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Metlushenko defends Univest criterium title as Amore & Vita sweeps the weekend’s racing

Yuri Metlushenko never stuck his nose in the breeze on Sunday — until the 200 meters when it mattered the most. The powerful Ukrainian sprinter capped a perfect weekend for his Amore & Vita-Detweiler Hershey & Associates team, winning his second consecutive Univest Criterium in a field sprint. With the victory, Amore and Vita completed a sweep of the Univest Grand Prix’s three events.

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By Sean McCann

Yuri Metlushenko never stuck his nose in the breeze on Sunday — until the 200 meters when it mattered the most.

The powerful Ukrainian sprinter capped a perfect weekend for his Amore & Vita-Detweiler Hershey & Associates team, winning his second consecutive Univest Criterium in a field sprint. With the victory, Amore and Vita completed a sweep of the Univest Grand Prix’s three events.

“I want to thank the team because what they did for me was just outstanding,” Metlushenko said through an interpreter. “It’s a very important victory, not just for myself, but for the managers, the mechanics, the entire team.”

Amore & Vita kept the race on a short leash throughout the 50 miles and 36 laps of downtown Doylestown, before unchaining its big dog on the final straighaway. Metlushenko’s winning margin was enough to allow him to sit up and double-point his chest across the line, still five bike lengths clear of second-place Johan Lindgren (Team Cykelcity-Klehr Harrison).

He added the criterium vitory to the points jersey from the stage race that concluded Saturday. Amore & Vita also had the stage race’s top two overall podium places in Volodymyr Starchyk and Philipp Mamos, as well as the victory in Friday’s team time trial.

Director sportif Roberto Gaggioli was understandably content on Sunday, as his riders accepted congratulations in front of the awards platform.

“It went how we planned,” he said. “We wanted to keep the race together and come down to the last lap. When you bring Yuri Metlushenko to the last lap, it’s hard for anybody to beat him.”

Peloton in lockdown

It was a clear, sunny, 78-degree day of frustration for most of the field, which banged its head in futility lap after lap in the perfect conditions.

The boldest individual banger was Caleb Fairly, from Felt-Holoweski Partners U23, the Garmin developmental team. He came away with Most Aggressive Rider honors, but would have preferred something more tangible to show for his afternoonful of attacks.

“I’m not much of a sprinter so my only chance to win was to get out in front, so that’s what our team was shooting for today,” Fairly said. “You’ve got to give props to (Amore & Vita) that they were strong enough to (chase) every time for 50 miles.”

The combination of Amore & Vita’s vigilance and the particular features of the circuit helped keep the race bunched, he added. A headwind on the uphill section discouraged the attacks, and the ensuing downhill smothered those who dared.

“It was hard on the downhill, on the fast part, they were able to rotate,” he said. “And when a team gets to rotate it’s hard to get away from them with just one or two guys.”

Fairly was the only rider to lead four laps, but he found partners in aggression in Cykelcity. The Swedish team led nine of the 36 laps, placing all five of its members off the front at one point or another, before settling for second place in the final sprint.

“A race, it’s a bit of a show also, so we were trying to show them we are a strong and aggressive team,” Lindgren said.

Fairly and Sebastian Balck (Cykelcity) were part of a small group that escaped on lap 20 to build an 11-second edge, the biggest fracture of the race. The escape lasted all of two laps.

Amore & Vita did let its competition have a little fun, however, declining to contest any of the day’s five spring primes. They went to Michael Olheiser (warp9bikes.com/Tristar), Peter Horn (Cycling Center/JBCA), Balck, Stephan Kincaid (CRCA/Empire Cycling) and Andres Diaz Corrales (GS Mengoni USA).

Textbook finale

Last-gasp attacks by Justin Steeds (Mazur Coaching-Bikyle) and Kalle Sandell (Cykelcity) went the way of their predecessors, but as the bell sounded, the Amore & Vita leadout train had not yet gotten organized.

Not to worry, however. The front end reshuffled itself before an uphill finishing straight, and Metlushenko sprang from the left side.

The field spread out across the road behind him, but never had a prayer of tracking him down. While his teammates were jumping everything that moved all day long, he had remained tucked out of the wind, about 20 wheels back.

Metlushenko arrived at the sprint fresh and, as it turned out, unbeatable.

“(Amore & Vita) were working really hard the whole race, but they had two, three guys left in there also, so they were really strong this weekend,” Lindgren said. “He was too strong today. It was like last year.”

Lindgren sprinted from the right side of the road, and never approached Metlushenko. Charles Dionne (Team Quebec) came across third, trailed by Eric Barlevev (Team Mountain Khakis) and Eric Schlidge (bikereg.com/Cannondale) in fourth and fifth.

Results

  • 1. Yuri Metlushenko (Ukr), Amore & Vita-DHA P. C., 1:51:23
  • 2. Johan Lindgren (Swe), Team Cykelcity-Klehr Harrison, same time
  • 3. Charles Dionne (Can), Team Quebec, s.t.
  • 4. Eric Barlevev (USA), Team Mountain Khakis Ep-No, s.t.
  • 5. Eric Schildge (USA), Bikereg. Com-Cannondale, s.t.
  • 6. Sergiy Grechyn (Ukr), Amore & Vita-DHA P. C. , s.t.
  • 7. Adrian Hegyvary (USA), Hagens-Berman, s.t.
  • 8. Alex Hagman (USA), Ciclismo Racing, s.t.
  • 9. Clayton Barrows (USA), CRCA-Empire Cycling, s.t.
  • 10. Robbie King (USA), IF-Lionettes, s.t.
  • 11. Luis Fernando Macias Hernandez (Mex), Tecos De La Universidad, s.t.
  • 12. Arnaud Papillon (Can), Team Quebec, s.t.
  • 13. Jerome Townsend (USA), IF-Lionettes, s.t.
  • 14. Nick Frey (USA), Ciclismo Racing, s.t.
  • 15. David Boily (Can), Team Quebec, s.t.
  • 16. Mark Walters (Can), Mazur Coaching-Bikyle, s.t.
  • 17. Maxime Vives (Can), Planet Energy, s.t.
  • 18. Adam Farabaugh (USA), Hershey Cancer Institute-GPOA, s.t.
  • 19. Sean Sullivan (Aus), Team Rio Grande, s.t.
  • 20. Bjorn Selander (USA), Trek Livestrong, s.t.
  • 21. Gavriel C Epstein (Can), Champions Systems Racing, s.t.
  • 22. Sebastian Balck (Swe), Team Cykelcity-Klehr Harrison, s.t.
  • 23. David Nelson (USA), Cycling Center-JBCA, s.t.
  • 24. Zachary Bell (Can), Kelly Benefits Strategies, s.t.
  • 25. Amos Brumble (USA), CCB Racing, s.t.
  • 26. Alister Ratcliff (USA), Bikereg. Com-Cannondale, at 0:10
  • 27. Stefan Rothe (Ger), Warp9bikes.com-Tristar, s.t.
  • 28. Kalle Sandell (Swe), Team Cykelcity-Klehr Harrison, s.t.
  • 29. Rolf Eisinger (USA), Ciclismo Racing, s.t.
  • 30. William Goodfellow (Can), Mazur Coaching-Bikyle, s.t.
  • 31. Andr Tremblay (Can), Team Quebec, s.t.
  • 32. Volodymyr Starchyk (Ukr), Amore & Vita-DHA P. C. , s.t.
  • 33. Jake Hollenbach (USA), CRCA-Empire Cycling, s.t.
  • 34. John Fredy Parra Celada (Col), Tecos De La Universidad 35. Justin Lindine (USA), Bikereg. Com-Cannondale, s.t.
  • 36. Caleb Fairly (USA), Felt-Holowesko Garmin U23, at 0:14
  • 37. Heath Blackgrove (Nzl), Team Rio Grande, s.t.
  • 38. Ryohei Komori (Jpn), Trek Livestrong, s.t.
  • 39. Michael Olheiser (USA), Warp9bikes.com-Tristar, s.t.
