Events

Borrajo scores 2nd win in USA Crits SE series

Alejandro Borrajo (Rite Aid) scored his second victory in the 2007 USA Crits Southeast series on Friday, crossing the line with relative ease on a cool, cloudy night in Spartanburg, South Carolina. With some of the more well-known squads exiting the series for other races and rest blocks (among them Health Net and BMC), the dynamic throughout the SmithBarney Classic was a mixture of agitation and fatigue as tired riders looked for fresh opportunities in a shrinking assembly.

By JoE Silva

The podium at Spartanburg

The podium at Spartanburg

Photo:

Alejandro Borrajo (Rite Aid) scored his second victory in the 2007 USA Crits Southeast series on Friday, crossing the line with relative ease on a cool, cloudy night in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

With some of the more well-known squads exiting the series for other races and rest blocks (among them Health Net and BMC), the dynamic throughout the SmithBarney Classic was a mixture of agitation and fatigue as tired riders looked for fresh opportunities in a shrinking assembly.

Curtis Gunn’s Successful Living team showed a fair amount of strength during the 70-lap race, run on a half-mile course.

“We had a pretty bad night last night.” Gunn said afterwards. “Our top placing was 24th, so we came out a little mean tonight. This is a good course for us — a lot of power.”

Last-minute bids by Jittery Joe’s produced a third place for Cody Stevenson, and next up on the podium was Rock Racing’s Kayle Leogrande, who has shown consistent form alongside the dominance of Kodak Gallery-Sierra Nevada riders Dominique Rollin and Josh Thornton.

But it was Borrajo who finished first, adding the SmithBarney title to his Tuesday victory at the Beaufort Memorial Cycling Classic. He gave most of the credit to his Rite Aid squad, which held onto key positions as the laps ticked off on an average at less than 1:25 per circuit.

“I don’t consider myself very fast, but I’m strong enough to keep a good position throughout the race and keep my power (intact),” he said. “I’m not particularly well rested, especially after Tour of Virginia, but we’ve only got two days left to go, so I should be all right and have some time to recover the form I need for the rest of the season.”

Pileup mars women’s finish
A very standard race for the women’s field was marked by a dramatic crash at the finish line once Team Cheerwine’s Laura Van Gilder came across in first place.

Having been accidentally struck by a spectator, HT Naturals rider Hadley Trotter slid across the start/finish line, triggering a pile-up that saw Nicole Bossie (Juice Plus) and Melissa Petty badly shaken.

The USA Crits Southeast series now doubles back geographically to wrap with two days of racing in Anniston and Decatur, Alabama, where overall points winners will be decided.

SmithBarney Classic
Spartanburg, South Carolina
Men

1. Alejandro Borrajo, Rite Aid, 1:16:50.3
2. Kayle Leogrande, Rock Racing, 1:16:50.5
3. Cody Stevenson, Jittery Joe’s, 1:16:50.6
4. Ricardo Escuela, SuccessfulLiving.com, same time
5. Luca Damiani, Colavita-Sutter Home, s.t.

Women
1. Laura Van Gilder, Team Cheerwine, 27:50.9
2. Tina Pic, Colavita-Sutter Home, 27:51.1
3. Shontelle Gauthier, Team Ultralink, 27:51.3
4. Iona Wynter, Colavita-Sutter Home, 27:51.6
5. Holli Steelman, Juice Plus, s.t.

Results

SmithBarney Classic
Spartanburg, South Carolina
Men

1. Alejandro Borrajo, Rite Aid, 1:16:50.3
2. Kayle Leogrande, Rock Racing, 1:16:50.5
3. Cody Stevenson, Jittery Joe’s, 1:16:50.6
4. Ricardo Escuela, SuccessfulLiving.com, same time
5. Luca Damiani, Colavita-Sutter Home, s.t.

Women
1. Laura Van Gilder, Team Cheerwine, 27:50.9
2. Tina Pic, Colavita-Sutter Home, 27:51.1
3. Shontelle Gauthier, Team Ultralink, 27:51.3
4. Iona Wynter, Colavita-Sutter Home, 27:51.6
5. Holli Steelman, Juice Plus, s.t.