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Jonathan Cantwell continues crit command with win at Chris Thater Criterium

V Australia's Jonathan Cantwell notches another crit win, this time at the NRC-closing Chris Thater in New York. His win helped V Australia lock up the 2010 NRC team rankings win.

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2010 Chris Thater Memorial Criterium, Jonathan Cantwell
Another notch for Jonathan Cantwell

Jonathan Cantwell (Fly V Australia) continued his criterium command with a victory, and his teammate, Bernard Sulzberger, followed his wheel for second in the 50-mile Chris Thater Memorial Men’s Pro 1/2 Criterium on Sunday in Binghamton, New York.

Hilton Clarke (United HealthCare-Maxxis) finished third despite crashing and scraping up his elbows.  Isaac Howe (Team Mountain Khakis) and Clayton Barrows (AXA) battled it out for the USA Crits Calendar lead, with Howe taking the slight advantage. One race remains in the series.

Unofficially, Fly V Australia locked up the 2010 National Racing Calendar teams competition. Jamis-Sutter Home’s Luis Amaran won the individual ranking, coming into the final weekend with an insurmountable lead.

V Australia goes 1-2

After the field repeatedly pulled back breaks attempting to form, most of the time consisting of riders from Bissell, UnitedHealthcare and V Australia, a handful of riders managed to escape with three to go.

“There were quite a few dangerous breaks throughout the whole race,  and we always had guys in the break,” Cantwell said. “There was never  any moment we were in trouble or difficulty, so we just had to play our cards and make sure we had myself, Ben Kersten or Ben Sulzberger in the break. If we did, we had the NRC team classification wrapped up.”

V Australia worked hard to chase down the dangerous break with three laps remaining, setting up Cantwell perfectly. He eventually
beat out Sulzberger, Clake, Kyle Wamsley (Bissell), Andres Igna Pereya  (Jamis), Cody Stevenson (Adageo) Iggy Silva (Trek-Livestrong), and several others by less than a second for the winning time of 13:29:33.

“I’m pretty confident, I’ve come from a run of wins so far,” Cantwell said. “Going for the NRC is quite important for myself and for the  team. So I had a lot of pressure on myself to slide into second  overall and also for the team classification.”

Cantwell said he wanted to see Sulzberger, who worked for Cantwell as the designated sprinter this season, get the victory.

“We had a guy, Alessandro Bassano, who was in there for us,” in the final break, Sulzberger said. “We were confident that we could chase it down and Jonny has obviously been very fast. It worked out to our favor. I took over and we were able to pass him on the last corner.”

2010 Chris Thater Memorial Criterium, Jacques-Maynes
Ben Jacques-Maynes off the front on the climb.

A crash with 10 laps to go took out a couple dozen riders, allowing a group of about 13 riders to get up the road. Barrows and Clarke suffered scrapes and bruises from the incident, which appeared to happen in the middle of the peloton and wiped out the back half of the  field.

Barrows managed to work his way back to the front of the field anyway, and Clarke found his way onto the podium with green bandages around each bloodied elbow. He almost crashed again with half a lap remaining.

“I had a pretty chaotic day and to get third on a day like that, I’ll take it,” Clarke said.

Howe took a narrow two point USA Crits lead with 20 laps to go in the race, and he held onto the orange and white jersey come the end of the  race.

Brief results:

  • 1. Jonathan Cantwell, Fly V Australia
  • 2. Bernard Sulzberger, Fly V Australia
  • 3. Hilton Clarke, UnitedHeathcare-Maxxis
  • 4. Kyle Wamsley, Bissell
  • 5. Andres Ignacio Pereyra, Jamis/Sutter Home
  • Complete results

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