After three days, five hours of racing and more than 100 cyclists covering 172 miles, one second is all that separated the winner of the seventh Alexian Brothers Tour of Elk Grove from the rest of the pack.
Canadian Francois Parisien, a member of Team Spidertech, won the Men's Pro Race overall individual title in 5:02:30. Runner-up John Murphy finished one second slower, with fellow American Andy Jacques-Maynes finishing eight seconds behind the leader to take the final spot on the champagne-covered podium.
There were some nervous moments Sunday afternoon at the finish line when a baseball rolled onto the course just seconds before the mass crossed of cyclists making their final sprint. But Team Optum member Ken Hanson didn't encounter any problems as he won the Stage 3 circuit race, a 10K loop that requires agility and the ability to make sharp curves as riders compete as members of a team.
"The guys did a perfect job setting up the sprint and making it really fast and made it as easy on me as it could be," Hanson said.
The Tour of Elk Grove is one of just five races in the U.S. that earned the highest racing designation from the world governing body for sports cycling, Union Cycliste Internationale.
Elk Grove Village Mayor Craig Johnson, himself an avid cyclist, estimated the races drew between 8,000 and 10,000 spectators and several neighborhood block parties.
"We had by far the biggest audience we've had in any race," Johnson said. "You had a sprint finish with both the men's and women's. You couldn't ask for more than this."