Ryan wins Winston-Salem women's criterium

Rowney, Hogan round out podium

Alexis Ryan (UnitedHealthcare) powered over a swift downhill sprint and held off Loren Rowney (Velocio-SRAM) for the win at the Winston-Salem Classic Criterium Saturday in North Carolina. Joanne Hogan (Tibco-SVB) was third after joining Ryan and Rowney in a three-rider breakaway that lapped the field with 18 circuits remaining.

From that point the race was an all-out effort to set up the final sprint, where Velocio-SRAM lined it up for Rowney over the final two laps. In the finale it was Ryan's teammate Coryn Rivera who provided the perfect lead out, however, with Ryan diving into the final turn on an inside line and forcing Rowney to come around the long way. The tactic gave Ryan her first national level victory since the U23 criterium title in 2013.

The win was particularly poignant for Ryan, who spent all of last year recuperating from a severely broken arm sustained in the Energiewacht Tour in the Netherlands in April 2014. After seven months off the bike, the American who normally acts as a lead out for sprinter Coryn Rivera, finally got her own chance to shine.

"It feels pretty incredible, I've worked hard for the girls all year. Today, anyone could win, and it happened to be me. They were happy for me, and I was happy my giving to the team came back full circle," she told Cyclingnews. "I'm super happy to be back racing with such a great team."

The organisers changed the course from last year, finally settling on a short, rectangular circuit that started and finished in the middle of a fast descent. With a big field lining up for the National Criterium Calendar round and plenty of nerves, UnitedHealthcare decided to start attacking from the gun to shake out some of the many strong European riders in the race and keep their riders out of danger.

"Coryn attacked first, and then once we caught her I countered and two others went with me. It just stuck," Ryan said. "It wasn't the original plan, but it worked out. It's a really hard, fast course, and they probably weren't expecting us to stick it, it's not a normal thing to do."

The pressure from Unitedhealthcare on the first lap caught a number of teams napping, with Optum missing out completely. They weren't alone, as top European riders like Kirsten Wild (Hitec Products), Dutch champion Iris Slappendel (Bigla) and most of the Alé Cipollini team were caught in the whiplash-inducing changes of pace in the pack and missed the front split.

Ryan, Rowney and Hogan settled in and benefiting from a steady effort, worked together to slowly stretch their gap over the first hour and lap the field with about 20 minutes to go. Hogan knew she was outgunned in a sprint finish, knowing Rowney well from racing in Australia.

"I was in with two sprinters, and I'm not known to be a quick sprinter. I thought if the three of us stayed away I could try to be a bit cunning - Lauren is one of my good friends and I've been head to head with her in Australia and I know how good she is in a sprint. Alexis is a known sprinter, when the bunch caught us I thought it'd be a bit harder, people got a bit pushy, but my teammate Jo really pushed for me and got me into position in the finish."

As the laps ticked down, the three riders had help getting into position from their teams. Rowney's Velocio-SRAM team began its leadout a bit earlier than they had planned with 5 laps to go, but Rowney said she hesitated at one critical moment before the last turn and it was game over.

"The team did a brilliant job, but Coryn also did a good job taking Alexis through and I just hesitated a for a moment at the top [of the course] and she got the jump on me. I was cooked. I held on and tried to come at her but couldn't get over the top. I'm happy to be back - it's nice to get a podium."

