After a third and second place in the first two crits, there was only way that Alejandro Borrajo (Jamis/Sutter Home) wanted to go on the final day at St Francis Tulsa Tough, up to that top step.
With the top four riders, leader into the race Jonathan Cantwell (V Australia), Ken Hanson (Jelly Belly), Ale Borrajo and Anibal Borrajo (Jamis/Sutter Home), separated by only 2 points in the overall omnium, it was a case of winner take all at the Riverview Criterium.
Attacks started early on in the 80-minute race with rider trying to use Cry Baby Hill to their advantage, hitting the gas before the hill and hoping that legs would give out behind them in the heat. Local Matt Ankney (Tulsa Tough) was the first to try to the roar of the crowd but no go. More riders tried their luck, Bryan Fawley (ORBEA USA), Quinn Keogh (Exergy), Luca Damiani (Kenda/5-Hour Energy) were all quickly reeled in by the Jelly Belly-led peloton. For the next 60 minutes or so, the same scenario continued with different riders trying their luck while Jelly Belly and V Australia reeled everything back. A few test attacks from Ale Borrajo and his teammate Luis Amaran during this period received a very swift reaction.
The field continued to climb Cry Baby Hill with the fans lining both sides, many costumed, many armed with water hoses or water guns, and many enjoying a cold beverage. The band was playing and it was a party. But the pain continued after the hill which was followed by rollers before a fast descent into the final corner to the start/finish line.
After finishing just off the podium last year in fourth, Stefan Rothe (Tulsa Tough) decided to go for the primes on Sunday. He took off solo, and right as he attacked a crash behind him which helped him establish a gap. He soldiered on, putting some money in his pockets while Brad Cole (Mercy) tried to bridge up solo but instead dangled in no man’s land. With about 30 minutes to go, Tyler Wren (Jamis/Sutter Home) took over the front of the field and it was all together once again.
It was time for Jamis/Sutter Home to flex their numbers. Ale Borrajo, knowing that he had good legs, was off in a small group of six riders. Just as they were about to be caught, he continued on with Juan Pablo Dotti (Aeocat) joining him. With 14 laps to go, the two riders, both Argentinean, worked well together and the gap was established. Behind them, Andrew Dalheim (BISSELL) and Christian Helmig (ELBOWZ) jumped from the field to try and catch on to the duo.
The pair off the front pushed the pace, Borrajo taking the front every time they climbed, making sure not to drop his breakmate while Dotti set the pace in the straightaway. With 10 laps to go, the pair had 30 seconds on the field. The chase was on with Jelly Belly’s Sean Mazich burrying himself to try and bring it back. V Australia put Chris Winn in the chase firepower and the gap came down to 17 seconds at 5 to go. To disrupt the chase, Amaran and Wren launched themselves a couple of times and the gap went back up the next lap. The chase was simply running out of ammo.
Ale Borrajo pointed to the sky to honor his late brother as he claimed the win. Dotti took second and the pair shook hands after crossing the finish line. Hanson took the field sprint for third ahead of Cantwell.
After Saturday’s race, the Borrajo brothers said with a laugh that they needed the big pandas for the nieces. Podium finishers at the St Francis Tulsa Tough are awarded stuffed pandas and the winner gets a bigger plush animal. Between the two of them, they had collected four small pandas so far. Ale Borrajo can now add two big pandas to the collection with his crit win and the overall victory. The brothers have 3 nieces with another one on the way, so when asked which nieces would get the pig panda, Ale Borrajo laughed and replied that he’ll have to buy two more.
Top 10 Riverview Criterium Results (Complete Results)
|1. Alejandro Borrajo (Jamis Sutter Home) 01:19:22.0|
|2. Juan Pablo Dotti (Aerocat Cycling Team) 01:19:23.0|
|3. Kenneth Hanson (Jelly Belly p/b KENDA) 01:19:28.0|
|4. Jonny Cantwell (V Australia) 01:19:28.0|
|5. Stevie Cullinan (Strada Racing) 01:19:29.0|
|6. Benjamin Chaddock (Team Exergy) 01:19:29.0|
|7. Daniel Holt (Team Type 1-Development) 01:19:29.0|
|8. G Lawson Craddock (Trek-Livestrong U23 Developmen) 01:19:29.0|
|9. Lee Muse (CashCall Mortgage) 01:19:29.0|
|10. Jason Waddell (Tulsa Tough Racing) 01:19:29.0|
Top 5 Final Omnium Results
|1. Alejandro Borrajo (Jamis Sutter Home) 82 pts|
|2. Kenneth Hanson (Jelly Belly p/b KENDA) 76|
|3. Jonny Cantwell (V Australia) 75|
|4. G Lawson Craddock (Trek-Livestrong U23 Developmen) 58|
|5. Anibal Borrajo (Jamis Sutter Home) 51|