Women's news shorts: Armitstead takes over World Cup lead

Barnes leads early NCC standings, Tulsa Tough offers travel stipend, Redlands kicks off NRC

Armitstead takes over World Cup lead from D'hoore after Trofeo Alfredo Binda victory

Boels-Dolmans Lizzie Armitstead took over the World Cup standing’s lead from Wiggle-Honda’s Jolien D’hoore following her victory at the Trofeo Alfredo Binda World Cup in Cittiglio, Italy, on Sunday. The Briton won the sprint from a breakaway of six ahead of world champion Pauline Ferrand-Prévot and her Rabo-Liv teammate Anna van der Breggen.

D’hoore won the opening World Cup round at the Ronde van Drenthe in March but opted to skip the hilly round two in order to race at the women’s Gent-Wevelgem held in Belgium on the same day. Floortje Mackaij (Team Liv-Plantur) won Gent-Wevelgem ahead of Janneke Ensing (Parkhotel Valkenburg) and Chloe Hosking (Wiggle-Honda), and D’hoore placed fourth on the day.

The next two World Cups will be held at the Tour of Flanders on April 5 and the Flèche Wallonne on April 22, both in Belgium.

 New overall world cup leader Elizabeth Armitstead (Boels Dolmans) with Rossella Ratto (INPA Sottoli Giusfredi)

World Cup standings after Trofeo Alfredo Binda

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Elizabeth Armitstead (GBr) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team160 pts
2Jolien D'hoore (Bel) Wiggle Honda120 
3Eleonora Van Dijk (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team120 
4Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Fra) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team100 
5Amy Pieters (Ned) Team Liv-Plantur100 
6Anna Van Der Breggen (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team85 
7Lucinda Brand (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team82 
8Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Wiggle Honda70 
9Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) Velocio - SRAM70 
10Alena Amialiusik (Blr) Velocio - SRAM60 

Abbott to race Women's USA Pro Challenge in August

Wiggle-Honda’s Mara Abbott will race in the new USA Pro Challenge women’s three-day race in her home state of Colorado. Race organizers confirmed the event in Breckenridge on Tuesday where the two-time Giro Rosa winner was invited to be their guest of honour during the announcement.

"I am beyond thrilled to have a chance to compete at the Women's USA Pro Challenge this year," Abbott said. "I think to be able to race on your home turf is special for any racer and especially for me because Colorado holds the majority of my heart. When the men finished up Flagstaff, only two blocks from the house where I grew up, I avoided the race entirely because I was jealous and sad. To get a chance to compete in the Colorado mountains is a dream come true.”

The race will open with an individual time trial in Breckenridge on August 21, the second stage will be in Fort Collins, and the third and final stage in Golden. The race will be held in conjunction with the pro men’s stage race, and USA Pro Challenge organizers will offer equal prize money as the men.

Mara Abbott leads Dani King

Tulsa Tough organisers to offer travel stipend for women's teams

Athletic Women Excel (AWE) Tulsa has donated $15,000 to the Tulsa Tough to be put toward a stipend for up to 15 women’s teams to help offset the travel costs for the three-criterium event held from June 12 to 14 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Women’s teams will need to fill out an application form and in order to qualify must bring a minimum of four riders to all three events.

"AWE Tulsa in partnership with Saint Francis Tulsa Tough is excited to welcome female cyclists to Tulsa through the Pro Women's Travel Stipend Program,” said Paula Marshall, AWE Tulsa’s committee chair and CEO of Bama Companies. “This is a great opportunity to support women athletes at the highest level of competition as they travel to our beautiful city.”

Malcolm McCollam, Saint Francis Tulsa Tough Executive Director, added, “Partnering with AWE Tulsa is a natural fit to bring more equity to the sport and to the female athletes who are such positive role models for future cyclists of any gender.”

Tulsa Tough is a member of USA Cycling’s National Criterium Calendar (NCC) and includes the Blue Dome Criterium on June 12, Brady Arts District Criterium on June 13 and the River Parks Criterium on June 14.

Barnes leads NCC after Sunny King Criterium opener

UnitedHealthcare’s Hannah Barnes is leading the National Criterium Calendar individual women’s standings after winning the opening round at the Sunny King Criterium on Saturday in Anniston, Alabama.

The win gave her an early lead with 120 points and she is ahead of her teammate Coryn Rivera, who was second at the race, by 30 points. Erica Allar (Colavita-Bianchi), who placed third in the sprint and won last year’s NCC overall standings, is trailing by 48 points.

“I couldn’t be happier with how today’s race went, the team rode a near perfect race, taking control when they needed to, and executing a textbook lead out to take 1st and 2nd,” said the team’s director Rachel Heal after the criterium.

The 17-event NCC series will continue at the Novant Health Invitational Criterium on April 11 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Hannah Barnes (UnitedHealthcare) takes the win with teammate Coryn Rivera second

National Racing Calendar kicks off at the Redlands Bicycle Classic

The women’s teams are gearing up for the start of USA Cycling’s National Racing Calendar (NRC), a seven-round series that will begin at the upcoming Redlands Bicycle Classic on April 8 in Redlands, California. 

Amber Neben (Visit Dallas Cycling p/b Noise) won the overall title at the San Dimas Stage Race on Sunday. Although not all teams and riders were in attendance, the race typically gives a good indication of who has top early-season form ahead of Redlands. She took the overall race lead after winning the opening uphill time trial and narrowly kept it through the road race and after the final criterium. She finished with the same time as Brianna Walle (Optum Pro Cycling) and 32 seconds ahead of third placed Allie Dragoo (Twenty16 p/b Sho-Air).

Last year, Lauren Stephens won the NRC women’s individual overall title ahead of Mara Abbott and Carmen Small. Tibco-To the Top won the NRC team classification ahead of UnitedHealthcare and Optum Pro Cycling.

2015 National Racing Calendar (NRC):
Redlands Bicycle Classic: April 8-12, California
Joe Martin Stage Race (UCI 2.2): April 23-26, Arkansas
Tour of the Gila (UCI 2.2): April 29-May 3, New Mexico
Tour of California Women’s Race (UCI 2.1): May 8-10, California
Winston-Salem Cycling Classic (UCI 1.2): May 31, North Carolina
Philadelphia Cycling Classic (World Cup): June 7, Pennsylvania
North Star Grand Prix: June 17-21, Minneapolis

Lauren Stephens (TIBCO) staying out of trouble at the front.

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