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Sean Yates of England, known as an unselfish racer who sets up victories for teammates, took the lead in the ninth of 10 laps and won the U.S. Pro Cycling Championship Sunday.

Yates, 34, finished with a time of 6 hours 4 minues 25 seconds the 156-mile race, the richest single-day cycling event in America. Yates' first-place prize was $25,000.It was only the fourth win since 1990 for the 13-year pro, who as late as last year was talking about retiring.

"It's been a year since I've won a race," said Yates, a member of Team Motorola. "It's not often that you get the opportunity to win, so it's nice to get your hand in there once or twice a year."

Bruno Boscardin of Italy and Team Polti finished 56 seconds behind Yates, just beating out Brian Walton of Canada and Team Saturn at the line for second place.

Steve Hegg, of Dana Point, Calif., finished fifth and, as the first American finisher, is the U.S. professional road cycling champion.

Yates' first-place finish gave him enough points to win the U.S. Triple Crown of cycling.

For most of the 168 men who started, the race was over early.

Yates, Boscardin and Walton were among a group of 26 racers who broke ahead during the second trip up Manayunk Hill, about 30 miles into the race.

The lead group, which contained most of the race's favorites, quickly extended its edge over the rest of the pack from about two minutes to about 12 minutes at the halfway point of the race.