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USA Crits Southeast Series - NE
USA, April 28-May 6, 2007
Race 3 - May 1: Beaufort Memorial Classic, 75/50 laps (M/W)
Benjamin sprints to victory
By Kirsten Robbins in Beaufort, South Carolina
A late start to the race wasn't enough to unsettle Cheerwine's speedster Kelly Benjamin who pushed the winning breakaway of five and out sprinted Colavita/Sutter Home presented by Cooking Light's Mackenzie Dickey and Aaron's Katherine Powers to win the Beaufort Memorial Classic.
There was some uncertainty whether the third criterium of the South East Crit Series would happen prior to the event, after the main arterial road connecting the Island to the main land was closed one day before the event for reconstruction. The road was also the second stretch of the criterium course and the organization quickly rerouted to a narrow side street, shortening the course by a few hundred meters, which combined with the darkness and made the course more technical.
"It was a little crazy with no lights in the first turn," race winner Kelly Benjamin noted about the new circuit. "So it was really scary and I was trying to stay in the first two or three people al the time. Once the lights were brought onto the course it helped a little more.
"The backside was so dark and you couldn't see anything," she explained. "Overall, I really liked it though. It was war out there until the break was established."
How it unfolded
The field fragmented during the opening six of 55 laps, leaving a group of 30 riders on the hunt for a breakaway. There were several threatening splits but it wasn't until the final 20 minutes that Katherine Scheatly (Cheerwine) drove a successful break, which included Iona Wynter (Colavita/Sutter Home). Before long the pair were joined by their two teammates Kelly Benjamin (Cheerwine), Mackenzie Dickey (Colavita/Sutter Home) and Katherine Powers (Aaron).
Scheatly worked hard to push the break along with help from Powers, gaining a maximum of 30 seconds on the field. When it looked like the peloton was about to reconnect, the break gave another solid push and the field sat up with only 10 laps remaining.
"I chose not to work because Colavita didn't work," said Benjamin. "I was able to sit on and sprint for some primes and just have a free ride on the last lap and have a good sprint. I owe the whole win to Katherine because she did almost all of the work to keep the break away tonight."
Benjamin came through the final turn on Wynter's wheel, followed by Dickey, but the two couldn't contain her sprint as she gained close to a bike length on the pair before crossing the line.
Pro men 1 Alejandro Borrajo (Rite Aid) 1.35.55 2 Frank Travieso (AEG-TOSHIBA-JetNetwork) 0.00 3 Adam Myerson (Nerac) 0.01 4 Mark Hekman (Abercrombie & Fitch) 0.01 5 Dominique Rollin (Kodakgallery) 0.01 6 Frank Pipp (HealthNet) 0.01 7 Kyle Gritters (HealthNet) 8 Cody Stevenson (Jittery Joe's) 0.01 9 Palma Guido (Rite Aid) 0.02 10 Luca Damiani (Colavita-Sutterhome) 0.02 11 Josh Thornton (Kodakgallery) 0.03 12 Johnny Sundt 0.03 13 Clayton Barrows (Rite Aid) 14 Dusan Ganic (Successfulliving.com) 0.03 15 Kevin Attkisson (Texas Roadhouse) 16 Ken Hanson 0.03 17 Davide Frattini (Colavita-Sutterhome) 0.04 18 Adam Bergman (Colavita-Sutterhome) 0.04 19 Oscar Henao (UCL) 0.04 20 Dan Holt (Nerac) 0.05 21 Andrew Crater (Wheel and Sprocket) 0.05 22 Curtis Gunn (Successfulliving.com) 0.05 23 David Fuentes (Battley/Harley Davison/Hudson T) 0.06 24 Tommy Nankervis (Jittery Joe's) 0.06 25 Alessandro Bazzana (Successfulliving.com) 0.07 26 Matt Seagrave (Compliance Depot) 27 Rudy Napolitino 0.07 28 Patrick Walsh (Nerac) 0.07 29 Stewart Jackson 30 Marco Aledia (Abercrombie & Fitch) 0.08 31 Yosvany Falcon (AEG-TOSHIBA-JetNetwork) 0.13 32 Ward Solar (Nature's Path ProAm) 0.19 33 Keith Norris (AEG-TOSHIBA-JetNetwork) 0.20 34 Chris Frederick (AEG-TOSHIBA-JetNetwork) 0.23 35 Trent Wilson (Jittery Joe's) 0.55 36 Neil Coleman (Abercrombie & Fitch) 0.57 37 Chris Scott (Loco's) 0.58 38 Shane Densmore (Compliance Depot) 4.05 Pro women 1 Kelly Benjamin (Cheerwine) 1.10.11 2 Mackenzie Dickey (Colavita/Sutter Home) 3 Catherine Powers (Aaron's) 4 Iona Wynter 0.01 5 Catherine Cheatley 6 Tina Pic 0.29 7 Laura Van Gilder 8 Katharine Carroll 9 Chrissy Ruiter 10 Holli Steelman 0.30 11 Christina DeKraay 12 Shontelle Gauthier 13 Laura Bowles 0.31 14 Sarah Caravella 15 Shannon Koch 16 Mandy Lozanno 0.32 17 Sarah Uhl 18 Jennette Williams 0.33 19 Kele Murdin 0.34 20 Robin Farinna 21 Kathleen Billington 22 Elisa Gagnon 0.35 23 Stacey Spencer 24 Dale Tye 0.36 25 Leslie Jennings 0.35 26 Nicole Bossie 27 Sheba Farrin 28 Trotter Hadley 29 Melissa Petty 0.36 30 Kathryn Clark 0.37 31 Jennifer Bodine 0.41 32 Anne Lux 0.44 33 Mindi Martin 0.49 34 Michelle Hart 1.00 35 Wendy Ulmer 36 Kim Sawyer 37 Christi-An Hansley 38 Krystal Jeffs 39 Katie Weber 40 Allison Carter 41 Tara Ross 42 Joanne Kiesanowski 43 Andrea Meyers 44 Taitt Sato