Surprising everyone on the London Classique course for the inaugural stage of ODZ Omnium, Justin Purificati (Team ODZ) took the win after a race where nobody could “touch this.” Brett Boniface took 2nd place, and Justin Wagner (Team ODZ) completed the podium for the As.
Right from the first kilometers, before even coming to the Classique course, Justin Purificati (Team ODZ) took the peloton by surprise by attacking and taking a 10-second advantage. The Canadian rider held onto that gap for half the race before being caught by the peloton. The pack was powered by strong and attacking riders like Boniface, Becker (Team X), Koop or Heath (Team Type 1), but controlled by the ODZ team, with Gagnon, Wagner, Flores and Pakkala. “The first move was just to force other riders to chase,” says Purificati. “I wanted to set my teammates to sit on, and counter when the time would come. Regular Cat & Mouse game!”
A lap and a half before the finish, Purificati attacked again, leaving the pack behind. The ODZ rider counted up to 30 seconds over the pack. In a joint effort, Darren Heath (Team Type 1) and Brett Boniface managed to bring back Purificati’s advantage to less than 10 seconds. In the last Traffalgar climb, Boniface went on to catch Purificati, leaving Heath behind. At the flamme rouge, Boniface and Purificati were up by 8 seconds over a 15-rider pack. In an ultimate effort, Purificati (Team ODZ) was able to get the better of Boniface at the finish line. Winning the bunch sprint, Justin Wagner (Team ODZ) took 3rd place over Justin Liborio (Team ODZ) and Alexander Koop. “I had some energy left, and with a shorter effort, I figured I could go a little harder,” says the first stage winner. “When I got a 25-second gap, it looked they weren’t going to chase. But they did and it came pretty close.”
Flat doesn’t always rhyme with sprint
With a new race comes a new classification. And after showing the usual attacking spirit he’s known for, and relentlessly powering up the chase behind the leading man, Brett Boniface won the first “q/l Report Combativity Award,” symbolized by a (very) virtual Orange & Grey bib. “Justin did a fantastic race,” says Boniface. “I had nothing left after bridging up to him, I was just happy to make it. Coming second to a legitimate cat 1 pro is pretty good in my book, that early in the morning, with freezing cold temperature.”
In the B category, Drew Rosdale was able to take the win just at the category limits, by hanging on the longest to the lead group. Tex “Batman” Divine (Team ODZ) took 2nd place over his teammate Matt Roth (Team ODZ). For the Cs, Skyler Street (KissRT) took his third straight win. Finally, in the D category, Art Pacione took the win for his first race on Zwift. The second stage will be a time-trial across the streets of London: 2 laps of the “London Loop,” which means twice the famous Box Hill.
Here is the race commentary from Jesper Anker.
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ODZ Omnium #1 / Provisional Results:
1- J.Purificati (CAN-Team ODZ)
2- B.Boniface (CAN-U/A)
3- J.Wagner (USA-Team ODZ)
4- J.Liborio (USA-Team ODZ)
5- A.Koop (GER-U/A)
B Category: D.Rosdale (USA-U/A)
C Category: S.Street (USA-KissRT)
D Category: A.Pacione (USA-U/A)
q/l Combativity: B.Boniface (CAN-U/A)
-the q/l Report-