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Pipp pips the rest in Crit champs curtain raiser

Frank Pipp (Bissell) played the perfect tactical game in a late-race, three-man break to capture victory at the Downers Grove ‘warm up’ criterium held on the eve of the US Pro Criterium Championships. He outpaced Tasmanian, Karl Menzies (OUCH p/b Maxxis) and Jeremy Powers (Jelly Belly) in third place.

"I know a lot of people in this area so it was nice to win in front of these crowds," said Pipp who has spent a lot of time racing in the Chicago area. "Jeremy was in the wind for the last half a lap and I was fresh from sitting on Karl’s wheel."

Pipp attacked a mid-race break of some 20 riders during the final three laps of the race. He was quickly followed by Powers, a savvy cyclo-cross rider keen to make a debut podium in a criterium.

"This is the first time I’ve ever had a podium at a big race on the road so it’s awesome and I’m so happy," said Powers, who captures plenty of podium time during the cyclo-cross season. "Danny Van Haute, our directeur, said to do what we wanted tonight and I moved forward to start covering moves. I was psyched because I saw Frank go and I knew that was the move."

Menzies jumped out of the chase group in pursuit of the two escapees on the last lap. He successfully made it across, however, it was so close to the finish line that his effort to connect may have come at the cost of his notoriously snappy sprint. Power attacked with half a lap to go and Pipp played his cards right again, looking at Menzies, the strongest sprinter in the group, to chase.

"He’s [Karl Menzies] not the kind of rider you want to bridge across to the break," said Pipp. "He’s a great friend of mine but head-to-head Karl is very tough to beat. Luckily he had to do a lot of work to bridge across to us and his tank might have emptied a little bit. Jeremy and I were not going slow. Jeremy attacked, I watched him go and looked at Karl to chase it. I knew which ever one of us tried to chase would be hard-pressed to get the win."

The Downers Grove warm-up race is traditionally held on the eve of the championship event. Many of the fastest sprinters in the nation started the race torn between wanting to win and saving their legs for the more important race held the following day. Some 160 riders lined up to start but only a handful finished.

"On Bissell, we said we weren’t going to contest the win if it was a field sprint." said Pipp. "It’s too crazy, especially if you think you have a shot tomorrow."

Notorious speedsters caught sitting up before the race ended included Defending Champion Rashaan Bahati (Rock Racing), Sebastian Haedo and Alejandro Borrajo (Colavita-Sutter Home) and Alex Candelario (Kelly Benefit Strategies).

"I told my guys to try to get in the break, but if they didn’t make it then to sit up from the field and save their legs for tomorrow," said former US Pro Criterium Champion Jonas Carney, who now directs the Kelly Benefit Strategies team. "It’s too dangerous and tomorrow is important. It’s good for the guys to race, to get ready for tomorrow."

A highly active first half of the pro-men’s 50-kilometre race resulted in a breakaway of some twenty riders. They included Powers, Pipp and Menzies along with Bernard Van Ulden and Matt Crane (Jelly Belly), Luis Amaran (Colavita-Sutter Home), Ivan Dominguez (Rock Racing), Alex Candelario (Kelly Benefit Strategies), Michael Creed (Team Type 1), Clayton Borrows and Stephen Kincaid (CRCA-Empire), Andy Jacques-Maynes (Bissell), Andrew Pinfold (OUCH p/b Maxxis) and Chad Hartley (Geargrinders).

