Fast and Furious Festival
Pleasanton – 5 August 2012
South African-born Devan Dunn (CashCall Mortgage) outlasts all contenders to win the race for Men Pro-1-2 as Kiwi Emily Collins (Vanderkitten-Focus) takes her second Women Pro-1-2-3 crown in as many years at the Fast and Furious Festival in Pleasanton.
The Women’s Pro-1-2-3 race started at a good pace with attacks coming from the left, the right, and the centre. Alison Tetrick (Exergy Team Twenty12) was a constant presence up front as she and several other racers took a turn to lead or attack. Eventually, a break of three established themselves; Tetrick and Collins were joined by Elle Anderson (Touchstone Climbing) as they built their lead to over 20 seconds. At one-to-go, Anderson dropped off and that lead to a sprint for the win between Tetrick and Collins.
Spectators watched the push all the way from the final corner as Collins and Tetrick pressed hard. It was not until 200m remaining that it became clear Collins would take the terrific win. Tetrick’s second place gave her the NCNCA Crit Championship. Anderson secured third with Mary Elizabeth Maroon (Folsom Bikes/Mercedes Benz) winning the field sprint for fourth. Liza Rachetto (Primal Map My Ride) came home in fifth place.
“We let it sit for a little bit and then it was ‘who’s going to go? who is going to mark Alison [Tetrick]?’ I was feeling good so I bridged up and just went for it.” remarked Collins, “Alison [Tetrick] and [Elle Anderson] were driving it and I was pulling around as well. It was good move to be in and I knew [Tetrick would] go for it at the end because she knew I had a good sprint. I was watching it especially in the last five laps. My team did a great job holding back the pack and I am really proud of them.”
Collins acknowledged her team’s strategy was a late break, “We were hoping for a breakaway [rather] than a bunch sprint. It’s always safer in a breakaway; [today] there were some really good sprinters [in] Pascale Schnider and Mary Maroon. I won [this race] last year. I don’t know what it is about this race. I love it. I love the crowds. I love the people. It’s close to where I’m living. My host family’s out here watching. I’ve got friends watching so it’s really fun.”
The Men’s Pro-1-2 race looked to come down to a six-racer break that started out early. Chuck “I am Sparta” Hutcheson (Marc Pro-Strava), Dunn, Roman Kilun (Kenda-5 Hour Energy), Tyler Dibble (Team Mike’s Bikes), Chris Stastny (California Giant/Specilaized), and Mark Duroy (Kind Human Sports) established an early lead that grew beyond 30 seconds. However, their pace started to fade late and that sparked a flurry of exciting racing. First Dunn attacked only to be passed by Hutcheson and Stastny. Dunn ended up in no-man’s land but caught up to Hutcheson and Stastny with team mate Stafano Barberi.
Still more racing was to come as rounding the last corner on the final lap the race came down to a sprint between Dunn and Hutcheson. It was not the NorCal stalwarts day as Dunn took the win by a couple of lengths of the bike. Hutcheson’s reward was the NCNCA Crit Championship. Justin Williams (CashCall Mortgage) took the third staep of the podium. Benjamin Swedberg (California Giant/Specialized) finished in fourth ahead of James LaBerge (Team Mike’s Bikes) in fifth.
“I knew at first when we got on the break it was really early. I couldn’t even tell if it was going to stick,” said Dunn, “It was good to have one of our CashCall [racers] in the break. Then it got to the half way point, we had 30 seconds, and I started thinking that maybe I could do this. I was racing for the win not for the [Crit Champions] jersey. [The others in the break] knew what I was doing. It worked out good in the end and I am so happy that we could come up here with a small team, three guys representing CashCall, and we win.”
Commenting on the late-race exchanges, Dunn continued, “They attacked and I was stuck in the middle. I made a mistake and should have just gone with them. Then I heard the announcer say Stefano [Barberi] was coming. So, I stayed where I was hoping that he would get to me and we could both get there. It worked out perfectly with two-to-go.”
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