Photo by Ken Conley

Elk Grove, Ill. - Rock Racing's Fred Rodriguez finished third Sunday in the Gullo Pro Men Criterium to place fifth overall at the Alexian Brothers Tour of Elk Grove.

David Veilleux (Kelly Benefit Strategies presented by Medifast) won the overall title of the three-stage, three-day competition. Rodriguez finished 15th in Friday's Elk Grove Village Bank & Trust Time Trial and ninth in the Citi Pro Men's Road Race.

Saturday, Rodriguez narrowly avoided a massive pile-up in the final turn of the 105-mile (150 km) road race. Memories of that crash - combined with a couple of hard falls earlier this season - had Rodriguez taking a cautious approach Sunday as the Kelly Benefit-Medifast team again led out the sprint.


"It's a criterium, so you expect it to be fast around the corners," Rodriguez said, "but they (Kelly Benefits) are misjudging how fast you can go around the corners. Yesterday, they lost one of their guys in the crash. The problem is we also get caught in the fire."

Brad Huff (Jelly Belly Pro Cycling) won Sunday's 90-minute race ahead of Veilleux and Rodriguez.

Rock Racing's Tyler Hamilton figured into a breakaway that was only reeled back by the chasing efforts of the Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team, which was trying to protect the lead of then-overall leader Hilton Clarke.

"Having Tyler in that breakaway kept us in the game," Rodriguez said. "I was pleasantly surprised how it was actually a controlled race today. It all came down to the last lap."