Mike Nields Memorial Bannock Street Criterium, July 26, 2009, Denver Colorado - Race Report and Results
On Sunday, the annual Mike Nields Memorial Bannock Street Criterium was held under varying weather conditions, with sunny weather greeting the 2 PM start of the 45 minute 45+ race. Lining up in Vic's blue were Joe Paulson, John Talley, and Brian Todeschini. As always, the pace was high on the fast and exciting course, made even more so by the deteriorating pavement conditions.
The blue boys marked or initiated several moves during the race, and JT picked up a cash prime, but nothing was going to stay away for long from the fast-moving field. JT spotted former US Professional Road Race champion Norm Alvis in the pack, and alerted Joe to his presence. Alvis had relegated Joe to 2nd last year in taking the win with an impressive final sprint, so the boys marked him closely.
On the final lap, JT, Brian, and Joe were lined up and fighting to maintain position near the front when Vitamin Cottage hit the front with their lead-out train with four corners to go. The move triggered a reshuffling of the race lead, and the Vic's riders fought to reestablish themselves just behind the leaders. Alvis was threading his way back up through traffic, so Joe tried to shadow him. JT had the same idea, and they were poised on his wheel heading up the hill with three blocks and one corner to go, when the pace eased, and the riders behind them started to swarm.
Joe jumped up and out to the right side to keep from getting blocked in, and found himself out in the wind with no likelihood of recapturing a protected position near the front. He knew it was too early, but figured hanging out in the breeze wasn't doing him any good, so he cranked it up and got a small gap and the hole shot for the final right turn onto the long finishing straight. Joe hit full speed and sprinted for the distant banner over the finish line, but one rider in a Mellow Johnny's Bike Shop kit named Barry Lee inched past and held a bike length advantage by the line, demoting Joe again to 2nd. JT grabbed the final spot in the top 10, and Brian finished 28th.
Mike Neilds Memorial Bannock Street Criterium Results