North American pros continued to celebrate strong performances in both the US and overseas events last week. The Women’s Tour of Britain and the Tour of California women’s races showcased the top women in the world World-class men’s racing continues at the Giro d'Italia and the Tour of California. Check out a few of the highlights from the peloton and a peek at what's to come.
Svein Tuft kicks off Giro d’Italia in pink:
It was a big day for Canadian cycling when Svein Tuft rode into the pink leader's jersey following Orica-GreenEdge's win of the team time trial on May 9 in Belfast. The Australian WorldTour team secured the fastest time of 24:42 minutes over the 21.7km course and Tuft crossed the line first.
American sprinter Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Sharp) earned top-10 places in the Stage 2 and Stage 3 sprints. Other North Americans in the race are Brent Bookwalter (BMC Racing) and 2012 overall winner Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp).
The Giro d'Italia will conclude on June 1 in Trieste, Italy.
Small and Powers win Tour of California women's races:
Organizers of the Tour of California invited the elite women’s peloton to compete in a circuit race held on May 11 in downtown Sacramento and a time trial on May 12 in Folsom. During the animated circuit race, Carmen Small (Specialized-lululemon) won the bunch sprint ahead Coryn Rivera (UnitedHealthcare) and Brianna Walle (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies).
Alison Powers (UnitedHealthcare) took a commanding win during the women’s time trial. She finished the 20.1km course in 27:21 minutes, beating Walle and Tayler Wiles (Specialized-lululemon).
Tour of California is kicked off in Sacramento:
The 2.HC men’s race kicked off on May 11 in Sacramento where Omega Pharma-QuickStep's Mark Cavendish won the opener out of a bunch sprint and took the early race lead. Team Sky's Bradley Wiggins took over as the overall leader after winning the Stage 2 time trial in Folsom. The eight-day race concludes on May 18 in Thousand Oaks.
WorldTour teams have given some of their North American rider’s opportunities to race close to home including Cannondale’s Ted King and Guillaume Boivin, Giant-Shimano’s Chad Haga and Trek Factory Racing’s Matthew Busche. BMC Racing brought Peter Stetina, Taylor Phinney and Lawrence Warbasse, and Team Sky included Danny Pate, Ian Boswell and Joe Dombroski. Garmin-Sharp brought Tom Danielson, Caleb Fairly, Phil Gaimon, Alex Howes, Ben King and Nathan Brown.
Domestic professional continental and continental teams racing are UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling, Team Novo Nordisk, Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis, Jamis-Hagens Berman, Bissell Development and Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies.
Barnes, Hall, Kirchmann top performances at the Women's Tour:
The Women's Tour of Britain, held May 7-11, was one of the most talked about women’s races in the world. In its inaugural year, it assembled a world-class field and offered equal prize money compared to the men’s event. World champion, Marianne Vos (Rabo Liv Women Cycling) won the overall title ahead of Emma Johansson (Orica-AIS) and Rossella Ratto (Estado de Mexico Faren).
UnitedHealthcare’s Briton Hannah Barnes secured a podium finish during the opening stage in Northampton and followed that with fourth place in the finale Stage 5 in Bury St Edmunds. Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies teammates Lauren Hall, who won Gent-Wevelgem, and Leah Kirchmann, Canadian criterium champion, sprinted to top 10 stage finishes.
"Women's cycling is definitely on the rise and it is so exciting to be a part of the process, the races and hopefully the longevity of the sport," Hall said. "I think these races will get positive feedback from the community, from the riders, the teams and they will continue to grow."
Olds third at Elsy Jacobs in Luxembourg
American sprinter Shelley Olds (Alé Cipollini) placed third overall in the three-day Luxembourgeois du cyclisme féminine Elsy Jacobs held from My 2-4 in Luxembourg. She sprinted to a third, second and fifth place during the three stages. World Champion, Marianne Vos (Rabo Liv Women Cycling) won two stages and the overall title.
NCC continues at Wilmington Grand Prix
The National Criterium Calendar continues for the men and women at the Wilmington Grand Prix in Delaware. Carlos Alzate (UnitedHealthcare) is leading the men’s standings ahead of Daniel Holloway (Athlete Octane) and Isaac Howe (Champion System - Stan’s NoTubes). Coryn Rivera (UnitedHealthcare) is leading the women’s standings ahead of her teammate Alison Powers and Erica Allar (Colavita-Fine Cooking).
Stay tuned to Cyclingnews next Tuesday for our next weekly edition of race recaps and previews of what’s ahead in the North American road racing scene.