Eric Young sprints to crit win at Tour of the Gila

//Eric Young sprints to crit win at Tour of the Gila

Eric Young sprints to crit win at Tour of the Gila

Huffman keeps leader jersey heading into Gila Monster stage

Eric Young cinched another win for his Rally team at the downtown Silver City criterium Saturday. The 28-year-old sprinter phenom came out of nowhere to take victory ahead of UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling’s Travis McCabe and Jose Alfredo Rodriguez (Elevate-KHS), who finished second and third respectively.

“On the last lap the Cylance guys had the front and were doing a great job,” Eric Young said after the stage. “I went through on the second wheel behind Karl Menzies who’s a pretty experienced racer. That was a perfect position to sprint from and I did. No one came around me. This was a little less painful than stage two.”

Every year, the downtown criterium draws energetic fans and hard-hitting racing, and this year was no different. From the gun, attacks flew thick and fast, mostly from development teams eager to make a name for themselves while bigger teams like Rally and UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling marked each other.

The most dangerous attack came from seasoned professional and former WorldTour racer, Greg Henderson (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling), who flew off the front solo with seven laps to go with in an attempt to put the pressure on. Elevate-KHS and Cylance swarmed at the front to set up their sprinters that worked to Rally’s advantage in the end, as Young handily took the win.

Third place is the best finish so far in Rodriguez young career, the 19-year-old Mexican finished 5th in Taiwan last month. Speaking to Rodriguez at sign-in he looked to the stage as a test for him. “This is what I specialize in…this is my first year racing in a pro category. It’s a lot harder because it’s more aggressive and the other riders expect you to be at their level in order for them to let you work with them. The good thing is that I learn more every race.

“The work went to the team,” Rodriguez added. “The plan was to enter in the final turn in third and it worked out that way and we were able to get the result. Thanks to the KHS team, this is the best result I have had in a UCI competition.”

Looking towards the Gila Monster finale, the top eight riders are within a minute of each other, with Evan Huffman (Rally Cycling) in the lead. The men’s race begins 8:40 a.m. (MDT).


2017-04-23T06:37:59+00:00April 23rd, 2017|

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