Coryn Rivera (Peanut Butter & Co TWENTY12) astounded those lining Sacramento’s streets when she outpaced a heavily contested bunch sprint to take the victory at the Amgen Tour of California’s women’s criterium on Sunday.
The 17-year-old put her junior gears into action and won the dash to the line ahead of Modesta Vzesniauskaite (Colavita-Baci) and Joelle Numainville (Webcor Builders) in third.
“I had the perfect lead-out and this was the perfect race,” Rivera said. “It was a long finish and there was a lot going on. I have to say thanks to the whole team because their hard work paid off.
“There was a lot going on during the race but my team kept me in good position,” she added. “It was a really long lap for the lead-out but we pulled it off and the whole team worked really well together.”
The professional women’s single-day criterium was held in conjunction with stage one of the men’s Amgen Tour of California. The 2.5 kilometre circuit started and finished on the same line as the men’s race, two hours earlier. This is the first year that the women’s race has been held on the streets of Sacramento, after traditionally being staged in Santa Rosa.
“There was a really nervous peloton today and all the teams wanted to win,” Vzesniauskaite said. “There were a lot of attacks during the race but nothing really went away. The Peanut Butter team had about six riders and our team only had three. We tried to have Rushlee [Buchanan] attack and me go for the sprint. I was confident today even though I am normally not a sprinter.”
Several of the top US-based women’s teams lined up to participate in the prestigious event including Peanut Butter & Co TWENTY12, Vera Bradley Foundation, Webcor-Builders, Tibco and Colavita-Baci among other local California-based Elite women’s teams.
“This is a big race for us because it is a part of the Tour of California and we are a California-based team so I really wanted to do well here,” Numainville said. “I really wanted to win it but I got third so I am happy with that. We really tried for a sprint today.”
After several unsuccessful breakaways, the field conceded to a bunch sprint. The large loop did not cater well to a lead-out but Peanut Butter & Co TWENTY12 managed to help Rivera stay in good position at the front. The squad’s lead-out train was the most dominant, although it was contested by Vera Bradley Foundation in the closing kilometre.
The long finishing straight made it difficult to judge where to start the sprint. Rivera sat protected by her teammates as the race blasted to the finish line, followed by Vzesniauskaite and Numainville, who was several wheels back.
“I don’t know why but it was a very nervous sprint,” Vzesniauskaite said. “It was either crash or crash. I stayed behind Coryn in the last few hundred metres and just tried to find my own way to the finish line.”
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Coryn Rivera (USA) Peanut Butter & Co TWENTY12|
|2||Modesta Vzesniauskaite (Ltu) Colavita/Baci p/b Cooking Light|
|3||Joelle Numainville (Can) Webcor Builders|