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Ironhill Twilight Criterium - NE
Westchester, Pennsylvania, USA, July 7, 2007
Fifth USA Crits race attracts big crowds
By Mark Zalewski, North American Editor
Abraham makes most out of opportunity
Emile Abraham (Priority Health) turned a small lap prime into a big win Saturday in the fifth stop on the USA Crits series calendar - rolling away with Evan Fader (Battley Harley-Davidson) with 23 laps to go and holding off the field all the way as large crowds cheered them on in downtown Westchester, Penn.
"The race started off and we were planning to work for Scott Zwizanski because it was his hometown," said Abraham. "But we wanted to race aggressive too and I was going for the primes."
"With 23 laps to go I went for a prime and got a gap and he came with me. We just kept it rolling and before we knew it we had 15 seconds. Then it was a matter of keeping it going. He was equally as strong as I was and that was what made the difference for us staying away."
While the field was caught snoozing by the two escapees, a concerted effort was mounted by the AEG-Toshiba team, almost reeling the pair back in. "With about 10 laps to go because AEG was chasing and the gap came to within eleven seconds," said Abraham. "But we never panicked and we got it back up to about 15."
The win in Westchester gives Abraham confidence as he heads to his next race. "On Wednesday I am heading down to Rio this year for the Pan Am games. I'm looking forward to it because I hear the course is relatively flat and this win gives me good motivation!"
Van Gilder extends series lead
One of the drawbacks of the USA Crits series is that by being so new, the races can conflict with other NRC races. This does not pose as big of a problem for the large men's teams which split squads, but for the women it is another story. Laura Van Gilder (Cheerwine) felt the effects of this as she had to race solo while the rest of her team flew out west. But that did not seem to matter to Van Gilder, who led the series after four events and decided to lead out of the final turn in Westchester to hold off a field stacked against her.
"The field had a lot of sprinters in it, especially dangerous riders like Teresa Cliff-Ryan and Sarah Caravella," said Van Gilder. "We got this select group up the road and there was some attacking but I was able to make the move."
But riding solo meant that Van Gilder had to rely on the other teams to do any work, hoping that it would come down to a field sprint. "Teresa had two teammates up the road with six to go, but were brought back on the last lap. It was a good set up for all of us."
Van Gilder attacked before the final turn at 450 metres and held her advantage to the line, just as Cliff-Ryan was coming around.
"It's a great series and I hope they can improve on it," said Van Gilder, who extended her series lead with the win. "It's hard because they conflict with other events and the men's teams can split. But the crowd last night was amazing!"
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Michael L. Kirk/www.MLKimages.com
Pro men 1 Emile Abraham (Priority Health) 1.20.23 2 Evan Fader (Battley Harley-Davidson/Hudson) 3 Kyle Wamsley (Navigators) 0.11 4 Peter Dawson 5 Frank Travieso (AEG-TOSHIBA-JetNetwork) 6 Yosvany Falcon (AEG-TOSHIBA-JetNetwork) 7 Russ Langley (Battley Harley-Davidson/Hudson) 8 Adam Myerson (Nerac Pro Cycling) 9 Michael Stoop 10 Daniel Holt (Nerac Pro Cycling) 11 Brian Butts (Battley Harley-Davidson/Hudson) 12 David Duncan (Time Developmental Team) 13 Ryan Dewald (Rite Aid) 14 Thomas Soladay 15 Scott Zwizanski (Priority Health) 16 Chris Monteleone (Time Developmental Team) 17 Craig Dodson (Nature's Path Cycling) 18 Amaurys Perez 19 Clayton Barrows (Rite Aid) 20 Bobby Lea (Toyota-United) 21 John Loehner 22 Darron Harry (Alliance Environmental) 23 Paul Ward (Nature's Path Cycling) 24 Todd Yezefski (Nerac Pro Cycling) 25 Mike Norton (Rite Aid) 26 Bill Elliston (Rite Aid) 27 Marco Kuhl (A&F Pro Developmental) 28 Taylor Brown 29 Jason Snow (Cycle Science) 30 Mark Hekman (A&F Pro Developmental) 31 Joe Whitman (Team Alliance Environmental) 32 Dan Zmolik 33 Brandon Gavic (A&F Pro Developmental) 34 Johnny Hayes (CRCA/Sakonnet Technology U25) 35 Jeromie Burrlougs (Team United) 36 Matt Sherwin (CRCA/Sakonnet Technology U25) 37 Phil Gaimon (CRCA/Sakonnet Technology U25) 38 Gerardo Castro (Nature's Path Cycling) 0.29 39 David Wiswell (Nerac Pro Cycling) 4.35 40 Tucker Brown 41 Sean Barrie (Battley Harley-Davidson/Hudson) 42 Joey Thompson (Rocky Mtn. Chocolate Factory) Pro women 1 Laura Van Gilder (cheerwise) 1.02.04 2 Theresa Cliff-Ryan (Verducci/Breakaway Racing) 3 Brooke Miller (Tibco) 4 Sarah Caravello (Aarons Pro Cycling Team) 5 Rebecca Larson (Aarons Pro Cycling Team) 6 Jenette Williams (Hub Racing) 7 Heidi Woolever (Annapolis BRT) 8 Jennifer Bodine (ABRT/Latitude) 9 Kacey Manderfield (Verducci/Breakaway Racing) 10 Jacquelyn Crowell (Cycle Science) 11 Betis Mason (C3/ADG/Joes) 0.05 12 Veronica Martinez (Orbea Argentina) 13 Arielle Filiberti (Targetraining) 14 Katherine Lambden (Team TIBCO) 0.10 15 Jessie Maclean (Verducci/Breakaway Racing) 1.50 16 Leeanne Manderson (Hub Racing) 2.19 17 Arley Kemmerer 18 Lisa Jellett (Verducci/Breakaway Racing) 19 Bianca Grecu (Human Zoom) 20 Michele Bote (Hub Racing) 12.21 21 Howard Nonnig (Verducci/Breakaway Racing) 22 Andrea Luebbe 23 Colleen Gulick 24 Kristine Church 25 Yordan Golin (Targetraining) 26 Reem Jishi (Advil/Chapstick) 27 Lynda Maldonado (Tri State Velo/Amoroso's/Victor) 28 Christine Saraceni (Verducci/Breakaway Racing) 29 Nina Santiago (Targetraining) 30 Alane Ballweg (Cycle Science) 31 Netana Hotimsky 32 Rebeca Jones (Hub Racing) Category 3-4 men 1 Euri Madera 42.30 2 Barton Kirk 0.21 3 Glenroy Griffith 4 Adam Kahler 5 Henrik Weible (VCRC Factory Team) 6 Todd Dowling 7 Daniel Greene (Tadzilla) 8 Andy Munas 9 Charles Alexander 10 Jonathan Gdowik 11 Chris Mccunney 12 Martin Mrugal (Chester Country Velo/Iron Hill) 13 Jason Schiltz 14 Chris Shaw 15 Mike Niemi 16 Justin Brown 17 Matt Perry 18 Kyle Centrella 19 Richard Maclaughlin 20 Timothy Gresh 0.31