The first annual (I hope) San Francisco Twilight Crit was held last Saturday evening over a 1km course in the Cow Hollow neighborhood. The race was the tneth in the 11-event USA Crits Series which will finish with its finale in Vegas during Interbike next week.
Every break that managed to establish even a momentary gap over the main 118-rider field caused a high‐speed reaction from the pack. Finally with three laps to go, Jorge Alvarado (Kahala/Lagrange), Dan Ramsey (TIME PRO Cycling) and Successful Living’s fast man Ricardo Escuela established what would be the evening’s winning effort. Ramsey crossed the finish line first ahead of Escuela and Alvarado who suffered a mechanical in the final dash to the finish.
The pro women’s race posted an incredible lineup that included Olympians, national champions and some serious talent such as long‐time veteran Laura Van Gilder of the Cheerwine squad, two‐time Olympian and 2004 National U.S. Time Trial Champion Christine Thorburn (Webcor), and Canadian Olympian Gina Grain (Webcor).
The race was aggressive from the start with Liz Hatch (Vanderkitten) throwing up the first move but was brought back by the field, and Aaron’s Kat Carroll put in one attack after another to try and launch herself in a solo move. With only six laps left to go Carroll made one last effort that brought Van Gilder, her teammate Sarah Bamberger, Thorburn and Chrissy Ruiter (ValueAct) along with her. Carroll attacked again and put 15 seconds between her and the other members of the momentary break and an entire 40 seconds on the peloton.
In the end, however, the field all came altogether with two laps remaining and Proman’s Shelley Olds pulled off the formidable task of besting not only Van Gilder, but USA Crits leader Kelly Benjamin (Cheerwine) for the win.
With only one race to go in the USA Crits Series, TOSHIBA‐Santo’s Yosvany Falcon still retains a slight edge of 38 points in the men’s overall competition over TIME’s Adam Myerson, while Kelly Benjamin’s lead over Vanderkitten’s Jennifer Wilson is equally thin in the women’s overall at ony 64 points.
The series now heads to its thrilling conclusion at the USA CRITS Finals in Las Vegas, Nevada on September 25th. Organized in conjunction with cycling’s biggest industry event, Interbike, the race will once again be held beneath the glimmering façade of the Mandalay Bay Resort, and will be broadcast live and on‐demand at Universalsports.com.
All photos copyright Ken Conley
Check out more Ken Conley’s photos and Larry Rosa’s photos
Stephanie’s reports on the women’s and men’s race
CyclistVillage interviews with Shelley Olds, Kat Carroll, Kelly Benjamin, Dan Ramsey, and more