Michael Dziedzic (Landis/Trek) and Canyon Elite Women’s Racing cleaned up the Arizona state championship crits Sunday with big wins for the men’s and women’s pro fields.
For the rest of the fields, the day was filled with a mix of upsets, expected wins, and in the Men’s Cat 3 field, a missed lap count by a rider in a breakaway that ultimately cost him a state championship.
Close Men’s Pro 1/2 finish
In the last and warmest race of the day, the Men Pro 1/2 started off with a small field of 19, with many riders out of state for the San Dimas Stage Race in California. By comparison, the field was 28 strong at the Friday night expo race at the same course, but it also included Cat 3.
Nearly midway through the race, Dziedzic and Daniel Parkman (Stone House Group p/b Pro Bike) formed a break with Vasanth Coorg (Carlos O’Briens Racing) chasing. In a late show of strength, Parkman’s teammate, Wouter Zwart attempted to bridge the gap and gained on them in the last lap.
“I was worried that Wouter was going to catch us and wasn’t sure if I could outsprint him, so I attacked after the corner opposite the finishing straight and just rode as hard as I could to the finish,” Dziedzic said.
Although Zwart made up ground, it wasn’t enough and left Dziedzic and Parkman to sprint it to the line, where Dziedzic came away with a close win.
“Parkman was really close at the end, but I knew I had it at the line,” Dziedzic said.
Dziedzic, who works for Bank of America, said his team plans to go to Tour of the Gila, and he’ll head out to Red Hook Crits this summer.
Falling down the canyon
Canyon Elite showed up in force for their sponsor, Two-Wheel Jones’ home race. With two riders not starting and the race closed to Cat 3 riders, Maureen McAuliffe (Landis/Trek) was alone in attempting to take on the bombardment of attacks launched by the five other riders.
“I think the game plan going into it was just to have a fair race and whoever came out, we were just going to race, we were going to attack and whatever happens, happens,” said Lindsey Ryder (Canyon Elite).
Soon Ryder and her four teammates dropped McAuliffe, who DNF’d, and they settled into a power train flying around the course like they were in a team time trial.
“It was a great opportunity for us to do some high intensity team time trial work, so we practiced rotating and working together,” said Ryder, whose specialty is time trialing. “The refs threw in some challenges for us to try to get the fastest lap.”
The five sprinted it out at the end, with Kim Lucie winning, followed by Reiley Pankratz in second and Ryder in third.
Ryder said the team’s next plans are to go to the Joe Martin Stage Race in Arkansas on April 21 and go for a state championship individual time trial on May 15.
The Men’s Cat 3 state championship was all but in the bag for Kyle Van Renterghem (Tucson Endurance Racing) with two laps to go.
He was off the front solo for the last 20 minutes of the race, and as he came down the finishing straight Van Renterghem posted up to celebrate a win he would never get.
There was still one lap to go.
“I was just so far gone, and I could see the chase was really picking up behind me and I think I just lost count at that point,” Van Renterghem said. “I was just putting everything into it trying to get them to give up and start sitting up.”
Instead, Van Renterghem made the mistake of sitting up, allowing the group to gain precious seconds on him and catch him in the second to last corner as he promptly went out the back, he said.
Jeremy Bounds (Carlos O’Briens Racing) crossed the line first for the win.
“Yeah I’m pretty disappointed with the state championship on the line to get that close and to be out there that long,” he said. “It’s hard to say, if I hadn’t put everything into that [second to last lap] maybe I could have still stayed away.”
But Van Renterghem was a good sport and thanked his teammates, Gilberto Melendez and Erik Brockoff.