Kristina Clonan made a fool of announcer Brad Sohner at Saturday's West Reading Criterium. The Australian, riding for Fearless Femme Racing, didn't mean any offense, of course, but just seconds after Sohner explained to a crowd of thousands that the $500 "gambler's prime" could leave a rider with a nice pile of cash, but likely without the legs to contest the finish, Clonan took the prime. Then, a little less than two minutes later, she also won the race.
Clonan said she had to rely on her tactical savvy to remain at the front of the race in the closing laps of the fast, aggressive race through this city in Pennsylvania's Americana Region.
"There were a lot of attacks in the last eight laps, especially with the tailwind on the backstretch," said Clonan. "It was tough to stay in a good position."
The West Reading Criterium, part of the Reading Radsport Festival, gave racing fans a chance to come out and celebrate this region's homegrown cycling culture -- local youth groups took to the streets before the women's race to show off their wheelie skills -- and cheer for elite athletes racing this second-year event in Pennsylvania's Americana Region. With a $10,000 purse on offer, the racing was fast and positive throughout, with relentless attacks that strung the field out on the long, upwind homestretch.
Clonan spent much of the day in a two-woman break with Laura Jorgensen (Feed Hungry Kids Project) and also took a mid-race prime. Once returning to the field, Clonan stayed hidden while waves of successive attacks and surges sent riders out the back on each lap.
Legendary North American crit racer Laura Van Gilder (Mellow Mushroom) stayed hidden most of the day, riding defensively to stay at the front of the race. She claimed an early prime and unleashed a fearsome sprint to take second behind Clonan. Katie Clouse (DNA Pro Cycling) finished third on her 17th birthday.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Kristina Clonan (Fearless Femme Racing)||1:00:09|
|2||Laura Van Gilder (Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers P/)||0:00:01|
|3||Katie Clouse (Dna Pro Cycling)|
|4||Laura Jorgensen (Feed Hungry Kids Project)|
|5||Julie Kuliecza (Hagens Berman | Supermint)|
|6||Daniela Cristine Lionco (Abec / Rio Claro)||0:00:02|
|7||Courteney Lowe (Feed Hungry Kids Project)|
|8||Emily Spence (Gray Goat Mobile / Bullseye Tot)|
|9||Anna Christian (Lamere Cycles)||0:00:03|
|10||Ainhoa Perez-Diez (Nsmi Racing)|
|11||Cynthia Frazier (The Meteor // Intelligentsia)|
|12||Dori Buckethal (Nsmi Racing)||0:00:04|
|13||Paige Kostanecki (Nsmi Racing)|
|14||Brittlee Bowman (The Meteor // Intelligentsia)||0:00:09|
|15||Kristen Lasasso (Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers P/)||0:00:24|
|16||Sue Mcquiston (Nsmi Racing)||0:00:34|
|17||Elspeth Huyett (Mathletes Women's Cycling Team)||0:01:05|
|18||Danielle Van Niekerk (Ferocity Carbon)|
|19||Vanessa Romano (Young Medalists)|
|20||Grace Blair (Nsmi Racing)|
|21||Stephanie Ritter (Opus One Velo)|
|22||Maggie Barton (Sweet Spot Cycling)||0:01:19|