The third annual TD Bank Mayor’s Cup Professional Criterium Race, for the first time incorporating the USA CRITS Finals, came to an exciting conclusion on Sunday, September 25th in downtown Boston. Over 120 minutes of action-packed racing from the women’s and men’s fields proved to be a fitting end to the day-long 7th Annual Hub On Wheels cycling celebration.
More than 200 top professional racers took to the streets around City Hall Plaza for high speed, fast action criterium-style racing, where they navigated a tight 7/10 mile circuit and covered somewhere between 40-50 laps around Government Center.
The cowbells were ringing and announcers Chad Andrews and Frankie Andreu were shouting as first the field of 53 women and then 135 men took their places at the start line. At stake – the chance to contest a course that awarded the fast and the clever with $15,000 in total prize money as well as $5,000 in cash primes (pronounced “preems”) for winning specific laps.
At 1:30 pm the women’s field commenced racing, and among the host of strong competitors were such cycling luminaries as former Olympian and two-time national champion Nicole Freedman (who is now the Director of Boston Bikes), and field favorites Lauren Tamayo and Coryn Rivera of Team Peanut Butter & Co. TWENTY12, Laura Van Gilder of Mellow Mushroom, Samantha Schneider of Team TIBCO, Lex Albrecht of Team Juvederm-Specialized, and Janel Holcomb of Colavita Forno d’Asolo.
After the initial laps it was clear that while many had their eyes on the ultimate prize and a spot on the final podium, some were on the hunt for the cash, among them Laura Van Gilder and Lex Albrecht, who strategically positioned themselves to take the first of the big cash primes with 30 laps to go. The second time also proved to be a charm for Laura, as she shared the next prime at 20 laps to go with Coryn Rivera. The racing continued fast and furious, and it all came down to a wild bunch sprint at the end, with Jen McRae of 787 Racing besting Team TIBCO’s Samantha Schneider at the line to take the win, with Coryn Rivera coming in a close third.
For the men’s race, the Mayor’s Cup also served as the culmination of the USA CRITS series, and coming into this season finale was local favorite and series leader Luke Keough from Sandwich, MA, with 1350 points. Luke races for Team Mountain Khakis p/b SmartStop, and both he and his team were looking to retain their series lead. Nipping at his heels for the overall title were second place Clayton Barrows (Stan’s NoTubes / AXA Equitable) with 1228 pts and third-placed Christian Helmig (ELBOWZ Racing) with 1216 pts.
Early on it was clear that the USA CRITS series leaders were going to try to control the race and determine their destiny, and Barrows and Helmig took positions at the front of the main pack. They were joined by Luis Amaran of Jamis/Sutter Home, whose counter-attack to pull away from the field sent defenders scrambling to make chase and protect their interests. This included Beverly’s own Jesse Anthony, who races for Kelly Benefit Strategies and became part of the 4-man breakaway group. Unfortunately, the break didn’t stick and the peloton came back together midway through the race in time for the mid-race sprint for primes.
It took several more laps of jostling for position before a second breakaway attempt occurred. This time it was Christian Helmig’s teammate Heath Blackgrove of ELBOWZ Racing who made the jump on the peloton. He was soon joined by Jesse Anthony, who chased to bridge the gap to Blackgrove, and the pair put nearly 10 seconds between themselves and the rest of the field. Team Mountain Khakis, led by captain Adam Myerson of Boston, had to protect the interests of his team as well as USA CRITS leader Keough, and refused to let this attack go unanswered. Myerson, sometimes called the “elder statesman of the peloton,” turned himself inside out to lead the chase and reel the two breakaways back in with one lap to go. Unfortunately, a crash around the bend on the backside of the final lap would delay Myerson – who had just successfully finished his leadout for Luke Keough along with teammate Jerome Townsend of Princeton, MA – as well as several other cyclists who did not finish the race.
And as predicted by Frankie Andreu, it all came down to “a drag race on the streets of Boston” and the final meters of suffering ended in a bunch sprint to the line, with Jelly Belly’s Ken Hanson nipping it over Dan Holt of Team Type 1. Holt had put in a hard effort to chase down the breakaway, but still had the legs to garner a second place finish for himself, while local favorite Luke Keough took the third place spot to cement his overall lead in the USA CRITS Finals and take home $1600 in prize money to boot. Beverly’s Jesse Anthony was presented with the Most Aggressive Rider award by Cycling News, and Team Mountain Khakis were rewarded in their efforts as they were presented with the overall USA CRITS team championship prize, a fitting end to an exciting and successful season of racing.
- Jen McRae (787 Racing)
- Samantha Schneider (Team TIBCO/To The Top)
- Coryn Rivera (Peanut Butter & Co.TWENTY12)
- Kat Carr (Bell Lap Coaching)
- Janel Holcomb (Colavita/Forno d’Asolo)
- Kenneth Hanson (Jelly Belly p/b Kenda)
- Daniel Holt (Team Type 1)
- Luke Keough (Team Mountain Khakis p/b SmartStop)
- Clayton Barrows (Stan’s Notubes / Axa Equitable)
- Eric Young (Bissell Pro Cycling Team)