In front of a massive crowd in Downtown Charlotte, N.C., the pair integrated themselves into the decisive breakaway of the 50-mile (80 km) National Racing Calendar (NRC) event.
But it was David Veilleux (Kelly Benefit Strategies) who pulled off the most heroic move of the night, soloing to victory from Ilesic, Kobzarenko and eight others who had left the field behind at the race’s halfway point.
Ilesic went on to finish second, winning the sprint of the remaining breakaway riders. Karl Menzies (OUCH presented by Maxxis) was third.
“He surprised us,” Ilesic said of Veilleux’s move that earned him a check for $12,500. “No one expected he would go. And only two guys were pulling to bring him back, Kobzarenko and Luis Amaran (of Colavita-Sutter Home presented by Cooking Light). I had to wait for the sprint. That was my job.”
Veilleux made his move with two-and-a-half laps to go of the 1.25-mile (2 km) course. With only Team Type 1 and Colavita-Sutter Home having more than one rider in the breakaway, it was up to them to take up the chase.
“His gap was growing lap-by-lap, even with 10 guys chasing him,” Team Type 1 Director Sportif Vassili Davidenko said of Veilleux. “He was amazing.”
Kobzarenko also put on an impressive show of force, integrating himself in nearly every significant breakaway during the race. The Ukrainian showed the strength that earned him the King of the Mountains title at the TD Bank International Championship in Philadelphia in June.
“Kobza was a super teammate,” Davidenko said. “I’m happy tonight because all of our guys rode aggressively and we were so close to winning the race. If it had come down to a sprint, Aldo would have easily won.”
Ilesic had hoped to score Team Type 1’s 50th victory of the season in his adopted hometown after winning a pair of races at the Giordana Crossroads Classic earlier this week. Now he turns his attention to Sunday’s Hanes Park Classic in Winston-Salem, N.C. The professional women will race for 50 minutes at 1:45 p.m. EDT, while the 90-minute professional men’s race begins at 3:05 p.m. EDT.