Despite a large midrace crash that forced a restart in the pro men’s race, UnitedHealthcare’s Jake Keough avenged his team’s loss at Saturday’s Terrapin Twilight with a decisive victory at Sunday’s Historic Roswell Criterium.
Conversely, Theresa Cliff-Ryan (Colavita) made it two in a row, following her Athens victory with a win at Roswell.
After having narrowly missed out on victory at the Athens race, Keough’s squad made sure that all went according to plan when the USA CRITS Speedweek peloton met in Roswell less than 24 hours afterward.
“The big thing was the team rode awesome.” Keough said. “We had eight guys on the front and anytime there were any kind of moves or anything we had guys there.
“Last night we were a little disappointed … but tonight I think we really proved a point and (stamped) our authority on the race.”
Several crashes made it difficult for any one team to assert too much authority over the field, particularly when the field was forced to a complete stop after a large wreck on the backside of the 1-mile, five-turn course.
Until that point the field had largely taken turns soaking up lap primes, with most efforts at a breakaway proving futile. The restart prompted even more urgency among the riders but UnitedHealthcare kept the bunch on a tight leash until it was time to deliver Keough to the win.
The women’s field experienced much of the same earlier in the day, albeit with fewer incidents. Cliff-Ryan’s Colavita-Forno D’Asolo-Cooking Light squad was hoping to diversify its tactics in Roswell, but the other riders were keen on collecting prize money and duking it out for a sprint finale.
“It was pretty much dead the first 15 minutes, and we tried to get Rushlee Buchanan off the front today, but it didn’t work. Everyone wanted a field sprint today,” she said.
The win marked the second time Cliff-Ryan has won both the Terrapin Twilight and Roswell crits.
The 2011 USA CRITS Speedweek continues Tuesday with the Beaufort Memorial Cycling Classic in Beaufort, South Carolina.
- 1. Jake Keough, UnitedHealthcare, 43:00
- 2. Hilton Clarke, UnitedHealthcare, s.t.
- 3. Carlos Alzate Escobar, Team Exergy, s.t.
- 4. Eric Barlevav, Team Exergy, s.t.
- 5. Paddy Bevin, Bissell, s.t.