US Pro Championships: Warbasse takes men's road title

Less than two weeks after claiming his first ever pro victory in the Tour de Suisse, Larry Warbasse earned himself a year in the stars and stripes jersey, taking the US Pro men's road race title in Knoxville, Tennessee.

The 26-year-old Aqua Blue Sport rider proved strongest out of a three-man late escape group, besting Axeon Hagens Berman's Neilson Powless and LottoNL-Jumbo's Alexey Vermeulen at the line.

"I'm in disbelief. I think this has been the best two weeks of my life," Warbasse said after taking the victory.

"I had a really great race in Suisse a couple weeks ago. Yesterday, I felt pretty bad in the time trial, I was a bit disappointed, and I told some friends 'I guess I work well with disappointment, so hopefully tomorrow will be good.'

"Honestly I didn't feel good the whole day. At the start I was suffering – actually I was suffering the whole time. I don't think I was the strongest today but I think I was the smartest. I can't believe it, I'm so happy."

Warbasse, Powless and Vermeulen got clear of the pack on the 12th of 14 total laps on the Knoxville circuit and managed to build enough of an advantage that it was clear they'd battle for the win among themselves with a few kilometres still to go.

Warbasse made a probing attack around two kilometres from the line but his companions managed to hold his wheel, setting up a three-man battle on the finishing straight. Warbasse found more success when he jumped early over the crest of the final rise and powered downhill to the finish line with gravity on his side.

"When I was riding it earlier this week, and I thought if I had the legs, I would go on the climb (Sherrod Road), but shortly into the race, I knew that I would have to do something somewhere else. I just thought OK, I knew the last rise would be important.

"I was planning on going on the rise, but when we were going into it, I was able to play it cool and watch the other guys. I knew that if I could get a little jump on them on that downhill it would be hard to come around. I don't have a good sprint, so I knew I had to get some advantage and it worked out. That was really cool."

Powless gave a hat tip to Warbasse for playing it smart, but showed a touch of disappointment after landing on the podium for the second time in the weekend but shy of the top step.

"I'm still happy to be here and I am proud of my race," Powless said. "But it's a little frustrating with two podium finishes and missing the win.

"Tactially, up until the very end I played it pretty perfectly. I tried to conserve as much as possible and not put my nose in the wind unless something serious was going up the road."

"Once we got away we just kept it together up until the finish, basically. We knew we were strong enough to take it to the line if we stayed together. We all gambled on a sprint finish, and Larry hit it first over the top of the climb. It's tough to follow that on a downhill sprint."

How it unfolded

Sun greeted the 102 riders as they set off for their 176.9km championship race. The first two laps were riddled with small attacks, but no move could stay away until Ian Garrison (Axeon Hagens Berman), Sean Bennett (Jelly Belly) and Daniel Eaton (UnitedHealthcare) managed to forge clear on the fourth lap. They never gained more than a few minutes, however, as Holowesko-Citadel took sole responsibility for the chase.

Their pressure proved too much for the trio by the time they reached 70 kilometres to go, with the peloton closing in on the climb and then making the catch in the feed zone.

Rally put in two attacks on the next lap, first with Shane Kline, then with Evan Huffman, who went clear with Oscar Clark with three to go, but an attentive batch of WorldTour riders marked every move.

The peloton began to shatter heading into the penultimate lap, with the main contenders all at the front and many of the sprinters distanced by the pace. When the race hit two to go, Axeon Hagens Berman attacked, with Tennessee local Jonathan Brown getting a slight gap.

But it wasn’t to last, as Rosskopf launched a move with Vermeulen that forced others to respond on the penultimate ascent of Sherrod Road. Coming over the climb, it was Powless, Vermeulen and Warbasse opening up a gap. The trio poured all of their efforts into the move knowing that when they reached the line, it would be just one lap and 12.7 kilometres to go.

The men’s field could see the trio as they headed into the turnarounds, but the escapees refused to let up. Nearing the penultimate crossing of the line, WorldTour singlets Brent Bookwalter (BMC Racing) and Alex Howes (Cannondale-Drapac) were feeling the pressure and attacked the chasing group, but the Rally train reeled in the move.

With half a minute in hand, however, the three leaders out front would not be denied, cooperating well to maintain their advantage into the last few kilometres. Although his attempt to solo clear came up short, Warbasse proved on the finishing straight that he still had something left in the tank, out-gunning Powless and Vermeulen in the sprint. 

