Rudy Project Sponsored Team Update: Jelly Belly’s Huff Snags 2nd at Crit Nationals

Jelly Belly p/b Kenda rider Brad Huff took second place at the USA Cycling Professional Criterium Championships in Grand Rapids, Mich., in a chaotic day of racing.

Huff had the support of teammates Jeremy Powers, Emerson Oronte, Ken Hanson, and Bernard van Ulden. The five-man lineup was competing against several full-roster squads.

Team director Danny Van Haute said his riders were undaunted.

“We knew we had the two best sprinters in the country racing today — Brad and Ken — plus our three other riders are some of the best team workers around,” Van Haute said. “I’m very proud of what they did.”

The race was severed into two parts because of a rainstorm. Huff said that frustrated him and his teammates, who were well-positioned when the race was halted with just three laps to go.

At the re-start, the race was reset at 30 laps.

“I just tried to keep great position,” Huff said. “When it came to the last lap I just tried to follow wheels.”

On the final lap, Huff got bumped, forcing him to hit his brakes and slowing him down for heading into the finish.

“Coming into the last corner it was just a jump from a slower-speed sprint,” he said.

He gunned it about 250 meters out and was passed by Eric Young of Bissell Pro Cycling.

“I just died,” Huff said. “It was a long way to sprint.”

Still, he was happy with his and his teammates’ efforts.

“Second is a great result on a really chaotic day,” he said. “The team worked really hard as a smaller group.”

Now Jelly Belly p/b Kenda turns its sights to the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, which begins Aug. 22 in Colorado Springs and ends Aug. 28 in Denver. The team has been training in the mountains for the 600-plus-mile race and sends a fully prepped lineup to face the competition.

“I see lots more great results coming,” Van Haute said.

[Ken Hanson and Brad Huff train together in the mountains. Photo by John R. Sladek]

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