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)
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The women's peloton in action during the Tour of Vail.

The women's peloton in action during the Tour of Vail.
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)
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The women's peloton in action during the Tour of Vail.

The women's peloton in action during the Tour of Vail.
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)
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The women's peloton in action during the Tour of Vail.

The women's peloton in action during the Tour of Vail.
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)
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Vail, Colorado hosted the Tour of Vail - the final event of the USA Crits series.

Vail, Colorado hosted the Tour of Vail - the final event of the USA Crits series.
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)
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After three riders lapped the field in the Tour of Vail, Amity Elliott (Kenda) attacked to take fourth

After three riders lapped the field in the Tour of Vail, Amity Elliott (Kenda) attacked to take fourth
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)
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The women's peloton in action during the Tour of Vail.

The women's peloton in action during the Tour of Vail.
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)
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Riders on the attack during the men's Tour of Vail.

Riders on the attack during the men's Tour of Vail.
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)
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The men's peloton rolls through the start/finish line during the Tour of Vail.

The men's peloton rolls through the start/finish line during the Tour of Vail.
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)
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The men's peloton is underway at the Tour of Vail.

The men's peloton is underway at the Tour of Vail.
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)
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The men's peloton in action during the USA Crits finale at the Tour of Vail.

The men's peloton in action during the USA Crits finale at the Tour of Vail.
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)
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Team SmartStop-Mountain Khakis again won the USA CRITS team title.

Team SmartStop-Mountain Khakis again won the USA CRITS team title.
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)
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Alison Powers (Now And Novartis For MS) leads Erica Allar (RideClean/PatentIt.com)

Alison Powers (Now And Novartis For MS) leads Erica Allar (RideClean/PatentIt.com)
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)
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The women's peloton in action during the Tour of Vail.

The women's peloton in action during the Tour of Vail.
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)
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Erica Allar (RideClean/PatentIt.com) wins the Tour of Vail

Erica Allar (RideClean/PatentIt.com) wins the Tour of Vail
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)
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The women's peloton in action during the Tour of Vail.

The women's peloton in action during the Tour of Vail.
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)
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Erica Allar (RideClean/PatentIt.com) in action during the Tour of Vail criterium.

Erica Allar (RideClean/PatentIt.com) in action during the Tour of Vail criterium.
(Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)

The 2012 USA CRITS Championship Series calendar came to a close with the inaugural Tour of Vail criterium, where Luke Keough (Team SmartStop-Mountain Khakis) and Erica Allar (Rideclean/PatentIt.com) emerged victorious. Both riders began the series' final race sitting comfortably in their leading positions in the overall and defended them with first place finishes. This is the third year that Allar has been crowned the women's champion, while Keough's second consecutive overall win proves that the 21-year-old's career continues to be impressive.

"It's been a great year for not only myself, but the entire team," Keough said following his win. "Everyone rode a great season and we've had some big results, but to end it with a win out here in beautiful Vail - couldn't beat it."

In the women's race, Allar, Alison Powers (NOW and Novartis for MS) and Whitney Schultz (Paceline Projects p/b Veloforma) formed a breakaway just six minutes into the women's race which spawned a gap that gradually grew to 33 seconds by the halfway point. The trio would lap the field with 18 laps remaining as the rest of the peloton competed for the 4th position. Amity Elliot of Team Kenda attacked with 13 laps to go and the 30-second lead she was able to retain on the field guaranteed her the 4th place finish.

Lenore Pipes of Rideclean/PatentIt.com marked Schultz in the final moments of the race to deliver fellow teammate Allar to a first place finish, with Alison Powers (NOW and Novartis for MS) and Whitney Schultz (Paceline Projects p/b Veloforma) coming in second and third respectively. As soon as the top four crossed the line, a crash took down much of the remaining field who were competing for the number five spot, including Robin Farina (NOW and Novartis for MS) and Allar's Rideclean/PatentIt.com teammate Colleen Hayduk.

The men's field shot straight out of the gate not long afterwards, chasing big primes like the $250 picked up by Euris Vidal (CRCA Foundation) during the first lap. Strung out two laps in, national criterium champion Ken Hanson (Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) was in the mix throughout the event.

