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Gritters, Cromwell win Garrett Lemire GP

Kyle Gritters (Health Net-Maxxis) broke free from a large break to take first at the Garrett Lemire Memorial Grand Prix Sunday in Ojai, California. He was followed closely by teammate John Murphy and Toyota-United’s Hilton Clarke. Australian Tiffany Cromwell (Colavita-Sutter Home) soloed across the line in the women’s race, well ahead of teammate Iona Wynter-Parks, who also finished alone, before Rachel Tzinberg (Bicycle John’s) took the bunch sprint just seconds later.

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By Kathie Reid

Kyle Gritters (Health Net-Maxxis) broke free from a large break to take first at the Garrett Lemire Memorial Grand Prix Sunday in Ojai, California. He was followed closely by teammate John Murphy and Toyota-United’s Hilton Clarke.

Australian Tiffany Cromwell (Colavita-Sutter Home) soloed across the line in the women’s race, well ahead of teammate Iona Wynter-Parks, who also finished alone, before Rachel Tzinberg (Bicycle John’s) took the bunch sprint just seconds later.

Unexpectedly warm temperatures that hovered around 90 degrees caught the men’s NRC field by surprise, as well as the women’s field, leading to large attrition for both. While the women’s race had been included on the NRC calendar, a note on the race website just weeks prior indicated that the sponsor had not come forward with the required amount of prize money for the women’s event, so it was unexpectedly pulled from the national calendar.


With more than 120 men at the start line, the men’s field stayed together for the first few of the 45 1-mile circuits of the downtown course that circled Libbey Park. With six turns, long portions of slight descent, and a gradual climb into the final turn to the finish, no team ever had clear control of the race. A couple of early crashes on the backside contributed to attrition, and by roughly the 10th lap, five riders broke free temporarily, including riders from Ventura-based, Colavita-Sutter Home, and Time Factory Team.

At 30 laps to go, a group of roughly 20 riders made a break, and with representation from a multitude of teams, they managed to stay away, gaining a maximum one-minute gap. Represented were, Rock Racing, Health Net-Maxxis, Jittery Joe’s, Colavita-Sutter Home, Toyota-United, Jelly Belly, 5-Star Waste Vegetable Oil, Plowman Craven RT, Bissell, and Kahala LaGrange.

A few teams in the break had three riders, including Health Net-Maxxis, with Rory Sutherland, Murphy, and Gritters. With five laps to go, Sutherland attacked the break with riders that included Jorge Alvarado (Kahala LaGrange), Alessandro Bazzana (, and Clarke, who felt this was a “little mistake” on his part.

“I went in the move … and got caught out there, sort of on my own a bit, and got caught at about three laps to go. That maybe took a bit of steam out of me, but all credit to the two Health Net guys. They beat me fair and square in the kick. I couldn’t beat ’em – they beat me.”

A number of other riders tried attacked and reeling in attacks in the last five laps, including Evan Oliphant (Plowman Craven RT), Caleb Manion (Toyota-United), Alejandro Borrajo (Colavita-Sutter Home), and Bradley White ( But it was Sutherland, last year’s NRC champion, who set his teammates up for the podium.

“With five to go, Rory was actually hitting it every time up the climb, just trying to soften the legs of the other guys,” Gritters, former U23 national criterium champion, said. “John [Murphy] and I just tried to float a little bit.”

“Rory’s the kind of guy that can get away, and if they give him and inch, he’ll take it,” Murphy added. “He was gone in the last lap, and we came over the top of the hill, and we just caught him. I just went up to him, and he was the lead-out, and as I was coming down the hill, Kyle just smacked it, and kinda took it from everybody. Basically, we were just sprinting for second. Kyle just took it, and it was awesome. He played it right, and we went for one-two.”


In the women’s race, with a field of about 50, Team Tibco and South Bay Wheelmen started firing attacks by the third lap. By lap six, though, Colavita-Sutter Home took over, and Cromwell and Jamaican national road champion Wynter Parks broke away with Morgan Kapp (South Bay Wheelmen).

In the field, Tibco and ValueAct Capital pushed the pace, but the break gained as much as a 90-second gap.

Having two riders in a break was obviously a good situation for Colavita-Sutter Home, but team director Jack Seehafer said that the presence of Kapp in the break added an important unknown.

“I didn’t know her, so that was a little stressful. As always, with an unknown racer, you just never know, so you’ve gotta give her credit,” he said. “I had to be wary of it, and tried to use her the best we could.”

Cromwell said she and Wynter Parks worked well with Kapp. “We were happy to have her there because we both felt strong, and we were happy we had two in the break. We just tried to work together and get time on the bunch behind us.”

Wynter Parks concurred. “I didn’t know exactly how strong she is, but I have heard her name in a few of the races because we’ve been in California for a while now … she was pedaling well, so she was just being smart,” she said.

