Women's news shorts: Armstrong looks to time trial at Richmond Worlds

Gunnewijk retires early, Sitsko joins Astana-Acce Due O, Twenty16 top team in California

Armstrong looks to Richmond Worlds time trial

Kristin Armstrong came out of retirement to take her fourth national time trial title at the USA Cycling Professional Road Championships held on Saturday in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The Twenty16 p/b Sho-Air rider stormed to the victory over the 30.9km course in 42:08, beating teammate Carmen Small by 13 seconds and Amber Neben (Visit Dallas Cycling p/b Noise4Good) by an additional five seconds. She now turns her attention to the World Championships in Richmond in September and then the 2016 Rio Olympics.

In an interview during the live streaming of the women's road race, where Armstrong placed eighth, Twenty16 p/b Sho-Air manager Nicola Cranmer noted that Armstrong was extremely pleased with her performance in the time trial having previewed the course and worked specifically toward the event.

"She was ecstatic with her win and that was the pathway that we wanted to try and take to get to the World Championships in Richmond this year," Cranmer said.

Her national time trial victory has automatically qualified her for the event at Worlds, where she will join Evelyn Stevens and Carmen Small. "I'm in and I'm back. I'm on the Richmond (World Championships) team, and then I have Rio; that's all I'm focused on," Armstrong said in a USA Cycling press release.

"It's been hard. Nothing's been handed to me, and I earned it today. I'm on the top step, and I can't help but thank my team, Twenty16 p/b Sho-Air, my husband and my coach because without their support, I might not be here today.

"I look at this as the next step to Richmond, and my next focus is the podium in Richmond."

Armstrong won Olympic gold medals in 2008 in Beijing and in 2012 in London. She also won time trial world titles in 2006 and 2009.

Kristin Armstrong (Twenty16 p/b Sho-Air)

Gunnewijk retires from professional racing

Orica-AIS road captain Loes Gunnewijk announced her retirement from professional bike racing last week. She had originally intended to retire at the end of the 2015 season, however, pushed that date forward by several months because of a lingering shoulder injury.

"I cannot do things by halves or on 80%, that's not my style and I didn't have the feeling that I could get back to my old level," Gunnewijk said in team press release. "It's all or nothing for me so I thought I would bring it earlier. It's time to stop.

"It was not an easy decision. I worked really hard from last July to come back from my broken shoulder, I made it back into the bunch and was also trying to get my own level back again over the spring. In the end I couldn't do my job at the level I wanted to, and was used to doing, and that frustrated me a lot.

"Of course it's not the way you want it to end, but it's a good decision. After 14 years at a really high level I saw too less of myself in the races and that took the fun out of it."

Gunnewijk, 34, won the Ronde Van Drenthe in 2010 and was the first rider recruited to join Orica-AIS for it’s first season in 2012.

"She will be greatly missed by the all girls and by the staff, but her decision is a testament to the dedication, expectation and attitude she has used to lead this team over the past years," said sport director Gene Bates.

"In that way, her influence will continue to benefit this team, and no doubt will lead her to more success in her adventures post racing."

Loes Gunnewijk  was part of the strong Orica-AIS line-up

Sitsko joins Astana-Acca Due O

Astana-Acca Due O announced the signing of Alena Sitsko for the remainder of the 2015 season. The 27-year-old from Belarus won the silver medal at the National Championship road race in 2014. She has already participated in a series of Italian races with her new outfit in May.

"I'm very happy to be here, unfortunately my season started a bit late," Sitsko said. "At the moment I am missing a bit of condition and pace in my legs. Yesterday during the race in Bolzano I tried to attack and go on a breakaway for this reason. I'm trying to work hard because in June there will be the first edition of European Games in Baku and I hope to do well there."

