The 53rd Annual Manhattan Beach Grand Prix was held under perfect summer weather and the City of Manhattan Beach was bustling with beach goers and tourists trying to soak in the holiday weekend.
The event held NCC status for both the Pro Men and Women’s categories, which offered a generous prize list and the incentive to race hard for a chance to win the cash. The long standing hot dog shaped course that includes a small power climb and two hairpin turns tends to keep the field to together as riders fight for position over the last few laps and into the final turn for the predictable field sprint.
In the Pro Men’s race, a two man break with David Robertson (SoCalCycling.com Team) and Stathis Sakellariadis (Big Orange Cycling) put some distance on the field for several laps. After a great effort, it became clear that United Healthcare wanted a field sprint and that is what they got! After lining it up for several laps, UHC delivered Ken Hanson to victory followed by NCC leader Luke Keough (United Healthcare) in 2nd and Justin Williams in 3rd (Astellas Cycling Team).
Photos © Christy Nicholson / EchelonDesignPhoto.com
In the Pro Women’s race, it came down to a sprint to the line with Erica Allar (Colavita/Fine Cooking Pro Cycling Team) out sprinting Tina Pic (Fearless Femme p/b Pure Energy Cycling-Vie 13) for second, followed by Sarah Fader (Pepper Palace Pro Cycling) in third.
It was a day of highs and lows for the SoCalCycling.com Team at the Manhattan Beach Grand Prix.
The Team found success with Luke Ollett finishing 3rd and on the podium in the Cat 2 race!
After Luke’s great ride, the rest of the SoCalCycling.com Team was motivated for the Pro, 1 race. Sadly, SoCalCycling.com Team rider Ronnie Toth had very bad crash going into the final sprint and was transported by ambulance to the hospital where his injuries are being evaluated. Thank you to everyone that has reached out to show your concern and support! Your positive thoughts are appreciated!
Report by Christy Nicholson, SoCalCycling.com