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Reflecting Upon 10 Years of Cycling Growth

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Few would have imagined back in 2005 that the Iron Hill Twilight Race Series would become one of the most significant professional cycling races on the East Coast. Now, 10 years later, the event continues to grow, bringing exciting racing and family fun to downtown West Chester. Let us pause to remember many of the milestones that have shaped the event during the past 10 years.

June 11, 2005

Pro Men’s Iron Hill Twilight Criterium
1st Joseph Papp, America’s Cycling Team • 1:33:27.3 
2nd Oleg Grishkine • 1:33:27.8

Women’s Pro Race
1st Lauren Franges • 48:08.7
2nd Robecca Larson • 48:08.8 

Noteworthy:
• Olympic champion and Lehigh Valley native Marty Nothstein took the honorary first lap to the cheers of the appreciative crowd. Five years earlier, he brought home the Gold in the sprint during the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia. • 80 top riders from around the world competed in the pro men’s race. After 50 .8-mile laps encompassing four blocks, Joseph Papp took the honors by just a half second in the final sprint. • Attendance was estimated at 7,000.

June 17, 2006 

Pro Men’s Iron Hill Twilight Criterium
1st Stefan Steinweg, SC Bergen • 1:19:15.00
2nd Kyle Wamsley, Colavita/Sutter Home • 1:20:44.00
3rd James Carney, Alliance Environmental Engineering • 1:20:44.00

Women’s Pro Race
1st Ashley Kimmet, Colavita • 1:1:56.20
2nd Erica Allar, Team Fuji • 1:1:56.20 
3rd Kimberly Geist, Victory Cycling • 1:1:57.20

Noteworthy:  
• Olympian Bobby Lea, who would return to the Iron Hill Twilight Criterium every year thereafter except 2008 and 2010, made his debut. • In the pro women’s criterium, 25 riders competed with Ashley Kimmet of Allentown taking first in a photo finish that left Erica Allar in second place making it one of the closest finishes in the race’s history. • In the pro men’s race, Stefan Steinweg convincingly won by nearly a minute and a half, 1:29 over Kyle Wamsley. • Special guest Kathy O’Connell, popular host of WXPN’s Kids’ Corner started the Kids’ Race.

July 7, 2007

Pro Men’s Iron Hill Twilight Criterium
1st Emile Abraham, Priority Health • 1:20:23 
2nd Evan Fader, Battley Harley-Davidson Hudson • 1:20:23.4
3rd Kyle Wamsley, Navigators • 1:20:34  

Women’s Pro Race
1st Laura Van Gilder, Cheerwise • 1:02:04 
2nd Theresa Cliff-Ryan, Verducci/Breakaway Racing • 1:02:04
3rd Brooke Miller, Tibco  • 1:02:04

Noteworthy:  
• As darkness descended, a 110 starting field took to the streets for the marquee event, the Iron Hill Twilight Criterium. In front of a crowd estimated at 10,000, Emile Abraham beat out Evan Fader in an exciting two-up sprint. Early on, it appeared certain that the day would belong to Mark Hekman until a crash ended his chance of taking the victory. • Earlier in the day, Laura Van Gilder narrowly edged-out Theresa Cliff-Ryan for her first of three top-three finishes. This race would prove to be one of the most exciting, ending in a photo finish of 10 riders. The official score for everyone in the group was the same: 1:02:04.

July 5, 2008

Pro Men’s Iron Hill Twilight Criterium
1st Mark Hekman, Toshiba Santo presented by Herbali • 1:20:12.4
2nd David Guttenplan, Time Pro Cycling • 1:20:55.0
3rd Frank Travieso, Toshiba Santo presented by Herbali • 1:20:55.0 

Women’s Pro Race
1st Laura McCaughey, Juice Plus/NC Cycling • 1:03:01.1
2nd Sarah Caravella, Tibco Pro Cycling • 1:03:01.1
3rd Gina Grain, Webcor • 1:03:02.2

Noteworthy: 
• For the first time, an estimated crowd of over 20,000 spectators turned out for an impressive evening of racing excitement. • The pro women’s criterium found a field of 10 riders sprinting down Gay Street for the win and in the end Laura McCaughey edged out Sarah Caravella by inches to win the day. • The day’s excitement continued with the marquee event, the Iron Hill Twilight Criterium, as Mark Hekman didn’t let the disappointment of 2007’s crash affect his cycling strength. After lapping the field, he won by more than 42 seconds over his closest rivals. The battle for second place ended in a photo finish between David Guttenplan and Hekman’s teammate and USA Crits 2007 champion Frank Travieso. 

