Megan Guarnier (Boels-Dolmans) claimed her third US national road race title, beating Coryn Rivera (UnitedHealthcare) and surprise bronze medalist Mandy Heintz (Visit Dallas DNA Cycling) in a bunch sprint in warm and muggy summer weather in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
Guarnier won the national championships in Chattanooga, Tennessee last year from a five-rider breakaway, and in 2012 in a similar small bunch sprint in Augusta, Georgia.
Coming off the overall victory in the Tour of California, and stepping into the lead of the Women's WorldTour, Guarnier has established herself as one of the top riders in the world. Her streak of world class results began with last year's Strade Bianche, and extended through leading the Giro Donne for six days, winning the Tour of Norway and then coming third in the World Championships on her home soil last September.
"It's surreal, because I'm still the same Megan, and still racing as hard as I can," Guarnier said. "Every day it's a new challenge, and every day it's not like I come into any race and I'm going to win it. You have to be tactical. Boels Dolmans has been tactical all year, and that plays into our strengths."
With only Evelyn Stevens on her team for the race, Guarnier bided her time in the peloton as the teams with more riders tried to break the stranglehold of the peloton. Lindsay Bayer (Hagens Berman-Supermint) was the first attacker, going out solo for two laps on the third trip of the 15.6km circuit before being reeled in. A lap-long stalemate followed, only to be broken by North Carolina native Nina Laughlin (Visit Dallas DNA Cycling), who went solo with three laps remaining.
Laughlin was joined one lap later by Kathryn Donovan (Colavita-Bianchi), and the pair worked well together to build up nearly two minutes on the field, but a concerted chase from UnitedHealthcare's Katie Hall whittled down their advantage.
Twenty 16 sent young rider Janelle Cole up the road with one lap to go, and she quickly made her way toward the two leaders as Laughlin began to struggle. Laughlin threw in the towel mid-way through the lap, coming to a near stand-still as Cole sped past to make it to Donovan with the field in sight behind. Their lead was just 20 seconds with half a lap to race, and it quickly evaporated on the undulating run-in to downtown Winston-Salem.
The pair were brought back with 5km to go, and were quickly countered by a trio with Alison Tetrick (Cylance), Scotti Lechuga (Hagens Berman-Supermint) and Whitney Allison (Colavita-Bianchi) at the head, but they too could not withstand the chase.
Barreling into the uphill finish at the head of the race, last year's runner-up Coryn Rivera opened up her sprint first, but it was Guarnier who came from behind to snatch the victory by a bike length on the line.
"I'm super happy to do it two years in a row is an accomplishement, and maybe not one I thought I could do," Guarnier said. "I had great support from the team, and Evie Stevens was great today. We just stayed calm and looked to the finish. We had to be smart which moves we were going to follow, and which ones we had to chase if we were going to chase. We just did our thing as a team, and we've proven that it can work."
Rivera said she was bummed not to finish off the work of her UnitedHealthcare teammates, especially Katie Hall whom she credited with chasing back the breakaway.
"It was hot, and the course was really heavy and it wore over time. Especially being 140k, I think everyone was feeling it by the last lap. Our goal today was to win, I'm a good finisher on this course, and the girls did amazing. I'm a little bummed to not finish it off, but it is how it is, and that's how the race plays out.
"Going into the final straight, I know there's a dip and you have to keep the momentum otherwise people will come from behind and slingshot (past). Taylor (Wiles) started her sprint early at the perfect moment, and I had the jump when that momentum came back. That's where I started my sprint, and Megan came around."
Surprise third place finisher Heintz was thrilled to make the podium for her new UCI team Visit Dallas DNA Pro Cycling.
"Being a new UCI team this year, with the merger of VIsit Dallas and DNA, we're making huge progress putting our name out there. We're starting to make our mark and build our team toward the WorldTour. We were at Tour of California last week and we didn't do as well as we wanted, but it was a huge milestone to be there and compete against the best women in the world. It feels good.
