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Sunny King Criterium - (NE)

Anniston, Alabama, USA, May 3, 2008

Results     Past winners     2007 Results

Aussies sweep podium

By Kirsten Robbins in Anniston, Alabama

Toyota-United's Hilton Clarke claimed his third victory on the week, having already won USA Crits Series Speedweek events, by sprinting from the tail end of a luxurious lead-out at the Sunny King Criterium. The Australian was first across the line, ahead of compatriots Karl Menzies (HealthNet-Maxxis) and Calob Manion (Toyota-United).

"It was really good to have some back-up today," said Clarke, who won two Speedweek events as a lone star earlier in the week. "We heard that Henk Vogels took the win in Gila today, so we were super psyched to ride strong. Calob and I lapped the field in a break and then I've had Dominique Rollin and Ivan Dominguez leading me out, so what more could I ask for."

A small field lined up to start the night's 90 minute criterium, which was dominated by a 10 rider break-away that lapped the field. The 10 riders broke away within the first 20 minutes and lapped the field with 35 laps to go. The break included Clarke, Manion, Menzies, Matt Krane (HealthNet-Maxxis), Chad Hartley (Jittery Joe's), Evan Elken (Jittery Joe's), Richard England (Bissell), Scott Zwizanski (Bissell), Peter Dawson (Rock Racing) and Robby King (Rite Aid).

HealthNet-Maxxis took its position at the front of the field while the remaining break away teams organized themselves during the final 30 laps, keeping an eye on one another. United States of America National Criterium Champion Kirk O'Bee (HealthNet-Maxxis) put forth a gutsy effort, gaining 15 seconds on the field and was joined by Gregory Christian.

Bissell's two riders set up its potential race winner Scott Zwizanski into a second solo break-away with 17 laps to go, taking pressure off sprinter England for the finish.

Jittery Joes made the early move to organize a six rider lead-out with 12 laps to go. The move saw Jittery Joes control the action heading into the closing laps, allowing John Murphy (HealthNet-Maxxis) and Rahsaan Bahati (Rock Racing) to take a few second on them in a flyer before being reabsorbed for the final sprint.

HealthNet-Maxxis swept over Jittery Joe's train hoping to setup Tasmanian Menzies. The green team was no match for Clarke's lead-out, delivered by top-notch sprinter Ivan Dominquez.

"It was an interesting race with a smaller field," said Menzies, referring to the absence of teams contesting the Tour of the Gila and US Air Force road race. "We knew we were going to take a lap so we had to be aggressive. We had the numbers so we could afford to be aggressive. The problem is that when you get a group that takes a lap like that you get mixed in the group and we got shuffled in the second to last corner.

"It was disappointing because would have been great to get a win, but our guys were riding well and third is alright," continued Menzies. "Toyota-United had a great lead-out. I got caught behind someone in the last corner and Hilton got a gap coming out of it. Once that guy's got a gap there's no catching him. Toyota's a great team and Hilton's a great rider."

Pic triple victory

A mixture of tired legs, from the conflicting USA Crits Series Speedweek racing, combined with a few fresh pairs lined up to start the women's 60 minute criterium held in Anniston, Alabama. Six-time United States of America National Criterium Champion Tina Pic claimed her third victory of the week, outsprinting Kelly Benjamin (Cheerwine) and Jen McRae (Advil/ChapStick).

"I know I've been sprinting well but I don't feel like I have any form right now," said Pic after her podium presentation. "I think I've done well this week because I have great team-mates and I know all these courses really well. Tonight I was so tired and it was really a lot of team work at the front of the group today. They were all awesome and it makes me feel great for them that I can pull of a win."

On form or not, Pic's supreme sprinting presence has prompted several other sprinting teams like Aaron's and Cheerwine to consider new and surprising race tactics. Despite the new approach, Pic couldn't be stopped in the push to the finish line.

"Cheerwine is tough because they have two strong sprinters," said Pic. " have to pay attention to what they are doing and where they are going in a race, make sure they don't get up the road with out me.

"Also, I never really know which one of them id going to go," added Pic regarding Cheerwine's impressive organization and dominance in the final laps of the criterium. "We did not do a lot of pulling back [the] break, we more just made sure we were represented at the front and in any moves. Everything just ended up coming back together."

Aaron's and Value Capital initialed multiple attacks throughout the race. The breaks didn't last however, shut down by both the events' high speeds and the top teams working for a field sprint.

"Our team is so united and maybe we haven't been winning every single race but regardless our team makes it so easy to be on the podium," said second place Benjamin. "Sometime we try different tactics and I don't have to even think about whether or not it is going to happen- it always happens.

"We have so much faith in the finishers on our team that we just get organized and annihilate ourselves," continued Benjamin regarding team Cheerwine's consistent organization. "If we don't win than we don't win, but everyone on Cheerwine gives 100 percent to a team goal. When you see your team-mate just laying it down, I just feel like I need to perform well in the end and I want to perform well in the end."

Third place on the day McRae kicked off her season at the weekend's NRC race. "For my first race of the season, I'm happy with it and now I can look at the finer details to improve on it," said McRae. "It was fun to be with the team and to give them some energy to feed off after grunting through this week without a sprinter."

"I always look forward to my first race because its later than when others get started, so I go into it with prior knowledge to what is going on in the racing and with the other teams, who are the new people, how are the familiar sprinters doing," continued McRae, who had been substituting NRC racing with the mid-week men's Driveway Criterium in her home town of Austin, Texas.

