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Women's news shorts: Armstrong, Abbott to race women’s USA Pro Challenge

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Kristin Armstrong (Twenty16 p/b Sho-Air)

Kristin Armstrong (Twenty16 p/b Sho-Air) (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/
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Mara Abbott (Wiggle Honda)

Mara Abbott (Wiggle Honda) (Image credit: Emory Ball/
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Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Raboliv) was all smiles at the finish

Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Raboliv) was all smiles at the finish (Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Big things are expected of Clara Hughes in 2012

Big things are expected of Clara Hughes in 2012 (Image credit: VeloDramatic)
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Rebecca Fahringer (JAM Fund / NCC)

Rebecca Fahringer (JAM Fund / NCC) (Image credit:
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Lucinda Brand celebrates winning stage 3

Lucinda Brand celebrates winning stage 3 (Image credit: Sean Robinson/Velofocus)

Armstrong, Abbott to race inaugural women’s USA Pro Challenge

Organisers of the inaugural women’s USA Pro Challenge have announced the 12 teams that will be competing in the three-day event held from August 21-23. Among the starters are two-time Olympic gold medallist Kristin Armstrong (Twenty16 p/b Sho-Air) and two-time Giro Rosa winner Mara Abbott, who will guest ride for the Amy D. Foundation.

The 12 teams include Twenty16 p/b Sho-Air, Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies, UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team, BMW p/b Happy Tooth Dental, Pepper Palace Pro Cycling p/b The Happy Tooth, Team Tibco-SVB, Visit Dallas p/b Noise4Good, Colavita/Bianchi p/b Fine Cooking, DNA Cycling p/b K4, Colorado Women's Cycling Project p/b Spark, Fearless Femme p/b Haute Wheels Racing and the Amy D. Foundation.

The women’s race will start with an individual time trial in Breckenridge on August 21. Stage 1 will start in Loveland and end in Fort Collins on August 22, and stage 3 will be held in Golden on August 23. The USA Pro Challenge organizers will offer equal prize money as the men.

Rabo-Liv extends with Brand, van der Breggen and Gillow

Rabo-Liv has offered contract extensions to Lucinda Brand, Anna van der Breggen and Shara Gillow for the 2016, and all three have accepted their new terms.

Dutch time trial champion, Van der Breggen, won the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, La Flèche Wallonne Féminine, La Course by Le Tour de France, and took overall wins at the Giro Rosa and Elsy Jacobs, along with stage wins at the Energiewacht Tour. 

Dutch road champion, Brand, has also had a successful season with two stage wins at the Giro Rosa, a stage win at Energiewacht Tour and second at the Sparkassen Giro World Cup. "I'm satisfied with what I have and do within the team. I'm captain but also get the opportunity to go for own success," Brand said.

Ferrand-Prévot wins Windham World Cup; Neff maintains top overall UCI ranking

Pauline Ferrand-Prévot (Rabo-Liv) won her first mountain bike World Cup of the season in Windham, New York, on Sunday. The French champion returned to mountain biking from her road season last week where she placed third at the World Cup in Mont-Sainte-Anne in Canada.

Jolanda Neff (Stoeckli Pro Team) placed second to Ferrand-Prévot but maintained her overall lead in the UCI women’s standings. She has won three World Cups this season in Nové Mesto na Morave, Albstadt and Mont-Sainte-Anne.

Cross country UCI standings after Windham World Cup

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jolanda Neff (Switzerland)2446pts
2Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Norway)1807
3Catharine Pendrel (Canada)1552
4Maja Wloszczowska (Poland)1369
5Annika Langvad (Denmark)1366
6Yana Belomoina (Ukraine)1332
7Tanja Zakelj (Slovenia)1328
8Eva Lechner (Italy)1284
9Irina Kalentyeva (Russia)1260
10Emily Batty (Canada)1254

Amy D. Foundation to sponsor Fahringer for 2015/16 cyclo-cross season

Rebecca Fahringer is the recipient for the Amy D. Foundation’s sponsorship for the 2015/16 cyclo-cross season. The 26-year-old New Hampshire resident started racing in the sport in 2013. She won the cat 3 race at the Rapha Super Cross Gloucester and advanced to a cat 1 classification following US cyclo-cross nationals in January, where she placed 15th.

The Amy D. Foundation was started by Dan Dombroski in response to the tragic death of his sister and professional cyclist, Amy, who was involved in a training accident in October of 2013. He launched Amy D. Racing for the 2014-15 cyclo-cross season, with Erica Zaveta as the program’s first beneficiary.

“Amy D. Racing is designed to support a young woman that clearly has the passion, talent, and drive that my sister Amy possessed. We also look for an athlete who, with full support, could reach a new level in her cycling career,” Dan Dombroski said.

Fahringer is a former cross country racer and triathlete who earned her PhD in Geological Sciences at Brown University. She started competing in cyclo-cross in 2013 after the passing of Dombroski.

“Being selected for the Amy D. Racing program is really an honor. It means the foundation believes I will represent them well on and off the bike, which is hugely flattering. It means I will have the support I need to do my best, which is such a relief. This selection will really make sure I hold myself to the highest standards possible, and I am excited to see what the season brings.”

The Raleigh Clement Professional Cyclocross Team will host and support Fahringer to compete on the USA Cycling Professional Cyclo-cross Calendar (Pro CX) circuit. WickWërks, Clement Cycling, Raleigh Bicycles, Lazer Sport, TRP Brakes, and BikeFlights sponsor the program.

Eight women nominated to the inaugural Canadian Cycling Hall of Fame

Cycling Canada announced eight women nominated to the first year of the Canadian Cycling Hall of Fame. The ceremony will take place on October 9 and 10 at the Mattamy National Cycling Centre in Milton, Ontario.

There is a curated list of 21 nominated, male and female, former athletes and builders. The female nominations include Tanya Dubnicoff, Clara Hughes, Linda Jackson, Lori-Ann Muenzer, Marie-Helene Premont, Karen Strong, Alison Sydor and Kelly Ann Way.

Given that this is the first year of the Canadian Cycling Hall of Fame (HOF), the federation stated that it intends to indict up to 10 members this year and another 10 next year.

“The plan is to bring in a similar number in the second year to deal with the historical backlog and then move to a nomination process in the third year.

“The HOF will provide a historical context as well as inspire the current and future athletes to greater accomplishments.”

The final selections for 2015 will be made by the Cycling Canada Board of Directors based on the ranking by the working group and the public input provided through an online vote.

Atherton wins UCI Downhill World Cup overall title

Rachel Atherton (GT Factory Racing) won her fifth consecutive UCI downhill World Cup on Saturday in Windham, New York, and solidified her win of the overall series title in the process. The Briton secures the lead with 1410 points, second-placed Manon Carpenter (Madison Saracen Factory Team) has 899 points and their placed Tahnee Seagrave (FMD Racing) has 836. The final World Cup round will take place in Val di Sole on August 22.

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Kirsten Frattini is an honours graduate of Kinesiology and Health Science from York University in Toronto, Canada. She has been involved in bike racing from the grassroots level to professional cycling's WorldTour. She has worked in both print and digital publishing, and started with Cyclingnews as a North American Correspondent in 2006. Moving into a Production Editor's role in 2014, she produces and publishes international race coverage for all cycling disciplines, edits news and writes features. Currently the Women's Editor at Cyclingnews, Kirsten coordinates global coverage of races, news, features and podcasts about women's professional cycling.