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Bahati’s National Criterium Title Leads Rock Racing’s Prolific Day
8/18/08 - Rahsaan Bahati’s victory Sunday at the Saab USA Cycling Professional Criterium Championship proved to be the crowning moment of the most prolific day – and week – in Rock Racing’s two-year history. Bahati out-sprinted Alex Candelario (Kelly Benefit Strategies presented by Medifast) and third-place finisher Mark Hekman (Toshiba-Santo Pro Cycling) at the end of the 62-mile (100 km) race to join Rock Racing teammate Justin Williams as a winner of the coveted stars-and-stripes national championship jersey. Earlier this month, Williams captured the USA Cycling Under-23 National Criterium Championship in Anaheim. It is believed to be the first time two African-Americans have earned national cycling titles in the same discipline in the same season. “This has got to be some type of history,” Bahati said after notching his ninth win and receiving a congratulatory call from Rock Racing Team Owner Michael Ball. “There is definitely some significance to it. Perhaps we won’t see it now, but in the future it will carry some weight.” In addition to Bahati’s win in Downers Grove, Ill., Freddy Cruz, Danny Finneran, Danny Heeley and Iggy Silva captured the team pursuit for Rock Racing Sunday at the USA Cycling Junior Track National Championships, while Williams won the Brentwood Grand Prix and Oscar Sevilla finished in the top 10 overall at the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah.