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Time’s Eric Barlevav wins the 35th annual Harlem Classic in a photo finish — then crashes.

[nid:77758][nid:77759][nid:77754][nid:77755] Erik Barlevav of the Time Pro Cycling team scored the biggest win of his young career with a narrow advantage win over Rock Racing's Rahsaan Bahati on Sunday at the Harlem Cycling Classic. Barlevav's final effort was so intense that he lost control of his bicycle and crashed just after the finish line. The first-year professional managed to get up unassisted and take a victory lap with a bouquet of flowers.

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2008 Harlem Cycling Classic: Barlevav sprints against Rock Racing's Rashaan Bahati

2008 Harlem Cycling Classic: Barlevav sprints against Rock Racing’s Rashaan Bahati

Photo: Marco Quezada

2008 Harlem Cycling Classic: Barlevav edges Bahati

2008 Harlem Cycling Classic: Barlevav edges Bahati

Photo: Marco Quezada

2008 Harlem Cycling Classic: Then, disaster.

2008 Harlem Cycling Classic: Then, disaster.

Photo: Marco Quezada

2008 Harlem Cycling Classic: Barlevav hits the deck.

2008 Harlem Cycling Classic: Barlevav hits the deck.

Photo: Vero Image

2008 Harlem Cycling Classic: Barlevav's hands slipped just after the finish.

2008 Harlem Cycling Classic: Barlevav’s hands slipped just after the finish.

Photo: Vero Image

Erik Barlevav of the Time Pro Cycling team scored the biggest win of his young career with a narrow advantage win over Rock Racing’s Rahsaan Bahati on Sunday at the Harlem Cycling Classic.

Barlevav’s final effort was so intense that he lost control of his bicycle and crashed just after the finish line. The first-year professional managed to get up unassisted and take a victory lap with a bouquet of flowers.

“I felt Bahati coming up on my left and threw my bike as hard as I could,” Barlevav said. “Being such a humid day, my hands just slipped off the bars. I guess I should have been wearing gloves.”

The 40-mile race around historic Marcus Garvey Park ended with a 54-man sprint finish. Bahati’s Rock Racing team took control of the race in the last 10 laps of the .75 mile racecourse, lining up their train with Tyler Hamilton setting tempo and Freddy Rodriguez positioned as final leadout man. But young Barlevav proved the spoiler, and scored a prestigious, if painful victory.

“The plan was for Freddie to get me to the last corner,” Bahati said. “But I lost his wheel to Ivan Dominguez and Alejandro Barrajo — one went right and one went left. So I had to come from too far back. If I had maybe three more meters, I would have won.”

Jake Keough of the New York City-based CRCA/Sakonnet Technology finished third in a performance that heralds him as a star of the future.

In front of an eclectic and enthusiastic crowd of thousands, racers made ill-fated attempts to break away on the flat, four-corner, .8-mile course. Among those attempting breakaways was Toyota-United’s Ivan Dominguez — who last won on the streets of New York against Lance Armstrong in 2002 at the New York City Cycling Championship. But a sprint was in the cards, and the one that ensued was one of the most dramatic in recent memory.

Photo Gallery

Results

Men’s results:
1. Eric Barlevav, Time Pro Cycling in 1:22:02
2. Rashaan Bahati, Rock Racing at s.t.
3. Jake Keough, CRCA/Sakonnet Technologies U25 at s.t.
4. Fred Rodriquez, Rock Racing at s.t.
5. Demis Aleman, Argentina Telefonicos at s.t.
6. Esteban Jukich, Richmond Pro Cycling at s.t.
7. Alejandro Borrajo, Colativa/Sutter Home Pro Cycling at s.t.
8. Justin Williams, Rock Racing at s.t.
9. Lisbon Quintero, CRCA/Foundation at s.t.
10. Alejandro Guzman, CRCA/Foundation at s.t.
11. Ivan Dominguez, Toyota- United Pro Cycling Team at s.t.
12. Adam Myerson, Time Pro Cycling at s.t.
13. Yosvany Falcon, TOSHIBA-Santo presented by Herbalife at s.t.
14. Anthony Taylor, TARGETTRAINING at s.t.
15. Jermaine Burroughs, We Stand United/Sheepshed Cycles at s.t.
16. Jason Snow, Team Metra/Wendy’s/Victor Homes at s.t.
17. Cheyne Hoag, CRCA/Sakonnet Technologies U25 at s.t.
18. Jeff Hopkins, Team Inferno Pro Cycling at s.t.
19. Ryan Mele, Richmond Pro Cycling at s.t.
20. Seth Hansley, Locos Cycling Team at s.t.