Results - provisional

Men Pro
1 Hilton Clarke (Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team)           33.51
2 Menzies Karl (Health Net presented by Maxxis)             0.00
3 Caleb Manion (Toyota-United)                                  
4 Chad Hartley (The Jittery Joes Pro Cycling Te)            0.01
5 Peter Dawson (Rock Racing)                                0.01
6 Evan Elken (The Jittery Joe's Pro Cycling T)              0.01
7 Richard England (Bissell Pro Cycling Team)                0.01
8 Matt Crane (Health Net presented by Maxxis)               0.02
9 Scott Zwizanski (Bissell Pro Cycling Team)                0.04
10 Robbie King (Rite Aid Pro Cycling presented)             0.04
11 John Murphy (Health Net presented by Maxxis)             0.04
12 Jonathan Cantwell (The Jittery Joes Pro Cycling Te)          
13 Ken Hanson (Cailfornia Giant Berry Farms/Sp)             0.04
14 Dominique Rollin (Toyota-United pro cycling Team)        0.04
15 Ted (edward) King (Bissell Pro Cycling Team)             0.05
16 Fabio Calabria (Team Type 1)                             0.06
17 Guido Palma (Rite Aid Pro Cycling presented)             0.07
18 Joao Correia (Bissell Pro Cycling Team)                  0.05
19 Luke Servedio (Krystal/SCV)                              0.08
20 Andy Jacques-Maynes (California Giant Berry Farms/Sp)    0.08
21 Devon Vigus (California Giant Berry Farms/Sp)            0.09
22 Matthew Belcher (Turin / Nester + Barker)                0.10
23 Frank Pipp (Health Net presented by Maxxis)              0.10
24 Gregory Christian (Turin/Barker+Nestor)                  0.11
25 Garrett Peltonen (Bissell Pro Cycling Team)              0.11
26 Clark Butcher (Marx and Bensdorf Realtors)               0.12
27 Scott Kuppersmith (Herring Gas Cycling)                  0.16
28 D. Tyler Grahovec (Pacesetter Steel Service)             0.21
29 Brian Toone (Tria Market / Two Men and a Tru)            0.22
30 Rory Sutherland (Health Net presented by Maxxis)         0.23
31 Joe Eldridge (Team Type 1)                               0.23
32 Cody Stevenson (The Jittery Joes Pro Cycling Te)         0.26
33 Ivan Dominguez (toyota-United)                           0.30
34 Bill Ellison (Rite Aid Pro Cycling presented)            0.34
35 Kyle Gritters (Health Net presented by Maxxis)           0.44
36 Jared Barrilleaux (The Jittery Joes Pro Cycling Te)      0.53
37 Ryan Sullivan (The Jittery Joes Pro Cycling Te)          0.54
Women Pro 1-2
1 Tina Pic (Colavita/Sutter Home p/b Cookin)               30.55
2 Kelly Benjamin (Cheerwine Cycling)                        0.00
3 Jen McRae (Advil/ChapStick)                               0.01
4 Laura Van Gilder (Cheerwine Cycling)                      0.01
5 Anna Lang (Big City Velo)                                 0.01
6 Shontell Gauthier (Colavita/Sutter Home p/b Cookin)       0.01
7 Erica Allar (Aaron's Womens Pro Cycling Team)             0.01
8 Holli Steelman (Juice Plus Cycling)                       0.01
9 Rebecca Larson (Aarons Pro womens cycling team)               
10 Lara Kroepsch (ValueAct Capital Cycling Team)                
11 Jacqueline Kurth (Team Kenda Tire)                       0.02
12 Samantha Schneider (Colavita/Sutter Home p/b Cookin)     0.03
13 Tiffany Cromwell (Colavita/Sutter Home p/b Cookin)           
14 Kirsten Davis (Sorella Cycling/BVM Engineering)          0.03
15 Sherri Stedje (Hub Racing)                               0.04
16 Allyson Brandt (Cheerwine Cycling)                       0.04
17 Nichole Wangsgard (Colavita/Sutter Home p/b Cookin)      0.04
18 Martina Patella (ValueAct Capital Cycling Team)          0.04
19 Catherine Cheatley (Cheerwine Cycling)                       
20 Monique Hanley (Team Type 1)                             0.07
21 Jenette Williams (HPC powered by Altarum)                0.07
22 Briana Kovac (Team Revolution)                           0.07
23 Tamyra Barnard (Herbal Life bike america Racing)         0.08
24 Jacquelyn Crowell (Team Kenda Tire)                      0.08
25 Leigh Valletti (Vanderkitten Racing)                     0.08
26 Melissa Sanborn (Vanderkitten Racing)                    0.09
27 Laura McCaughey (Juice Plus/NC cycling)                      
28 Dana Martin (Peachtree Bikes)                            0.09
29 Robin Farina (Cheerwine Cycling)                         0.10
30 Brenda Lyons (Team Advil-ChapStick)                      0.11
31 Laura Bowles (Advil/ChapStick)                           0.13
32 Carrie Cash-Wootten (Team Revolution)                    0.18
33 Kathryn Clark (Team Kenda Tire)                          0.18
34 Sydney Brown (Team Revolution)                           0.19
35 Kele Murdin (Vanderkitten Racing)                        0.20
36 Ashley Anderson (Metro Volkswagen)                       0.22
38 Morgan Patton (Team Type 1)                              0.25
39 Jennifer Wilson (Vanderkitten Racing)                    0.29
40 Elizabeth Morse Hill (Hub Racing)                        0.31
41 Anna Milkowski (Advil/ChapStick)                         0.31
42 Catherine Powers (Aaron's Womens Pro Cycling Team)       0.36
43 Meredith Miller (Aaron's Womens Pro Cycling Team)            
44 Kim Sawyer (Reality Bikes/Camp Highland)                 0.48
45 Elisa Gagnon (Advil/ChapStick)                           0.49

Past winners

     Pro men                                       Pro women
2007 Frank Travieso (AEG-TOSHIBA-JetNetwork)       Laura Van Gilder (Cheerwine)