"We have a lot of raw talent on our team, and it's starting to mould it all together. We've had a rough month, and cycling is 95% it doesn't work out, 5% it works out, so this feels great."
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Megan Guarnier (USA) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team||3:48:20|
|2||Coryn Rivera (USA) UnitedHealthcare||0:00:01|
|3||Mandy Heintz (USA) Visit Dallas DNA Pro Cycling|
|4||Brianna Walle (USA) Team TIBCO - Silicon Valley Bank|
|5||Lauren Hall (USA) Team TIBCO - Silicon Valley Bank||0:00:02|
|6||Erica Allar (USA) Rally Cycling|
|7||Carmen Small (USA) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling Team|
|8||Heather Fischer (USA) Rally Cycling||0:00:03|
|9||Alexis Ryan (USA) Canyon SRAM Racing|
|10||Jessica Prinner (USA) Rally Cycling|
|11||Tayler Wiles (USA) Orica-AIS||0:00:04|
|12||Emma White (USA) Rally Cycling|
|13||Krista Doebel-Hickok (USA) Cylance Pro Cycling Team||0:00:05|
|14||Samantha Schneider (USA) ISCorp Cycling p/b SmartChoice|
|15||Evelyn Stevens (USA) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team||0:00:07|
|16||Kristin Armstrong Savola (USA) TWENTY16 Ridebiker|
|17||Hannah Ross (USA) Rally Cycling||0:00:09|
|18||Katharine Hall (USA) UnitedHealthcare||0:00:10|
|19||Sara Tussey (USA) Visit Dallas DNA Pro Cycling||0:00:12|
|20||Starla Teddergreen (USA) KindHuman Pro Cycling Project||0:00:13|
|21||Amber Neben (USA) BEPINK||0:00:14|
|22||Gretchen Stumhofer (USA) Colavita/Bianchi Racing||0:00:18|
|23||Leah Thomas (USA) TWENTY16 Ridebiker||0:00:19|
|24||Allie Dragoo (USA) TWENTY16 Ridebiker|
|25||Janelle Cole (USA) TWENTY16 Ridebiker|
|26||Laura Jorgensen (USA) Happy Tooth Dental Professional||0:00:20|
|27||Jessica Cutler (USA) Colavita/Bianchi Racing||0:00:22|
|28||Megan Alderete (USA) Hagens Berman | Supermint Pro Cycling|
|29||Amber Pierce (USA) Vitalogic Astrokalb Radunion NO||0:00:27|
|30||Kathryn Buss (USA) OrthoCarolina Winston Women's Cycling|
|31||Debbie Milne (USA) Stradalli Cycles/Papa John's|
|32||Arden Stelly (USA) OrthoCarolina Winston Women's Cycling|
|33||Beth Ann Orton (USA) Visit Dallas DNA Pro Cycling|
|34||Elizabeth Hernandez (USA) Colavita/Bianchi Racing||0:00:28|
|35||Irena Ossola (USA) SAS-MACOGEP-ACQUISIO pp Mazda|
|36||Whitney Allison (USA) Colavita/Bianchi Racing||0:00:30|
|37||Nicole Mertz (USA) Hollander Cycling p/b ISCorp||0:00:38|
|38||Anna Christiansen (USA) Visit Dallas DNA Pro Cycling|
|39||Gray Patton (USA) Freddie Fu Cycling Team||0:00:39|
|40||Jennifer Tetrick (USA) TWENTY16 Ridebiker|
|41||Kristen Lasasso (USA) Stradalli Cycles/Papa John's|
|42||Kristen Arnold (USA) Velo Classic Cycling p/b Stan's No Tubes||0:00:40|
|43||Amanda Miller (USA) Visit Dallas DNA Pro Cycling||0:00:42|
