David Harward and Nicole Evans have been crowned men’s and women’s (respectively!!) Utah State Criterium Champions. The men’s Pro 1-2 90 minute event was very aggressive from the gun with the field strung out for much of the race. However, it took nearly the entire first hour for an attack to gain any serious ground on the field.
Reigning state time trial champion, Norm Bryner (Barbacoa-Mi Duole) and Harward finally forged a gap, each fully dedicated to the cause and taking huge full laps turns on the front. Cole Sport and Contender Bicycles each tried to organize a chase to bring these two back, but ultimately their efforts were fruitless and Harward and Bryner continued to pour on the gas.
In the end, Harward’s renowned sprinting prowess prevailed and he took home the title, stating “I’ve been in the winning move for several years, so it is great to finally secure the win!”
Harward’s teammate David Brockbank found his way into a 3-man chase in the final laps and secured the final spot on the podium.
The women’s 1-3 event was similarly aggressive. However, the winning break was not formed until 3 laps to go when Nicole Evans (Millcreek Cycles) went to work. She relayed the finish, “I took advantage of a lull and attacked after the start finish line. I got a good sized gap and held off the field for those three laps to solo in for the finish.”
Laura Howat (Ski Utah) jumped away late in the race to secure 2nd and Kirsten Kotval (PCIM) took the bunch sprint to fill the remaining podium spots.
In the Cat 3 men's race, the winning break formed as Nick Ekdahl (RMCC) got things rolling out of the field and Collins bridged up to him. After Ekdahl faded, Collins kept going while Sam Todd (Contender) and Peter Archambault (RMCC/Cyclesmith bridged up. A soloing John Iltis (Mi Duole/Barbacoa) rode in no man's land for half the race, but was unable to make it to the break. The trio lapped the field and Collins won the sprint (twice! – after sprinting a lap early).