The Manhattan Grand Prix is one of toughest NCC Criteriums on the calendar. Being part of the national series, the prize purse was listed at $12,000 and the event drew talented competition from across the country. The KHS-Maxis-JLVelo cycling team had 6 athletes at the race – Chris Barton, Ulises Castillo, Brian McCulloch, Shawn Wayland, David Santos and Fabrizio Von Nacher.
The race was animated from the start as riders were attacking, attempting to make a breakaway stick on the fast course. Historically, breakaways have been futile on this course and the bunch sprint seemed to be inevitable. However, with only 15 minutes having ticked off the clock and there was a lull in the group, David Santos and Hilton Clarke (UHC) launched an attack that would be the winning move.
After several laps off the front, two other riders joined the duo and they all began pushing the pace. The break rode smooth and consistent for the 60 minutes, despite the aggressive chasing from the field. With a 35 second gap, the leaders were out of sight but were surely not forgotten. The Astellas team and Champion Systems had missed the move and were vigilantly riding the front in an attempt to reel the break in.
With Santos in the breakaway, the other 5 KHS riders were able to hang tight and be ready for the sprint if the move did not survive.
With 3 laps remaining, Santos began attacking the breakaway in an attempt to trim down the group. Although he tried several ways and on different places on the course, his breakaway companions held on tight.
Coming out of the final fast right hand turn, Hilton Clarke (UHC) was leading, with David close on his wheel. He was fighting as hard as he could to come around him, but all four riders held the place they had exited the turn, and he finished 2nd on the day.
The field was picking up pace behind them and Fabrizio Von Nacher finished 2nd in the field sprint for 6th overall, and Chris Barton was 9th.
These great results helped to boost the team to 4th overall in the NCC standings.
This race capped off an exciting weekend for the team. Santos won the Adrenaline Circuit Race in Chula Vista on Saturday out of a break of 3 – all his teammates! Fabrizio Von Nacher finished 2nd, Ulises Castillo 3rd, and Brian McCulloch sprinted for 4th place.
Thank you to our sponsors: KHS Bicycles, Maxxis Tires, JLVelo, Serfas, Shimano, Velo Saddles, Praxis Works, Xpedo Pedals, Kali Protectives, NDXSports, Bike Religion, Bicycle Blue Book, WD-40 BIKE, Chamois Butt’r, Cycling Illustrated, Rennie & Associates, Kramp Krushers, Ultra Cycle, and Q2.
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