North American wrap: $25,000 purse for women in Gastown GP

Weekly updates on teams, riders and races

North American racers competing overseas have used events like the Critérium du Dauphiné and the on-going Tour de Suisse to prepare for the upcoming Tour de France in July, with much success. Check out a few of the other highlights from the peloton last week and a peek at what's to come at the NCC's Tour of America's Dairyland, and what the Gastown Grand Prix race organizers have in store for the women's criterium.

Gastown Grand Prix offers women's richest criterium in North America

Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix women's race, held on July 9 in Vancouver, British Colombia, has become the richest women's criterium in North America with $25,000 cash and thousands more available in crowd and sponsor primes. The women's distance will also be increased from 30 to 35 laps for a total of 42km.

"We are very pleased to see the Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix continue to recognize and support women's cycling," said Cycling Canada President John Tolkamp. "We commend the organizers for bringing parity to the prize list and I am personally looking forward to an even more exciting and stronger event in 2014!"

The event is a part of BC Superweek that begins with the Tour de Delta from July 4-6, where Sunday's the White Spot-Delta road races are UCI 1.2 events for both men and women. The racing continues at the UBC Grand Prix on July 8, Gastown Grand Prix on July 9, Giro di Burnaby on July 10 and the Tour de White Rock on July 11-13, to conclude the series.

Warbasse on the podium at Tour de Suisse

American Larry Warbasse (BMC Racing) secured the third spot on the podium during the second stage at the Tour de Suisse on Sunday. He was one of three remaining survivors of a six-man break that had gone clear after 15 kilometers. He opened the three-up sprint but was passed by stage winner Cameron Meyer (Orica-GreenEdge) and runner-up Philip Deignan (Team Sky).

Other North Americans in the race are Lawson Craddock (Giant-Shimano), Antoine Duchesne (Team Europcar), Joe Dombrowski (Team Sky), Matthew Busche (Trek Factory Racing), Guillaume Bovin and Ted King (Cannondale) along with Garmin-Sharp's Nathan Brown, Tom Danielson and Ben King.

The nine-day stage race will conclude on Sunday, June 22 in Saas-Fee.

Talansky wins Critérium du Dauphiné

North American pros had a successful week of racing at the Critérium du Dauphiné, and none more so than the overall winner from Garmin-Sharp Andrew Talansky. He built his lead on rival contenders Alberto Contador (Tinkoff Saxo) and Chris Froome (Team Sky), and others, during a breakaway that succeeded to the mountaintop finish on the final stage in Courchevel.

His Canadian teammate Ryder Hesjedal played an important role the victory. "I had great support from the team all week and especially from Ryder," Talansky said. "Thanks to him and the entire team. This is such a special victory." Following the event's closing podium, Talansky was quickly swept away by his team and headed off to France to recon the Tour de France's penultimate stage, a 54km time trial from Bergerac to Périgueux.

Fellow North Americans Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing) finished the Tour de Suisse in 13th place overall while Garmin-Sharp's Peter Stetina was 48th and Alex Howes 56th, Christian Meier (Orica-GreenEdge) was 64th, Chad Haga (Giant-Shimano) 80th and Danny Pate (Team Sky) 126th.

Hincapie Sportswear Development successful at Tour de Beauce

Latvia's Toms Skujins gave his American-based continental team Hincapie Sportswear Development a big win on Sunday, earning the prestigious overall title at the UCI 2.2 Tour de Beauce held in the Canadian province of Québec. He won the event's "queen" stage atop Mont-Mégantic where he moved into the race lead and, with help from his teammates, held it through the following three stages. He won the overall race ahead of Canada's Rob Britton (Team SmartStop) and Romania's Serghei Tvetcov (Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis).

Small and Anderson win NRC's North Star Grand Prix

Carmen Small (Specialized-lululemon) and Ryan Anderson (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) won the overall women's and men's titles at the North Star Grand Prix on Sunday, the sixth stop on USA Cycling's National Racing Calendar (NRC).

Lauren Stephens is currently leading the women's series standings ahead of Mara Abbott (UnitedHealthcare) and Small. Travis McCabe (Team SmartStop) is leading the men's overall standings ahead of Ian Crane (Jamis-Hagens Berman) and Anderson.

The final two rounds of the NRC are at the Cascade Cycling Classic from July 15-20 in Bend, Oregon and the Bucks County Classic on September 13 in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.

NRC Standings after North Star Grand Prix

Men's Individual Standings
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Travis McCabe (Team SmartStop p/b Mountain Khakis)584 pts
2Ian Crane (Jamis Hagens Berman)400 
3Ryan Anderson (Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)354 
4Tom Zirbel (Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)294 
5Ryan Roth (Jet Fuel Coffee-Norco Bicycles)290 
Women's Individual Standings
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Lauren Stephens (Team TIBCO-To the Top)594 pts
2Mara Abbott (UnitedHealthcare)564 
3Carmen Small (Specialized-lululemon)424 
4Flavia Oliveira (Firefighters Racing)416 
5Leah Kirchmann (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)408 
Men's Team Standings
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies1510 pts
2Jamis Hagens Berman1438 
3SmartStop Pro Cycling1116 
4Hincapie Sportswear Development Team824 
55-Hour Energy p/b Kenda468 
Women's Team Standings
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1UnitedHealthcare1510 pts
2Team TIBCO/To the Top1374 
3Specialized-lululemon960 
4Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies938 
5Colavita-Fine Cooking680 

NCC heads to the Tour of America's Dairyland

USA Cycling's National Criterium Calendar (NCC) moves into its 10th round at the Tour of America's Dairyland held on June 21 and 22 in Wisconsin. The 11-race series includes the two NCC criteriums; Giro d'Grafton on Saturday and Waukesha Carl Zach Cycling Classic on Sunday.

Carlos Alzate (UnitedHealthcare) is leading the NCC men's standings ahead of his teammate Luke Keough and Isaac Howe (Champion System-Stan's No Tubes). Erica Allar (Colavita-Fine Cooking) is leading the women's standings ahead of Coryn Rivera (UnitedHealthcare) and Tina Pic (Fearless Femme).

Tour of Alberta announces 15 teams

Race organizers of the UCI 2.1 Tour of Alberta announced the 15 teams that will participate in this year's second edition of the race that begins on September 2 in Calgary and ends on September 7 in Edmonton. The ProTour teams are Cannondale, Orica-GreenEdge, Giant-Shimano, Garmin-Sharp and Belkin Pro Cycling. UnitedHealthcare will be the only professional continental outfit participating in the race. Continental teams include Garneau-Quebecor, Silber Pro Cycling, Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis, Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies, Hincapie Sportswear Development, Team SmartStop, 5-Hour Energy p/b Kenda and Bissell Development Team. The Canadian national team will field a composite squad for the race.

Bausch to call La Course

American Olympian Dotsie Bausch will provide commentary on La Course for Universal Sports. The women's inaugural one-day circuit race will start and finish along the Champs-Élysées and is held in conjunction with the final stage of the men's Tour de France on July 27 in Paris. She will provide co-commentary alongside Craig Hummer and Todd Gogulski. One hundred cyclists will complete 13 laps of the circuit for a total of 90km that includes a prize purse of 22,500 Euro.

"I am thrilled that Universal Sports Network is going to showcase the intensity, fierce competitiveness and sheer exhilaration of the top women cyclists in the world as they fight for the top prize on the Champs-Élysées," Bausch said in a story posted on Universal Sports. "I am excited and honored to bring the race to life as we all witness this historic occasion."

Stay tuned to Cyclingnews next Tuesday for our next weekly edition of race recaps and previews of what's ahead in the North American road racing scene.

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