Former U.S. criterium champion Brad Huff edged out the current American title holder, Daniel Halloway, in a two-man sprint to the finish line in Tsawwassen to win the 2011 Tour de Delta White Spot Road Race Sunday (July 10).
The 140 km event was the third and final race in the 2011 edition of the Tour de Delta
Huff, riding for Jelly Belly Pro Cycling presented by Kenda, and Halloway of Kelly Benefit Strategies Omtum-Health, were part of a five-rider breakaway with three local racers as the field came across after four and a half laps of a smaller circuit in North Delta and rode up into Tsawwassen for 10 laps around the longer 8.8 km circuit.
They built a five-minute lead on the potent pack at one point, but the gap was down to just over two minutes with three laps to go. That’s when Huff, who won the U.S. Criterium title in 2006, Halloway and David Vukets, riding for the local Trek Red Truck team, broke away from the other two. But Vukets cramped up, creating a last lap showdown between the two Americans.
“It wasn’t really a 200-meter sprint for us,” Huff said of the final straightaway leading to the finish line. “It was more like a 3 km drag race. We knew we had the gap and we were trying to commit to hold it. And at the end it was who could push.”
Andrew Pinfold, a North Vancouver native who now races internationally for the United Healthcare team, restored some local pride by winning a sprint for third place less than a minute behind the leaders. By beating Australian Tommy Nankeris (Real Cyclist.com Pro Cycling), who was fifth Sunday after winning Saturday’s Brenco Criterium in Ladner Village, and staying three spots ahead of overall leader Carlos Alzate, a Colombian Olympian riding for Team Exergy, Pinfold was also able to clinch the Tour de Delta Omnium, or overall title.
“When the break got five minutes ahead we said ‘I think they have it,’ so I was going for the overall and I knew I had to beat Alzate by a couple guys and I had to beat Tommy at the finish line and fortunately I had the legs to do it,” said Pinfold who finished second in the Brenco Criterium, a race he has won in the past, along with three straight White Spot Road Races. But the 32-year-old pro had never won the overall before.
“This is my 11th year here and I’ve never won the whole thing,” he said. “I fly to Italy tomorrow to race but this race means that much to me that I hung around to do it.”
The women’s road race featured a pair of familiar 19-year-old faces atop the podium.
Jasmine Glaesser, who finished third in Friday’s (July 8) MK Delta Lands Criterium in North Delta and second in the Brenco Criterium, took off from the pack with two laps left around the Tsawwassen loop and stayed away, finishing the 88 km in 2:25:10.9.
The day before in Ladner Village, Australian Tommy Nankervis surprised the pack by taking off halfway down the back stretch, and held off an impressive field through the final two corners to win the 2011 Tour de Delta Brenco Criterium, completing 60 laps of the 0.9 km circuit through the streets in one hour, 14 minutes and 20 seconds.
“I just went for it halfway down the back straight and made it into the second-last corner third wheel and knew if I came through the last corner in front I wouldn’t have anyone pass me,” said Nankervis, riding for the RealCyclist.com Pro Team.
Winnipeg’s Karlee Gendron followed up a win at the MK Delta Lands Criterium in North Delta with a victory in the women’s event in Ladner.
She got into a four-rider break 10 laps into the 40-lap race, lapping the field halfway through, and surviving a hard fall that left her bloodied and bruised.
Riding for the local Trek Red Truck team Gendron got back up and into the break, and won a sprint to the finish to complete the race in 58 minutes and 31.5 seconds with blood trickling down her leg.
“No definitely not, I’m tough,” she said when asked—after receiving post-race medical treatment—if she ever considered quitting. “I got right back in the break and it was good. Of course I’m going to be really sore tomorrow. My knee and hips are pretty stiff.”
After being part of a four-rider breakaway that spent half the race building a 30-second lead, it came down to the final corner for Ryan Anderson during the first race of BC Superweek at the inaugural MK Delta Lands Criterium July 8 in North Delta—the first event of the 2011 Tour de Delta.
He almost didn’t make it.
Anderson got his front tire almost sideways and clipped a pedal before straightening out just in time to win a sprint to the finish line just ahead of Colombia’s Andres Diaz and Aldergrove native Marsh Cooper.
“It was a pretty exciting finish, got a little jumpy out of the last corner but happy to win,” said Anderson, a Vancouver native who rides internationally for Team Spidertech, the professional cycling team started by Canadian cycling legend Steve Bauer with the goal of competing in the Tour de France. “That’s not too normal, but it happens.”
Anderson managed to avoid an early crash that took down close to a dozen riders, and completed 40 laps around the 1.3-kilometre closed-street circuit in one hour, five minutes and 11 seconds.