1Frank Pipp (Usa) Bissell1:09:00
2Karl Menzies (Aus) Ouch Presented By Maxxis
3Jeremy Powers (Usa) Jelly Belly
4Clayton Barrows (Usa) Crca/Empire Cycling Team
5Mike Creed (Usa) Team Type 1
6Bernard Van Ulden (Usa) Jelly Belly
7Eric Barlevev (Usa) Team Mtn Khakis Pb Epno
8Chad Hartley (Usa) Team Geargrinder
9Mark Hekman (Usa) Team Mtn Khakis Pb Epno
10Jeff Schroetlin (Usa) Abd Cycling Team
11Andy Jacques-Maynes (Usa) Bissell
12Stephan Kincaid (Usa) Crca/Empire Cycling Team
13Ben Kersten (Usa) Fly-V Australia
14Adam Bergman (Usa) Texas Roadhouse Cycling Team
15Isaac Howe (Usa) Team Mtn Khakis Pb Epno
16Kyle Gritters (Usa) Southern California Velo
17Ben Renkema (Usa) Kenda Pro Cycling P/B Spinergy
18Ronnie Strange (Usa) Team Hotel San Jose/Redbudsp
19Adam Myerson (Usa) Team Mountain Khakis
20Yosvany Falcon (Usa) Champion Porsche
21Phillip Mann (Usa) Ciclismo Racing
22Freddie Rodriguez (Usa) Rock Racing
23Brad Huff (Usa) Jelly Belly
24Jim Stemper (Usa) Team Geargrinder
25Ivan Dominguez (Usa) Rock Racing
26Eric Schildge (Usa) Bikereg.Com/Cannondale
27Jaime Gandara (Usa) Kenda Pro Cycling P/B Spinergy
28Steve Tilford (Usa) Tradewind Energy/The Trek Sto
29Davide Frattini (Usa) Colavita Sutter Home
30David Wiswell (Usa) Gs Mesgoni Usa
31Zach Watson (Usa) Abd Cycling Team
32Robert Scheffler (Usa) None
33Adam Carr (Usa) Ten Speed Drive/Bh Bicycles
34Chad Cagle (Usa) Mercy Cycling
35Corey Steinbrecher (Usa) Waste Management
36Rob Evans (Usa) Rhvilla/Ias
37William Marshall (Usa) Mercy Elite Cycling Team
38Seth Hansley (Usa) Champion Porsche
39Justin Williams (Usa) Rock Racing
40Matthew Spohn (Usa) Dynaflo Racing
41Tom Soladay (Usa) Team Mtn Khakis Pb Epno
42Ryan Freund (Usa) Abd Cycling Team
43David Mcneal (Usa) Blue Chip Racing
44Mathew Ankney (Usa) Mercy Cycling Team
45Matt Crane (Usa) Jelly Belly
46Rob White (Usa) Team Geargrinder
47Justin England (Usa) Cal Giant
48Michael Margarite (Usa) Crca/Empire Cycling Team
49Elliot Gaunt (Usa) Gpoa Cannondale
50Latham Peter (Nzl) Bissell
51Sean Mazich (Usa) Waste Management
52Austin Roach (Usa) Metlife Cycling Team
53Andrew Pinfold (Can) Ouch Presented By Maxxis
54Alder Martz (Usa) Dlp Racing
55John Murphy (Usa) Ouch Presented By Maxxis
56Roman Kilun (Usa) Ouch Presented By Maxxis
57Bryan Mcvey (Usa) Vision Quest
58Luis Amaran (Usa) Colavita Sutter Home
59Josh Carter (Usa) Abd Cycling Team
60Gregg Brandt (Usa) Bianchi/Gp
61David Hackworthy (Usa) Bianchi/Grand Performance
62Eric Marcotte (Usa) Bicycle Haus
63Jake Hollenbach (Usa) Crca/Empire Cycling Team
64Alex Welch (Usa) Mercy
65Nick Reistad (Usa) Jelly Belly
66Bobby Lea (Usa) Ouch Presented By Maxxis
67James Mattis (Usa) Cal Giant/Specialized
68Bryce Mead (Usa) Jelly Belly
69Scott Zwizanski (Usa) Kelly Benefit Strategies
70Luca Damiani (Usa) Colavita Sutter Home
71Anibal Borrajo (Usa) Colavita Sutter Home
72Frank Travieso (Usa) Champion Porsche
73Nicholas Bennette (Usa) Metlife Pro-Am Cycling
74Pat Lemieux (Usa) Texas Roadhouse
75Joseph Schmalz (Usa) Mercy Cycling Team
76Benn Van Der Genugten (Usa) Kenda Pro Cycling P/B Spinergy

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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 cycling from the community and 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 men's and women's races including Spring Classics, Grand Tours, World Championships and Olympic Games, and writes and edits news and features. As the Women's Editor at Cyclingnews, Kirsten also coordinates and oversees the global coverage of races, news, features and podcasts about women's professional cycling.

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