Two-Time U.S. National Criterium Champion Eric Young Wins Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix
Vancouver, BC – In his ‘Fun Facts’ section of Eric Young’s bio on the Rally Pro Cycling website, he states the racing obstacle he overcame was beating teammate Brad Huff in criteriums. Whether he’s joking or not, Young overcame that obstacle once again and beat Huff on Thursday night to claim the $12,000 Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix.
The race was shortened by ten laps due to nightfall after a fire truck tending to an alarm on Water Street not far from the start-finish line delayed the beginning by thirty minutes. The riders didn’t show any rust though once things got going, with the racing aggressive right off the start of the 1.2 kilometre circuit.
“It was a race from the beginning, the Cylance team had control, they were strong, they were the dominant team of the day, and they showed it,” said Huff, who is the reigning U.S. National Criterium Champion and was fourth in Friday’s MK Delta Lands Criterium. “We’re just happy we were able to execute our plan at three and a half to go to get up there. It got a little crazy on the final two laps with guys coming up, we were really battling Silber with Eric, and they got in our train a few times, but we’re all professionals – we respect Silber, Silber respects us, so we were able to have a clean finish, I was just happy to be able to take Eric to the line. He’s obviously the fastest sprinter in North America, he proved it today.”
The camaraderie among the Rally team is clear, with Young willing to give just as much credit to Huff and his teammates for the win.
“The team did an amazing job being super patient. Incycle was being super aggressive, just totally controlling the front with the Australian guys, and they did a good job of that. So we just had to be really patient, not blow any matches getting frustrated,” the 27-year-old from Geneva, Illinois said. “We waited until about three or four to go, went by them with a great job by Shane (Klime) and Tom (Soladay), my teammates, and then on the last lap, Kris Dahl had a good little attack into two corners to go, he came in third wheel right behind Brad. We just yelled at him out of the last corner, ‘Go with everything!’ and he knows what to do when that happens, 100 metres to go, we just let loose and I couldn’t see anything behind me so with about ten feet to go, I knew I’d gotten it.”
Young’s been racing at the Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix for three years, and after top ten finishes in 2013 and 2014, he came in 16th last year. Huff and the rest of the riders are well aware of the prestige of the Gastown race, but are also thrilled by the hospitality of the BC Superweek communities.
“This is a great race, it’s been going on for over 40 years, this is one of the best crits in North America, we’re just happy to be here, the whole town supports us,” he said. “Every rider here is probably in a host house, and to come here and win with a former two-time national criterium champion, Eric deserves the win. It’s great!”
Third place went to Aussie Michael Rice, who made his second appearance on the podium at BC Superweek. He was third at the MK Delta Lands Criterium last Friday. The 20-year-old had a pretty good idea during the last few laps, which team’s wheel he wanted to be on
“I knew Rally was going to be the team to beat with such a strong criterium squad here. I really wanted to have their wheel going into the last three laps, full credit to Garneau-Quebecor, they set me up really nicely,” said Rice. “I had a bit too much work to do on the last two laps, but I did the best that I could and I’m happy to get third.”