“I just worked with them,” said Kapp, who is a second-grade teacher and a category-2 racer. “They’re really strong riders … it was tough. They were great to work with, and then they did what they had to do at the end.”

By lap 17, it became apparent that Cromwell was still fresh and strong enough to ride a faster pace than the three could ride together. “I sort of rode away on a hill, and Jack said to keep going, so I did … I just decided to keep on going as hard as I could,” she said.

When Cromwell rode away from Wynter Parks and Kapp, the two continued to work together, but then Wynter Parks knew she had to make a break.

“It’s just that Tiffany was very strong on the hills,” she explained. “It just got to the point where she was just that much stronger, and she was causing a gap because Morgan was the one that was on her, and I was just sitting on Morgan when we were on the backside of the course, so I just let her roll. Morgan couldn’t react [when Cromwell attacked] and then I sat with her.”

With just a few laps to go, Wynter Parks got word over her radio that the pack was bearing down, and so she attacked and left Kapp behind to be absorbed by the field.

“It wasn’t so much that I wanted to attack Morgan, because I was quite happy to go with her and sprint her, but I just knew in the radio that the pack was coming. So I had to go. As it was, I had to work hard to stay ahead of the pack … [Morgan] did well, and she raced fair … she obviously is strong, so kudos to her.”

With Kapp back in the field, there was a bunch sprint for third, and Rachel Tzinberg, racing alone for Bicycle John’s, made the most of the situation.

“I just had to sit in and wait and see,” she said of the majority of the race. With the three women out front, she said, “I knew I didn’t have the leg power to bridge … [but] I was feeling pretty good on the climbs, so I waited to see what I could come up with in the finish … I knew I wanted to jump before the final corner … and it paid off.”


