REPRINTED from Ten Speed Drive Website:
(See Also: Velo News recaps Cherry Blossom; Video coverage of the Crit finale here.)

After Josh Liberles recently emerged from the Redlands Bicycle Classic battered and bruised (literally - he t-boned a car during the road race and snapped his bike) he climbed on board his backup rig, a cyclocross bike, for the Cherry Blossom Classic stage race weekend.

The change of steed didn’t seem to slow Liberles down in the criterium where he was very active, got into several breakaway attempts, and still had enough gas in the crazy-fast mad final dash to the line to take 3rd.

“The Hagens Berman team hit the front the last couple of laps but once Land Rover Orbea’s train took over, the pace really ramped up,” recounts Liberles.

Former Athens Twilight Crit winner Evan Elken (Land Rover/Orbea) took over for the last two corners, pushing everyone’s limits. “We were definitely going through the corners a few miles an hour faster than at any other point during the race,” says Liberles. I fought my way into a good position and just held on for dear life.”

Roman Van Uden used the leadout to perfection for the win, Steven Beardsley (Gentle Lovers) and Liberles were able to match the pace and join him on the podium. There was a small gap back to the rest of the pack.

Photos via flickr by Oregon Cycling Action.