The season is winding down, riders are busy looking for contracts especially with a few teams disbanding at the end of the season and only a few more races on the horizon.
At the beginning of the week, history was made at the USA Cycling Professional Criterium Championship in Downer’s Grove, Illinois. It is believed to be the first time two African-Americans have earned national cycling titles in the same discipline in the same season. After postponing an operation to cure an injury, Rahsaan Bahati (Rock Racing) out-sprinted Alex Candelario (Kelly Benefit-Medifast) and third-place finisher Mark Hekman (Toshiba-Santo Pro Cycling) at the end of the 62-mile (100 km) race for the win. Earlier this month, his teammate Justin Williams won the USA Cycling U23 National Criterium Championship in Anaheim, California. (photo copyright: Vero Image)
“This has got to be some type of history,” Bahati said. “There is definitely some significance to it. Perhaps we won’t see it now, but in the future it will carry some weight.”
Tibco’s Brooke Miller racked up her second National Championship title this year by taking the sprint in front of Theresa Cliff-Ryan (Verducci) and Jen McRae (Advil-Chapstick) to win the title in the Crit National race where only American Nationals were allowed to race. Miller also won the Road National Championship earlier this month, and now has the honor to wear the Stars and Stripes in almost every race except Time Trials for the next year.
Fresh off James Mattis’s win at Elite Road Nationals, the amateur team California Giant Berry Farms continued its winning streak in the Elite Men’s Crit race when Ken Hanson won the USCF Men’s National Criterium Championship ahead of Marco Aledia (Team Inferno Pro) and Alex Boyd (Team Waste Management).
The first Tour of Colorado, a series of seven of Colorado’s most famous and important bicycle road races that started on May 10th ended last Saturday with Jon Baker (Vitamin Cottage) and Susannah Gordon (Colorado Bike Law) taking the overall honors for the Senior Men Pro/1/2 and Senior Women 1/2/3 respectively. (Photos from David Hunter of the final race in the series, the North Boulder Criterium here).
And, the climbers delight Tour of Utah ended with the decisive time trial, a short technical affair won by Bissell’s Tom Zirbel, where BMC’s Jeff Louder overcame a seven-second deficit to take the win in the overall classification ahead of Blake Caldwell (Garmin-Chipotle) and New Zealander Glen Chadwick (Team Type 1). While stupid actions by some of the race officials have somewhat overshadowed the racing in some of the media, the BMC and Garmin-Chipotle teams, who both work with the Agency for Cycling Ethics (ACE), gave us a tight race where the ultimate winner was only decided on the last day. (kudos to Scott Nydam for doing the right thing). After the TT, Louder answered the media scrum’s questions here.
The future is bright. Names to watch include 24-year old Blake Caldwell, Tour of Utah Best Young Rider 21-year old Peter Stetina and 24-year old Brent Bookwalter returning from injury to finish third in the final TT at Utah.
Two weeks ago, quietly, Dominique Perras (Eva-Devinci) raced his last race, finishing second in the Classique Montréal-Québec, behind Arnaud Papillon (Volkswagen). After a long career as a professional cyclist with teams such as Phonak, Kodak Gallery/Sierra Nevada and Kelly Benefit-Medifast, which brought him to race in Europe and all over the world, the 34-year old Perras has decided to move on to a new chapter in his life, as he is going back to school to get his MBA. Bonne chance Dominique.
The USA Cycling election results were announced with Ed Beamon winning ahead of Michael Ball by 9 votes and Ken Mills by one vote ahead of Jonathan Vaughters for the At-Large and Trade Team trustee respectively.
In other news, Beth Bikes‘ mission to get Rock Racing’s Michael Ball to provide keirin cut jeans seems to have come to a dead end. Hope not, there’s a whole new market waiting to be tapped.