There was a dangerous, five-man breakaway comprised of Andy Bajadali (Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies), Robin Eckmann (California Giant), Kevin Mullervy (Team Exergy), Jake Wells (Stan's NoTubes), and Colby Pearce (Horizon Organic/Panache Development) that was established with 36 laps to go, but the peloton eventually caught them on the 1km cobbled course. Mullervy attacked and soloed off the front to pick up a generous $500 prime, but eventually the turning point was as Optum Pro Cycling moved to the front of the race to set up Hanson for victory.

A $500 prime that went to Alexei Schmidt (Team Type 1 Devo) sped up the final moments of racing, and just when it looked like Hanson would in fact be able to capitalize on the work of his teammates, Luke Keough came around him out of the final corner to take the win, narrowly missing the barriers from his final burst of speed. Hanson would have to settle for second place, while Rafael Meran (CRCA Foundation) finished in third.

"Optum rode a great race. You saw that," said Keough. "They were aggressive early. They put me in the hurt locker pretty bad. I was trying to cover some moves, maybe get in that break that we thought was gonna go. It ended up not going and then they rode those last 16 laps really, really well...They rode a great race."

Full Results

Elite women
1Erica Allar (RideClean/PatentIt.com)0:58:48
2Alison Powers (NOW and Novartis for MS)
3Whitney Schultz (Paceline Projects p/b Veloforma)0:00:04
4Amity Elliot (Team Kenda)0:01:40
5Kat Carr (Paceline Projects p/b Veloforma)0:02:01
6Lenore Pipes (River CIty Women's Racing)0:02:02
7Liz Gerrity (Team Kenda)
8Gwen Inglis (Team Kenda)0:02:03
9Kyleanne Hunter (XO Communications p/b Cisco)
10Colleen Hayduk (RideClean/PatentIt.com)0:02:07
11Lauren De Crescenzo (Team Kenda presented by Geargrinder)0:02:08
12Amy Charity (Steamboat Velo)0:03:40
13Robin Farina (NOW and Novartis for MS)
14Anne Donley
15Vera Divenyi (Naked Women's Racing p/b Tribella)0:06:07
16Colleen Gulick (Pure Energy Cycling-ProAirHFA)0:06:09

