What's Cool In Road Cycling

American Oscar Clark Wins Reading 120

Oscar Clark outsprinted former U.S. national road champion Eric Marcotte (Team Jamis) Saturday to win a hard-fought edition of the Reading 120 presented by Reading Health System and lead a 1-3-4-5 finish by the Holowesko-Citadel presented by Hincapie Sportswear team.

In the final road race of the USA Cycling Pro Road Tour, Clark became the eighth American to win the “Classic of the Americas” in its 17th-year history. It was the biggest result in the 27-year-old’s career that includes stage wins at Flèche du Sud in 2013 and the Tour of China in 2012.

Oscar Clark celebrates his win in the final road race of the USA Cycling Pro Road Tour.
(Photo by marcoquezada.com)

Marcotte and Clark made their move with three laps to go of an eight-mile finishing circuit after originally being part of the day’s 12-man breakaway in the 120-mile race that featured 145 starters.

“It feels good to win,” Clark said. “It was hard. We were out there from about an hour in, and it was super hot and incredibly humid. That hill up to the Pagoda was terrible. We were suffering a lot. Eric was easily the strongest guy in the race today. I just won because I basically had the team behind me and Eric was forced to ride to guarantee second. I owe it to my team.”

Eighteen seconds after Clark took the win in five hours, four minutes and 56 seconds, a parade of Holowesko-Citadel riders coasted across the line. Andzs Flaksis of Latvia finished third and Americans Robin Carpenter and Travis McCabe were fourth and fifth, respectively.

Marcotte, the 2014 national road champion who lives in Scottsdale, Arizona, was looking for his second UCI victory of the year after winning a stage of the Tour of the Gila in May.

“I rode with my heart today,” the 36-year-old said. “It showed I was really good. I was just a bit of a victim of the circumstances. Maybe on another day I could have come out with it.”

Clark, of Atlanta, Georgia, won the most aggressive rider award, the best climber award and was part of the winning team that also included Mac Brennan, Carpenter, Flaksis, Andrei Krasilnikau and McCabe. The best sprinter award went to Canadian Adam de Vos (Rally Cycling Team) and Timothy Rugg (Credit Velo-Trek) was the first amateur.

Twelve riders formed a breakaway on the first of two 45-mile laps of rolling countryside that took the race from Reading to Kutztown: Daniel Jaramillo and Chris Jones (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team), Sepp Kuss and de Vos (Rally Cycling Team), Clark and McCabe (Holowesko-Citadel presented by Hincapie Sportswear), Marcotte (Team Jamis), Joesph Chavarria and David Winston (Lupus Racing Team), Logan Huchings (Elevate Pro Cycling presented by Bicycle World), Gerardo Medina (Echelon-Storck Devo) and Willem Kaiser (Team Finish Strong Elite). The group enjoyed a maximum lead of more than four minutes before the chasing efforts of the Battley Harley Davidson team cut it down to 1:45.

Only nine riders remained from the original breakaway when Clark set off on his own on the first of three laps of the finishing circuit that included the climb of Mount Penn. He was eventually joined by Jones and Marcotte. But the tough circuit and the heat and humidity was taking its toll. With 16 miles to go, the trio was down to just Clark and Marcotte and 1:10 ahead of a chase group of three and nearly two minutes ahead of another group of seven. The two chasing groups included three of Clark’s teammates.

Racing continues Sunday with the 14th edition of the Thompson Bucks County Classic, featuring five races, live entertainment, VIP tents and an awards ceremony. It is run in conjunction with the annual Doylestown Arts Festival, which offers a selection of 160 juried artists, five stages of live music, two food courts and live demonstrations. Both events are free to the public and free parking is available at the County Parking Garage, County VIP Lot, and Fanny Chapman. The Doylestown Dart shuttle will provide transportation to and from the Garage and Fanny Chapman for convenience.

The “Classic of Americas” and its 12-rider breakaway attracted plenty of fan attention.
(Photo by marcoquezada.com.)

Reading120 Result:
1. Oscar Clark (USA) Holowesko Citadel pb Hincapie Sportwear in 5:04:56
2. Eric Marcotte (USA) Jamis Cycling Team
3. Andrew Flaksis (Lat) Holowesko Citadel pb Hincapie Sportwear at 0:18
4. Robin Carpenter (USA) Holowesko Citadel pb Hincapie Sportwear
5. Travis McCabe (USA) Holowesko Citadel pb Hincapie Sportwear
6. Evan Huffman (USA) Rally Cycling Team at 1:15
7. Nicolae Tanovitchii (Mda) Lupus Racing Team at 1:45
8. Mathew Busche (USA) UnitedHealthCare at 4:54
9. Logan Huchings (USA) Elevate Pro Cycling p/b Bicycle World at 5:48
10. Ruben Companioni (Cub) Jamis Cycling Team at 7:02.

About The Thompson Organization:
In business since 1969, The Thompson Organization includes Thompson Toyota, Scion, Lexus, Maserati and BMW and Thompson Rent A Car, located at Routes 313 and 611 in Doylestown, as well as the Thompson Detail Center located on N. Broad Street in Doylestown, and the Thompson Collision Center located on Route 611 in Plumsteadville. For more information on the Thompson family of automotive dealerships, please visit www.1800Thompson.com.

About the USA Cycling Pro Road Tour:
The USA Cycling Pro Road Tour (PRT) showcases the premier domestic road calendar events in the U.S., including criteriums, road races, stage races and omniums. Over six months and spanning from coast to coast, the PRT will include overall individual and team rankings for men and women, crowning PRT Champions following the 26-event calendar. The Pro Road Tour features the nation¹s top Pro-Am road race events, boasts a total prize purse of more than one million dollars and is open to both professional and amateur cyclists.

About Championship Cycling, Inc.:
Championship Cycling creates and implements international bicycle races and the television productions of them. We specialize in UCI and USA Cycling Pro Road Tour races, ones that require the highest levels of technical expertise and experience.

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