Wednesday night’s St. Paul Criterium was cancelled after two major crashes caused a delay in stage 2 of the women’s North Star Grand Prix. Officials and team directors made the decision to cancel with two laps of the 1.2km circuit remaining after the second pile-up in the first turn.
“It made sense to me,” race leader Brianna Walle said. “Both crashes were pretty bad. There was so much disarray and nerves that it was safer to call it quits. There were still people down on the road, so it was a good decision.”
Gaps were forming in the field late in the race, although the overall favorites were together at the front prior to the stage cancellation, so the general classification was not expected to change.
In the men’s race, Cylance – Cannondale’s Justin Williams won the 40-lap race ahead of U.S. criterium national champ Brad Huff (Rally), and Bryan Gomez of Gateway Harley-Davidson – Trek. Huff’s teammate, Tom Zirbel kept his overall lead, which he claimed with a win in the stage 1 time trial earlier on Wednesday.
On Thursday, both men’s and women’s fields will face the 85-mile Cannon Falls road race.