Downtown Gaffney once again played host to the Friday Night Fights Criterium. This was the second race in the series and while the field wasn’t huge, the quality of the racers more than made up for it.
The category 1/2/3 race was the final race of the evening and they would be racing in the evening heat for 45 minutes plus two laps. There was no change in the course – a long rectangle that featured a slight incline to the finish line.
When the flag was dropped Peter Kay (Globalbike) stepped on the gas letting his fellow competitors know that this was going to be a fast race. Perhaps realizing that Kay couldn’t be allowed any time, Isaac Enderline (Hincapie Sportswear Development) countered, bridging up to the solo Kay.
However both riders were reeled back in and individual riders took turns attacking the field. As the peloton rolled through the finish area a few riders were shelled off the back – victims of the fast pace and the high temperatures.
At the midway point of the race, announcer Blair Lemarche called out a $100 gambler’s prime. That quickly got the attention of Adam Britton (Team Ville) who snagged the generous payout. The result was that the peloton was strung out further and more riders started yo-yoing off the back, mouths agape, and jerseys zipped down, flapping in the wind.
While there were constant attacks, no solo rider had the horsepower to stay clear and it looked like the winner would be determined in a bunch sprint. However, with three laps remaining Parker Kyzer (Hincapie Sportswear Development) and Diego Garavito (Unattached) broke free. With his Hincapie Devo teammate still in the field and covering counter-attacks, it looked like this move might stick.
As the laps counted down the gap between the duo and the chasing field started to wilt in the evening heat. On the final lap and with only two corners before the finish line, the two were caught.
Coming around the final corner Kyzer situated himself in second position with teammate Enderline just behind. Sprinting with all he had, the young Kyzer threw his bike for the win with Enderline crossing for second and the race’s early aggressor Peter Kay in third.
Click link for full Friday Night Fights race results.