Cliff-Ryan wins second Presbyterian Hospital Invitational Criterium

Van Gilder and Allar second and third

Theresa Cliff-Ryan (Colavita-Forno D’Asolo) won her second consecutive victory at the Presbyterian Hospital Invitational Criterium held on Saturday in Charlotte, North Carolina. She out-paced her rival sprinters in a bunch kick to the line ahead of Laura Van Gilder (Mellow Mushroom) in second and Erica Allar (RideClean p/b in third.

“My team did an excellent job tonight,” Cliff-Ryan said. “Our race plan was to have it come down to a sprint and they did it. When every breakaway was off the front, they reeled it in nice and steady. All I had to do was sprint, that’s my job and my team looked after me.”

Cliff-Ryan led the Pro-Cat 1,2 women’s line-up competing for a $25,000 purse. The race is a valuable member of the National Racing Calendar (NRC) and the seventh race of the USA CRITS. The women lined up under still air and above 100 degrees, turning the criterium into a race of attrition.

“The heat played a factor tonight but everyone was dealing with the same conditions, so as long as you hydrated, it was OK,” Cliff-Ryan said.

Other riders called to the line included US National Road Champion Robin Farina (Now-Novartis for MS), Erica Allar (RideClean p/b, Laura Van Gilder (Mellow Mushroom), Samantha Schneider (TIBCO-To the Top), Lauren Tamayo (Peanut Butter & Co Twenty12) and Kelly Benjamin (Colavita-Forno D’Asolo), among others.

“I’m here with a two-person team and we ride like a full team,” Van Gilder said of her teammate Kristin LaSasso. “This has always been a great race and it always draws a competitive field. We are lucky to have this race.”

Racers contested a dumbbell-shaped course, coming through the finish area twice per lap and four corners on each end. The Pro-Cat 1, 2 women competed for a total of 40 km. The race benefited the Brain Tumor Fund for the Carolinas.

Race organizers offered a $500.00 prime on the first lap won by Anne Samplonius (Now-Novartis for MS). A second prime for $250.00 was announced several laps later, won by Farina.

A crash early in the race caused nearly a third of the field either to go down or get caught behind. Those riders were given a free lap out of the mechanic pit on the next lap. However, race organizers decided to neutralize the race to allow all riders who were injured to be removed safely form the course. Emma Mackie (TIBCO-To the Top) bore the brunt of the accident and was unable to restart the race.

The women restarted the race with 13 laps to go. Organizers offered another $500.00 prime won by Farina. The mid-race prime included ten points toward the USA CRITS won by Erika Graves (Now-Novartis for MS). The next two laps offered a prime for $250.00 each won by Kristin LaSasso (Mellow Mushroom) and Meredith Miller (TIBCO-To the Top). Van Gilder won the next prime, no doubt a test to figure out the final sprint for a potential race win.

Miller continued on solo and held a small lead ahead of the field for one full lap. The field saw two laps to go and the field was intact. The field rode through the start-finish line with one lap to go with Colavita-Forno D’Asolo and Tibco-To the Top. Van Gilder sat in good position. TIBCO-To the Top moved into the lead and drove the pace with half a lap to go, shattering the field nearly in half.

“I tucked in behind the Colavita riders and TIBCO riders,” Van Gilder said. “I stayed at the front because that is the safest place to be. I wanted to keep my eye out for anyone that was going to jump. It worked out. I was able to hold my spot and I’m pleased with the race.”

Cliff-Ryan came around the sprinters in the field with 200 metres to go to solidify her second consecutive victory. Van Gilder hung on for second place ahead of Allar in third, Joelle Numainville in fourth and Tamayo in fifth.

Full Results
1Theresa Cliff-Ryan (Colavita/Forno d'Asolo p/b Cooking Light)1:01:04 
2Laura Van Gilder (Mellow Mushroom)  
3Erica Allar (RideClean p/b  
4Joelle Numainville (Team TIBCO/To The Top)  
5Lauren Tamayo (Peanut Butter & Co TWENTY12)0:00:01 
6Kacey Manderfield (Pure Energy Cycling)  
7Robin Farina (NOW and Novartis for MS)  
8Kendall Ryan (Team TIBCO/To The Top)0:00:02 
9Janel Holcomb (Colavita/Forno d'Asolo p/b Cooking Light)  
10Amy McGuire (Wheelworks Racing)  
11Sarah Fader (Pain Pathways Women's Team)  
12Kristen Lasasso (Mellow Mushroom)  
13Leah Kirchmann (Colavita/Forno d'Asolo p/b Cooking Light)0:00:03 
14Samantha Schneider (Team TIBCO/To The Top)0:00:08 
15Lindsay Bayer (XO Communications/Battley Harley-Davidson)0:00:12 
16Lauren Hall (Colavita/Forno d'Asolo p/b Cooking Light)  
17Megan Guarnier (Team TIBCO/To The Top)0:00:13 
18Sara Tussey (Hincapie / Green Creation)0:00:16 
19Jennifer Rasmusson (Team Kenda p/b Geargrinder)  
20Jacqueline Kurth (Team Kenda p/b Geargrinder)0:00:17 
21Jennifer Wheeler (Team TIBCO/To the Top)0:00:21 
22Devon Gorry (NOW and Novartis for MS)0:00:28 
23Erika Graves (NOW and Novartis for MS)  
24Marianne Holt (Pain Pathways Women's Team)0:02:14 
25Laura Parsons (Primal Rose Bandits)  
26Kristin Sanders (Colavita/Forno d'Asolo p/b Cooking Light)  
27Andrea Dvorak (Colavita/Forno d'Asolo p/b Cooking Light)  
28Peggy Legrand (US Military)  
29Heather Logan-Sprenger (Colavita/Forno d'Asolo p/b Cooking Light)0:02:56 
29Meredith Miller (Team TIBCO/To The Top)  
31Addyson Albershardt (NOW and Novartis for MS)0:03:14 
32Colleen Paine (Team Kenda p/b Geargrinder)0:03:44 
33Jacqueline Blair (Hincapie / Green Creation)0:05:15 
33Elizabeth Morse Hill (Primal Rose Bandits)  
33Cheryl Fuller-Muller (LG Factory Team)  
33Colleen Hayduk (Pure Energy Cycling)  
37Kirsten Fee  
37Katherine Shields (Pain Pathways Women's Team)  
37Klara Rossouw (ABRC)  
37Emily Shields (Pain Pathways Women's Team)  
37Erica Chard (ABRC)  
37Kathryn Clark (Team Kenda p/b Geargrinder)  
43Brittany MacDonald (Vanderkitten Racing)0:12:15 
DNFKelly Benjamin (Colavita/Forno d'Asolo p/b Cooking Light)  
DNFMaria Luisa Calle Williams (Colombian National Team)  
DNFLenore Pipes (Gaum Cycling Team)  
DNFAnne Samplonius (NOW and Novartis for MS)  
DNFThea Kent (Pain Pathways Women's Team)  
DNFCinthia Lehner (Pain Pathways Women's Team)  
DNFKate Ross (Pain Pathways Women's Team)  
DNFHannah Coughlin (Team Kenda p/b Geargrinder)  
DNFStacey Jensen (Team Kenda p/b Geargrinder)  
DNFEmma Mackie (Team TIBCO/To The Top)  
DNFJennifer Pope (Vanderkitten Racing)  
DNFLaura Cook (Vanderkitten Racing)  
DNFAli Ingram (Vanderkitten Racing)  
DNFDebbie Milne (MSMOC)  
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