Yannelli wins Tour de Lovell in photo finish

BIG PUSH to the finish line by (left to right) Mark Carpenter of Scarborough, winner Jason Yannelli of Sebago and Christopher Darling of Lovell. (Rivet Photos)

By Wayne E. Rivet

Staff Writer

LOVELL — Knowing he had “super strong and excellent” riders with him as he approached the final stretch, Jason Yannelli looked for a “crack” to make his final push.

And push, he did.

Yannelli had just enough push at the finish line to edge Christopher Darling of Lovell and Mark Carpenter of Scarborough at the 2017 Tour de Lovell.

After 21.3 miles, the separation between the three riders on the uphill climb to the finish line on Route 5 (in front of New Suncook Elementary School) was less than miniscule:

Yannelli — 53:37.1

Darling — 53:37.4

Carpenter — 53:37.6

FIRST LADY Kyla Brustin of North Conway, N.H.

“I attacked hard on the last hill in hopes of getting a clean break from the other two riders,” said Yannelli of Sebago. “I wasn’t able to open up a big enough gap to stay clear from them (they are also teammates and willing to work together harder to catch me). So, I rested on the downhill and made another go at the bottom, but only went for a quick effort then pulled over and let them pass me to hop on their wheel to use their effort and get another quick rest. A small gap opened up right before the finish and I was able to sneak through cleanly and snag the win.”

For Yannelli, Saturday was his second appearance at Tour de Lovell.

“Last year was my first, but I was healing up from a broken collarbone and finished fifth,” he said. “I knew that Christian Hill Road would separate most of the field and then would save some energy to attack on the last big climb.”

Yannelli said the course has two good climbs and some pretty aggressive rolling terrain in the middle.

Meanwhile, Kyla Brustin of North Conway, N.H. had a spectacular debut in Lovell, crossing the finish line in 1:07.04.7, placing 20th overall (out of a field of 53) and as the first female cyclist.

TOP FEMALE RIDER runner-up Alanna Doughty of Sebago.

“This was my first ever bike race, so my strategy was just to push myself hard. I have competed in mountain, trail and snowshoe running races before, so I am not brand new to racing, but this was different,” she said. “In a running race, everyone takes off fast at the horn, but in this race, the start was slow and tight until the turn on 5A, about two miles in, which is when the race really started.”

Brustin found the “rolling course” challenging, so she tried to use momentum she gained on the downhills to stay strong on the uphills.

“The final mile for me was about finishing strong. I didn’t realize I was the lead woman until the turnaround at  the halfway point, but once I realized it, I just pedaled hard and focused on not getting passed,” she said. “The final downhill on Christian Hill was smooth and fast, and I was pretty sure that I was going to finish first woman, so I was really excited.”

Her goal going in was to “have fun and enjoy the ride, and I did. That made the win that much sweeter,” she said.

Alanna Doughty of Sebago was the second-ranking female in the field, finishing in 1:11.19.3 (28th overall) with Tracy Burk of Denmark right behind at 1:11.20.5 (29th).

EYEING THE FINISH LINE is Brady O'Mara.

The race ended early for a couple of cyclists following a crash on the first climb of the event. One female rider suffered an elbow injury, and sported a sling prior to the awards ceremony, while local cyclist Chris Roy sustained some abrasions to his forearm, upper leg and finger. He was unable to continue because of a wheel bent as the result of the collision.

Here’s how cyclists finished:

