Jonny Brown (Hagens Berman Axeon) shocked the men’s peloton Sunday at the US Pro Road Race Championships in Tennessee, taking an upset win after dropping his breakaway companions on the penultimate lap of a course in his adopted hometown of Knoxville and soloing across the line to thunderous applause from the thrilled crowd.
Robin Carpenter (Rally Cycling) finished second, and Jacob Rather (Jelly Belly-Maxxis) rounded out the podium on a brutally hot and fast day that saw less than 20 riders actually make it to the finish line. The rest were given pro-rated times as the race envelope became too big, and straggling groups were pulled off the course.
Brown, who at 21 is the youngest-ever US Pro Road Race champion, joined Carpenter, Rathe and UnitedHealthcare’s Gavin Mannion in a four-rider moved that sneaked away from the field about halfway through the 191.2km race. Brown then jumped away from his breakaway companions on the second-to-last lap and built up a gap of over a minute as the remaining trio was unable to get back on terms.
“I was in tears, honestly,” Brown told Cyclingnews after the podium ceremony. “Seeing the finish right there and knowing I had it, I just couldn’t believe it. Especially in my new city. It’s just unbelievable.”
Brown attacked the breakaway just after the descent off the day’s major climb when he saw a lull in the action.
“Everyone was just kind of looking at each other a little bit because Gavin Mannion went really hard up the climb that time, and through the feedzone everyone was just kind of looking at each other, so I knew it was my chance to get ahead, because once I did then they would just be, like, ‘Oh, who’s going to chase?'”
You can read more at Cyclingnews.com
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