Olympic gold medalist Kristin Armstrong (Peanut Butter & Co Twenty12) won the second stage of the Aspen Women's Pro Race, a circuit race held in Snowmass on Tuesday. She soloed to victory ahead of her mid-race breakaway companion Janel Holcomb (Colavita-Forno D'Asolo) who placed second. Anne Samplonius (Now-Novartis for MS) placed third on the day ahead of a chase group of six women.
"It was exciting for McGrath to take the win on the first day and for Armstrong to take the win today," said Peanut Butter & Co Twenty12 manager Nicola Cranmer. "This race had been a really fun atmosphere, the organization is phenomenal and there is a lot of attention to detail. It is an end of season race in a beautiful place."
Armstrong accumulated enough points at the finish line to move into the overall omnium lead ahead of her teammate and stage one winner Kristin McGrath, who is tied in points with Holcomb.
"McGrath is coached my Armstrong so we knew they would be going well for this race," Cranmer said. "The plan coming into this event was to have a couple of cards to play and so far it is those two riders."
Holcomb is no stranger to winning an overall stage race title on the finale having won the Tour de Toona and the Cascade Cycling Classic on the last stage.
"We love to race our bikes and as a team and we are never content to sit back and wait to see how things go," Holcomb said. "It is nice to have been in this situation before. It is coming down to the last day, but we have been here before, so I think we will do well."
Some 35 women lined up to start the stage two circuit race held on a 5.6km loop with a significant climb on each lap. The women completed 10 laps for a total of 56km.
"The course had perfect pavement," Cranmer said. "There were no flat sections, it was either up or down. At the bottom of the descent there was a round-about and the riders started the lap all over again to go back up the climb. It wasn't very technical and might not have seemed too hard but the altitude made the race very hard."
Armstrong attacked the field on the sixth lap and was quickly followed by Holcomb. The pair worked together and gained a sizable lead.
"We didn't want it to come to a field sprint because it was a downhill sprint," Cranmer said. "We didn't want it to come to a group especially because of the omnium points system, it was too difficult and you never know. We wanted to get someone off the front. They established the gap quickly and they both worked hard, it got to over a minute quick. They wanted to make sure they stayed away."
Armstrong attacked Holcomb with two laps to go on the climb. She held a steady 10-second margin ahead of the Holcomb for most of the next lap, but increased her lead over the last ascent and down the final descent to the finish line.
"I felt like we were both doing our fair share," Holcomb said. "It was clear that with her experience and history of results that it was going to be a difficult scenario to win, also because her team was in charge of the leader's jersey and if I attacked her, she might have been less motivated to work with me."
"With two laps to go, we were still working well together," she said. "I was feeling good and confident on the climb, I was taking my turn and turned to let her pull through and she put in a really good attack. I was feeling good but I had also just taken a turn, and at this altitude, I had less of an ability to respond. I thought I could bring her back and I didn't give up."
HTC-Highroad did the majority of the work to try and bring the gap back down before the final lap. Amanda Miller and Ally Stacher took the reins on the chase with help from Now-Novartis for MS riders.
"HTC worked hard to try and bring the breakaway back," Cranmer said. "But a group got off the front and came to the finish line together." The six-rider chase included Samplonius along with Kristin McGrath, Andrea Dvorak (Colavita-Forno D'Asolo), Kelly Crowley (Metromint Cycling), Jeannie Longo (Vitall) and Alison Powers (Tibco-To the Top).
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Kristin Armstrong Savola (Peanut Butter & Co. TWENTY 12)||1:35:58|
|2||Janel Holcomb (Colavita / Forno D'Asolo)||0:00:40|
|3||Anne Samplonius (Now Cycling/NOW and Novartis for MS)||0:02:37|
|4||Kristin Mcgrath (Peanut Butter & Co. TWENTY 12)|
|5||Andrea Dvorak (Colavita / Forno D'Asolo)|
|6||Kelly Crowley (Metromint Cycling)||0:02:41|
|7||Jeannie Longo (Vitall)||0:02:49|
|8||Alison Powers (TIBCO to The Top)||0:03:03|
|9||Lauren Hall (Colavita / Forno D'Asolo)||0:03:39|
|10||Anna Barensfeld (Team Primal Racing/Primal/MapMyRide Womens Racing)|
|11||Amanda Miller (HTC Columbia Women's Team)|
|12||Robin Farina (Now Cycling/NOW and Novartis for MS)|
|13||Alisha Welsh (Peanut Butter & Co. TWENTY 12)||0:03:40|
|14||Liza Rachetto (Team Primal Racing/Primal/MapMyRide Womens Racing)|
|15||Emilia Fahlin (HTC Columbia Women's Team)|
|16||Gwen Inglis (Team Primal Racing/Primal/MapMyRide Womens Racing)|
|17||Olivia Dillon (Peanut Butter & Co. TWENTY 12)|
|18||Ally Stacher (HTC Columbia Women's Team)|
|19||Amy Dombroski (Crank Brothers Race Club)|
|20||Julie Emmerman (Team Primal Racing/Primal/Treads)|
|21||Kasey Clark (Team Primal Racing/Primal/MapMyRide Womens Racing)|
|22||Kristin Sanders (Colavita / Forno D'Asolo)|
|23||Catherine Johnson (Unattached)|
|24||Katie Colclough (HTC Columbia Women's Team)||0:03:41|
|25||Anne Gonzales (ESC Basalt Bike and Ski)|
|26||Jessica Phillips (AJAX Tavern Cycling Team)||0:03:42|
|27||Alison Starnes (Peanut Butter & Co. TWENTY 12)||0:03:45|
|28||Tiffany Pezzulo (Team Primal Racing/Primal/MapMyRide Womens Racing)||0:05:23|
|29||Nicole Duke (Natural Grocers)||0:05:48|
|30||Devon Gorry (Now Cycling/NOW and Novartis for MS)|
|31||Kris Walker (Bell Lap Coaching)||0:09:55|
|32||Abigail Mickey (AJAX Tavern Cycling Team)|
|33||Erica Allar (Ride Clean p/b patentit.com)|
|DNF||Cari Higgins (Peanut Butter & Co. TWENTY 12)|
|DNF||Kathryne Carr (Bell Lap Coaching)|
|DNF||Colleen Hayduk (Pure Energy Cycling-ProAirHFA)|
|DNF||Amity Elliot (Team Kenda presented by Geargrinder)|
|DNF||Kathryn Judson (International Christian Cycling Club/Christian Cycling-Hammer Nutrition)|
|DNF||Anne Donley (Unattached)|