Wilcoxson solos to first US Pro women's road title

Hall makes it an Optum 1-2, Powers fills out podium

Jade Wilcoxson and Lauren Hall made it an Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies 1-2 at the inaugural Women's Professional US Road Race Championships in Chattanooga, Tennessee ahead of Alison Powers (Now & Novartis for MS). Wilcoxson attacked a group of riders chasing Mara Abbott (Exergy-TWENTY16) in the closing circuits of the race, then soloed away from Exergy's Kristin McGrath to take the victory.

Wilcoxson and her team were excited and confident going into today's race. "We worked really well as a team today," said Wilcoxson immediately after the finish. "It's really a team win. Everybody did a lot of work and I rested so I could make it over the climb. With a little luck I ended up off the front, and was able to motor away."

The race, which started on three circuits around downtown Chattanooga, was animated by Maura Kinsella (NOW and Norvartis for MS), who built a lead of 25 seconds before Lauren Tamayo (Exergy-Twenty16) bridged across to her. Kinsella and Tamayo were caught by the pack before leaving town, however, and the field stayed together until the base of the climb to Lookout Mountain.

The pack quickly disintegrated as they climbed up Lookout Mountain. An elite group of 16 riders including race favorites Evelyn Stevens (Specialized-lululemon), Megan Guarnier (Rabobank Liv/Giant), Shelley Olds (TIBCO), Mara Abbott (Exergy-TWENTY16) and Alison Powers (NOW & Novartis for MS), took the reins and separated themselves from the remainder of the field. The group was whittled down to 10 riders by the time they reached the top, but by the time pack had descended and started the circuit around downtown their numbers had grown to 25 riders.

After several attacks on the downtown circuit a group of nine riders including Hall, Wilcoxson, Kristin McGrath (Exergy-TWENTY12), Carmen Small and Tayler Wiles (Specialized-lululemon), Amanda Miller (TIBCO), Robin Farina (NOW and Novartis for MS) and Scotti Wilborne (Leborne Development) made what would be the move of the race when they rode away with a gap of 1:30 before starting up Lookout Mountain.

Before they crested the top, Abbott made a courageous, and successful effort to bridge to the lead group. Farina was dropped before the top putting pressure on Alison Powers to try and make contact with the leaders on the descent and remaining downtown circuits. "Once Robin was out of the break going up Lookout it was like 'This is what you have to do!'," Powers said. "As soon as I caught them I really had to be smart because with no teammates, and some people had two or three, I knew people were going to expect me to do a lot of work. And I'm okay with that."

Abbott attacked the lead group after the descent, and was able to build up a lead over almost 20 seconds before suffering a flat and a disastrous wheel change by neutral support that broke her rear derailleur. While waiting for a spare bike, Abbott watched Wilcoxson, who had launched an attack to reel her in, and then the pack go by before she was able to get going again.

With Abbott out of the equation, Wilcoxson was on her own until being joined by McGrath, and the two riders worked well together until the last half lap of the race. "The pack was closing in, they were 10 seconds back, and I was confident in Lauren being in that group, and I wanted to give it all I had, and I knew it was my last opportunity," said Wilcoxson about her decision to attack McGrath. "I was hesitant to attack because I thought she could stay on my wheel, but luckily I got a little bit of a gap on her, and she couldn't close it."

Wilcoxson crossed the line in first and was followed by Halll, who sprinted past Alison Powers for second place. "Powers actually got a gap on me into that right hand turn into the finish so I had to make a run at her," said Hall. "I had been on her wheel the last three laps because I knew she was going to be the strongest out of the break."

For defending champion Guarnier it was a disappointing race but she was motivated to return. "It was not my best day on the bike. The Lookout climb is definitely a difficult climb," said Guarnier. "Now I know what it looks like and I'll be here next year."

