Cliff-Ryan wins women's Herman Miller Grand Cycling Classic

Wilcoxson and Purcell second and third from 3-rider break

Whereas Ken Hanson was able to take advantage of strong teamwork to win the men's professional criterium championship, the same can't be said for Theresa Cliff-Ryan (Exergy TWENTY12) in the women's Herman Miller Grand Cycling Classic, part of the National Criterium Calendar.

The 34-year-old Philadelphia professional was riding without any of her Exergy TWENTY12 teammates during the women's category 1-2 race, but that didn't matter as she won for the second straight year in Grand Rapids with a furious sprint to the end to edge out Jade Wilcoxson (Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) and Jennifer Purcell (TIBCO-To The Top).

"A lot of the girls are getting ready to go overseas, and two are in London representing the USA in the Olympics," said Cliff-Ryan, who is originally from Cedar Springs, 30 minutes north of Grand Rapids.

"So during the first part of the race I had to play some poker. I couldn't chase every attack. But the one I did decide to chase, that ended up being the one that went out for good. So it played out perfectly."

Cliff-Ryan, Wilcoxson and Purcell built close to a minute lead off the field midway through the race, and kept that distance until the final sprint.

Wilcoxson knew there could be trouble at the end with no teammates, and one of the top sprinters in the sport right on her wheels, reigning criterium champion Theresa Cliff-Ryan.

"Prior to us getting away, TIBCO was attacking hard," said Wilcoxson, who is from Talent, Oregon. "It just happened to be that we just got away, and I was surprised how far we were able to pull away.

"I was happy to get away from the field," she added. "But on the other hand, I knew I was going to have to sprint against a national champion to win it."

Cliff-Ryan was just thrilled that should could win in front of a large contingent of family and friends. And she was happy to win one of Grand Rapids' famous trophies, a brick trophy, which helps symbolize the bricks the riders race over on the course in Grand Rapids.

"I love to come home and race, and I love these trophies," Cliff-Ryan said.

Race director Rob Laybourn says the day's racing was another big success. This year's races were held under clear sunny skies, unlike last year, when the men's pro race was delayed because of severe thunderstorms that went through the area.

Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Theresa Cliff-Ryan (Exergy TWENTY12)  
2Jade Wilcoxson (Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)  
3Jennifer Purcell (TIBCO-To The Top)  
4Lauren Hall (TIBCO-To The Top)  
5Erica Allar (RideClean/PatentIt.com /C4 Cycling)  
6Laura Van Gilder (Mellow Mushroom Racing)  
7Kendall Ryan (TIBCO-To The Top)  
8Samantha Schneider (TIBCO-To The Top)  
9Serika Mitchell (Columbia)  
10Christy Keely (Team Kenda presented by Geargrinder )  
11Lex Albrecht (Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)  
12Leah Kirchmann (Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)  
13Mackenzie Woodring (Einstein Racing)  
14Jeannie Kuhajek (PSIMET Racing)  
15Sierra Siebenlist (Team Indiebike)  
16Amy McGuire (FCS|ROUSE: p/b Mr. Restore/FCS Cycling)  
17Emma Bast (Speedfix Racing p/b Zubaz)  
18Alicia Trevino (Fusion / LIVESTRONG/Fusion Cycling Team)  
19Patricia Black (Red Racing)  
20Amy Stauffer (Team Priority Health)  
21Susan Palmer-Kramer (P-K Express)  
22Katheryn Everts (REAL WOMEN TRI)  
23Megan Guarnier (TIBCO-To The Top)  
24Diana Carolina (Columbia)  
25Ana Cristina (Columbia)  
26Alexia Muffat (FCS|ROUSE: p/b Mr. Restore/FCS Cycling)  
27Johanna Schmidt (Einstein Racing)  
28Sheila Orem (Team Kenda presented by Geargrinder )  
29Amanda Miller (TIBCO-To The Top)  
30Debbie Milne (Mellow Mushroom Racing)  
31Suzie Brown (P-K Express/ HNZ Strategic.com)  
32Elizabeth Lauer (Team Kenda presented by Geargrinder )  
33Colleen Hayduk (RideClean/PatentIt.com /C4 Cycling)  
34Rachel Byus (FCS|ROUSE: p/b Mr. Restore/FCS Cycling)  
35Kristen Meshberg (Spidermonkey Cycling)  
36Zoe Reeves (Einstein Racing)  
37Amanda Ryan (Einstein Racing)  
38Stephanie Breslin de Sosa (Team Ghisallo/Ghisallo Cycling Team Inc.)  
39Allie Dragoo (Marian University Cycling Team/Marian University)  
40Holly Ackert (P-K Express)  
DNFSarah Demerly (Fusion / LIVESTRONG/Fusion Cycling Team)  

 

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