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Lawrence Warbasse (USA) Aqua Blue Sport4:20:45
2Neilson Powless (USA) Axeon Hagens BermanRow 1 - Cell 2
3Alexey Vermeulen (USA) Team Lotto NL - JumboRow 2 - Cell 2
4Robin Carpenter (USA) Holowesko | Citadel Racing Team0:00:35
5Colin Joyce (USA) Rally CyclingRow 4 - Cell 2
6Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing TeamRow 5 - Cell 2
7Alex Howes (USA) Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling0:00:38
8Kiel Reijnen (USA) Trek-Segafredo0:00:47
9Eric Young (USA) Rally CyclingRow 8 - Cell 2
10Joseph Rosskopf (USA) BMC Racing TeamRow 9 - Cell 2
11William Barta (USA) Axeon Hagens BermanRow 10 - Cell 2
12Chad Beyer (USA) Canyon BicyclesRow 11 - Cell 2
13Justin Oien (USA) Caja Rural - Seguras RGARow 12 - Cell 2
14Gage Hecht (USA) Aevolo Cycling Inc.Row 13 - Cell 2
15Christopher Blevins (USA) Axeon Hagens BermanRow 14 - Cell 2
16Stephen Bassett (USA) Silber Pro CyclingRow 15 - Cell 2
17Jacob Rathe (USA) Jelly Belly p/b MaxxisRow 16 - Cell 2
18Robert Squire (USA) Canyon BicyclesRow 17 - Cell 2
19Geoffrey Curran (USA) Axeon Hagens BermanRow 18 - Cell 2
20Jacob Sitler (USA) CCB VelotoolerRow 19 - Cell 2
21Kevin Girkins (USA) ELBOWZ Racing p/b Synergy.ORow 20 - Cell 2
22Alex Hoehn (USA) Elevate-KHS Pro CyclingRow 21 - Cell 2
23Erik Slack (USA) Canyon BicyclesRow 22 - Cell 2
24Edward Anderson (USA) Axeon Hagens BermanRow 23 - Cell 2
25Travis McCabe (USA) UnitedHealthcareRow 24 - Cell 2
26Eric Marcotte (USA) CylanceRow 25 - Cell 2
27Connor McCutcheon (USA) Team IlluminateRow 26 - Cell 2
28Evan Huffman (USA) Rally CyclingRow 27 - Cell 2
29Gregory Daniel (USA) Trek-Segafredo0:01:29
30Christopher Jones (USA) UnitedHealthcare0:01:51
31Gavin Mannion (USA) UnitedHealthcare0:03:03
32Jonathan Brown (USA) Axeon Hagens BermanRow 31 - Cell 2
33Steve Fisher (USA) Canyon BicyclesRow 32 - Cell 2
34Kyle Murphy (USA) CylanceRow 33 - Cell 2
35Cory Lockwood (USA) Elevate-KHS Pro Cycling0:05:00
36Tyler Magner (USA) Holowesko | Citadel Racing Team0:05:23
37Taylor Eisenhart (USA) Holowesko | Citadel Racing TeamRow 36 - Cell 2
38Danny Pate (USA) Rally Cycling0:06:22
39Emerson Oronte (USA) Rally CyclingRow 38 - Cell 2
40Sepp Kuss (USA) Rally CyclingRow 39 - Cell 2
41Brian Mcculloch (USA) Elevate-KHS Pro Cycling0:08:22
42Micah Engle (USA) Gateway Harley-Davidson Trek U2Row 41 - Cell 2
43Brad Neagos (USA) Team IlluminateRow 42 - Cell 2
44Cameron Piper (USA) Team IlluminateRow 43 - Cell 2
45Charles Huff (USA) Rally CyclingRow 44 - Cell 2
46Cortlan Brown (USA) Canyon BicyclesRow 45 - Cell 2
47Morgan Schmitt (USA) Arapahoe Resources / GarneauRow 46 - Cell 2
48Noah Granigan (USA) CCB VelotoolerRow 47 - Cell 2
49Spencer Petrov (USA) CCB VelotoolerRow 48 - Cell 2
50Shane Kline (USA) Rally CyclingRow 49 - Cell 2
51Ezekiel Mostov (USA) Aevolo Cycling Inc.Row 50 - Cell 2
52Joseph Schmalz (USA) Elevate-KHS Pro CyclingRow 51 - Cell 2
53Tyler Stites (USA) Aevolo Cycling Inc.0:08:30
