Utah’s Pezzulo Takes Second Overall in USA Crits Series Championship

Binghamton, NY – After a year of racing, Erica Allar holds off Tiffany Pezzulo and Kacey Manderfield to win the USA CRITS Series at the women's final event, the 27th Annual Chris Thater Memorial in Binghamton, NY this past weekend.
It was an animated women's race from the word go, with attacks and small breaks attempting to stay away but to no avail.  Cath Cheatley and Colavita-Baci took responsibility at the front to protect their lead in the NRC, while Team TIBCO wanted a strong showing as this would be Brooke Miller's swan song.

With seven laps to go, Cheatley and Sam Schneider (TIBCO) were able to open a gap and were never seen again.  It was a two up sprint to the finish, with Sam Schneider winning her first race on the USA CRITS Series and securing a second place finish in the Maxxis Best Young Rider competition.

In the field sprint, Pezzulo was going to have to finish about 25 places in front of Allar in order to take over the lead, which would prove difficult as Allar has placed in the top 10 at every Series' race.  Allar and Pezzulo marked each other, finishing 9th and 13th, respectively, giving Allar more than enough points to becoming this year's USA CRITS Champion.

Lauren Ellis of BikeNZ was able to increase her lead and hold on to the Sportsbase Online Lap Leader Jersey, while Kacey Manderfield finished top 10 in the race to secure third in the overall taking home the Maxxis Best Young Rider jersey.

The men's race was the following day on a longer course than what the women raced.  The 1.2 mile course with a nice hill after turn 1 kept the group together for most of the day.  Andy Jacques-Maynes (Bissell) was able to take a solo flyer for 10 laps before being reeled back in by the peloton.  A few other small groups also tried to get away, with a group of three being caught at the start/finish line with one lap to go.

A scary moment in the race came at 7 laps to go for the Series leader Clayton Barrows (AXA Equitable).  Barrows went down in a crash, came into the pit for his free lap, but had to enter the pit again for a mechanical the very next lap.

In the end Jonathan Cantwell (Fly V Australia) continued his winning ways, taking his second USA CRITS race victory (Cantwell also won the Presbyterian Hospital Invitational).  Teammate Bernie Sulzberger placed 2nd with UnitedHealthcare presented by Maxxis' Hilton Clark rounded out the top three.

Isaac Howe (Mountain Khakis) finished 8th while Clayton Barrows finished 12th place, giving Howe enough points to take over the Series lead.  Hilton Clarke (UnitedHealthcare) still holds the Sportsbase Online Lap Leader jersey, while Howe also leads the Maxxis Best Young Rider competition.

The men's USA CRITS Finals will be held in Dallas, TX this year at the TX TOUGH GRAND PRIX III on September 16.

Women's Final Results
Chris Thater Memorial
1.  Sam Schneider (TIBCO)
2.  Cath Cheatley (Colavita-Baci)
3.  Joanne Kiesanowski (TIBCO)

USA CRITS Overall presented by Champion System
1.  Erica Allar (unattached), 1106 points
2.  Tiffany Pezzulo (Treads.com/DFT), 979 points
3.  Kacey Manderfield (Cycle Loft), 920 points

Sportsbase Online Lap Leader presented by VeloNews
Lauren Ellis (BikeNZ), 18 laps

Maxxis Best Young Rider presented by cyclingnews.com
Kacey Manderfield (Cycle Loft)

Men's Results
Chris Thater Memorial
1.  Jonathan Cantwell (Fly V Australia)
2.  Bernie Sulzberger (Fly V Australia)
3.  Hilton Clarke (UnitedHealthcare presented by Maxxis)

USA CRITS Overall presented by Champion System
1.  Isaac Howe (Mountain Khakis fueled by Jittery Joe's), 1489 points
2.  Clayton Barrows (AXA Equitable), 1476 points
3.  David Guttenplan (Mountain Khakis fueled by Jittery Joe's), 980 points

Sportsbase Online Lap Leader presented by VeloNews
Hilton Clarke (UnitedHealthcare presented by Maxxis)

Maxxis Best Young Rider presented by cyclingnews.com
Isaac Howe (Fly V Australia)

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