Colavita/Sutter Home’s Alejandro Borrajo almost celebrated too soon his victory at the U.S. Air Force Cycling Classic Clarendon Cup. As he raised his arms, Team Type 1′s Ken Hanson was coming in full speed ahead and might have won if the line had been a few meters away, but Hanson had to settle for second place. Australian Karl Menzies (OUCH) was third. (Click here to see a photo of the finish, courtesy of Mark Blacknell.)
“It was a total fight to get on Barrajo’s wheel because he had a teammate leading him out,” Hanson said. “I planned to sprint back onto his wheel before the second-to-last corner, but I got pushed out and had to slow down to avoid a crash. It was frustrating to lose by an inch or two, especially since I came out of the last corner behind so many people.”
But the talk of the day was about Chad Gerlach (Amore e Vita) who put on quite a show of force, soloing away early on the 100km race and coming within 14 seconds of lapping the field near the halfway point. Quite the story about Gerlach. The man raced with the US Postal Service team only to be kicked out of the team and become mired in drugs and spend five years on the streets. In 2008, ponsored by the A&E show “Intervention” Gerlach went into drug treatment and by the end of that year, started training again and was signed by the Amore e Vita team for the 2009 season. (see story in Sacramento Bee)
An 8-man chase group finally absorbed Gerlach with 35 laps to go, and the nine men made it to the line together. Team Type 1′s Shawn Milne pulledhis teammate Hanson for two laps to the break that included two Colavita/Sutter Home riders and two Kelly Benefit Strategies riders. The nine men made it the finish line together where Gerlach managed to take sixth place.
In the what is UCI/USACycling thinking department - the BMC team was not allowed to race in the Clarendon Cup as the UCI once again enforced rule UCI rule 2.8.003 which limits which races a UCI ProTour or UCI Pro Continental Team rider can participate in; the same rule that was enforced at the Tour of the Gila. Unless a new rule or a modification to the rule is found soon, both NRC race organizers and the BMC team will be – well – royally screwed by this.
Timing her move perfectly in a small field, Erica Allar (BMW-Bianchi) won the women’s 50-lap race taking the first NRC victory for her team. Theresa Cliff-Ryan (Verducci Breakaway) was second and Nicky Wangsgard (Colavita/Sutter Home) was third.
Looking for photos? Check out Mark Blacknell
Complete results here