The second day of the Pivotal Fitness Race weekend was raced around beautiful Hampton Park. This pan-flat course consisted of three sweeping turns with a final 90 degree turn and about 300 meters remaining to the finish line. The long stretches of road made it difficult for racers to get up the road and out of sight of the peloton, so it was no surprise that the majority of the races ended in a field sprint.
After their victory in the previous day’s I’On Village Criterium, the Global Bikes squad was looking to go two for two this weekend and bring home the South Carolina state criterium jersey. The team was looking to set up Boyd Johnson for the win as payback for his hard work over the season. Throughout the race several moves tried to get up the road, but under the watchful eye of Global Bike none of the racers got out of reach. In the remaining laps the group was together and the teams were setting up for the field sprint.
Around the final turn the men’s field was spread from one side of the road to the other. At the head of the charging peloton was the green kit of Boyd Johnson in a drag race with Marc Williams of Palmetto Velo-Catup.
“He was fast and came around me pretty good,” said Johnson. “He definitely deserved to win.”
The woman’s open category was a fast 45 minutes of racing with the same outcome as the men’s – a field sprint for the line. Unlike the men it was the same winner from the I’On Village Criterium, Rebecca Larson. However Larson and the second place finisher are not residents of South Carolina, so the honor of wearing the South Carolina state championship jersey went to Team Kenda rider Catherine Stanford James of Travelers Rest crossing the line third in the field.
“The last lap was super fast, but my team gave me a text book lead-out,” said James.
Although the original plan was for teammate Nicole Johnson to repeat her win from last year, James explained that the peloton on the backside of the course became bunched up. With all the jostling in the field on the last lap, James found herself in the sweet spot for the lead out.
Next week Carolina Cycling News will be in Athens, Georgia for the Athens Twilight Criterium.