Joanne Kiesanowski (Tibco-To the Top) won a two-woman sprint against her late-race breakaway companion and NRC leader Cath Cheatley (Colavita-Baci) to capture a victory at the Grand Cycling Classic held in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Laura van Gilder (Mellow Mushroom) won the bunch sprint for third place.
“This was my first NRC race win this year,” Kiesanowski said. “The organisers were great and helped us out. But every race that we go to is important especially if it is NRC. I’m happy to get a win like this. I’ve had a couple of local race wins so it is always good to get an NRC.”
Race organisers offered a technical circuit that suited the cagiest of criterium riders. The 1.2 kilometre course included six corners and two sections of rough brick road ways.
“The field was small but it was by no means weak,” Van Gilder said. “There were many local riders that did a ton of work and a ton of attacking. It was a very aggressive race for diminished numbers. No one rolled over and said I give up. It made for really good racing and it was quite hard.”
The line-up included four riders from Tibco-To the Top with Kiesanowski, Brooke Miller, Sam Schneider and Meredith Miller along with Cheatley, van Gilder, Carrie Cash and Chris Roettger (Vera Bradley Foundation), Jennifer Greenburg, Jacqueline Kurth and Sheila Orem (Kenda) and Antonia Musto (Priority Health).
There were a flurry of attacks during the 55-minute criterium but none were successful in gaining more than a few second on the field before being reeled back in.
“There were a lot of breakaways,” Kiesanowski said. “I was off the front with Laura a few times and Meredith was off the front with Cath another time. We were attacking a lot but there were a lot of other girls attacking too. We were waiting until we got the right break to make sure we could win 100 percent out of it.”
A threatening breakaway of four riders gained time on the peloton that included Van Gilder, Cheatley, Kiesanowski and Brooke Miller. Kiesanowski attacked her breakaway companions and made a solo run for the finish line with three laps to go. Cheatley bridged across to her and the pair worked together and maintained a narrow lead.
“I looked back and I couldn’t see who was chasing but there were definitely people on the front,” Kiesanowski said. “After, Laura van Gilder and Brooke went back to the field”
Back in the bunch Nicole Freedman rounded the second to last corner with a slight gap ahead of the field in pursuit of a third place on the podium. Meredith Miller (Tibco-To the Top) closed the gap and Van Gilder was able to pass through the final corner and accelerate passed Freedman on the straight away to the finish line.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Jo Kiesanowski (Tibco)|
|2||Catherine Cheatley (Colavita/Baci Presented By Cooking Light)|
|3||Laura Van Gilder (Mellow Mushroom)|
|4||Nicole Freeman (Wheelworks)|
|5||Carrie Cash (Vera Bradley)|
|6||Jacqueline Kurth (Team Kenda)|
|7||Brooke Miller (Tibco)|
|8||Chris Roettger (Vera Bradley)|
|9||Sarah Maguire (Priority Health)|
|10||Amy Stauffer (Priority Health)|
|11||Julia Lafranchise (Now-Ms Society)|
|12||Jeannie Kuhajek (Team Mack Racing Association)|
|13||Rachel Byus (Fcs/Metro Volkswagen)|
|14||Jenna Kowalski (Now-Ms Society)|
|15||Sheila Orem (Team Kenda)|
|16||Meredith Miller (Tibco)|
|17||Whitney Schultz (Veloforma)|
|18||Suzie Brown (Pk Express)|
|19||Aimee Allen (Maple Leaf Cycling Club)|
|20||Alicia Trevino (Main St. Rain)|
|21||Amy Mcguire (Wheelworks)|
|22||Sam Schneider (Tibco)|
|23||Mackenzie Woodring (Priority Health)|