Webcor Builder's Abbot claims lead in Best Young Rider and Overall
Going into the Redlands Bicycle Classic, the first race in the 2007 Women's Prestige Cycling Series, Webcor Builder's Mara Abbott was not the favourite for the Best Young Rider, much less the Overall Series lead. She'd won the U23 National Time Trial and US Collegiate Nationals, but she was racing with seasoned professionals at Redlands. But when the dust settled after the final stage at Redlands, the Whitman College economics major had claimed both the Overall and Best Young Rider jerseys and had led her Webcor Builders team to a dominating first place Series ranking.
Abbott will wear the Series leader's jersey going into the Nature Valley Grand Prix in June. Her competition will come from teammate Katheryn Curi, a former US National Champion, in second followed by Felicia Gomez (Aaron's Cycling), Leigh Hobson (Team Cheerwine) and Kori Seehafer (TEAm Lipton) in third through fifth.
The Series Sprint competition also had a surprising outcome. This leader's jersey will be worn by TEAm Lipton's Kori Seehafer, not known as a speedster. She'll be pursued by Martina Patella (ValueAct Capital), Christine Thorburn (Webcor Builder's), Seehafer teammate Laura Van Gilder and 2006 Series Sprint champion Brooke Miller (Team TIBCO).
Abbott's performance may have wrapped up the Series team title for Webcor Builder's since this competition awards bonus points for young riders. Her team has a commanding lead over second place Team Cheerwine (504 vs. 190 points), followed by TEAm Lipton (180), Aaron's Cycling (159) and Team TIBCO (111).
The Redlands Bicycle Classic also claimed its return to the Series as a win. "We were thrilled that the Redlands Bicycle Classic was selected as the kickoff for the Women's Prestige Cycling Series", said Redlands director Brian King. "The Series helped us attract the largest women's field in our 23 year history. This is proof that female cyclists support events that support them."
The Women's Prestige Cycling Series continues in June with the Nature Valley Grand Prix followed by the International Tour de Toona in July and the CD&P Bermuda Grand Prix in September.