The heat was on. Not only did the temperature reached the 3-digit range with an extra 23 degrees added for good measure on the tarmac for the men’s race, but only 6 seconds separated the top 3 on GC. All yellow jersey David Veilleux (Kelly Benefit) had to do was to make sure that neither Jay Thomson (Fly V Australia) not Jeremy Vennell (BISSELL) finished ahead of him and grabbed the 10-second time bonus at the finish. Sounds easy but Veilleux and his team had to fight until the finish line.
In the end, Charles Dionne (Fly V Australia) won the bunch sprint ahead of Veilleux and Thomson. That was enough for Veilleux to win the overall, making it two years in a row for the Kelly Benefit team who won last year with Zach Bell. Thomson finished second overall and Vennell third.
“For the whole race, the team worked so that I would finish on the podium to get the bonus seconds.” said Veilleux. “At 800 meters to go, I was in perfect position for the final sprint, just behind the rider following me on the general classification, so I knew that I was going to pass him. Also, behind me, Keven Lacombe [SpiderTech f/b Planet Energy] was on my wheel so I couldn’t be caught out by a chaser.”
Attacks started from the gun on the 50-mile criterium raced on 0.9-mile flat loop with 3 corners. Veilleux’ teammates were all lined up at the front of the field controlling the pace where they would stay for most of the 55 laps.
With 40 laps to go an attack stuck, Bobby Sweeting (Globalbike p/b Catoma) and Kyle Wamsley (BISSELL) were off the front. The duo worked well together increasing their gap to 26 seconds within eight laps and kept on going with multiple riders trying unsuccessfully to bridge.
At 23 laps to go, a chase group of three, Jake Rytlewski (Kenda p/b Geargrinder), Rob Britton (BISSELL) and Andy Guptill (Jamis/Sutter Home) broke away and were joined by Tyler Wren (Jamis/Sutter Home) and Jake Hollenbach (AXA Equitable/CRC) three laps later. At 19 laps to go, the gap from to the duo to the chase group was 15 seconds when Wamsley flatted. He quickly made his way to the pit and rejoined Sweeting on the next lap.
The junction was made at 18 laps to go. Two laps later, the break was joined by Frank Pipp (BISSELL) who bridged up solo. And that made it 8 riders off the front. KBS was feathering the gap keeping it around 30 seconds.
With 9 laps to go, Fly V Australia had enough and took over the front of the field to bring back the break and the gap started to come down until the field was all back together with 2 laps to go. Jamis/Sutter Home made its way to the front and it was all hands on board for the final sprint on the uphill finish.
“I was pretty happy to win the race because Friday, I was an inch from winning.” said stage winner Dionne. “I was tired when I got here and by the second stage, I understood that I needed to forget the GC. I am ready for a week of vacation, I’ve been riding since February, it will feel good.”
“I have good legs right now.” said Veilleux. “But I have to admit that the courses were good for me with uphill finishes.”
Matt Cooke (Mt Khalis f/b Jittery Joe’s) won the points competition.
Allar surprises Colavita. Coming into the final stage, yellow jersey Cath Cheatley (Colavita/Baci) has a lock on the overall baring a mishap, so the team focused on acquiring the green jersey for Kelly Benjamin and the stage win.
They went two for three, as Team VBF rider Erica Allar who was guest-riding for Team Kenda, jumped with 200 meters, came around the two riders in front of her and was able to hold for the win. Benjamin finished second and Olivia Dillon (Peanut Butter Co TWENTY12) third.
Cheatley grabbed the yellow jersey on the first stage and defended until the end, winning by a margin of 1:11 on her teammate Rushlee Buchanan and 1:19 on Bron Ryan (Verducci Breakaway).
Like they’ve been doing from the beginning, the Colavita/Baci squad controlled the front of the field for the 25-mile race. A few riders early in the 28 laps tried their luck to escape but the juggernaut shut everything down. Benjamin won the first two sprint laps which was enough to solidify the green jersey.
The fight was on for the $500 crowd prime at 5 to go but once again, Colavita/Baci prevailed with Shontell Gauthier taking it. The pace slowed for a bit afterwards to provide a small breather in preparation for the finale. With 2 laps to go, the Colavita/Baci leadout train was rolling with Benjamin sitting in fourth wheel. Crafty Allar made her way into the train with one lap to go where she waited to pounce for the win.
Women Top 10 Stage 4 Results
1. Allar, Erica Team Kenda 1:04:37
2. Benjamin, Kelly Colavita/Baci Pro Cycling Team st
3. Dillon, Olivia Peanut Butter & Co. Twenty12 ”
4. McGuire, Amy Wheelworks Racing ”
5. Caron, Joanie Team Nanoblur-Gears ”
6. Bussell, Cara Bussel TriSports cycling/eclipse raci ”
7. Rais, Amber KUOTA Speed Kueens ”
8. Buchanan, Rushlee Colavita/Baci Pro Cycling Team ”
9. Canuel, Karol Ann Specialized Mazda Samson G Con ”
10. McLoon, Anna Team Kenda ”
Women Top 10 Final GC
1. Cheatley, Cath Colavita/Baci Pro Cycling Team 5:46:19
2. Buchanan, Rushlee Colavita/Baci Pro Cycling Team @ 01:11
3. Ryan, Bron Verducci Breakaway Racing @ 01:19
4. Shanks, Alison New Zealand National Team @ 02:12
5. Rais, Amber KUOTA Speed Kueens @ 02:18
6. Logan-Sprenger, Heather Colavita/Baci Pro Cycling Team @ 02:40
7. Canuel, Karol Ann Specialized Mazda Samson G Con @ 02:43
8. Veronneau, Kate Kutztown Cutters @ 02:58
9. Bilodeau, Veronique Equipe Cascades-ABC Cycles @ 03:03
10. Dillon, Olivia Peanut Butter & Co. Twenty12 @ 03:04
Men Top 10 Stage 4 Results
1. Dionne, Charles Fly V Australia 1:54:37
2. Veilleux, David Kelly Benefit Strategies st
3. Thomson, Jay Fly V Australia ”
4. Milne, Shawn Team Type 1 ”
5. bevin, patrick BISSELL Pro Cycling ”
6. lacombe, keven Spidertech ”
7. Schildge, Eric Team Mountain Khakis fueled by ”
8. Borrajo, Alejandro Jamis Sutter Home p/b Colavita ”
9. Keough, Luke BikeReg.com / Cannondale ”
10. Page, Jonathan Team Planet Bike ”
Men Top 10 Final GC
1. Veilleux, David Kelly Benefit Strategies 8:42:12
2. Thomson, Jay Fly V Australia @ 00:07
3. vennell, jeremy BISSELL Pro Cycling @ 00:12
4. passeron, aurelien Garneau Club Chaussures Ogilvy @ 00:34
5. Bell, Zach Kelly Benefit Strategies @ 00:36
6. mach, paul BISSELL Pro Cycling @ 00:42
7. Zwizanski, Scott Kelly Benefit Strategies @ 00:45
8. McCarty, Patrick Matrix/Richardson Bike Mart @ 00:51
9. Amaran, Luis Jamis Sutter Home p/b Colavita @ 00:54
10. cooke, matt Mountain Khakis @ 01:09