Fresh from success at Redlands, PureBlack Racing has finished on the podium again with Mike Northey taking second place in a sprint finish at the Sunny King Criterium in Anniston, Alabama this afternoon. The team was invited to Sunny King, the first NRC Criterium event of the season, after Roman van Uden won the Criterium and the team placed fourth overall at the Redlands Classic in California last weekend.
PureBlack Racing made its presence felt right from the start with NZ National Criterium Champion Tim Gudsell taking an early lead and setting a fast race tempo. Supported by teammates Shem Rodger, James Williamson and Daniel Barry, PureBlack Racing was seldom far from the front of the race, dominating much of the live race commentary on www.velonews.com
, and taking out may of the intermediate sprint prizes on offer during the race.
Greg Cross, Business Director, PureBlack Racing said, “We were keen to take another big step up this weekend, with Vuelta Mexico being cancelled at the last minute. It was a real scramble this week to make all the necessary arrangements to get the team across the US to Alabama to do this race. It's a decision that has paid off massively as we have now sent a very clear signal that we will be a team to be reckoned with in the US this year.”
“Throughout the race we worked hard off the front to set a fast pace. The ongoing string of attacks launched by the boys made it impossible for a break to form and get away from the peloton which is the norm here,” said Carl Williams, Sports Director, PureBlack Racing. “This enabled both Mike Northey and Roman Van Uden to conserve energy for what was always going to be a fast finish. Unfortunately Roman punctured with four laps to go but Mike showed his real class in the sprint to the line coming around several riders to grab second place behind Australian Jonathan Cantwell of V Australia.”
The race, which was streamed live over the Internet, was watched by many of PureBlack Racing’s New Zealand fans. Tomorrow the team will compete in the Foothills Classic Road Race before heading back to their US base in Boulder, Colorado.