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Bronzini steals the show in Philadelphia

Kirsten Frattini

World Champion prevails in bunch sprint

World Champion Giorgia Bronzini (Colavita Forno d'Asolo) celebrates after winning the 2011 Liberty Classic

World Champion Giorgia Bronzini (Colavita Forno d'Asolo) celebrates after winning the 2011 Liberty Classic

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World Champion Giorgia Bronzini continued the domination of foreign riders in the women's Liberty Classic in Philadelphia. The Italian sprinter bested American Shelley Olds (Diadora - Pasta Zara) in the bunch sprint. Coming third was Jennifer Purcell of the Connecticut-based Danbury Audi squad.

"This was a really big race for our team with our sponsors here from New Jersey," Bronzini said. "It is also one of the most important international races in the world and I have the world jersey. It was a pleasure to win this race in this jersey and to win in the USA, it was a good job."

The team had two powerful sprinters in the race, with Bronzini and teammate Theresa Cliff-Ryan, who was fresh off of a string of victories in the USA. Bronzini explained how the team decided to race the finish.

"I spoke with Theresa Cliff-Ryan during the race and we had two chances with my sprint and her sprint. We decided in the end to chose the best wheels on our own. I have to thank my team because the girls did the best work to achieve the best race for today."

The day's other star was Lex Albrecht (Juvederm-Specialized) who stayed away from the first lap until the last trip up the Manayunk wall, taking home the queen of the mountains prize.

"My main goal this year was to go after the QOM jersey," Albrecht said. "I went for it on the first climb and got it, I had a gap so I kept going and stayed away for the next 70 kilometres. I was caught right on the last lap. I wasn’t sure if I would have won the jersey because the points on the last lap were double, and I didn’t know who was gathering points behind me. But, I knew that I had a good chance to win it."

No US rider has ever won the country's sole remaining women's UCI event. Germans have dominated the past 15 years, with Petra Rossner claiming seven wins and HTC-Highroad's Ina Teutenberg four. Teutenberg chose the World Cup in Spain over the Liberty Classic this year, opening the door for a new team to take the top step.

It is a big coup for the Colavita Forno d'Asolo team, which formed from a merger of the American Colavita team and the Italian Forno d'Asolo squad this year.

Albrecht shines on Manayunk Wall

A high quality women’s field lined up for the 16th annual UCI 1.1 Liberty Classic prepared to contest four challenging 23.2km circuits for a total of 98km. The women’s race will start outside the famed Art Museum on Benjamin Franklin Parkway and headed out along Kelly Drive, passing the scenic Schuylkill River and college rowing houses on the way to the famed Manayunk Wall, a steep and decisive 800 metre ascent.

At the top of the ascent, the shattered peloton turned right to start "the fall off the wall," that leads back down to Kelly Drive and toward the two smaller ascents over Strawberry Mansion and Lemon Hill, before returning to the Logan Square finish line.

The women’s field was spread wide across the road, however, they were deceivingly traveling at speeds of more than 40kph along Kelly Drive. A quick tempo over Manayunk wall on the first lap caused major separations in the field. Lex Albrecht (Juvederm-Specialized) picked up first place points in the first QOM and opened up a 15 second gap off the fall from the wall and back down to Kelly Drive. Andrea Dvorak (Colavita Forno D’Asolo) took second place points in the bunch and Amanda Miller (HTC-Highroad) took third.

The solo rider increased her lead to roughly 30 seconds through Strawberry Mansion and into Lemon Hill and around Logan Square at the start of lap two. She held a 45-second margin ahead of the peloton and grew to two minutes for the second time over Manayunk Wall. Chaser Laurel Larsen (BHC XO Communications) gained 40 seconds but was reabsorbed into the field after a few kilometres.

Albrecht picked up full points on Manayunk Wall and Lemon Hill during the first two laps of the race, and secured the QOM competition.

She maintained a one minute lead over the third Manayunk Wall. The field behind shattered over the ascent as teams started to put pressure on the front of the field to reduce the time margin. Albrecht was reabsorbed into field before the fourth and final climb over Manayunk Wall.

Manayunk Wall fans were wild as the women climbed over it for one last time. Eight emerged over the top of the wall, however, the field quickly came back together on the descent back down to Kelly Drive. HTC-Highroad, Colavita Forno D’Asolo and Diadora-Pasta Zara dominated the final kilometres of the race with their respective lead-out trains. In the end it was Bronzini who proved to be the fastest sprinter around Logan Square and up Benjamin Franklin Parkway to the finish line.

