The course was a typical four corner loop with a slight gradient. The two big teams of the night were the Mountain Khakis p/b SmartStop and the green kitted Hincapie Sportswear/ Green Creations squad.
As expected the racing was aggressive with the Hincapie Sportswear/Green Creations squad bringing the fight to the peloton. Finally two riders eked out a gap: Jeremy Conn (Hincapie Sportswear/ Green Creations) and Ben Zawacki (Mountain Khakis p/b SmartStop).
With the two strongest squads each having a teammate up the road the pace in the main peloton slowed. As the lap cards got into single digits the two riders started a dangerous game of cat and mouse – each not wanting to expend too much energy and let the victory slip away. Behind them the peloton continued to close.
With one lap remaining Zawacki attacked leaving Conn behind. Further back the Mountain Khakis team delicately preserved their rider’s advantage and yet still led out the peloton in what was a move to sweep the podium positions.
Zawacki held off his Mountain Khakis lead bunch and took the win. Conn was swallowed up as Luke Keough (Mountain Khakis p/b SmartStop) took the field sprint for second and his teammate Thomas Brown in third.
The following day the conditions had changed. The course was the same but the wind had picked up and with less than 24 hours of recovery, the legs were still feeling the sting of the previous night.
The race was only going to be 60 minutes in duration so for the pros in the field a pre-ride was necessary to constitute a full day of training. Andy Baker, Bissell’s new recruit, rode to the race with a couple of Mountain Khakis riders from Winston-Salem – about 100 kilometers. “I might have been a little tired from that,” said Baker.
Like the previous night the racing was aggressive with several breaks going up the road only to be caught.
With under 10 laps remaining a group of four riders rolled off the front. In the break was two Mountain Khakis riders which included yesterday’s winner Zawacki as well as two Hincapie Sportswear/ Green Creation members.
Zawacki must have been thinking, “If it worked yesterday, why not try again?” and attacked the break with three laps to go. His teammate Neil Bezdek had the pressure taken off of him and he could draft wheels until the sprint easily taking second place. Jacob Arnold (Hincapie Sportswear/ Green Creation) was third.
For the Mountain Khakis riders these races were great tune-ups for the squad’s first NRC race, the Sunny King Criterium in Anniston, Alabama.
Full race results for the Adam Little Memorial Criteriums are available at pre-reg.com.