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One story of dominance, comeback

Tanner Cook • Updated Jun 4, 2017 at 9:05 PM

It was a tale of two races at the Franklin Woods Hospital Criterium: one story of complete domination and one of comeback and perseverance.

In the women’s race, New Zealand native Mikayla Harvey stayed in the middle of the pack for the majority of the race, and had a strong sprint to the finish line down State of Franklin Road to earn her second victory in the Johnson City Omnium paired with her title at the Roan Groan on Saturday.

On the men’s side, Charlottesville, Virgina, native Bryan Lewis was the winner after a 20-minute rain delay just under halfway in that caused the race to be restarted with 10 laps to go.

Harvey finished second at the Tupelo Honey Time Trial by just inches and won the criterium today in the same fashion. Harvey took home the title of the overall winner in dominating fashion. Harvey totaled 74 points (30 from Roan Groan, 14 from Time Trial, 30 from Criterium).

“I was a bit nervous when I was in the middle of the pack early on,” said Harvey. “I’m really happy, and I had a lot of fun out there with my teammates from Team Illuminate.”

Team Illuminate coach Chris Johnson said Harvey has competed in races from California to Winston-Salem.

“This was a great race for her to come and show her strengths,” said Johnson. “We’ve been competing in races with women who are more experienced than her. As a team, we did really well.

“Overall, the race has been a great experience with three different stages of three different disciplines. We respect the organizers who put on a great event this weekend.”

In the men’s criterium, the overall omnium leader, Andrei Krasilnikau, hit a pot hole on South Roan Street that caused him to have a flat tire. That opened the door for Lewis as he stole the criterium on the homestretch and went from fifth in the overall standings to first.

“Omniums are weird. Anything can happen,” remarked Lewis. “Being behind in the overall standings really allowed me to race the crit. I treated it like a one-day race instead of worrying about strategy.”

Lewis had actually crashed in the criterium before the rain delay, but reluctantly got back up on the bike and kept persevering.

“It feels really good to win from behind,” he said. “I had no expectations going into the criterium. I’ve been trying to get in as many race days as I can because I broke my collarbone during the first race of the year.

“It’s been fun to race some of the local stuff before I go out to Tulsa to prepare for the US Pro Nationals in Knoxville. Lewis won the Johnson City Omnium with a total of 58 points (15 from Roan Groan, 13 from Time Trial, 30 from Criterium).

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