Coryn Rivera (Team Sunweb) scored her first US Pro Road Race stars-and-stripes jersey Sunday in Knoxville, Tennessee, sprinting to victory from a reduced group ahead of former two-time winner Megan Guarnier (Boels Dolmans) and Emma White (Rally Cycling), who completed a sweep of all three U23 titles.
The reduced bunch pulled back final breakaway survivor Heidi Franz (Rally Cycling) with less than 5km to go, setting up a sprint between about a dozen riders. Guarnier hit out hard up the final short kicker before a left turn about 125 metres from the line, going through the final corner first but unable to hold off a very fast and highly motivated Rivera, who took the win after finishing second the past three years.
"It's a bit of a relief and so much excitement that I finally got it," Rivera told Cyclingnews after the awards ceremony. "I’ve gone for it every year, and I had a teammate this year [Ruth Winder – ed.] and it really made a difference. We were ready for a lot of different scenarios, so we were really prepared and ready to go after it."
The Team Sunweb duo really went after in in the final 10km, where Winder shut down multiple attacks on the run-up to the final kicker. Rivera took over from there, relying on a bit of knowledge she gleaned in Friday night’s criterium, which shared the same finish.
"I knew to be first or second," Rivera said of where she needed to be coming out of the final corner. "I did the criterium so I had a feel for it as well. Even if I wasn’t first through the corner I could still come around. It was just playing the cards that were dealt. Megan went really hard up that last climb, and I expected that. If it wasn't her it was going to be me, so it was just about timing after that."
How it unfolded
The women's peloton tackled nine laps of a 12.75km course for a total of 114.7km. The lumpy, twisty course included a major obstacle in the climb up Sherrod Road, a 1km ascent that started just over a kilometre from that start/finish, and which reached pitches of 10 per cent. A short kicker into the final left-hand turn about 125 metres from the finish led to a slightly downhill run to the line.
Sherrod Road immediately started playing its part in the day’s battle when six riders escaped over the top of the climb on the first lap. Guarnier stretched out her legs on the climb to make the lead group along with Leah Thorvilson (Canyon-SRAM), Heidi Franz (Rally Cycling), Ruth Winder (Team Sunweb) and UnitedHealthcare’s Lauren Hall and Leah Thomas. The peloton sensed the danger in the group and reacted quickly to bring the breakaway back into the fold.
Liza Rachetto (Hagens Berman-Supermint) used Sherrod Road as a launch pad for an escape on the second lap, building a quick advantage that drew out Allison Arensman (Feed Hungry Kids Project-Happy Tooth) in a bridging attempt.
Rachetto started the third lap with a 35-second gap over Arensman and a minute over the field, which was spread out with numerous small splits as they crossed the start/finish. The peloton pulled back Arensman on lap 3, leaving Rachetto to ride on alone. Being solo didn’t slow Rachetto, however, as she started the fourth lap with a two-minute lead.
Franz then joined Margot Clyne (Twenty20-Sho Air) in a bridging attempt after Sherrod Road, while Rachetto’s gap slipped down to 1:25. The chasing duo caught Rachetto just before the start of lap 5, and the newly formed lead trio passed under the start/finish with 1:05 on the field.
Rachetto lost contact with the leaders on the Sherrod Road climb, drifting pack into the peloton as Franz and Clyne continued on, starting the sixth lap with a 1:45 advantage. The duo lost 1:15 to the peloton on the next lap, beginning lap 7 with just 30 seconds over the field.
That was enough for Clyne, who couldn't hold the pace Franz was setting at the beginning of the lap and lost contact. Jennifer Luebke (Hagens Berman-Supermint) attacked the field, catching Clyne and then Franz and establishing a new lead trio off the front.
Reinvigorated by Luebke's presence, the trio's gap shot back up to 1:30 as they started the penultimate lap. The leaders' gap started dropping as they climbed Sherrod Road, with the field, which had been whittled down to about 20 riders, trailing by just one minute as the riders hit the top of the climb.
By the start of the final lap, the gap to Franz, Luebke and Clyne was down to just 30 seconds. The gap dropped precipitously on the climb, with the field charging hard toward the three leaders. Franz survived alone to the top of the climb, but the pace Katie Hall (UnitedHealthcare) set back in the field appeared to doom the chances for Franz as well. But the Rally rider had some fight left in her legs, and she flew down the descent as the lead chase group of eight riders tried to get back on terms.
The field had Franz in sight with 10km to go as a small group re-joined the chase to boost the numbers to about a dozen. While they tried but failed to initially organize a cohesive chase, Franz poured on the power trying to hold them off. Luebke continued to drive the chase and brought Franz back into sight with 6.5km remaining. The chase made the catch with just under 5km to go, and the race reshuffled with most of the favourites in the lead group heading to the line.