54Lance Haidet (USA) Aevolo Cycling Inc.0:08:47
55Cameron Beard (USA) CCB Velotooler0:09:29
56Griffin Easter (USA) Team IlluminateRow 55 - Cell 2
57Michael Hernandez (USA) Aevolo Cycling Inc.Row 56 - Cell 2
58Cory Greenberg (USA) Canyon BicyclesRow 57 - Cell 2
59Sean Bennett (USA) Jelly Belly p/b MaxxisRow 58 - Cell 2
60Kaler Marshall (USA) Canyon BicyclesRow 59 - Cell 2
61Nicholas Torraca (USA) Elevate-KHS Pro CyclingRow 60 - Cell 2
62Connor Brown (USA) Elevate-KHS Pro CyclingRow 61 - Cell 2
63Grant Koontz (USA) Arapahoe Resources / GarneauRow 62 - Cell 2
64Mat Stephens (USA) Arapahoe Resources / GarneauRow 63 - Cell 2
65George Simpson (USA) Gateway Harley-Davidson Trek U2Row 64 - Cell 2
66Brett Wachtendorf (USA) Gateway Harley-Davidson Trek U2Row 65 - Cell 2
67Stefan Rothe (USA) ELBOWZ Racing p/b Synergy.ORow 66 - Cell 2
68Matthew Zimmer (USA) Gateway Harley-Davidson Trek U2Row 67 - Cell 2
69Dennis Ramirez (USA) Gateway Harley-Davidson Trek U2Row 68 - Cell 2
70Brendan Rhim (USA) Holowesko | Citadel Racing TeamRow 69 - Cell 2
71Miguel Bryon (USA) Holowesko | Citadel Racing Team0:09:54
72Mackenzie Brennan (USA) Holowesko | Citadel Racing TeamRow 71 - Cell 2
73Joshua Berry (USA) Jelly Belly p/b MaxxisRow 72 - Cell 2
74Christopher Butler (USA) Caja Rural - Seguras RGARow 73 - Cell 2
75Justin Stanley (USA) ELBOWZ Racing p/b Synergy.ORow 74 - Cell 2
76Maxwell Ackermann (USA) Gateway Harley-Davidson Trek U2Row 75 - Cell 2
77Brant Speed (USA) ELBOWZ Racing p/b Synergy.ORow 76 - Cell 2
78Patrick Collins (USA) CCB VelotoolerRow 77 - Cell 2
DNFCory Small (USA) CCB VelotoolerRow 78 - Cell 2
DNFBenjamin Wolfe (USA) Jelly Belly p/b MaxxisRow 79 - Cell 2
DNFDaniel Eaton (USA) UnitedHealthcareRow 80 - Cell 2
DNFAdrian Hegyvary (USA) UnitedHealthcareRow 81 - Cell 2
DNFJesse Anthony (USA) Rally CyclingRow 82 - Cell 2
DNFBrandon McNulty (USA) Rally CyclingRow 83 - Cell 2
DNFThomas Soladay (USA) Rally CyclingRow 84 - Cell 2
DNFCurtis White (USA) Rally CyclingRow 85 - Cell 2
DNFOscar Clark (USA) Holowesko | Citadel Racing TeamRow 86 - Cell 2
DNFJohn Murphy (USA) Holowesko | Citadel Racing TeamRow 87 - Cell 2
DNFIan Garrison (USA) Axeon Hagens BermanRow 88 - Cell 2
DNFMichael Sheehan (USA) Jelly Belly p/b MaxxisRow 89 - Cell 2
DNFCullen Easter (USA) Team IlluminateRow 90 - Cell 2
DNFJake Silverberg (USA) Start Vaxes Cycling TeamRow 91 - Cell 2
DNFBryan Lewis (USA) CylanceRow 92 - Cell 2
DNFSamueL Snipe Grove (USA) CylanceRow 93 - Cell 2
DNFAnsel Dickey (USA) CCB VelotoolerRow 94 - Cell 2
DNFJohn Harris (USA) CCB VelotoolerRow 95 - Cell 2
DNFCooper Willsey (USA) CCB VelotoolerRow 96 - Cell 2
DNFEvan Bybee (USA) Arapahoe Resources / GarneauRow 97 - Cell 2
DNFAndrew Dahlheim (USA) Arapahoe Resources / GarneauRow 98 - Cell 2
DNFMichael Burleigh (USA) Canyon BicyclesRow 99 - Cell 2
DNFKeegan Swirbul (USA) Jelly Belly p/b MaxxisRow 100 - Cell 2
DNFRicky Randall (USA) Arapahoe Resources / GarneauRow 101 - Cell 2

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