Williams Wins Uptown Minneapolis Criterium


Justin Williams (Cylance-Cannondale Pro Cycling p/b Incycle) took his second stage win at the North Star Grand Prix. Time bonuses rearranged the general classification. Brad Huff (Rally Cycling) took third on the stage and six-seconds of time bonus to take the yellow jersey from teammate Tom Zirbel.

Zirbel crashed with five laps to go but was awarded same-time as the peloton. Zirbel finishes the stage in third place overall. Bryan Gomez (Gateway Harley-Davidson Trek) sits in second place overall after claiming a 5-second time bonus for winning the first time bonus sprint.

The race started fast and strung out, as teams vied for early intermediate time and points sprints. Canyon Bicycles-Shimano-Specialized was a presence in every break of the active race. Erik Slack (Canyon Bicyles) was out in his third break before it finally stuck, and was awarded the Penn Cycle Most Aggressive Rider jersey for the stage.

Slack took off solo with 11 laps to go, and was eventually joined by Ulises Castillo (KHS-Maxxis-JLVelo) and Yannick Eckmann (North Memorial Health Care).

The race started with grey skies and the threat of a storm. With 10 laps to go the winds kicked up and light rain started to fall. Rally Cycling’s Danny Pate was seen leading yellow jersey Tom Zirbel at the front of the peloton.

At eight laps to go Cylance-Cannondale Pro Cycling p/b Incycle moved to the front to lead the chase. The gap between the breakaway wavered between six and 10 seconds the last four laps before finally catching the break after the fifth turn of the six-turn, 1.4km course.

Cylance-Cannondale worked hard to bring back the break, but not too fast so as to be able to maintain control of the race.

Williams took off for the final sprint out of the final corner, betting on his skill as a sprinter and the cross-tail wind of the storm. Williams held his lead all the way to the finish.

Current National Criterium Champion Huff was left with no lead out team of his own, and surfed wheels the last lap of the race, relying on bike handling skills and experience to find the best line to race his way onto the podium and into the yellow jersey.

  • Williams extends his lead in the K’ul Chocolate Sprint Jersey competition.
  • Gomez extends his lead in the LeMond Best Young Rider competition.
  • Eric Thompson (Donkey Label) leads the Penn Cycle Best Amateur competition.
  • Racing continues tomorrow with 97 miles of racing at the North Mankato Road Race.

By Cynthia Lou

MEN’S Results

Minneapolis Criterium Results – Men

Position           No.      Rider   Team   Time    Gap

1          84        Justin Williams            UCI CT: Cylance-Cannondale Pro Cycling p/b Incycle  1:02:59

2          154      Alfredo Rodriquez       KHS-Maxxis-JLVelo   1:02:59

3          4          Brad Huff        UCI CT/WPT: Rally Cycling   1:02:59

4          196      Ayden Toovey            Subaru NSWIS & MS             1:02:59

5          13        Bryan Gomez             Gateway Harley-Davidson Trek         1:02:59

Overall Standings – Men

Position           No.      Rider   Team   Time    Gap

1          4          Brad Huff        UCI CT/WPT: Rally Cycling   5:34:19

2          13        Bryan Gomez             Gateway Harley-Davidson Trek         5:34:23            4″

3          1          Thomas Zirbel             UCI CT/WPT: Rally Cycling   5:34:24            5″

4          135      Eric Thompson           Donkey Label 5:34:27            8″

5          196      Ayden Toovey            Subaru NSWIS & MS             5:34:33            14″

Schneider sprints to victory in uptown Minneapolis

By Clara Beard

Skylar Schneider (ISCorp Cycling p/b SmartChoice MRI) claimed stage four of the North Star Grand Prix in uptown Minneapolis. The 17-year-old, still competing on junior gears, outsprinted yesterday’s winner Coryn Rivera (Team UnitedHealthcare) after 24 laps of a .88 km circuit. Samatha Schneider, Skylar’s sister and lead out, held on for third place.

In the overall competition, Brianna Walle (Team TIBCO – Silicon Valley Bank) remains in the yellow jersey, four seconds ahead of her teammate, Lauren Stephens. After racking up several time bonuses on the last two stages, Coryn Rivera has jumped up to third place, 23 seconds back.

“If anyone was going to beat me today I’m happy it was Skylar,” said Rivera, who now leads the Ku’ul Chocolate Sprint classification. “She deserves it. I remember when I was that punk kid who beat senior riders with regular gears. I’m really impressed by her.”

The criterium was animated from the start, with the lead changing hands almost every lap. Rivera was quick to scoop up time bonus opportunities for GC advancement and cyclocross champion Ellen Noble (North Memorial Health Care) crossed the line first to lay claim to the Carmen Small spotlight prime. The prime gave her cash donated by the crowd, a highlight on social media and a coveted call-up at Stillwater criterium. Noble was also awarded the Surly Most Aggressive jersey at the end of the stage.

After her acceleration, Noble found herself off the front for a half of a lap or so, but UHC was quick to regain control of the peloton. However, when the blue train began to set up for a bunch sprint, stage hopeful Rivera said she found herself in an unfavorable position.

“It was pretty chaotic, naturally,” Rivera said. “I was a little too far back so it was difficult for me. I got the time bonuses that were important for GC, I knew I just had to finish and get a podium today. “We obviously want stage wins but still have our eye on the prize for overall GC.”

Just before the final corner the speed started to slow, and that was where Schneider seized her opportunity. After following her sister into an ideal position, Schneider jumped, developed a slight gap and held it to the line.

“We didn’t have the numbers we were expecting up at the front so we had to be a little bit more patient, but it ended up playing out in our favor,” Schneider said.

WOMEN’S RESULTS

Minneapolis Criterium Results – Women

Position           No.      Rider   Team   Time    Gap

1          65        Skylar Schneider        ISCorp Cycling p/b SmartChoice MRI           0:46:39

2          35        Coryn Rivera Team UnitedHealthcare         0:46:39

3          64        Samantha Schneider ISCorp Cycling p/b SmartChoice MRI           0:46:39

4          1          Joelle Numainville       North Memorial Health Care 0:46:39

5          13        Heather Fischer          UCI CT/WPT: Rally Cycling   0:46:39

Overall Standings – Women

Position           No.      Rider   Team   Time    Gap

1          46        Brianna Walle Team TIBCO – Silicon Valley Bank    3:58:45

2          47        Lauren Stephens         Team TIBCO – Silicon Valley Bank    3:58:49            4″

3          35        Coryn Rivera Team UnitedHealthcare         3:59:08            23″

4          73        Lauretta Hanson         Colavita/Bianchi Racing         3:59:13            28″

5          75        Gretchen Stumhofer   Colavita/Bianchi Racing         3:59:16            31″

Photos by Matthew Moses

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