|44||Mikayla Maier (USA) Portland Bicycle Studio||0:00:55|
|45||Lindsay Bayer (USA) Hagens Berman | Supermint Pro Cycling||0:00:57|
|46||Tina Pic (USA) Happy Tooth Dental Professional||0:00:58|
|47||Kathryn Donovan (USA) Colavita/Bianchi Racing||0:00:59|
|48||Skylar Schneider (USA) ISCorp Cycling p/b SmartChoice||0:01:08|
|49||Lauren Stephens (USA) Team TIBCO - Silicon Valley Bank|
|50||Katherine Sherwin (USA) Happy Tooth Dental Professional|
|51||holly Breck (USA) TWENTY16 Ridebiker|
|52||Scotti Lechuga (USA) Hagens Berman | Supermint Pro Cycling|
|53||Alison Tetrick (USA) Cylance Pro Cycling Team||0:01:09|
|54||Bethany Allen (USA) Inpa Bianchi||0:01:31|
|55||BREANNE Nalder (USA) Visit Dallas DNA Pro Cycling||0:02:35|
|56||Nina Laughlin (USA) Visit Dallas DNA Pro Cycling||0:02:49|
|57||Cynthia Frazier (USA) NCVC/UnitedHealthcare||0:04:12|
|58||Abigail Mickey (USA) UnitedHealthcare||0:06:01|
|59||Liza Rachetto (USA) Hagens Berman | Supermint Pro Cycling||0:08:20|
|DNF||Lauren Tamayo (USA) UnitedHealthcare|
|DNF||Cari Higgins (USA) UnitedHealthcare|
|DNF||Amy Phillips (USA) Pepper Palace Pro Cycling|
|DNF||Andrea Dvorak (USA)|
|DNF||Sara Headley (USA) Podium Ambition|
|DNF||Allison Arensman (USA) TWENTY16 Ridebiker|
|DNF||Ivy Audrain (USA) Hagens Berman | Supermint Pro Cycling|
|DNF||Julie Kuliecza (USA) Hagens Berman | Supermint Pro Cycling|
|DNF||Allison Linnell (USA) Hagens Berman | Supermint Pro Cycling|
|DNF||Tarah Cole (USA) QCW Breakawaybikes.com p.b. Felt|
|DNF||Tess Oliver (USA) QCW Breakawaybikes.com p.b. Felt|
|DNF||Elle Anderson (USA) Rally Cycling|
|DNF||Madison Kelly (USA) Stradalli Cycles/Papa John's|
|DNF||Cheryl Clark (USA) Team TIBCO - Silicon Valley Ban|
|DNF||Lauren Komanski (USA) Team TIBCO - Silicon Valley Ban|
|DNF||Kendall Ryan (USA) Team TIBCO - Silicon Valley Ban|
|DNF||Katherine Shields (USA) OrthoCarolina Winston Women's C|
|DNF||Erica Zaveta (USA) Cylance Pro Cycling Team|
|DNF||BrittLee Bowman (USA) Velo Classic Cycling p/b Stan's No Tubes|
|DNF||Tate Devlin (USA) Velo Classic Cycling p/b Stan's No Tubes|
|DNF||Clio Dinan (USA) Velo Classic Cycling p/b Stan's No Tubes|
|DNF||Cassandra Maximenko (USA) Velo Classic Cycling p/b Stan's No Tubes|
|DNF||Payten Maness (USA) ISCorp Cycling p/b SmartChoice|
|DNF||Masha Schneider (USA) Velo Classic Cycling p/b Stan's No Tubes|
|DNF||Jennifer Rife (USA) Birchwood/GIS|
|DNF||Alexandra Burton (USA) Happy Tooth Dental Professional|
|DNF||Christina Gokey-Smith (USA) Happy Tooth Dental Professional|
|DNF||Jannalyn Luttrell (USA) Happy Tooth Dental Professional|
|DNF||Ashlyn Woods (USA) Happy Tooth Dental Professional|
|DNF||Lexie Millard (USA) ISCorp Cycling p/b SmartChoice|
|DNS||Julie Emmerman (USA) Rally Sport Cycling Team|