Full Results

# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Colavita Forno d'Asolo 2:28:28  
2 Shelley Olds (USA) Diadora Pasta Zara    
3 Jennifer Purcell (USA) Team Danbury Audi    
4 Joelle Numainville (Can) TIBCO - To The Top    
5 Chloe Hosking (Aus) HTC-Highroad    
6 Joanne Kiesanowski (NZl) TIBCO - To The Top    
7 Christina Gokey-Smith (USA) NOW and Novartis for MS    
8 Laura Van Gilder (USA) Mellow Mushroom    
9 Theresa Cliff-Ryan (USA) Colavita Forno d'Asolo    
10 Barbara Guarischi (Ita) Colavita Forno d'Asolo    
11 Liza Rachetto (USA) Team Danbury Audi    
12 Kate Chilcott (NZl) CRCA    
13 Courteney Lowe (NZl) CRCA    
14 Joanie Caron (Can) JUVEDERM - SPECIALIZED    
15 Cath Cheatley (NZl) Colavita Forno d'Asolo    
16 Emily Collins (NZl) Vanderkitten Racing    
17 Robin Farina (USA) NOW and Novartis for MS    
18 Inga Cilvinaite (Ltu) Diadora Pasta Zara    
19 Devon Gorry (USA) NOW and Novartis for MS    
20 Emily Thurston (USA) XO Communications/Battley Harley-Davidson    
21 Leah Guloien (Can) Missing Link Coaching Systems/Specialized Elite    
22 Laura Meadley (Aus) MVP Healthcare Cycling    
23 Denise Ramsden (Can) JUVEDERM - SPECIALIZED    
24 Genevieve Whitson (NZl) MVP Healthcare Cycling    
25 Lindsay Myers (USA) Team Danbury Audi    
26 Lindsay Honaker (USA) XO Communications/Battley Harley-Davidson    
27 Michelle Gauthier (Can) RE:FORM/Cyclepower    
28 Fabienne Gerard (USA) Pure Energy Cycling-ProAirHFA    
30 Erin Silliman (USA) Virginia Assets pb Artemis/Trek    
31 Kristina Seley (USA) Missing Link Coaching Systems/Specialized Elite    
32 Kristine Wander (USA) CAWES Cycling    
33 Anna Young (USA) MVP Healthcare Cycling    
34 Veronique Labonte (Can) JUVEDERM - SPECIALIZED    
35 Anna Barensfeld (USA) Missing Link Coaching Systems/Specialized Elite    
36 Emily Kachorek (USA) Team Danbury Audi    
37 Lex Albrecht (Can) JUVEDERM - SPECIALIZED    
38 Kristen Lasasso (USA) Mellow Mushroom    
39 Erika Graves (USA) NOW and Novartis for MS    
40 Carmen Small (USA) TIBCO - To The Top    
41 Ainhoa Diez (USA)    
42 Monika Sattler (Ger) XO Communications/Battley Harley-Davidson    
43 Cara Gillis (Can) Missing Link Coaching Systems/Specialized Elite    
44 Patricia Buerkle (USA) Virginia Assets pb Artemis/Trek    
45 Jeannie Longo (Fra) HumanZoom    
46 Kacey Manderfield (USA) Pure Energy Cycling-ProAirHFA    
47 Kathleen Billington (USA) Team Danbury Audi    
48 Sara Tussey (USA)    
49 Rachel Neylan (Aus) Diadora Pasta Zara    
50 Andrea Luebbe (USA) HumanZoom    
51 Emma Mackie (Aus) TIBCO - To The Top    
52 Amber Neben (USA) HTC-Highroad    
53 Modesta Vzesniauskaite (Ltu) Colavita Forno d'Asolo    
54 Kathryn Donovan (USA) CRCA    
55 Ally Stacher (USA) HTC-Highroad    
56 Meredith Miller (USA) TIBCO - To The Top    
57 Pierce Amber (USA) Diadora Pasta Zara    
58 Evelyn Stevens (USA) HTC-Highroad    
59 Amanda Miller (USA) HTC-Highroad    
60 Adriana Visser (Ned) HTC-Highroad    
61 Lauren Robertson (USA) CRCA    
62 Moriah MacGregor (Can) JUVEDERM - SPECIALIZED    
63 Rachel Warner (USA) Missing Link Coaching Systems/Specialized Elite    
64 Cynthia Nelson (Can) RE:FORM/Cyclepower 0:01:58  
65 Laurel Larsen (USA) XO Communications/Battley Harley-Davidson    
66 Bergen Watterson (USA)    
67 Clara Kelly (USA) MVP Healthcare Cycling    
68 Megan Guarnier (USA) TIBCO - To The Top 0:02:10  
69 Nicky Wangsgard (USA) Vanderkitten Racing 0:02:24  
70 Arley Kemmerer (USA) CAWES Cycling 0:02:52  
71 Andrea Myers (USA) HumanZoom 0:02:55  
72 Cheri Fager (USA) Pure Energy Cycling-ProAirHFA    
73 Sally Annis (USA) Mellow Mushroom    
74 Jocelyn Setter (USA) CAWES Cycling 0:03:35  
75 Cinthia Lehner (USA)    
76 Marianne Holt (USA)    
77 Rebecca Wellons (USA) Team Danbury Audi    
78 Vanessa Drigo (USA) Vanderkitten Racing    
79 Audrey Scott (USA) Farm Team Elite    
80 Andrea Dvorak (USA) Colavita Forno d'Asolo 0:04:10  
81 Starla Teddegreen (USA) Vanderkitten Racing 0:05:14  
82 Lenore Pipes (Gum) Pure Energy Cycling-ProAirHFA 0:05:38  
83 Gray Patton (USA) CRCA 0:06:27  
Queen Of The Mountain
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Lex Albrecht (Can) JUVEDERM - SPECIALIZED 30  pts
2 Evelyn Stevens (USA) HTC-Highroad 12  
3 Adriana Visser (Ned) HTC-Highroad 10  
4 Joanne Kiesanowski (NZl) TIBCO - To The Top 6  
5 Amber Neben (USA) HTC-Highroad 6  
6 Megan Guarnier (USA) TIBCO - To The Top 6  
7 Andrea Dvorak (USA) Colavita Forno d'Asolo 6  
8 Amanda Miller (USA) HTC-Highroad 4  
9 Laurel Larsen (USA) XO Communications/Battley Harley-Davidson 3  
10 Shelley Olds (USA) Diadora Pasta Zara 2  
11 Joelle Numainville (Can) TIBCO - To The Top 2  
12 Jeannie Longo (Fra) HumanZoom 1  
13 Emma Mackie (Aus) TIBCO - To The Top 1  
14 Modesta Vzesniauskaite (Ltu) Colavita Forno d'Asolo 1