Elite men
1Luke Keough (Team SmartStop-Mountain Khakis)1:13:00
2Ken Hanson (Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)
3Rafael Meran (CRCA/Foundation)0:00:01
4Mike Friedman (Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)
5Kevin Mullervy (Team Exergy)
6Euris Vidal (CRCA/Foundation)0:00:02
7Isaac Howe (Kenda/5-hour Energy Cycling Team)
8Oscar Clark (The 706 Project)
9Jesse Goodrich (Juwi Solar Cycling)
10Colby Pearce (Horizon Organic / Panache Elite Cycling)
11Robin Eckmann (California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized)0:00:03
12Jean-Michel Lechance (Rossetti Devo Cycling Team)
13Alexey Shmidt (Team Type 1)
14Jeff Perrin (Juwi Solar Cycling)0:00:04
15Sean Sullivan (Elbowz Racing)
16Keith Harper (BOO Bicycles)
17Ian Holt (Juwi Solar Cycling)
18Colin Jaskiewicz (Champion System p/b Stan's NoTubes)
19Taylor Shelden (Competitive Cyclist Racing Team)
20Allan Rego (Champion System p/b Stan's NoTubes)0:00:05
21Jake Wells (Stan's NoTubes/AXA Equitable)
22Michael Dessau (Slipstream-Craddock Junior Development)
23Gavriel Epstein (Champion System p/b Stan's NoTubes)
24Zack Allison (Mercy Cycling Team)0:00:06
25Don Powell (GS Ciao)0:00:07
26David Guttenplan (Team United Healthcare Georgia/The 706 Project)
27Stephan Hirsch (The 706 Project)
28Mark Hyatt (National Capital Velo Club/UnitedHealthcare)0:00:08
29Ryan Mele (Stan's NoTubes/AXA Equitable)
30Jorge Espinoza (GS Ciao)
31Brett Peters0:00:09
32Thomas Brown (Team SmartStop-Mountain Khakis)
33Kit Recca (Horizon Organic / Panache Elite Cycling)
34Shane Kline (Team SmartStop-Mountain Khakis)0:00:10
35Clay Murfet (Team SmartStop-Mountain Khakis)
36Eric Losak (Team Clif Bar Cycling)0:00:11
37Aaron Pool
38Brian Jensen (TradeWind Energy Cycling Team)
39Alejandro Guzman (CRCA/Foundation)0:00:12
40Dylan Jones (Mercy Cycling Team)
41Greg Daniel (Slipstream-Craddock Junior Development)0:00:13
42Matt Charity (Steamboat Velo)
43Blake Anton (Team Clif Bar Cycling)
44Kevin Cawley (Tokyo Joe's -Whole Foods/Primal)0:00:14
45Justin Brunner0:00:15
46Neil Bezdek (Team SmartStop-Mountain Khakis)0:00:16
47Matt Brooks (Team Type 1- Development)
48Chris Monteleone (Team SmartStop-Mountain Khakis)
49Russell Harding (Natural Grocers Cycling Team)0:00:17
50Greg Krause (Juwi Solar Cycling)0:00:18
51Brian Nix (Groove Subaru-Alpha Bicycle Co)0:00:19
52Charles MacCassin (Juwi Solar Cycling)
53Jacob Hill (Firefighters Racing p/b Advocare)0:00:20
54John Bergmann (Team Clif Bar Cycling)
55Brian Hill (Stan's NoTubes/AXA Equitable)0:00:21
56Kevin Selker (Tokyo Joe's -Whole Foods/Primal)
57Nate Wilson (California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized)0:00:23
58Phil Gronniger (Groove Subaru-Alpha Bicycle Co)0:00:29
59Ariel Mendez-Penate (Champion System p/b Stan's NoTubes)0:00:35
60Mike Creed (Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)0:00:44
61Tim Srenaski (GS Boulder/Trek Store)
DNFTaylor Jung (Ronin Racing)
DNFMitchell Jacaruso (Champion System p/b Stan's NoTubes)
DNFAdam Alexander
DNFClayton Feldman
DNFTony Hall (Champion System p/b Stan's NoTubes)
DNFAndrew Bajadali (Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)
DNFLogan Vonbokel (Mercy Cycling Team)
DNFAlan Zalewa
DNFScott Wall (Bicycle Ranch)
DNFAustin Vinton (Mercy Cycling Team)
DNFMatthew Segur (Mix1)
DNFMark Shimahara (Team Clif Bar Cycling)
DNFScott Soden (Great Divide Brewing Company)
DNFLance Sulzen (Groove Subaru-Alpha Bicycle Co)
DNFJay Salazar (Salt Lake City Cycling (SLCC))
DNFColby Ricker (Sonic Boom Racing)
DNFConor Mullervy (Team Exergy)
DNFEric Juzysta (Team Rocky Mountain Health Plans)

Women's final overall standings
1Erica Allar (RideClean/PatentIt.com)2180pts
2Colleen Gulick (Pure Energy Cycling)1543
3Colleen Hayduk (RideClean/PatentIt.com)1448
4Debbie Milne (Absolute Racing)1351
5Laura Van Gilder (Mellow Mushroom-Rose Bandit Racing)1313
6Lenore Pipes (RideClean/PatentIt.com)809
7Sarah Fader (Pepper Palace/Spin-Tech Training p/b ABRC)801
8Robin Farina (NOW and Novartis for MS)696
9Kathryne Carr (Paceline Projects p/b Veloforma)657
10Christina Gokey-Smith (NOW and Novartis for MS)633

Women's team final overall standings
1RideClean/PatentIt.com5874pts
2Team Kenda p/b Geargrinder4247
3Mellow Mushroom/Rose Bandit Racing3226

Men's final overall standings
1Luke Keough (Team SmartStop-Mountain Khakis)2283pts
2Oscar Clark (UnitedHealthcare of Georgia p/b The 706 Project)2122
3Euris R. Vidal (CRCA/Foundation)1893
4Rafael Meran (CRCA/Foundation)1773
5Colin Jaskiewicz (Champion System p/b Stan's NoTubes/CRCA)1770
6Emile Abraham (Rossetti Devo Cycling Team)1753
7Gavriel Epstein (Champion System p/b Stan's NoTubes/CRCA)1739
8Jean-Michel Lechance (Rossetti Devo Cycling Team)1448
9Isaac Howe (Kenda/5-Hour Evergy Pro Cycling p/b Geargrinder)1248
10Ryan Mele (Stan's NoTubes/AXA Equitable)1058

Men's team final overall standings
1Team SmartStop-Mountain Khakis6787pts
2CRCA/Foundation6561
3Champion System p/b Stan's NoTubes/CRCA6080

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