Robin Farina (NOW-Novartis-MS Society) won her first national title at the US Women's Elite Road Race Championships held on Sunday in Augusta, Georgia. The Charlotte resident out-paced her breakaway companions Andrea Dvorak (Colavita Forno D'Asolo) and Amanda Miller (HTC-Highroad). Sam Schneider (Tibco-to the top) placed tenth on the day and won the women's Under 23 stars and stripes jersey.
"This hasn't set in yet and I'm still in a little bit of shock but it's been pretty amazing so far," Farina told Cyclingnews. "It's been a rough week for our team with Christina Gokey-Smith breaking her arm in the criterium and Devon Gorry hurting her knee in the road race, this was a good way to end the week of racing."
"When the break happened and I saw that we had time, I was going over in my head what the correct move was for me and how I was going to win the race," she said. "I knew that once the three of us separated on the climb, I knew that I could out kick them, I just had to be on them and I couldn't go too early."
The Elite and Under 23 combined women's field lined up under cooler morning temperatures to contest five laps of an undulating 23.5km circuit for a total of 120km. Each lap boasted 1421ft of elevation gain making for a challenging championship circuit. Noticeably absent from the race was defending champion Mara Abbott (Diadora-Pasta Zara) who is recovering from a concussion sustained after she crashed three weeks ago.
A group of three riders emerged that included Alison Starnes (Peanut Butter & Co Twenty12), Jennifer Wheeler (Tibco-To the Top) and Kasey Clark (Primal-MapMyRide). The trio gained three and half minutes on the main field. HTC-Highroad did the majority of the work setting pace on the front of the peloton to keep the breakaway at a manageable time gap.
Starnes was the only rider to continue on alone after Wheeler and Clark feel off pace, maintaining a gap of just over one minute over the next three laps. However, her efforts to stay away to the finish came to an end and the field came back together with one lap to go.
"Our team was doing a lot of work to try to bring back the breakaway and then Alison," Amanda Miller said. "My teammate Ally Stacher was on the front pretty much the whole day, Evie Stevens crashed at one point and Ally went to bring her back up to the group, and then stayed on the front again. She was a rock star today. That helped save myself, Amber Neben and Evie for later in the race."
With 15km to go, Evie Stevens (HTC-Highroad) attacked, followed by a counter attack from her teammate Miller. She initiated the winning breakaway over small ascent and was followed by Farina and Dvorak along with former US champion Meredith Miller (Tibco-To the Top) and Kathleen Billington (Danbury Audi).
"Once Alison was caught, we at HTC-Highroad were being pretty aggressive and attacking a lot," Miller said. "I was the one who started the break, attacked on the climb and there were seven girls who came with me. But, two girls weren't able to keep with us, so we ended up being five."
"We established a good gap right away with about 35 seconds for quite a while and everyone was working good," she said. "Five of us got to the base of the climb but only three of us made it over the climb and too the finish line together. I'm happy with the way HTC-Highroad rode today. I just wish that I could have pulled off the big W."
The leaders hit the final climb with one kilometre to go a mere 30 seconds ahead of the peloton. Dvorak attacked at the top of the climb with 500 meters to go and was followed by Miller and Farina, and Meredith Miller and Billington fell of pace. The field crossed the line roughly 10 seconds behind the breakaway.
"Andrea hit it a bit more than 500 metres out, Amanda followed her and I followed Amanda," Farina said. "We gapped off Meredith and Kathleen. I knew that I had to be patient at the finish because it was a long, long way. I followed the two of them, Amanda punched it passed Dvorak and then she tried to come around Amanda again, that's when I came around the both of them with about 25 metres to go. I was patient."
