Emma White (Rally UHC) claimed her first elite national championship title in the US Pro Criterium championships in Knoxville, Tennessee on Friday, topping Lily Williams (Hagens Berman-Supermint) and Kendall Ryan (Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank) with a long sprint.
Coryn Rivera (Sunweb) was fourth ahead of Sam Schneider (CWA Racing p/b Trek) and Chloe Dygert (Sho-Air Twenty20) in an aggressive, attack-filled race where no breakaway could stick.
White credited her Rally UHC team for controlling the race, covering every attack and even launching a few of their own. The critical point of the finale came in the final 500m, where three quick turns in succession and then a downhill sprint to the line turned the field sprint into a battle for that third-to-last turn.
White was expertly piloted to the perfect position by teammate Erica Allar, the 2017 champion, then held a gap of several bike lengths out of the final turn, then kept powering through until safely across the line before celebrating.
"It's every cyclists' worst nightmare is getting pipped at the line once you post up. I definitely wasn't taking any chances. When I came through the last corner alone, I kind of looked behind me but not taking any chances - there were some really strong women in that field. Anything can happen at that point so I needed to get across the line before I could celebrate," White said.
"The name of the game on this course is definitely to come into the last corner first because it's a downhill finish, and less than 200m to go. At that point, it's just go really hard," White explained, still beaming after taking both elite and U23 titles.
"My mom's here, so I was really happy that she was able to see that, and my team. I was so proud of my team and I wouldn't be able to do it without them. The first thing was I had to hug my mom and my teammates."
The Rally UHC squad suffered a terrible loss earlier this year with the death of last year's bronze medalist Kelly Catlin, and the victory was a visibly emotional moment for all of them.
"We all had a moment where the team was at the finish line sobbing," White said. "We know that [Kelly] is here with us tonight. It was an emotional win. The whole season has been emotional. This race in particular, we were thinking about her all day, we were thinking about her all week - she's very important to us and she will always be a very special part of the team. It's tough. We miss her a lot."
Hagens Berman-Supermint rode an agressive race, throwing down attacks for the entire 70-minute race. Willams lost her main lead-out, defending champion Leigh-Ann Ganzar, to a crash with just over four laps to go.
"Leigh Ann was an integral part of our plan today, unfortunately the crash happened at the worst possible time when the free laps were over. All sorts of stuff goes down, so you have to be ready for anything," Williams said, adding that just getting onto the podium was a good feeling.
"It feels really great - of course we'd love to win, but only one person can do that, so second or third is about as much as you can ask for otherwise."
The team put in a stellar performance, perhaps motivated by the looming gap in sponsorship as Hagens Berman prepares to pull out of pro cycling.
"Hagens Berman has been sponsoring the team for four years and they're moving their funds out of pro cycling. So yeah, unfortunately it's the reality of the situation. We're just making the best of it and enjoy the rest of the season and see what comes next."
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Emma White (USA) Rally UHC Cycling Women||1:05:49|
|2||Lily Williams (USA) Hagens Berman-Supermint|
|3||Kendall Ryan (USA) Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank|
|4||Coryn Rivera (USA) Team Sunweb Women|
|5||Samantha Schneider (USA) CWA Racing p/b TREK||0:00:01|
|6||Chloe Dygert (USA) Sho-Air Twenty20|
|7||Skylar Schneider (USA) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam|
|8||Holly Breck (USA) Go Fast - Incycle /Go Fast||0:00:02|
|9||Tina Pic (USA) Colavita|Bialetti Racing||0:00:03|
|10||Kat Sweatt (USA) Specialized Wolfpack p/b Jakroo||0:00:04|
|11||Emma Bast (USA) Levine Law Group Elite Cycling|
|12||Debbie Milne (USA) Supra Cycling Team||0:00:05|
|13||Shayna Powless (USA) Sho-Air Twenty20|
|14||Janelle Cole (USA) Fast Chance Womens Cycling|
|15||Madeline Bemis (USA) Milligan College|
|16||Melanie Wong (USA) Sho-Air Twenty20||0:00:06|
|17||Samantha Quijano (USA) SquadraSF p/b Terun|
|18||Clio Dinan (USA) Green Line Velo driven by Zipca|
|19||Starla Teddergreen (USA) Hagens Berman-Supermint||0:00:07|
|20||Regina Legge (USA) Gray Goat - Bullseye Total Medi|
|21||Madison Kelly (USA) CWA Racing p/b TREK|
|22||Laurel Rathbun (USA) Colavita|Bialetti Racing|
|23||Jillian Bearden (USA) Trans National Womens Cycling T||0:00:08|
|24||Heidi Franz (USA) Rally UHC Cycling Women||0:00:09|
|25||Ayesha Mcgowan (USA) Northern California/Nevada Cycl|
|26||Grace Chappell (USA) Specialized Wolfpack p/b Jakroo||0:00:10|
|27||Lisa Cordova (USA) Levine Law Group Elite Cycling||0:00:11|
|28||Allie Legg (USA) Sho-Air TWENTY20|
|29||Krystal Burnham (USA) Milligan College||0:00:12|
|30||Samantha Bosco (USA) SC Velo|
|31||Margot Clyne (USA) Sho-Air Twenty20||0:00:13|
|32||Emily Newsom (USA) Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank||0:00:14|
|33||Melissa Teeple (USA)|
|34||Brenna Wrye-simpson (USA) DNA Pro Cycling Team||0:00:16|
|35||Jessica Cerra (USA) Hagens Berman-Supermint||0:00:22|
|36||Katharine Hall (USA) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam|
|37||Abigail Mickey (USA) Rally UHC Cycling Women||0:00:26|
|38||Caitlin Milne (USA) Supra Cycling Team||0:00:31|
|39||Meredith Moran (USA) Green Line Velo driven by Zipca|
|40||Julie Kuliecza (USA) Hagens Berman-Supermint|
|41||Gabrielle Russell (USA) Orion Racing p/b Borah Teamwear||0:00:32|
|42||Jennifer Luebke (USA) Sho-Air Twenty20|
|43||Erica Clevenger (USA) Sho-Air Twenty20|
|44||Jacqueline Mcclure (USA) CS Velo||0:00:33|
|45||Lindsay Goldman (USA) Hagens Berman-Supermint|
|46||Hayley Bates (USA) Levine Law Group Elite Cycling||0:00:37|
|47||Liza Rachetto (USA) Hagens Berman-Supermint||0:00:45|
|48||Erica Carney (USA) Rally UHC Cycling||0:00:48|
|49||Christina Gokey-smith (USA) Colavita|Bialetti Racing||0:00:49|
|50||Kathryn Aman (USA) Green Line Velo driven by Zipca||0:00:50|
|51||Whitney Allison (USA) Hagens Berman-Supermint||0:00:58|
|52||Ashley Weaver (USA) LA Sweat||0:01:16|
|53||Summer Moak (USA) Rally UHC Cycling Women||0:01:17|
|DNF||Leigh Ann Ganzar (USA) Hagens Berman-Supermint|
|DNF||Krista Doebel-Hickok (USA) Rally UHC Cycling Women|
|DNF||Ashlyn Woods (USA) Levine Law Group Elite Cycling|
|DNF||Jennifer Hale (USA) Orion Racing p/b Borah Teamwear|
|DNF||Heather Nielson (USA) Therapeutic Associates Pacific|
|DNF||Danielle Clark (USA) UNKNOWN Racing Women/Dornier Ra|
|@3Lap||Maria Danker (USA) Hicks Orthodontics Womens Raci|
|@3Lap||Jolene Holland-neve (USA) Colavita|Bialetti Racing|