The Dilworth criterium in Charlotte was the sixth race in the Speed Week series and it was a familiar rider once again on the top step of the podium. Karl Menzies who took the win out of a break away at the Athens Twilight was again victorious, but this time in the field sprint.
The course was another four-corner circuit circumnavigating a beautiful park. However in contrast to last night’s Spartanburg criterium, today’s loop featured a downhill with a sharp left hand turn at the bottom requiring riders to scrub off most of their downhill speed. The turn transitioned into a gradual ascent that quickly took the snap out of riders’ legs. It was obvious that today’s race was going to favor a rider who could accelerate out of the turn and then quickly recover again to repeat the uphill effort.
During the first half of the race, the peloton was together with no serious attacks. However in the last 15 minutes eight riders broke away and it looked like it might stick. In the break was UnitedHealthcare which caused alarm bells to go off for OUCH/Bahati Foundation team. Soon they were at the front bringing the break back. With only five laps to go, it was all together, but OUCH/Bahati Foundation team was now committed to the front on the peloton. On the final lap it was the green and black Bahati kits leading the group. Around the final gently sweeping turn to the finish line it was a drag race. But separating himself from the peloton was the strong Australian, Karl Menzies, handily taking the win. “The Bahati Foundation team and UnitedHealthcare have been butting heads this whole series. We had a plan of what we needed to do,” said Menzies after the race.
For Menzies this is his second win in the Speed Week series which secured his second place overall in the series. Fellow Australian Hilton Clarke of the OUCH/Bahati Foundation took the overall honor of series winner.