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Robin Farina (Now Cycling/Now And Novartis Fo)||3:16:34|
|2||Andrea Dvorak (Colavita - Forno D'Asolo)|
|3||Amanda Miller (Htc Highroad Womens Team)|
|4||Kathleen Billington (Team Danbury Audi/Pedal And Pum)||0:00:05|
|5||Meredith Miller (Tibco To The Top)||0:00:07|
|6||Theresa Cliff-Ryan (Colavita - Forno D'Asolo)||0:00:21|
|7||Emily Kachorek (Team Primal Racing/Primal/Mapmyride)|
|8||Carmen Small (Tibco To The Top)|
|9||Amber Neben (Htc Highroad Womens Team)|
|10||Samantha Schneider (Tibco To The Top)|
|11||Lauren Robertson (Fcs/ Metro Volkswagen/Fcs Cycli)|
|12||Megan Guarnier (Tibco To The Top)||0:00:22|
|13||Kristin Sanders (Colavita / Forna D'Asolo)|
|14||Lindsay Myers (Team Danbury Audi/Pedal And Pum)||0:00:23|
|15||Lauren Hall (Colavita / Forno D'Asolo)|
|16||Hilary Billington (Team Danbury Audi/Pedal And Pum)|
|17||Evelyn Stevens (Htc-Highroad)|
|18||Melissa Ross (Team Kenda Presented By Geargri)||0:00:24|
|19||Anna Mcloon (Missing Links Coaching & Traini)|
|20||Kathryn Donovan (Southern California Velo)||0:00:25|
|21||Patricia Buerkle (Virginia Asset Group P/B Trek)|
|22||Elizabeth Morse Hill (Zmotion Racing Team)|
|23||Tiffany Pezzulo (Team Primal Racing/Primal/Mapmyride)||0:00:27|
|24||Emily Thurston (Touchstone Climbing)||0:00:28|
|25||Gray Patton (Century Road Club Association)|
|26||Kelly Crowley (Metromint Cycling)|
|27||Kristin Armstrong Savola (Peanut Butter & Co. Twenty 12)|
|28||Erin Silliman (Virginia Beach Velo/East Coast)||0:00:33|
|29||Erika Graves (Now Cycling/Now And Novartis Fo)||0:00:34|
|31||Amy Mcguire (Wheelworks Racing)||0:00:38|
|32||Amber Pierce (Diadora-Pasta Zara)||0:00:40|
|33||Alexis Ryan (Team Tibco Ii)||0:00:43|
|34||Samantha Brode (Carbon Racing)||0:00:44|
|35||Jacquelyn Crowell (Us National Team)||0:00:52|
|36||Marianne Holt (Carolina Masters /Painpathways)|
|37||Debbie Milne (Absolute Racing Team/Msmoc)||0:01:00|
|38||Shelley Olds (Diadora-Pasta Zara)||0:01:06|
|39||Alison Starnes (Peanut Butter & Co. Twenty 12)||0:01:31|
|40||Kelly Benjamin (Colavita / Forno D'Asolo)||0:01:37|
|41||Alisha Welsh (Peanut Butter & Co. Twenty 12/P)||0:02:59|
|42||Tayler Wiles (Peanut Butter & Co. Twenty 12)|
|43||Kaitlin Antonneau (Peanut Butter & Co. Twenty 12/P)||0:03:09|
|44||Nicole Evans (Team Primal Racing/Primal/Mapmy)||0:04:26|
|45||Jamie Dinkins (Athens Velo Club)||0:10:16|
|46||Jessica Prinner (Abd Cycle Club/Abd Cycling Team)|
|47||Mary Elizabeth Maroon (Alto Velo Racing Club/Webcor/Al)|
|48||Mary Mayhew (Scenic City Velo/Krystal / Warp)||0:10:20|
|49||Kasey Clark (Team Primal Racing/Primal/Mapmy)||0:10:25|
|50||Whitney Schultz (Veloforma/Checkmark Pb Veloform)||0:10:29|
|51||Coryn Rivera (Peanut Butter & Co. Twenty 12/P)||0:10:31|
|52||Ally Stacher (Htc Columbia Women'S Team)|
|53||Janel Holcomb (Colavita / Forno D'Asolo)|
|54||Mackenzie Woodring (United States Paralympic Nation)||0:13:09|
|55||Kathryn Clark (Team Kenda Presented By Geargri)||0:13:33|
|56||Shannon Koch (Gg Events Management)||0:14:58|
|57||Rebecca Wellons (Team Danbury Audi/Pedal And Pum)||0:19:46|
|58||Kayla Sterling (Rouse Bicycles)|
|59||Giselle Weekes (Greenville Spinners Bicycle Clu)|
|61||Michele Moulton (Heritage Bank/Pcp)||0:20:10|
|63||Judy Jenkins (Missing Links Coaching & Traini)||0:20:17|
|64||Amy Horstmeyer (352 Racing P/B Bikes And More)||0:36:59|
|65||Molly Hubbard (Clemson University)|
|DNF||Jennifer Wheeler (Tibco To The Top)|
|DNF||Jennifer Rasmusson (Team Kenda Presented By Geargrinder)|
|DNF||Thea Kent (Carolina Masters /Painpathways Cycling Team)|
|DNF||Mara Abbott (Diadora-Pasta Zara)|
|DNF||Kristin Mcgrath (Peanut Butter & Co. Twenty 12)|
|DNF||Devon Gorry (Now Cycling/Now And Novartis For Ms)|
|DNF||Molly Van Houweling (Metromint Cycling)|
|DNF||Rachel Warner (Missing Links Coaching & Training Systems/Missing Link Training Systems / Specia)|
|DNF||Maura Kinsella (Vanderkitten)|
|DNF||Jacqueline Kurth (Team Kenda Presented By Geargrinder)|
|DNF||Sara Tussey (Hincapie Cycling/Hincapie/Green Creation Cycling Team)|
|DNF||Kendall Ryan (Tibco To The Top)|
|DNF||Nichole Wangsgard (Team Primal Racing)|
|DNF||Jennifer Purcell (Team Danbury Audi/Pedal And Pump)|
|DNF||Christina Gokey-Smith (Now And Novartis For Ms)|
|DNF||Kimberley Turner (Seattle Super Squadra)|
|DNF||Lauren Tamayo (Peanut Butter & Co. Twenty 12)|
|DNF||Mary Zider (Juvederm Specialized)|
|DNF||Addyson Albershardt (Now Cycling/Now And Novartis For Ms)|