Pic wins Athens Twilight Criterium

Schneider and Van Gilder on the podium

Former six time US criterium champion, Tina Pic (Pepper Palace Pro Cycling) won the women's race at the 35th Annual Athens Twilight Criterium on Saturday. The veteran sprinter won the bunch kick to the line ahead of Samantha Schneider (ISCorp Cycling p/b SmartChoice MRI) and Laura Van Gilder (Mellow Mushroom p/b Pink Siren Sports).

Under threat of severe weather just to the South of the city, riders took up the radically different course, which is now just shy of a kilometre and featured off-camber left turns instead of traditional right turns, allowing for an entirely new set of tactics and race dynamics.

Because of these significant changes, the aggression was quickly evident when the women’s field took the start. Laura van Gilder’s Mellow Mushroom team remained unwilling to chance being caught out by the speed on hand.

"Everyone was really just going for it, which made it really hard, aggressive and challenging," Pic said.

With 28 laps remaining, the field split down the middle; a shift in the race that created the first significant attack from Van Gilder’s Mellow Mushroom teammates; Kristen LaSasso and Sara Tussey. The offensive tactics from Van Gilder’s team put pressure on a seemingly cautious Pepper Palace to respond.

At the mid-race point, Tussey went again off on a solo flyer and gained about a 10-second gap, the biggest advantage in the race. Realizing the threat, Pepper Place took over the front and eventually reeled her back in. Debbie Milne counter attacked, took a prime and had a few moments off the front before fading.

Another blistering attack came from Tussey with 13 laps to go. The Mellow Mushroom rider put in an big effort to try and stay away, but again, Pepper Palace, along with ISCorp, picked up the pace and got to the front with two laps left. Pic, however, remained vigilant.

"When we came out of the last turn, I was on Kristen and I knew she was going to die soon, since she had been going for a lap already. But then Laura started to come and I thought 'Grrr..I have to go!' I felt like it was a bit early, because it was uphill and long. But I hadn’t really sprinted during the race because I was saving it, so I knew that I just had to go then."
 

Results

Results
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Tina Pic (Pepper Palace Pro Cycling p/b The Happy Tooth)  
2Samantha Schneider (ISCorp p/b Smart Choice MRI)  
3Laura Van Gilder (Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers)  
4Lauretta Hanson (Fearless Femme p/b Haute Wheels Racing)  
5Tiffany Pezzulo (DNA Cycling p/b K4)  
6Amy Cutler (Fearless Femme p/b Haute Wheels Racing)  
7Jamie Gilgen (Rise Racing p/b Cyclepath Woodbridge)  
8Angie Gonzalez (Venezuela)  
9Chelsea Factor (Outcast Racing Team)  
10Yussely Mendivil Soto (ISCorp p/b Smart Choice MRI)  
11Holly Mathews (ISCorp p/b Smart Choice MRI)  
12Kristen LaSasso (Mellow Mushroom)  
13Sara Tussey (Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers)  
14Amy Floyd (ARGON 18 RACING p/b November & Fast Freddie Apparel)  
15BrittLee Bowman (CRCA/ Stan's NoTubes p/b Velo Classic Cycling)  
16Fiona Meade (Fearless Femme p/b Haute Wheels Racing)  
17Hannah Todd (CRCA/ Stan's NoTubes p/b Velo Classic Cycling)  
18Debbie Milne  
19Vanessa Drigo (ARGON 18 RACING p/b November & Fast Freddie Apparel)  
20Nicole Mertz (ISCorp p/b Smart Choice MRI)  
21Laura Jorgensen (Pepper Palace Pro Cycling p/b The Happy Tooth)  
22Ashley Barson (Rise Racing p/b Cyclepath Woodbridge)  
23Amy Phillips (Pepper Palace Pro Cycling p/b The Happy Tooth)  
24Julie Kuliezca (Pepper Palace Pro Cycling p/b The Happy Tooth)  
25Ivy Audrain (LA Sweat)  
26Erin Wittwer (Fearless Femme p/b Haute Wheels Racing)  
27Arden Stelly (Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers)  
28Jeannie Kuhajek (ISCorp p/b Smart Choice MRI)  
29Cinthia Lehner (PainPathways)  
30No name  
31Abby Ruess (ISCorp p/b Smart Choice MRI)  
32Megan Heath (Frazier Cycling)  
33Courteney Lowe (Pepper Palace Pro Cycling p/b The Happy Tooth)  
34Kathryn Clark (PCP Racing)  
35Kristen Lotito (CRCA/Houlihan Lokey)  
36Diana Ramos (PCP Racing)  
37Sarah Fader (Pepper Palace Pro Cycling p/b The Happy Tooth)  
38Samantha Bendt (Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers)  
39Stephanie Culaz  
40Sara Yancovitz (CRCA/ Stan's NoTubes p/b Velo Classic Cycling)  
41Dawn Hill  
42Debbie Prooty  
43Emily Cox (The Hub Bikes)  
44Julia Fresne (Florida Velo)  
45Priscilla Calderon (LA Sweat)  
46Rebecca Schepps (LA sweat)  
47Maryann Riley (FACT)  
48Tara Keefer (NGCA mission source)  
49Meredith Uhl (Farm Team Elite Women's Cycling)  
50Kira Maicle (Pomplemousse Racing)  
51Oksana Miller (CRCA/ Stan's NoTubes p/b Velo Classic Cycling)  
52Lauren Dodge (University of Georgia)  
53Ariel Burgess (ARGON 18 RACING p/b November & Fast Freddie Apparel)  
54Cheryl Fuller Muller (ARGON 18 RACING p/b November & Fast Freddie Apparel)  
55Catherine Kim (DNA Cycling p/b K4)  
56Veronica Cejas (NGCA mission source)  
57Mackenzie Green (ProChain Cycling)  
58Jen Vollmer (Roosters Bikers Edge)  
59Margaret Douglass (Team Endurance 360)  
60No name  
61Morgan Miller (Senic City Velo/Taco Mamacita)  
62Isabella Brookshire (Twenty 16 Pro Cycling)  
63Magdalena Cichon (Delafina)  
64No name  
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