Cantwell and Kersten Finish One-Two Again at the Exergy Twilight Criterium

Posted on 17. Jul, 2011 by in race, releases

After 90 minutes of racing in Boise, Idaho, it would be an aggressive V Australia team that would take not only the win but finish three riders in the top five, including taking the top two podium spots. Jonathan Cantwell, last year’s runner-up to teammate Ben Kersten, took first, while Kersten edged out Ricky Escuela (Full Circle Racing) for second.

The race was animated from the very beginning thanks to cash primes almost every other lap. Small breaks tried to get away from the word go but nothing stuck. The instigator of most of these first-half breaks was Luis Amaran (Jamis-Sutter Home), a dangerous breakaway artist that the field kept in sight. Two riders had a small gap coming into the mid-race prime, with Christian Helmig being the only overall USA CRITS contender able to pick up mid-race points.

Shortly after the mid-race sprint, a group of about 15 riders had some daylight between themselves and the peloton, but with no heavy hitters in the group, they were brought back just a few laps later. A few other small breaks tried to get away, however with 11 laps to go, V Australia took control of the front to set it up for their sprinters, and with one lap to go it was Aaron Kemps leading the train through, with Kersten sitting on the back and Escuela sitting on Kersten’s wheel. On the final lap in the final corner a crash disrupted the chances of several sprinters as lead-out trains behind V Australia were broken up. In the end it would be an almost-repeat of the 2010 podium, with Cantwell crossing the line first.

Despite still nursing a shoulder injury after being hit by a car a little more than a week ago, Luke Keough (Mountain Khakis presented by SmartStop) finished 9th on the day, followed by last week’s Iron Hill Twilight Criterium winner Joseph Schmalz. Keough was able to hold onto his USA CRITS lead ahead of Christian Helmig (Elbowz Racing), who had gotten caught behind the final-lap crash, and Clayton Barrows (Stan’s No Tubes/AXA Equitable). Just 64 points separate the top three in the USA CRITS Overall. Also, Helmig overtook Barrows in the Sportsbase Online Lap Leader competition, leading 38 laps this season versus Barrows’s 35 laps.

Next up on the Series is the Presbyterian Hospital Invitational in Charlotte, NC on July 30, which will see the women back in action.

Exergy Twilight Criterium Podium (Complete results)
1. Jonathan Cantwell, V Australia
2. Ben Kersten, V Australia
3. Ricky Escuela, Full Circle Racing

Exergy Twilight Criterium Most Aggressive Rider presented by Cyclingnews.com
Tom Zirbel, Jamis/Sutter Home

USA CRITS Overall presented by Champion System
1. Luke Keough (Mountain Khakis p/b SmartStop), 1177 points
2. Christian Helmig (Elbowz Racing), 1136 points
3. Clayton Barrows (Stan’s No Tubes/AXA Equitable), 1113 points

Maxxis Best Young Rider
1. Luke Keough (Mountain Khakis p/b SmartStop), 1177 points
2. Clay Murfet (RideClean p/b PatentIt.com), 914 points
3. Euris Vidal (CRCA/Foundation), 781 points

Sportsbase Online Lap Leader presented by VeloNews
1. Christian Helmig (Elbowz Racing), 38 laps
2. Clayton Barrows (Stan’s No Tubes/AXA Equitable), 35 laps
3. Carlos Alzate (Team Exergy), 23 laps

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