Jonathan Cantwell (V Australia) won the 60-lap men’s race at Saturday’s Sunny King Criterium in Anniston, Alabama.
Tom Soladay (Kelly Benefit Strategies) was off the front with five seconds and six laps to go. A lap later he was back in the bunch as it chased a $100 preme and teams started jockeying for what looked surely like a bunch sprint.
With three laps to go organizers added fuel to the fire with a $200 prime. Bissell was trying to get a train on track with two remaining.
One lap to go and it looked like Bissell was solidly on the front. But in the finale it was Cantwell, the Australian national criterium champion — who had only two teammates in the race — hitting the line first ahead of Michael Northey (Pure Black) and Rahsaan Bahati (Pista Palace).
“It was a free-for-all,” Cantwell said of the night race. “It was full gas, 47 kilometers an hour. You’ve really got to have eyes in the back of your head for a race like this.”
He added that the win “was really important” for the V Australia team.
“We tried really hard in Redlands to get some wins,” he said. “But to come out tonight and get the top step on the podium is huge.”
1. Jonathan Cantwell in 16:12.4
2. Michael Northey, at 16:12.6
3. Rahsaan Bahati, at 16:12.8
4. Patrick Bevin , Bissell/abg Cycling Club, at 16:13.0