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US time trail champ Alison Powers (Team Type 1) finished second in the opening time trial.
Defending champ to prepare with Team VBF in Santa Cruz
Team VBF rider Alison Powers has planned a smaller 2010 race schedule that will allow for stronger performances at key US stage races and time trials. Her main focus is to defend her title in both the National Racing Calendar (NRC) and Women's Prestige Cycling Series.
In 2009 while racing under the banner of Team Type 1, Powers achieved consistent podium positions in the overall classification of the top stage races in the country, placing her above time trial world champion Kristin Armstrong and Joanne Kiesanowiski in the NRC series at season's end.
This year, Powers plans on winning the NRC individual title by focusing only on major stage races and time trials such as the Redlands Bicycle Classic, Tour of the Gila, Joe Martin Stage Race, Fitchburg Longsjo Classic, Nature Valley Grand Prix and the Cascade Classic.
"I know that winning the NRC is Team VBF's goal," said Powers. "In order to do that you have to be consistent all season long. I learned that I can do that, I know how to do that and I had good luck with my health and by not having mechanicals last year."
"I hope to be super consistent again day after day, one race at a time," she continued. "Also, I will mostly target the time trials because I like to win those; if you're smart in the other races then you can hold your GC placing."
Powers added a second overall series title to her palmares last year when she won the Women's Prestige Cycling Series. She aims to defend that title too, beginning with the series' kick off at the Redlands Bicycle Classic. The Tour of the Gila was recently added to the series as the second event, followed by the Nature Valley Grand Prix and Cascade Cycling Classic races.
"I had such a good year last year that it will be hard to top that," Powers said. "Anytime people make something special for the women that the men do not get you should target it and show enthusiasm and support for it. I am going to go and try to win. The events are the longest ones in the country and they are all different. Some involve a lot of time bonuses and they are all really tough courses."
Powers signed with Team VBF, formerly known as Value Act Capital, for the 2010 season and will join her team at a pre-season training camp held from March 1-8 in Santa Cruz, California.
"I'm really looking forward to racing with my new team," Power continued. "Everything so far has been really awesome. We have good sponsors and equipment but also the staff are really great. Everyone wants to have a good time and win races. We have so many different types of riders that we have someone that can do everything."
Powers will also focus on the US national time trial championships held in Bend, Oregon at the end of June.