  1. Jason Yannelli, M36-45, Sebago, 53:37.1
  2. Christopher Darling, M36-45, Lovell, 53:37.4
  3. Mark Carpenter, M36-45, Scarborough, 53:37.6
  4. Brian Edwards, M46-55, Raymond, 58:55.9
  5. Jeff Lathrop, M20-35, Bethel, 1:00.16.0
  6. Jason Dobbs-Hyer, M36-45, Millis, MA, 1:00.16.6
  7. Keith Peterson, M46-55, Belgrade, 1:00.17.3
  8. Daniel Lambertson, M46-55, Waterboro, 1:00.19.3
  9. Daniel Leland, M46-55, Falmouth, 1:00.23.5
  10. Aiden Simmons, M14-U, Brunswick, 1:00.39.5
  11. Jonathan Burk, M20-35, Denmark, 1:01.02.9
  12. Henry Finch, M66+, Waban, MA, 1:01.04.0
  13. William Ayotte, M20-35, Bethel, 1:01.05.9
  14. Johann Buisman, M56-65, Gorham, 1:03.06.6
  15. Steven Discordia, M36-45, North Conway, NH, 1:03.06.8
  16. Matthew Probert, M46-55, Falmouth, 1:03.22.0
  17. Donald Marshall, M36-45, Lovell, 1:06.45.3
  18. Jonathan Carpenter, M56-65, Yarmouth Port, MA, 1:06.51.3
  19. Robert Henney, M36-45, North Conway, NH, 1:06.51.6
  20. Kyla Brustin, F30-39, North Conway, NH, 1:07.04.7
  21. Ken Saindon, M46-55, Bowdoinham, 1:07.19.5
  22. Andrew Chakoumakos, M46-55, Lovell, 1:07.44.5
  23. Eric Malinowski, M36-45, Waterford, 1:08.17.0
  24. Keith Yannelli, M56-65, Harrison, 1:08.55.7
  25. Brady O’Mara, M46-55, 1:09.27.3
  26. Christopher Burk, M46-55, Denmark, 1:09.27.4
  27. Josh Brustin, M46-55, North Conway, NH, 1:10.03.9
  28. Alanna Doughty, F30-39, Sebago, 1:10.58.7
  29. Tracy Burk, F40-49, Denmark, 1:11.19.3
  30. Christopher Comrack, M46-55, Washington, DC, 1:11.20.5
  31. Scott Johnson, M46-55, Fryeburg, 1:12.14.3
  32. Todd Papianou, M46-55, Rumford, 1:12.51.4
  33. Mark Huston, M56-65, Jamaica Plain, MA, 1:13.59.7
  34. Aidan Crawford, M20-35, Lovell, 1:14.4.4
  35. Walter Grzyb, M46-55, Lovell, 1:14.54.8
  36. Mark Kinsman, M56-65, Upton, MA, 1:16.23.3
  37. Dana Flanders, M56-65, Houston, TX, 1:18.27.3
  38. Connie Kinsman, F60+, Fryeburg, 1:19.18.7
  39. Cynthia Westlund, F50-59, Alexandria, VA, 1:19.30.2
  40. Dale Lougee, M66+, Athol, MA, 1:19.43.9
  41. Scott Bergland, M46-55, Stoneham, 1:19.45.1
  42. Nancy Stockford, F50-59, Jamaica Plain, MA, 1:19.50.3
  43. Finn Crawford, M15-19, Lovell, 1:23.22.2
  44. Russell Eagleston, M56-65, Bridgton, 1:24.21.3
  45. Gary Prince, M66+, Stratham, NH, 1:24.29.7
  46. Gail Bowen, F60+, Harrison, 1:27.27.9
  47. Elsa Newhouse, F60+, Center Lovell, 1:28.37.4
  48. Kathyrn Carpenter, F50-59, Yarmouth Port, MA, 1:28.41.6
  49. Carolyn Crump, F60+, Carrboro, NC, 1:28.45.1
  50. James McIntyre, M66+, Annapolis, MD, 1:33.38.0
  51. Everett Yannelli, M14-U, Sebago, 1:35.19.3
  52. Ann Kulovitz, F50-59, Lovell, 1:40.24.0
  53. Virginia Gray, F60+, Lovell, 2:01.51.6

TOUR DE LOVELL KIDS’ RACE

4 MILES

  1. Camden Lowe, Poland, 11:50.3
  2. Carter Stern, Lovell, 11:56.7
  3. Sawyer Nataluk, Lovell, 12:40.5
  4. Myles Garland, Chatham, NH, 13:45.4
  5. Delanie Lowe, Poland, 14:31.5
  6. Grace Yannelli, Sebago, 15:13.3
  7. Caleb Stern, Lovell, 15:26.9
  8. Olivia Lindsay, Sebago, 15:42.8
  9. Isaac Shiers, Norway, 33:30.0
  10. Isabel Shiers, Norway, 33:30.9
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