Electric pace at Driveway

Almost 70 riders took to the start-line on the fast twisty curvy one mile circuit at the Kenny Hill Autowerks criterium powered by Pure Austin Fitness. The first real attack came from Scott Veggeburg (GS Tenzing) who was drilling hard of the front going into the second lap of the race, stringing out the whole field. It was a hard race to move up when everyone was on the single-file rivet, it was a game of patience to move up towards the front during brief lulls in the speed. Everyone was attentive and did not let any serious breakaways get up the road, even the heavy hitters in Stefan Rothe (Rothe Training) and David Wenger (Super Squadra) and various others were seen to be attacking of the front but the pace that was required to stay away and break-up the field needed to be sustained at 31mph or higher. For this reason they were all claimed back by the hungry pack that were hunting the wolves down. A number of the heavy-hitters had to drift close to the back before recovering and making their moves towards the front again.

Super agressive Stefan Rothe, was awarded the New York Life Brad Houston Law Most Aggressive Jersey on the night, went out full tick for a prime and also was one of the late instigators of break that eased off the front with about 5 laps to go. The break contained most of the top riders including Phil Wikoff (Super Squadra), Steven Wheeler (Super Squadra), Jonathon McCarty (OUCH), Heath Blackgrove (THSJ), Erick Benz (Team AT&T), Matt Gordon (Team Six), Zach Bergh (THSJ), Scott Henry (Team AT&T) and Colton Jarisch (Vellossimo Racing).

The chase was on, like a single file spear trying to find the target that was dissappearing up the road. This late injection of pace broke up the field into pieces and with two to go, Wenger of Super Squadra was the only one to make it across to the break after Daniel Carruthers (Hansaton Hearing Systems) tried to bridge. With one lap to go, there was still a chance that the break might be caught and Jed Rodgers (Gulf Coast Cycling Association), Bryan Fawley (Park Place Lexus), John Korioth (Team Six), Tyler Jewell (Texas Tough) and Daniel Carruthers (Hansaton Hearing Systems) and others were all on front drilling. Rodgers had more snap in his legs to jump into the top 10, passing the remnants of the break to place 9th.

Phil Wikoff (Super Squadra) was going full-bore and looked to have the win in the bag when he overcooked the sharp corner 300metres from the finish line. He slid his bike out and ended up on the pavement. But his team-mate Steven Wheeler, who has been showing grand form lately, notched up his third consecutive win over strong German man Stefan Rothe (Rothe Training/Texas Tough). Erick Benz (Team at&t-Brain and Spine Cycling) showed that he can mix it up with the big boys of the break with his third place.

Top US female sprinter, Jen McRae (Team Type 1) showed she can follow the sprinters train in the finale and she ended up passing Carruthers (Hansaton) and Fawley (Park Place Lexus) in the final straight to the finish to take a very respectible 11th placing with her near perfect positioning in the train.

The average speed was just under 28mph and there was very little bunching up during the race, the places it would bunch up was after the down-hill when people were lining up for the corner and trying to recover before the next hit-out. It would also bunch up on the hill-climb but then string out again after the corner at the top of the hill.

Steven Wheeler has taken an unassailable lead in this month’s points standings with 30 points, 22 points ahead of second placed John Korioth.