  • 40. Peter Morse (Can), Jetfuel Coffee, s.t.
  • 41. Ignacio Sarabia Diaz (Mex), Tecos De La Universidad, s.t.
  • 42. Andres Diaz Corrales (Col), GS Mengoni USA, s.t.
  • 43. Chris Winn (Aus), Team Rio Grande, s.t.
  • Tim Mitchell (USA), Metlife Pro-Am Cycling Team, s.t.
  • 45. Jacobe Keough (USA), Kelly Benefits Strategies, at 0:19
  • 46. Benjamin Martel (Can), Mazur Coaching-Bikyle, s.t.
  • 47. Nick Clayville (USA), Hagens-Berman, s.t.
  • 48. Matt Spohn (USA), Dynaflow Racing, s.t.
  • 49. Jesse Sergent (Nzl), Trek Livestrong, s.t.
  • 50. Patrik Stenberg (Swe), Team Cykelcity-Klehr Harrison, s.t.
  • 51. Josh Dillon (USA), Bikereg. Com-Cannondale, s.t.
  • 52. Danny Summerhill (USA), Felt-Holowesko Garmin U23, s.t.
  • 53. Peter Salon (USA), Felt-Holowesko Garmin U23, s.t.
  • 54. Jackie Simes (USA), Team Mountain Khakis Ep-No, s.t.
  • 55. William Elliston (USA), Dynaflow Racing, s.t.
  • 56. Charles Tobias Marzot (USA), Team Mountain Khakis Ep-No, s.t.
  • 57. Matthew Busche (USA), Kelly Benefits Strategies, s.t.
  • 58. Todd Yezefski (USA), IF-Lionettes, s.t.
  • 59. Michael Margarite (USA), CRCA-Empire Cycling, s.t.
  • 60. Neil Bezdek (USA), GS Mengoni USA, s.t.
  • 61. Philipp Mamos (Ger), Amore & Vita-DHA P.C., s.t.
  • 62. Fabio Gilioli (Ita), Amore & Vita-DHA P.C., s.t.
  • 63. Kevin Wolfson (USA), IF-Lionettes, s.t.
  • 64. Amaury Perez (Dom), GS Mengoni USA, s.t.
  • 65. Thom Coupe (USA), Bikereg. Com-Cannondale, s.t.
  • 66. Corey Collier (USA), Team Rio Grande, s.t.
  • 67. Benjamin King (USA), Trek Livestrong, s.t.
  • 68. Eugene A Boronow (USA), GS Mengoni USA, s.t.
  • 69. Clay Murfet (Aus), Kelly Benefits Strategies, s.t.
  • 70. Dan Timmerman (USA), Bikereg. Com-Cannondale, at 0:32
  • 71. Vladislav Borisov (Rus), Amore & Vita-DHA P. C., at 0:35
  • 72. Tomas Lofgren (Swe), Team Cykelcity-Klehr Harrison, at 0:37
  • 73. Evan Fader (USA), Dynaflow Racing, at 0:42
  • 74. Stephan Kincaid (USA), CRCA-Empire Cycling, at 0:42
  • 75. Chad Butts (USA), Champions Systems Racing, at 0:42
  • 76. Jean Michel Lachance (Can), Team Quebec, at 0:55
  • 77. Allen Krughoff (USA), Team Rio Grande, at 1:00
  • 78. Colin Sandberg (USA), Hershey Cancer Institute-GPOA, s.t.
  • 79. John Delong (USA), Dynaflow Racing, at 1:16
  • 80. Taylor Sheldon (USA), Felt-Holowesko Garmin U23, at 1:21
  • 81. Walker Savidge (USA), Felt-Holowesko Garmin U23, at 1:22
  • 82. Jacob Erker (Can), Kelly Benefits Strategies, at 1:27
  • 83. Roman Kilun (USA), OUCH-Maxxis, at 1:35
  • 84. Yahor Buben (Blr), CCB Racing, at 1:35
  • 85. Nicholas Bennette (USA), Metlife Pro-Am Cycling Team, at 1:39
  • 86. Keir Plaice (Can), Planet Energy, at 1:56
  • 87. Bobby Lea (USA), OUCH-Maxxis, at 2:12
  • 88. Jacob Mueller (USA), Dynaflow Racing, at 2:16