Twenty16 p/b ShoAir secures team classification at Tour of California

Twenty16 p/b Sho-Air outdid themselves at the recent UCI 2.1 Tour of California Women's Race by winning the overall best team classification. The six-woman squad included Alison Jackson, Allie Dragoo, Lauren Komanski, Amber Gaffney, Andrea Dvorak, Jess Cerra. In addition to their team results, Komanski took third place in the overall classification after finishing third during stage 1 and second in stage 2, where she briefly led the overall race. Trixi Worrack (Velocio-SRAM) won the overall title and Leah Kirchman (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit) was second.

The team followed that success at the Invitational Time Trial where Armstrong placed third behind Evelyn Stevens (Boels Dolmans) and Lauren Stephens (Tibco-SVB). It was Armstrong's first race back since retiring from the sport three years ago.

Twenty16 p/b ShoAir win team GC at the Tour of California

UCI standings unchanged after Chongming Island World Cup; Van der Breggen still in the lead

Wiggle-Honda's Giorgia Bronzini won the recent Chongming Island World Cup on May 17 in China. The former world champion won the bunch sprint ahead of Kirsten Wild (Hitec Products) and Fanny Riberot (French National Team).

World Cup series leader Anna Van der Breggen (Rabo-Liv) did not compete in the fifth round, however, the top three in the standings were unchanged and she remains in the top spot with 290 points, Annemiek van Vleuten (Bigla) has 226 and Jolien D’hoore (Wiggle-Honda) has 220 points.

The sixth round of the World Cup will be held at the Philadelphia Cycling Classic in June 7 in Pennsylvania.

Anna van der Breggen (Rabo Liv) back in the World Cup leaders jersey

UCI World Cup standings after Chongming Island

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Anna Van Der Breggen (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team290 pts
2Annemiek Van Vleuten (Ned) Bigla Pro Cycling Team226 
3Jolien D'hoore (Bel) Wiggle Honda220 
4Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Wiggle Honda196 
5Elizabeth Armitstead (GBr) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team195 
6Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Fra) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team175 
7Alena Amialiusik (Blr) Velocio - SRAM140 
8Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Wiggle Honda126 
9Elena Cecchini (Ita) Lotto Soudal Ladies122 
10Kirsten Wild (Ned) Hitec Products120 

Orica-AIS brings strong team to Boels Rental Hills Classic

Emma Johansson will return to the Boels Rental Hills Classic to defend her title on May 29 in Sittard, Netherlands. Her Orica-AIS team will included Gracie Elvin, Kartin Garfoot, Melissa Hosking, Chloe McConville and Rachel Neylan. Johansson broken her collarbone in a crash at the Novilon Eurocup on March 15, but has recovered and resumed racing in early April with strong performances at Tour of Flanders, Flèche Wallonne and Dwars door de Westoek. Click here to read the full event preview.

Barnes leads NCC standings after Wilmington Grand Prix

Hannah Barnes (UnitedHealthcare) continues to lead the USA Cycling National Criterium Calendar (NCC) standings with 240 points after the Wilmington Grand Prix last Saturday in Delaware. Tina Pic (Pepper Palace Pro Cycling) won the criterium and is now sitting in second place in the overall women's standings with 234 points. Erica Allar (Colavita-Bianchi p/b Fine Cooking) is in third overall with 204 points.

Pic sprinted to the Wilmington Grand Prix win ahead of Lauretta Hanson (Fearless Femme) and Joëlle Numainville (Bigla) in what was the fourth round of the NCC. The series will continue with the fifth round at the Winston-Salem Classic on May 30 in North Carolina.

Hannah Barnes (UnitedHealthcare) gets the best young rider jersey for another day.

Trott wins 2015 Milk Race by a whisker

Track specialist Laura Trott (Matrix Fitness) showed that she is in top road form having won the 2015 Milk Race ahead of last year's champion Katie Archibald (Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International) by only three thousandths of a second. Archibald's teammate Katie Curtis was third on the day, Dani King (Wiggle-Honda) was fourth and Jessie Walker (RST Racing) fifth.

"It's great to win such a prestigious event especially with an exciting sprint finish," said Trott, who is the British national road race champion. "I'm really pleased to return to Nottingham and be in front of such amazing crowds. Here’s hoping The Milk Race returns again next year!"

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