Garrett Lemire Memorial GP


1. Kyle Gritters, Health Net-Maxxis, 1:49:32.3

2. John Murphy, Health Net-Maxxis, 1:49:32.8

3. Hilton Clarke, Toyota-United, 1:49:32.8

4. Alessandro Bazzana, Successful Living, 1:49:33.6

5. Cody Stevenson, Jittery Joe’s, 1:49:33.7

6. Karl Bordine, Team 5 Star Waste Vegetable Oil, 1:49:34.0

7. Alejandro Borrajo, Colavita-Sutter Home, 1:49:34.3

8. Rory Sutherland, Health Net-Maxxis, 1:49:37.0

9. Matty Rice, Jelly Belly, 1:49:38.8

10. Arron Tuckerman, Jelly Belly, 1:49:40.3

11. Michael Grabinger, Successful Living, 1:49:40.3

12. Marco Rios, Kahala LaGrange, 1:49:41.8

13. Evan Oliphant, Plowman Craven RT, 1:49:42.0

14. Michael Easter, Time Factory Team, 1:49:42.9

15. Brandon Gritters, Team 5 Star Waste Vegetable Oil, 1:49:43.1

16. Michael Telega, California Giant Berry Farms, 1:49:43.7

17. Neil Shirley, Jittery Joe’s, 1:49:44.8

18. Jorge Alvarado, Kahala LaGrange, 1:49:45.1

19. Luis Amaran, Colavita-Sutter Home, 1:49:45.9

20. Rigoberto Meza, Coates-Freedom 2 Doit-Felt, 1:49:51.8

21. Aaron Olson, Bissell, 1:50:04.6

22. Bradley White, Successful Living, 1:50:29.7

23. Daniel Ramsey, Time Pro Cycling, 1:50:50.7

24. Caleb Manion, Toyota-United, 1:50:52.0

25. Sergio Hernandez, Rock Racing, 1:50:54.9

26. Kyle Wamsley, Colavita-Sutter Home, 1:50:55.6

27. Kenneth Hanson, California Giant Berry Farms, 1:50:56.3

28. Jonthan Cantwall, Jittery Joe’s, 1:50:56.3

29. Jeremiah Wiscovitch, Rock Racing, 1:50:56.5

30. Alexi Martinez, Successful Living, 1:50:56.7

31. Karl Menzies, Health Net-Maxxis, 1:50:57.0

32. Simon Gaywood, Plowman Craven RT, 1:50:57.0

33. Cody O’Reilly, Successful Living, 1:50:57.5

34. Jared Barrilleaux, Jittery Joe’s, 1:50:57.9

35. Chris DeMarchi, Team 5 Star Waste Vegetable Oil, 1:50:58.0

36. Michael Cody, Jelly Belly, 1:50:58.3

37. David Guttenplan, Time Pro Cycling, 1:50:58.3

38. Justin Kerr, 1:50:58.5

39. Nicholas Brandt-Sorenson, Liquid Fitness Elite Team, 1:50:58.6

40. Chris Steffanoni, NOW-MS Society, 1:50:58.6

41. Neil Coleman, Plowman Craven RT, 1:50:59.0

42. Fabian Reyes, 1:50:59.4

43. Peter Rennie, NOW-MS Society, 1:50:59.7

44. Lucas Sebastian Haedo, Colavita-Sutter Home, 1:51:00.3

45. Uthman Ray, ZteaM, 1:51:00.8

46. Matt Seagrave, Kahala-LaGrange, 1:51:00.9

47. Christian Valenzuela, Successful Living, 1:51:01.0

48. Mark Fennell, Platinum Performance, 1:51:01.0

49. Jose Quintero, Swami’s Cycling Club, 1:51:01.3

50. Gustavo-Adolfo Mendez, Kahala-LaGrange, 1:51:01.7

51. Eric Barlevav, Time Pro Cycling, 1:51:02.7

52. Unknown rider, Rock Racing, 1:51:02.7

53. Corey Collier, Health Net-Maxxis, 1:51:03.5

54. Peter Dawson, Rock Racing, 1:51:03.9

55. Simon Richardson, Plowman Craven RT, 1:51:03.9

56. Patrick Briggs, California Giant Cycling, 1:51:04.1

57. Aron Gadhia, Kahala LaGrange, 1:51:04.4

58. Nathaniel Deibler, Team 5 Star Waste Vegetable Oil, 1:51:04.5

59. James Gunn-Wilkinson, Team 5 Star Waste Vegetable Oil, 1:51:04.8

60. Markus Weinberg, Kahala-LaGrange, 1:51:04.9

61. Victor Ayala, Kahala-LaGrange, 1:51:05.1

62. Kayle Leogrande, Rock Racing, 1:51:05.3

63. Thomas Soladay, Time Pro Cycling, 1:51:05.9

64. Unknown rider, 1:51:06.6

65. Eric Bennett, Successful Living, 1:51:07.3

66. Steve Reaney, California Giant Berry Farms, 1:51:09.1

67. Brian Cook, Platinum Performance, 1:51:09.4

68. Roman Kilun, Health Net-Maxxis, 1:51:09.5

69. Jered Gruber, Time Pro Cycling, 1:51:10.4

70. James Millard, Plowman Craven RT, 1:51:10.4

71. Kris Koke, 1:51:11.6

72. Gilbert Correa, Team 5 Star Waste Vegetable Oil, 1:51:12.2

73. R Curtis Gunn, Successful Living, 1:51:17.6

74. Kirk O’Bee, Health Net-Maxxis, 1:51:21.0

75. Bernard Van Ulden, Jelly Belly, 1:51:36.8

76. Tom Barras, Plowman Craven RT, 1:51:40.8

77. Rudolph Napolitano, Team Rock, 1:51:44.7

78. Gustavo Artacho, Colavita-Sutter Home , 1:52:07.5

Women 1-3

1. Tiffany Cromwell, Colavita Racing, 1:00:17.1

2. Iona Wynter Parks, Colavita Racing, 1:01:18.1

3. Rachel Tzinberg, Bicycle Johns, 1:01:21.3

4. Anna Lang, Aaron’s Womens Pro Cycling, 1:01:21.7

5. Jennifer Wilson, South Bay Wheelmen, 1:01:22.3

6. Shontell Gauthier, Colavita-Sutter Home, 1:01:22.3

7. Lara Kroepsch, ValueAct Capital Cycling Team, 1:01:23.4

8. Pamela Schuster, Helens-Trek, 1:01:23.5

9. Helen Kelly, Team TIBCO, 1:01:23.9

10. Nichole Wangsgard, Colavita Racing, 1:01:24.2

11. Jamie Hughins, Helens-Trek, 1:01:25.1

12. Amanda Seigle, Code Three Womens Cycling, 1:01:26.1

13. Rachel Heal, 1:01:27.2

14. Jennifer Reither, South Bay Wheelmen, 1:01:28.7

15. Kendall Ryan, Major Motion Cycling Club, 1:01:28.8

16. Kristina Seley, Proman Racing, 1:01:28.9

17. Dianna Del Fante, Higher Cadence-Bannings Bikes, 1:01:29.3

18. Holly Borowski, U.S. Armed Forces, 1:01:29.6

19. Alicia Boland, Higher Cadence-Bannings Bikes, 1:01:30.0

20. Morgan Kapp, South Bay Wheelmen, 1:01:30.5

21. Alison Rosenthal, Team TIBCO, 1:01:30.5

22. Beatriz Rodriquez, SC Velo, 1:01:31.2

23. Brenda Lyons, Team Advil-Chapstick, 1:01:31.6

24. Dotsie Bausch, Colavita Sutter Home presented , 1:01:36.0

25. Bonnie Breeze, Helens-Trek, 1:01:40.3

26. Unknown rider, 1:01:40.4

27. Unknown rider, 1:01:58.2

28. Elizabeth Galenti, Southern California Velo, 1:02:07.1

29. Unknown rider, 1:02:23.7

30. Heather Rose, Higher Cadence-Bannings Bikes, 1:02:36.4

31. D. Durand, 1:03:12.5

32. Ryan Hostetter, Velo Bella, 1:03:12.8