Guarnier repeats victory at US road championships

Rivera second, again, in sprint finish

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."

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Megan Guarnier (USA) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team3:48:20 
2Coryn Rivera (USA) UnitedHealthcare0:00:01 
3Mandy Heintz (USA) Visit Dallas DNA Pro Cycling  
4Brianna Walle (USA) Team TIBCO - Silicon Valley Bank  
5Lauren Hall (USA) Team TIBCO - Silicon Valley Bank0:00:02 
6Erica Allar (USA) Rally Cycling  
7Carmen Small (USA) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling Team  
8Heather Fischer (USA) Rally Cycling0:00:03 
9Alexis Ryan (USA) Canyon SRAM Racing  
10Jessica Prinner (USA) Rally Cycling  
11Tayler Wiles (USA) Orica-AIS0:00:04 
12Emma White (USA) Rally Cycling  
13Krista Doebel-Hickok (USA) Cylance Pro Cycling Team0:00:05 
14Samantha Schneider (USA) ISCorp Cycling p/b SmartChoice  
15Evelyn Stevens (USA) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team0:00:07 
16Kristin Armstrong Savola (USA) TWENTY16 Ridebiker  
17Hannah Ross (USA) Rally Cycling0:00:09 
18Katharine Hall (USA) UnitedHealthcare0:00:10 
19Sara Tussey (USA) Visit Dallas DNA Pro Cycling0:00:12 
20Starla Teddergreen (USA) KindHuman Pro Cycling Project0:00:13 
21Amber Neben (USA) BEPINK0:00:14 
22Gretchen Stumhofer (USA) Colavita/Bianchi Racing0:00:18 
23Leah Thomas (USA) TWENTY16 Ridebiker0:00:19 
24Allie Dragoo (USA) TWENTY16 Ridebiker  
25Janelle Cole (USA) TWENTY16 Ridebiker  
26Laura Jorgensen (USA) Happy Tooth Dental Professional0:00:20 
27Jessica Cutler (USA) Colavita/Bianchi Racing0:00:22 
28Megan Alderete (USA) Hagens Berman | Supermint Pro Cycling  
29Amber Pierce (USA) Vitalogic Astrokalb Radunion NO0:00:27 
30Kathryn Buss (USA) OrthoCarolina Winston Women's Cycling  
31Debbie Milne (USA) Stradalli Cycles/Papa John's  
32Arden Stelly (USA) OrthoCarolina Winston Women's Cycling  
33Beth Ann Orton (USA) Visit Dallas DNA Pro Cycling  
34Elizabeth Hernandez (USA) Colavita/Bianchi Racing0:00:28 
35Irena Ossola (USA) SAS-MACOGEP-ACQUISIO pp Mazda  
36Whitney Allison (USA) Colavita/Bianchi Racing0:00:30 
37Nicole Mertz (USA) Hollander Cycling p/b ISCorp0:00:38 
38Anna Christiansen (USA) Visit Dallas DNA Pro Cycling  
39Gray Patton (USA) Freddie Fu Cycling Team0:00:39 
40Jennifer Tetrick (USA) TWENTY16 Ridebiker  
41Kristen Lasasso (USA) Stradalli Cycles/Papa John's  
42Kristen Arnold (USA) Velo Classic Cycling p/b Stan's No Tubes0:00:40 
43Amanda Miller (USA) Visit Dallas DNA Pro Cycling0:00:42 
44Mikayla Maier (USA) Portland Bicycle Studio0:00:55 
45Lindsay Bayer (USA) Hagens Berman | Supermint Pro Cycling0:00:57 
46Tina Pic (USA) Happy Tooth Dental Professional0:00:58 
47Kathryn Donovan (USA) Colavita/Bianchi Racing0:00:59 
48Skylar Schneider (USA) ISCorp Cycling p/b SmartChoice0:01:08 
49Lauren Stephens (USA) Team TIBCO - Silicon Valley Bank  
50Katherine Sherwin (USA) Happy Tooth Dental Professional  
51holly Breck (USA) TWENTY16 Ridebiker  
52Scotti Lechuga (USA) Hagens Berman | Supermint Pro Cycling  
53Alison Tetrick (USA) Cylance Pro Cycling Team0:01:09 
54Bethany Allen (USA) Inpa Bianchi0:01:31 
55BREANNE Nalder (USA) Visit Dallas DNA Pro Cycling0:02:35 
56Nina Laughlin (USA) Visit Dallas DNA Pro Cycling0:02:49 
57Cynthia Frazier (USA) NCVC/UnitedHealthcare0:04:12 
58Abigail Mickey (USA) UnitedHealthcare0:06:01 
59Liza Rachetto (USA) Hagens Berman | Supermint Pro Cycling0:08:20 
DNFLauren Tamayo (USA) UnitedHealthcare  
DNFCari Higgins (USA) UnitedHealthcare  
DNFAmy Phillips (USA) Pepper Palace Pro Cycling  
DNFAndrea Dvorak (USA)  
DNFSara Headley (USA) Podium Ambition  
DNFAllison Arensman (USA) TWENTY16 Ridebiker  
DNFIvy Audrain (USA) Hagens Berman | Supermint Pro Cycling  
DNFJulie Kuliecza (USA) Hagens Berman | Supermint Pro Cycling  
DNFAllison Linnell (USA) Hagens Berman | Supermint Pro Cycling  
DNFTarah Cole (USA) QCW Breakawaybikes.com p.b. Felt  
DNFTess Oliver (USA) QCW Breakawaybikes.com p.b. Felt  
DNFElle Anderson (USA) Rally Cycling  
DNFMadison Kelly (USA) Stradalli Cycles/Papa John's  
DNFCheryl Clark (USA) Team TIBCO - Silicon Valley Ban  
DNFLauren Komanski (USA) Team TIBCO - Silicon Valley Ban  
DNFKendall Ryan (USA) Team TIBCO - Silicon Valley Ban  
DNFKatherine Shields (USA) OrthoCarolina Winston Women's C  
DNFErica Zaveta (USA) Cylance Pro Cycling Team  
DNFBrittLee Bowman (USA) Velo Classic Cycling p/b Stan's No Tubes  
DNFTate Devlin (USA) Velo Classic Cycling p/b Stan's No Tubes  
DNFClio Dinan (USA) Velo Classic Cycling p/b Stan's No Tubes  
DNFCassandra Maximenko (USA) Velo Classic Cycling p/b Stan's No Tubes  
DNFPayten Maness (USA) ISCorp Cycling p/b SmartChoice  
DNFMasha Schneider (USA) Velo Classic Cycling p/b Stan's No Tubes  
DNFJennifer Rife (USA) Birchwood/GIS  
DNFAlexandra Burton (USA) Happy Tooth Dental Professional  
DNFChristina Gokey-Smith (USA) Happy Tooth Dental Professional  
DNFJannalyn Luttrell (USA) Happy Tooth Dental Professional  
DNFAshlyn Woods (USA) Happy Tooth Dental Professional  
DNFLexie Millard (USA) ISCorp Cycling p/b SmartChoice  
DNSJulie Emmerman (USA) Rally Sport Cycling Team   

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