July 11, 2009

Pro Men’s Iron Hill Twilight Criterium
1st Luca Damiani, Colavita/Sutter Home, P/B Cooking Light  • 1:18:28.8
2nd Tom Soladay, Mount Khakis • 1:18:29.6
3rd Russell Langley, Battley Harley-Davidson • 1:18:31.0 

Women’s Pro Race
1st Laura Van Gilder, Mellow Mushroom • 0:54:21.5
2nd Cathy Cheatley, Colavita/Sutter Home, P/B Cooking Light • 0:54:23.7
3rd Theresa Cliff-Ryan, Verducci/Breakaway Powered By Delta • 0:56:22.2  

Noteworthy: 
• Luca Damiani’s hard-earned victory started to take shape with only 11 laps to go. He finished several bike lengths (but only .8 second) ahead of second-place winner Tom Soladay. • In pro women’s action, 2007 winner Laura Van Gilder rode away with first place once again. She and Cathy Cheatley remained neck-and-neck until the last turn when Van Gilder pulled ahead in the straightaway and held the lead to the finish line. 

July 10, 2010

Pro Men’s Iron Hill Twilight Criterium
1st Clayton Barrows, AXA Equitable Cycling Team/CR • 1:19:06.0 
2nd Bobby Lea, Bahati Foundation Pro Cycling • 1:19:06.1 
3rd Guido Palma, Jamis-Sutter Home • 1:19:06.4 

Women’s Pro Race
1st Lauren Ellis, BikeNZ • Time Unreported
2nd Erica Allar, Team Vera Bradley Foundation • Time Unreported
3rd Sarah Caravella, Team Colavita • Time Unreported

Noteworthy:  
• It was anybody’s guess who would win the pro men’s criterium. Down the home stretch Clayton Barrows pulled away with Bobby Lea from six other riders who had formed a breakaway earlier and had lapped the field. In the final seconds, Barrows kicked it up a notch and outsprinted returning Lea to take the victory by .1 second.
• In pro women’s action, New Zealander Lauren Ellis beat out Erica Allar of Tucson, AZ, and Sarah Carevella of Boulder, CO, proving that on this day, the west wasn’t best.

July 9, 2011

Pro Men’s Iron Hill Twilight Criterium
1st Joseph Schmalz, Elbowz Racing • 1:03:24.0 
2nd Benjamin Zawacki, Team Mountain Khakis • 1:03:24.1
3rd Bobby Lea, Pure Energy Cycling/ProAir HFA • 1:03:24.2 

Women’s Pro Race
1st Erica Allar, RideClean p/b PatentIt.com • 0:48:50.7 
2nd Kacey Manderfield, Pure Energy Cycling Team ProAir • 0:48:50.9 
3rd Colleen Hayduk, Pure Energy Cycling Team ProAir • 0:49:23.9

Noteworthy: 
Just as in the previous year, only a .1 of a second separated the winner Joe Schmaltz from runner-up Ben Zawacki for victory. • Nearly as close was the pro women’s criterium, where Erica Allar took the honors, beating Kacey Manderfield by a mere .2 of a second. • In the Kids’ Race, a record-breaking 500 children participated! 

July 7, 2012 

Pro Men’s Iron Hill Twilight Criterium
1st Bruno Langlois, Garneau Quebecor • 1:07:51
2nd Christian Grasmann  • 1:07:52
3rd Marcel Kalz  • 1:08:04

Women’s Pro Race
1st Sophie Williamson, Unaffiliated • 45:06:00 
2nd Kate Veronneau, Pure Energy Cycling-ProAir • 45:06:00
3rd Laura Van Gilder, Mellow Mushroom Racing • 45:07:00

Noteworthy: 
• The thousands of spectators who ignored the 110-degree heat were rewarded with some of the most exciting pro racing action in the event’s history as Bruno Langlois assured himself the victory in the final 400 meters when he outsprinted Christian Grasmann. • The pro women’s criterium was equally thrilling as 18-year-old New Zealander Sophie Williamson broke out of the pack, bridged to Kate Veronneau and then edged out the seasoned pro to win by inches, both finishing at 45:06. • New in 2012 was the Rothman Institute Amateur Qualifiers, a series of qualifying races for amateur men and women to determine the field for the amateur race. 

July 6, 2013

Pro Men’s Iron Hill Twilight Criterium
1st: Luke Keough, UCI PCT: United Healthcare Pro Cycling • 1:40:19 
2nd: Karl Menzies, UCI PCT: United Healthcare Pro Cycling • 1:40:20 
3rd: Bruno Langlois, Garneau Quebecor • 1:40:22

Noteworthy:  
• Halfway into the men’s pro race, 10 riders broke away. The gap grew rapidly, eventually integrating into the field allowing the riders to rejoin their teammates. After a major crash, the United Healthcare Blue Train delivered Luke Keough to the finish line, winning by one second over teammate Karl Menzies. • In another sports discipline, the Tolsdorf Express Mile attracted regional runners from near and far with Owen Dawson winning the elite mile in 4:06.