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Powless, Rivera take US Pro Road Tour leads

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Neilson Powless (Axeon) warms up after his winning ride

Neilson Powless (Axeon) warms up after his winning ride (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Neilson Powless (Axeon Hagens Berman) holds aloft his young rider and points jerseys while wearing the leader's yellow jersey

Neilson Powless (Axeon Hagens Berman) holds aloft his young rider and points jerseys while wearing the leader's yellow jersey (Image credit: Tom Ewart/NWA Photography)
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Coryn Rivera (UnitedHealthcare) wins stage 3 at Joe Martin

Coryn Rivera (UnitedHealthcare) wins stage 3 at Joe Martin (Image credit: UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling)
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Coryn Rivera wins stage 2 at Joe Martin Stage Race

Coryn Rivera wins stage 2 at Joe Martin Stage Race (Image credit: Joe Martin Stage Race)
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Linda Villumsen (UnitedHealthcare Women's Professional Cycling Team (USA) makes her way up the switchback section of the course.

Linda Villumsen (UnitedHealthcare Women's Professional Cycling Team (USA) makes her way up the switchback section of the course. (Image credit: Dejan Smaic / SportifImages)

Following their recent success at the Joe Martin Stage Race, Nielson Powless (Axeon-Hagens Berman) and Coryn Rivera (UnitedHealthcare) climbed to the top of the USA Cycling Pro Road Tour's individual standings after four of 22 series events.

Rivera won two stages and the overall at the Arkansas stage race, relying on time bonuses during the final stage to propel her past teammate Linda Villumsen in the general classification. Villumsen won the opening time trial, followed by Rivera's pair of wins during stages 2 and 3. Villumsen led the overall by 10 seconds going into the final criterium - won in a solo move by Tibco-SVB's Lauren Stephens - but Rivera's time bonus for finishing second pushed her into the lead after Villumsen finished four seconds behind her.

Rivera now leads the Pro Road Tour by 14 points over previous leader Kristin Armstrong (Twenty16 RideBiker), winner of the Redlands Bicycle Classic. Redlands stage winner Scotti Lechuga (Hagens Berman-Supermint) is third, 40 points back.

Powless, a 19-year-old from Roseville, California, also relied on time bonuses during the final criterium to jump past previous Joe Martin race leader Janier Acevedo (Team Jamis), who had led since the opening time trial. Powless started the day seven seconds behind Acevedo and six seconds behind runner-up Nigel Ellsay (Silber Pro Cycling).

"This is awesome," Powless said in a report on the Axeon-Hagens Berman website. "It pretty much all came down to the time bonuses. I knew going into the last lap that I didn't have enough seconds to take the win. So Geoffrey Curran gave me a full lap lead out to the base of the climb. I was going back and forth all the way to the line with Travis McCabe (Holowesko-Citadel) and Carlos Alzate (UnitedHealthcare). It came down to a bike length between the three of us as we all threw our bikes at the line."

Powless finished second behind McCabe, while Alzate, the stage 3 winner, was third. The Axeon rider took the overall by four seconds over Ellsay, while Acevedo finished five seconds back for third.

The Joe Martin overall win lifted Powless past McCabe in the Pro Road Tour individual standings. Powless now leads the Holowesko-Citadel rider by seven points, with Acevedo in third, 19 points back.

The 2016 Pro Road Tour continues April 30 with the Charlotte Criterium in Charlotte, North Carolina, and the Dana Point Grand Prix in Dana Point, California. The next Pro Road Tour stage race is the Tour of the Gila in Silver City, New Mexico, May 4-8. The five-day race is a UCI 2.2 event.

2016 USA Cycling Pro Road Tour Standings

Individual Men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Neilson Powless (USA) Axeon-Hagens Berman102pts
2Travis McCabe (USA) Holowesko-Citadel p/b Hincapie95
3Janier Acevedo Calle (Col) Team Jamis83
4Lucas Sebastian Haedo (Arg) Team Jamis63
5Matteo DalCin (Can) Silber Pro Cycling60

Men's Teams
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Team Jamis217pts
2Holowesko-Citadel Racing Team p/b Hincapie Racing203
3Axeon - Hagens Berman36
4UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling108
5Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis52

Individual Women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Coryn Rivera (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling165pts
2Kristin Armstrong Savola (USA)Twenty16 RideBiker151
3Scotti Lechuga (USA) Hagens Berman-Supermint125
4Mara Abbott (USA) Wiggle High5108
5Linda Villumsen (NZl) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling107

Women's Teams
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling288pts
2Twenty16 Ridebiker276
3Rally Cycling215
4Hagens Berman-Supermint Pro Cycling Team176
5Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank148