Both the pro/1/2 men’s and women’s races at the SugarCRM Memorial Day Criterium came down to bunch sprints. (by Stephanie Gutowski & Lyne Lamoureux)
No break would stick in the women’s race although multiple moves were tried but the field always chased them down within a few laps of the 50-minute criterium raced in the late afternoon under blue skies. In the end, Proman’s Shelley Olds won the bunch sprint crossed the line ahead of Ruth Corset (Jazz Apples) and Mary Ellen Ash (SugarCRM).
Shelley Olds (Proman), winner
“I went across in a break with TIBCO in it, with Kat Carroll, with 3 laps to go. I think there were 5 of us and I knew it was doomed. I bridged up and thought, ‘Oh no I really do not want to be here.’ I knew the pack was going to catch us so I sat up a bit. I took a couple of laps to recover. I found myself in the middle of the pack but this course is wide open and there are parts in the course that the pack swells. I was able to move up. I waited to the last lap. My team mates were telling me that we had to move up. On the last lap there were lead outs by TIBCO and SugarCRM simultaneously. No one really saw me coming and I was able to come out from the outside. They were all squeezed on the inside. I thought I was going to get squeezed but didn’t.”
Ruth Corset (Jazz Apples), second
“TIBCO was doing a lead out in the last lap. Shelley [Olds] and her team mate lead an attack on the outside. I just tried to get on Shelley’s wheel but couldn’t manage to, she was stronger.”
For half of the men’s 60-minute race, an 8-rider break was off the front and looked as if it would make it to the line. But thanks to huge pulls bu Jackson Stewart (BMC) and others, the field caught in the break in the final laps and the bunch was set. Despite working in the break, Steve Reaney (California Giant-Specialized) still had enough in his legs to win the sprint. Kevin Klein (Klein Real Estate) was second and BMC’s Jackson Stewart, who missed the break and put in huge pulls in the field, finished third.
Steve Reaney (CalGiant-Specialized), winner
“I was in the break with two teammates, it wasn’t too bad, we were all sharing the workload. Actually I was hoping to setup a teammate in that break, I was hoping it was going to stick and it didn’t. So then we ended up getting re-shuffled and then it’s kind of confusing what we were going to do because I was supposed to be the sprinter and I used a little bit of energy but I think Jackson used more from what I heard. It ended up being excellent teamwork so I didn’t need too much of a kick at the end because my teammates were incredible, the whole team was really good. We started the leadout with two and half laps to go. There were only three guys because everyone had done quite a bit of work before that. Ozzie [Olmos] was really good at keeping it steady and Jared [Barilleaux] and Keith [Miller] took over.”
“Everyone did an incredible job but Keith I could have sworn he would blow up early because he took all the way from the back corner – we got swarmed pretty bad on the back corner – and he took it all the way from the back corner almost to this [last] corner so that was insane. He said we were going about 58, 60k an hour before we hit that turn, so he was going pretty darn good.”
Jackson Stewart (BMC), third
“I just messed up and missed the move. It’s like every move I went with they didn’t want to go and then that one, a huge one, it was actually two, get to go. And I couldn’t jump across and so I just had to pull it back. There were some guys up there that were committing, I just had to do as hard pulls as I could, and then when it did come back, it slowed down, everyone swarmed everywhere and I didn’t have the legs for the sprint. What can you do? It was a good workout.”
[Catching up with since our last interview.] “I was the last call reserve [for Tour of Picardie]. I definitely enjoyed the race. It was different than anything I’d done over there so it wasn’t a little better for me, I got in the break the first day and the last day, I was kind of in the sprint because of a crash, our guys got messed up in the rain in the last turn. It was good for me, I’m usually not in the hunt out there and that race was a little more competitive so I was able to race a little bit better over there so I liked that race. And we did pretty well, I think we wre top 10 every day and we were maybe tenth overall and we were happy with it.”
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Complete results available at USACycling.org