During a very busy weekend in the American racing scene, the Hyde Park Blast in Cincinnati, OH saw top USA CRITS contenders descend upon the Queen City for the fourth stop of the Series. In an exciting finish, Jamey Driscoll (Jamis/Sutter Home) took the win after lapping the field with four other riders, while Luke Keough (Mountain Khakis p/b SmartStop) was able to secure the Series lead.
Almost immediately from the gun, 2010 USA CRITS overall runner-up Clayton Barrows (Stan’s No Tubes/AXA Equitable) was looking to shake things up in the Series and attacked the field. Chase groups of three and four riders formed almost every lap, but no one could get the chase organized. Keough and Clay Murfet (RideClean p/b PatentIt.com), who won the last Series event and the previous night’s race, finally moved to the front to take a turn at pulling back the solo rider but to no avail.
Thirty-eight minutes into The Blast, four riders were able to get organized and went off the front of the peloton and included Driscoll, past Hyde Park Blast winner Paul Martin (Panther/Competitive Cyclist), Andrew Seitz (GPOA), and Murfet. Keough missed that move and attempted to chase them down as now two overall leaders were up the road but was unable to bridge. All he could do now was to save his legs for the final sprint.
At the mid-race point, Barrows picked up maximum Series points during the mid-race prime and still had 35 seconds on the chasers, but his lead would be cut down quickly, and just five laps later, he would be joined by the four chasers. The break worked well together, and with 11 laps to go, they lapped the field. The break riders quickly found their way to the front of the field, with Stan’s No Tubes/AXA Equitable and Metlife taking turns on the front.
With three laps to go, Panther/Competitive Cyclist lined up at the front to lead out Martin, with Jame Carney and Murfet and Jamis/Sutter Home tucked in behind the Panther train. At one lap to go, Carney took to the front to keep the pace high for Murfet. Out of the final turn, the long finish straight allowed Keough to cross the line first, winning the field sprint, but it would be Driscoll who was positioned to take the win. Martin, despite the efforts of his teammates, came in second, while the original instigator Barrows was third.
Keough’s sixth place finish was enough to move him into the lead in the USA CRITS overall, while Barrows moved up to third and Murfet to fourth. Barrows also took over the Sportsbase Online Lap Leader competition with his herculean effort, leading 30 out of 47 laps at The Blast. That coupled with the two laps he led during the Giro d’ Grafton was enough to secure the jersey.
Next up for the Series, which will be the women’s return back to USA CRITS action, is the Iron Hill Twilight Criterium on July 9 in West Chester, PA, which will see the return of now second place racer, Christian Helmig (Elbowz), who missed the Hyde Park Blast due to him racing his country’s national championships in Luxembourg.
Hyde Park Blast Top 3 (Complete Results)
1. Jamey Driscoll (Jamis/Sutter Home)
2. Paul Martin (Panther/Competitive Cyclist)
3. Clayton Barrows (Stan’s No Tubes/AXA Equitable)
Hyde Park Blast Most Aggressive Rider presented by Cyclingnews.com
Clayton Barrows (Stan’s No Tubes/AXA Equitable)
USA CRITS Overall presented by Champion System
1. Luke Keough (Mountain Khakis p/b SmartStop), 810 points
2. Christian Helmig (Elbowz), 730 points
3. Clayton Barrows (Stan’s No Tubes/AXA Equitable), 721 points
Maxxis Best Young Rider presented by Bicycle Monkey
1. Luke Keough (Mountain Khakis p/b SmartStop)
2. Clay Murfet (RideClean p/b PatentIt.com)
3. Euris Vidal (CRCA/Foundation)
Sportsbase Online Lap Leader presented by VeloNews
1. Clayton Barrows (Stan’s No Tubes/AXA Equitable), 32 laps
2. Christian Helmig (Elbowz), 30 laps
3. Carlos Alzate (Team Exergy), 23 laps