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Alexis Ryan (USA) Unitedhealthcare Professional Cycling Team1:19:14 
2Loren Rowney (Aus) Velocio - Sram  
3Joanne Hogan (Aus) Team Tibco-Svb0:00:01 
4Joanne Kiesanowski (NZl) Team Tibco - Svb  
5Coryn Rivera (USA) Unitedhealthcare Professional Cycling Team  
6Erica Allar (USA) Colavita-Bianchi0:00:02 
7Maria Giulia Confalonieri (Ita) Ale Cipollini  
8Tina Pic (USA) Pepper Palace Pro Cycling p/b The Happy Tooth  
9Tayler Wiles (USA) Velocio - Sram0:00:12 
10Karol-Ann Canuel (Can) Velocio - Sram0:00:13 
11Alena Amialiusik (Blr) Velocio - Sram  
12Liza Rachetto (USA) Bmw p/b Happy Tooth Dental0:00:16 
13Samantha Schneider (USA) Is Corp p/b Smart Choice Mri0:00:18 
14Sara Headley (USA) Team Tibco - Svb0:00:19 
15Skylar Schneider (USA) Is Corp p/b Smart Choice Mri0:00:27 
16Diana Peñuela (Col) Colombian National Team0:00:29 
17Sara Tussey (USA) Mellow Mushroom  
18Flavia Oliveira (Bra) Ale Cipollini  
19Emilie Moberg (Nor) Hitec Products0:00:31 
20Lindsay Bayer (USA) Pepper Palace Pro Cycling p/b The Happy Tooth  
21Dalia Muccioli (Ita) Ale Cipollini  
22Laura Van Gilder (USA) Mellow Mushroom0:00:32 
23Beth Ann Orton (USA) Visit Dallas Cycling p/b Noise4Good0:00:34 
24Kristabel Doebel-Hickok (USA) Team Tibco - Svb  
25Cari Higgins usa Unitedhealthcare Professional Cycling Team0:00:35 
26Briana Walle (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies  
27Doris Schweizer (Swi) Bigla Pro Cycling Team  
28Nicole Mertz (USA) Is Corp p/b Smart Choice Mri0:00:39 
29Janelle Cole (USA) Fearless Femme Haute Wheels0:00:41 
30Kirsti Lay (Can) Sas Mazda Macogep Specialized0:00:43 
31Kathryn Donovan (USA) Colavita-Bianchi0:00:44 
32Whitney Schultz (USA) Colavita-Bianchi  
33Debbie Milne (USA) Mellow Mushroom0:00:45 
34Breanne Nalder (USA) Dna Cycling p/b K4  
35Olivia Dillon (Irl) Visit Dallas Cycling p/b Noise4Good0:00:46 
36Brittlee Bowman (USA) Crca/ Stan's Notubes p/b Velo Classic Cycling0:00:49 
37Heather Fischer (USA) Dna Cycling p/b K40:01:01 
38Christina Gokey-Smith (USA) Pepper Palace Pro Cycling p/b The Happy Tooth0:01:06 
39Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) Velocio - Sram0:01:30 
40Elise Delzenne (Fra) Velocio - Sram0:01:31 
41Kendall Ryan (USA) Team Tibco - Svb0:01:33 
42Elena Berlato (Ita) Ale Cipollini0:01:43 
43Hannah Barnes (GBr) Unitedhealthcare Professional Cycling Team  
44Rushlee Buchanan (NZl) Unitedhealthcare Professional Cycling Team  
45Tiffany Pezzulo (USA) Dna Cycling p/b K4  
46Lauren Tamayo (USA) Unitedhealthcare Professional Cycling Team  
47Jacqueline Parker (USA) Sas Mazda Macogep Specialized  
48Ariane Horbach (Ger) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies  
49Miranda Griffiths (Aus) Bmw p/b Happy Tooth Dental  
50Annalisa Cucinotta (Ita) Ale Cipollini  
51Erica Zaveta (USA) Bmw p/b Happy Tooth Dental  
52Kathrin Hammes (Ger) Team Tibco - Svb  
53Christy Keely (USA) Fearless Femme Haute Wheels  
54Catherine Dessureault (Can) Sas Mazda Macogep Specialized  
55Iris Slappendel (Ned) Bigla Pro Cycling Team  
56Megan Rathwell (Can) Bmw p/b Happy Tooth Dental  
57Anna Sanders (USA) Visit Dallas Cycling p/b Noise4Good  
