Despite coming from mid-pack in the bunch sprint,Nicole Wansgard (Primal/Map My Ride) took an upset sprint for the victory of the Presbyterian Hospital Criterium in Charlotte. She beat the defending champion Theresa Cliff-Ryan (Exergy-Twenty12) and Erica Allar (RideClean/Patentit.com).
Wansgard was behind wheels drafting until the last 150 meters when she made her move taking the win. Racing without the help of teammates, she adjusted her strategy accordingly.
"Patience, patience, patience," was how Wansgard described her plan of action. "I knew the big teams wouldn't let anything go."
With the bigger teams protecting their designated sprinters in the hope of a field sprint played into the hands of Wansgard who didn't contemplate chasing the primes.
Under sunny skies with a slight breeze 57 women started the Presbyterian Hospital Invitational Criterium.
With just a few laps completed Robin Farina was at the front and the damage was being done at the back. With each ring of the prime bell, more racers were dropped off the back of the peloton.
The ring of the prime bell motivated Alison Powers (NOW and Novartis for MS) to attack going solo up the road. Behind the peloton slowly started to carve into her lead with Mellow Mushroom/Rose Bandit Racing and Optum presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies at the front.
With all this power at the front and just 17 minutes into the race the peloton has been reduced to about a little over 30 riders still in contention.
No sooner had Powers been brought to heel, Jade Wilcoxson (Optum presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies) countered – motivated by a $250 prime. She continued to roll along and collected another $250 prime.
While her attack was short lived and at the mid-way point of the race the remaining peloton was together. But with a $500 prime on the line for the following lap, the bunched up group was quickly strung out.
Powers came out from behind a sagging Optum rider and pipped her for the $500 halfway prime. Her total dollar amount earned at this point in the criterium was $1500 with many more opportunities remaining.
However, the lull in the action only lasted a couple of pedal strokes and reigning national road race champion Robin Farina went to the front as the prime bell rung again. Hot on her rear wheel was Laura Van Gilder (Mellow Mushroom/Rose Bandit Racing) – the cream of the crop was rising to the top as the laps started to count down closer to the finish.
With four laps remaining Van Gilder snagged the last prime of the day for $250. With no more primes left it was time for the strategizing to begin.
With the preponderance of sprinters in the surviving peloton the odds were that the winner would be settled by a field sprint.
Crossing the start line with three laps to go Wilcoxson had surged off the front. She was quickly joined by three other riders – but this new quartet wasn't organized or perhaps motivated to continue to push on.
As the riders rounded the final corner to the start line for the penultimate lap, the group was all together. Optum and Team TIBCO at the front with the Stars and Stripes jersey of Farina also near the front.
With one lap to go Courtney Lowe attacked, hands in the drops and sprinting. But with a half lap remaining Lowe was caught and it was going to be decided in a field sprint.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Nichole Wangsgard (Primal/MapMyRide)||0:54:52|
|2||Theresa Cliff-Ryan (Exergy TWENTY12)||0:00:01|
|3||Erica Allar (RideClean/PatentIt.com)|
|4||Jade Wilcoxson (Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)|
|5||Kendall Ryan (Team TIBCO)|
|6||Christina Gokey-Smith (NOW and Novartis for MS)|
|7||Lenore Pipes (RideClean/PatentIt.com)|
|8||Laura Van Gilder (Mellow Mushroom/Rose Bandit Rac)|
|9||Amy McGuire (FCS/Rouse by Mr Restore)|
|10||Maura Kinsella (Vanderkitten-Focus)||0:00:02|
|11||Jackie Crowell (Exergy Twenty 12)|
|12||Emma Grant (Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)|
|13||Kristen Lasasso (Mellow Mushroom/Rose Bandit Rac)|
|14||Kacey Manderfield (Pure Energy Cycling ProAirHFA)|
|15||Annie Ewart (Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)|
|16||Lex Albrecht (Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)||0:00:03|
|17||Olivia Dillon (NOW and Novartis for MS)||0:00:04|
|18||Robin Farina (NOW and Novartis for MS)|
|19||Sara Fader (R2 Racing)||0:00:05|
|20||Anne Samplonius (NOW and Novartis for MS)|
|21||Lindsay Myers (Team TIBCO)|
|22||Sara Tussey (VeloShine Cycling Team)||0:00:06|
|23||Merideth Miller (Team TIBCO)|
|24||Alexis Ryan (Team TIBCO)||0:00:07|
|25||Debbie Milne (Absolute Racing/ MSMOC)||0:00:08|
|26||Lauren Tamayo (Exergy TWENTY12)|
|27||Elizabeth Newell (NOW and Novartis for MS)||0:00:26|
|28||Courtney Lowe (Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)||0:00:45|
|29||Alison Powers (NOW and Novartis for MS)||0:00:56|
|30||Laura Parsons (Mellow Mushroom/Rose Bandit Rac)||0:02:17|
|31||Anna Barensfeld (Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)|
|32||Marianne Holt (PainPathways Cycling Team)|
|33||Meghan Korol (Pepper Palace/Spin-Tech Trainin)|
|34||Colleen Gulick (Pure Energy Cycling ProAirHFA)|
|35||Emily Shields (PainPathways Cycling Team)|
|36||Krystal McNutt (Team Kenda presented by Geargrinder)|
|37||Bergen Watterson (Pepper Palace/Spin-Tech Training)|
|38||Colleen Hayduk (RideClean/PatentIt.com)|
|39||Hanan Alves-Hyde (RideClean/PatentIt.com)|
|40||Morgan Patton (Team Type 1)|
|41||Elizabeth Morse-Hill (ZMOTION Racing Team)|
|42||Erica Chard (Pepper Palace/Spin-Tech Trainin)|
|43||Allison Arensman (Pepper Palace/Spin-Tech Training)|
|44||Kate Ross (Pepper Palace/Spin-Tech Trainin)|
|45||Stephanie Swan (Pro Bikes - Pitt)|
|46||Jennifer Greenberg (Team Kenda presented by Geargrinder)|
|47||Valeria Galeano (Mellow Mushroom/Rose Bandit Rac)|
|48||Katherine Shields (PainPathways Cycling Team)|
|49||Cinthia Lehner (Pepper Palace/Spin-Tech Training)||0:04:17|
|DNF||Emily Weinert (Team Kenda presented by Geargrinder)|
|DNF||Lauren Rigby (VeloShine Cycling Team)|
|DNF||Dana Walton (Chester County Cycling Foundation)|
|DNF||Ann Koehler (Modry/Evergreen)|
|DNF||Hannah Miller (PainPathways Cycling Team)|