Events

Borrajo, Benjamin blaze at Beaufort

Fresh from his fourth-place finish at the 2007 Tour of Virginia, Rite Aid's Alejandro Borrajo made his presence felt at Tuesday’s Beaufort Memorial Cycling Classic, pipping Cuban sprinter Frank Travieso (AEG-Toshiba-JetNetwork) at the line. "I'm very happy. Now I'm getting the outcome that I was hoping for,” said Borrajo. “I think the racing in Virginia served me very well. I'm recovering well and I have momentum now, so I'm very content."

By JoE Silva

Fresh from his fourth-place finish at the 2007 Tour of Virginia, Rite Aid’s Alejandro Borrajo made his presence felt at Tuesday’s Beaufort Memorial Cycling Classic, pipping Cuban sprinter Frank Travieso (AEG-Toshiba-JetNetwork) at the line.

“I’m very happy. Now I’m getting the outcome that I was hoping for,” said Borrajo. “I think the racing in Virginia served me very well. I’m recovering well and I have momentum now, so I’m very content.”

Unlike the two previous events in the eight-day series, the third leg of the USA Crits Southeast series, in downtown Beaufort, South Carolina, saw no breakaways that were able to stick for any significant length of time. Instead, individual efforts for primes kept the field motivated over 80 laps of high-speed racing.

Third-place finisher Adam Meyerson (Team Nerac) characterized the pace as particularly tough.

“It was hard. I knew that when I saw the course it was going to be a cyclo-cross-style race where only the first 20 guys were going to be able to race. And in order to stay in the front you were going to have to continue to attack or take pulls. You couldn’t really sit in. The straight-aways are so short and the turns so difficult, it wasn’t that much harder to be rolling with moves and be aggressive.”

Many of the usual suspects tried to escape the field, including BMC’s Jackson Stewart. But while Stewart had a full 20 seconds on the field at one point, the challenges of the course made it particularly difficult to ditch any chasers.

“It’s dangerous. Maybe not as bad as Athens, but it’s dark out there and fast. (Beaufort) probably has some of the tightest turns on a course that I’ve seen,” said Stewart.

When the riders came through for their final lap, it was essentially anyone’s race, with several strong squads still represented in the pack. Myerson took a choice spot behind Borrajo and leadout man Sebastian Alexandre from Argentina. Alexandre, however, sat up once he saw that his teammate and Travieso were away. At the line Borrajo pipped the young AEG rider by a tenth of a second.

In the women’s race, a five-rider breakaway set the tone for the night’s finale. Kelly Benjamin and Team Cheerwine teammate Catherine Cheatley tussled with Colavita-Sutter Home riders Iona Wynter and Mackenzie Dickey, plus Catherine Powers of Aaron’s Corporate Furnishings.

Benjamin, who took the final sprint with her characteristic ease, told VeloNews before the race that taking third at the Athens Twilight Criterium and the Nalley Historic Roswell Criterium had motivated the team towards shooting for the top slot in Beaufort. “We’re really happy about the first couple of races and being really consistent. Obviously we’re looking towards moving up the podium and taking more control. We’re really, really ready to race,” she said.

USA Crits Southeast #3: Beaufort Memorial Cycling Classic
Men

1. Alejandro Borrajo, Rite Aid
2. Frank Travieso, AEG-Toshiba-JetNetwork
3. Adam Myerson, Team Nerac
4. Mark Hekman, Abercrombie & Fitch
5. Dominique Rollin, Kodak Gallery-Sierra Nevada

Women
1. Kelly Benjamin, Team Cheerwine
2. Mackenzie Dickey, Colavita/Sutter Home
3. Catherine Powers, Aaron’s
4. Iona Wynter, Colavita-Sutter Home
5. Catherine Cheatley, Team Cheerwine

Results

USA Crits Southeast #3: Beaufort Memorial Cycling Classic
Men

1. Alejandro Borrajo, Rite Aid
2. Frank Travieso, AEG-Toshiba-JetNetwork
3. Adam Myerson, Team Nerac
4. Mark Hekman, Abercrombie & Fitch
5. Dominique Rollin, Kodak Gallery-Sierra Nevada

Women
1. Kelly Benjamin, Team Cheerwine
2. Mackenzie Dickey, Colavita/Sutter Home
3. Catherine Powers, Aaron’s
4. Iona Wynter, Colavita-Sutter Home
5. Catherine Cheatley, Team Cheerwine