58Jessica Cutler (USA) Colavita-Bianchi  
59Joelle Numainville (Can) Bigla Pro Cycling Team  
60Fiona Meade (Irl) Fearless Femme Haute Wheels  
61Meredith Bunkers (USA) Crca/ Stan's Notubes p/b Velo Classic Cycling  
62Kirsten Wild (Ned) Hitec Products  
63Justine Clift (Can) Pain Pathways  
64Sharon Laws (GBr) Bigla Pro Cycling Team  
65Julie Leth (Den) Hitec Products  
66Amy Charity (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies  
67Lauretta Hanson (Aus) Fearless Femme Haute Wheels  
68Starla Teddergreen (USA) Fearless Femme Haute Wheels  
69Allison Arensman (USA) Pcp Racing  
70Clara Koppenburg (Ger) Bigla Pro Cycling Team  
71Valentina Paniagua (Col) Colombian National Team  
72Vanessa Drigo (USA) Mellow Mushroom  
73Kat Clark (USA) Pcp Racing  
74Lex Albrecht (Can) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies  
75Dafné Theroux (Can) Sas Mazda Macogep Specialized  
76Laura Jorgensen (USA) Pepper Palace Pro Cycling p/b The Happy Tooth  
77Ashley Barson (Can) Mellow Mushroom  
78Hannah Arensman (USA) Pcp Racing  
79Nicole Bruderer Cofino (Gua) Is Corp p/b Smart Choice Mri  
80Elena Valentini (Ita) Btc City Ljubljana  
81Adriane Provost (Can) Sas Mazda Macogep Specialized  
82Kristin Lotito (USA) Crca/ Stan's Notubes p/b Velo Classic Cycling  
83Morgan Brown (USA) Colavita-Bianchi  
84Annie Ewart (Can) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies  
85Alison Tetrick (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies  
86Mia Manganello (USA) Visit Dallas Cycling p/b Noise4Good  
87Lauren Decrescenzo (USA) Dna Cycling p/b K4  
88Stephanie Roorda (Can) Sas Mazda Macogep Specialized  
89Jamie Gilgen (Can) Mellow Mushroom  
90Lenore Pipes (Gum) Pain Pathways  
91Marta Tagliaferro (Ita) Ale Cipollini  
92Eugenia Bujak (Pol) Btc City Ljubljana  
93Jelena Eric (Srb) Btc City Ljubljana  
94Sarah Fader (USA) Pepper Palace Pro Cycling p/b The Happy Tooth  
95Janicke Gunvaldsen (Nor) Hitec Products  
96Miriam Bjørnsrud (Nor) Hitec Products  
97Yussely Mendevil Soto (Mex) Is Corp p/b Smart Choice Mri  
98Carrie Cartmill (Can) Pain Pathways  
99Meghan Korol (USA) Pain Pathways  
100Mia Radotic (Cro) Btc City Ljubljana  
101Mary Zider (USA) Colavita-Bianchi  
102Jennifer Nordhem (USA) Crca/ Stan's Notubes p/b Velo Classic Cycling  
103Gabrielle Pilote-Fortin (Can) Dna Cycling p/b K4  
104Anna Grace Christiansen (USA) Visit Dallas Cycling p/b Noise4Good  
105Erin Wittwer (USA) Fearless Femme Haute Wheels  
106Katherine Shields (USA) Pain Pathways  
107Debbie Prouty (USA) Pcp Racing  
108Alexandra Millard (USA) Is Corp p/b Smart Choice Mri  
109Kristie Nichols James (USA) Qcw Breakaway Bikes  
110Courteney Lowe (NZl) Pepper Palace Pro Cycling p/b The Happy Tooth  
111Lorena Vargas (Col) Colombian National Team  
112Tess Senty (USA) Qcw Breakaway Bikes  
113Cinthia Lehner (USA) Pain Pathways  
114Diana Ramos (USA) Pcp Racing  
115Natalia Franco (Col) Colombian National Team  
116Lindsey Knast (USA) Qcw Breakaway Bikes  
117Marianna Williams (USA) Qcw Breakaway Bikes  
DNSJoanne Hogan (Aus) Team Tibco - Svb  
DNSAnne Perry (USA) Dna Cycling p/b K4  
Back to top