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jade Wilcoxson (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)2:46:39 
2Lauren Hall (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)0:00:11 
3Alison Powers (NOW and Novartis for MS)  
4Kristin McGrath (Exergy TWENTY16)  
5Jacquelyn Crowell (Exergy TWENTY16)0:00:17 
6Amanda Miller (Team TIBCO/ To the Top)  
7Carmen Small (Specialized-lululemon)  
8Andrea Dvorak (Exergy TWENTY16)  
9Tayler Wiles (Specialized-lululemon)0:00:47 
10Mara Abbott (Exergy TWENTY16)0:04:19 
11Evelyn Stevens (Specialized-lululemon)  
12Scotti Wilborne (Mellow Mushroom Racing)  
13Janel Holcomb (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)0:04:29 
14Megan Guarnier (Rabo Women Cycling Team)  
15Lauren Stephens (FCS|Zngine p/b Mr. Restore)  
16Robin Farina (NOW and Novartis for MS)  
17Jessica Cutler (Vanderkitten)0:04:32 
18Kathryn Donovan (NOW and Novartis for MS)0:04:36 
19Shelley Olds (Team TIBCO/ To the Top)0:07:33 
20Jessica Prinner (CARE4CYCLING powered by Solomon Corp)0:07:36 
21Brianna Walle (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)  
22Ally Stacher (Specialized-lululemon)  
23Kaitlin Antonneau (Exergy TWENTY16)  
24Mary Zider (Colavita-Fine Cooking)  
25Sara Tussey (Hincapie Cycling)  
26Katie Ryan (Team Belladium)  
27Amy Charity (Vanderkitten)  
28Lauren Komanski (NOW and Novartis for MS)  
29Anna Sanders (FCS|Zngine p/b Mr. Restore)  
30Kristabel Doebel-Hickok (Team TIBCO/ To the Top)0:07:48 
31Erica Allar (CARE4CYCLING powered by Solomon Corp)0:08:53 
32Lindsay Bayer (Colavita-Fine Cooking)  
33Amy Phillips (Hub Endurance Women's Cycling Team)  
34Jamie Bookwalter (Colavita-Fine Cooking)0:08:56 
35Amber Gaffney (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)  
36Ruth Winder (Vanderkitten)  
37Alison Tetrick (Exergy TWENTY16)  
38Elizabeth Newell (NOW and Novartis for MS)  
39Kaelly Farnham (FCS|Zngine p/b Mr. Restore)  
40Devon Gorry (NOW and Novartis for MS)  
41Molly Van Houweling (Metromint Cycling)0:12:07 
42Erica Zaveta (Pepper Palace Pro Cycling)  
43Elizabeth McCalley (Hub Endurance Women's Cycling Team)0:15:58 
44Sara Clafferty (Pinnacle p/b Argon 18)1:00:23 
45Maura Kinsella (NOW and Novartis for MS)  
46Samantha Schneider (Team TIBCO/ To the Top)  
47Alexis Ryan (NOW and Novartis for MS)  
48Jessica Chong (I AM Racing)  
49Kimberley Turner (I AM Racing)1:01:08 
50Amber Pierce (Pasta Zara - Cogeas)  
51Addyson Albershardt (Pasta Zara - Cogeas)  
52Irena Ossola (Team Kenda presented by RACC)  
53Kimberly Flynn (Hub Endurance Women's Cycling Team)1:02:47 
54Amanda Ragle (Team Belladium)1:03:47 
55Caroline Moakley (Pepper Palace Pro Cycling)  
56Catherine Dewberry (Team Belladium)  
57Jennifer Schuble (I AM Racing)1:05:35 
58Christina Birch (I AM Racing)  
59Amy McGuire (FCS|Zngine p/b Mr. Restore)  
60Jessica Owings (Team Belladium)  
61Terra James (Team Kenda presented by RACC)  
62Nichole Tower (I AM Racing)  
63Shannon Parrish (Team Kenda presented by RACC)1:06:43 
64Pamela Tate (I AM Racing)1:07:43 
DNSLauren De Crescenzo (Team Kenda presented by RACC)  
DNSAmity Elliot (Team Kenda presented by RACC)  
DNFKailin Acheson (Team Belladium)  
DNFGrace Alexander (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)  
DNFAllison Arensman (Pepper Palace Pro Cycling)  
DNFRachel Byus (FCS|Zngine p/b Mr. Restore)  
DNFLiz Gerrity (Rose Bandits)  
DNFChristy Keely (Pepper Palace Pro Cycling)  
DNFJacqueline Kurth (Colavita-Fine Cooking)  
DNFHeather Nielson (I AM Racing)  
DNFMelinda Spratt (Louis Garneau Factory Team p/b Fuji)  
DNFLauren Tamayo (Exergy TWENTY16)  
DNFKatherine Williams (Team Belladium  

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