Neben counter attacked shortly after the catch was made, but Winder quickly covered the move for teammate Coryn Rivera. Katie Hall attacked next, but Winder once again shut it down, bringing the reduced field into the final kilometre together and the setting up the final bunch kick
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Coryn Rivera (USA) Team SunWeb||3:17:30|
|2||Megan Guarnier (USA) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team|
|3||Emma White (USA) Rally Cycling||0:00:01|
|4||Alexis Ryan (USA) Canyon SRAM Racing||0:00:03|
|5||Lily Williams (USA) Hagens Berman-Supermint||0:00:04|
|6||Tayler Wiles (USA) Trek - Drops||0:00:05|
|7||Leah Thomas (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling|
|8||Leigh Ann Ganzar (USA) Wolfpack p/b Hyperthreads||0:00:06|
|9||Amber Neben (USA) PX4 Sports||0:00:13|
|10||Ruth Winder (USA) Team SunWeb||0:00:18|
|11||Kelly Catlin (USA) Rally Cycling||0:00:29|
|12||Katharine Hall (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling||0:00:33|
|13||Margot Clyne (USA) Twenty20 p/b Sho-Air||0:00:39|
|14||Jennifer Luebke (USA) Hagens Berman-Supermint||0:00:42|
|15||Heidi Franz (USA) Rally Cycling||0:01:09|
|16||Laura Jorgensen (USA) Feed Hungry Kids Project p/b Ha||0:01:54|
|17||Janelle Cole (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling||0:02:02|
|18||Samantha Schneider (USA) ISCorp Pro Cycling||0:02:04|
|19||Emily Newsom (USA) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank|
|20||Erica Clevenger (USA) Twenty20 p/b Sho-Air||0:02:07|
|21||Jolene Holland (USA) Colavita-Bialetti Racing||0:02:08|
|22||Regina Legge (USA) Green Line Velo driven by Zipca||0:02:09|
|23||Whitney Allison (USA) Hagens Berman-Supermint||0:02:14|
|24||Allie Dragoo (USA) Twenty20 p/b Sho-Air|
|25||Stefanie Sydlik (USA) QCW Cycling||0:02:15|
|26||Lauren Stephens (USA) Cylance Pro Cycling||0:02:19|
|27||Abigail Mickey (USA) Rally Cycling||0:02:34|
|28||Shayna Powless (USA) Twenty20 p/b Sho-Air||0:03:23|
|29||Lauren Hall (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling||0:04:34|
|30||Tina Pic (USA) Colavita-Bialetti Racing|
|31||Lindsay Goldman (USA) Hagens Berman-Supermint|
|32||Jessica Cerra (USA) Hagens Berman-Supermint||0:04:35|
|33||Skylar Schneider (USA) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team||0:05:06|
|34||Summer Moak (USA) Rally Cycling||0:05:42|
|35||Debbie Milne (USA) Papa Johns Racing p/b Trek||0:05:49|
|36||Carlyn Jackson (USA) Orion Racing p/b Borah Teamwear|
|37||Carolyn Defoore (USA) Wolfpack p/b Hyperthreads||0:06:16|
|38||Daphne Karagianis (USA) The Meteor-Intelligentisa||0:06:18|
|39||Hannah Arensman (USA) Feed Hungry Kids Project p/b Ha||0:06:31|
|40||Beth Ann Orton (USA) Point S Nokian||0:07:07|
|41||Holly Breck (USA) Cylance Pro Cycling||0:07:09|
|42||Jennifer Hale (USA) Orion Racing p/b Borah Teamwear||0:07:12|
|43||Emma Langley (USA) Dornier Racing Women||0:07:25|
|44||Kristen Arnold (USA) The Meteor-Intelligentisa||0:09:49|
|45||Christina Gokey-Smith (USA) Colavita-Bialetti Racing||0:09:50|
|46||Flora Yan (USA) Papa Johns Racing p/b Trek||0:10:55|
|47||Leah Thorvilson (USA) Canyon SRAM Racing||0:11:05|
|48||Nicole Pressprich (USA) Point S Nokian||0:11:06|
|49||Charlotte Backus (USA) Prestige Imports/Porsche/Audi R|
|50||Hannah Shell (USA) Papa Johns Racing p/b Trek|
|51||Christie Tracy (USA) ATC Racing||0:11:10|
|52||Madison Kelly (USA) Papa Johns Racing p/b Trek|
|53||Julie Kuliecza (USA) Hagens Berman-Supermint|
|54||Catherine Culkin (USA) 3T/Q+M|
|55||Masha Schneider (USA) e2Value p/b Verge Sport|
|56||Danielle Morshead (USA) Twenty20 p/b Sho-Air|
|57||Allison Arensman (USA) Feed Hungry Kids Project p/b Ha|
|58||Christy Keely (USA) Point S Nokian|
|59||Irena Ossola (USA) New Mexico Bicycle Racing Assoc||0:11:11|
|60||Sophie Russenberger (USA) Point S Nokian|
|61||Ashley Weaver (USA) Papa Johns Racing p/b Trek||0:11:44|
|62||Kyrstin Bluhm (USA) Papa Johns Racing p/b Trek|
|63||Victoria Kanizer (USA) CTH Performance Project|
|64||Jennah Dunham (USA) Welland Racing|
|65||Maria Danker (USA) Hicks Orthodontics Womens Raci|
|66||Stephanie Nave (USA) OrthoCarolina Winston Womens C|
|67||Megan Heath (USA) Rally Cycling|
|68||Lori Nedescu (USA)|
|DNF||Liza Rachetto (USA) Hagens Berman-Supermint|
|DNF||Kathryn Buss (USA) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank|
|DNF||Kendall Ryan (USA) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank|
|DNF||Jennifer Tetrick (USA) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank|
|DNF||Michele Schaeffer (USA) Point S Nokian|
|DNF||Jennifer Wakeman (USA) Welland Racing|
|DNF||Katie Kantzes (USA) Wolfpack p/b Hyperthreads|
|DNF||Judah Sencenbaugh (USA)|
|DNF||Maddy Ward (USA) SDBC-Emerald Textiles|
|DNS||Alex Christofalos (USA) CTH Performance Project|
|DNS||Elizabeth Harden (USA) Papa Johns Racing p/b Trek|
|DNS||Amber Pierce (USA)|
|DNS||Sara Youmans (USA) Therapeutic Associates Racing p|
|DNS||Kat Sweatt (USA) Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers|
|DNS||Ayesha Mcgowan (USA) Northern California/Nevada Cycl|