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Women's news shorts: Armstrong comes out of retirement for Pan Am Championships

Kristin Armstrong comes out of retirement to race Pan Am Continental Championships individual time trial

Kristin Armstrong, former two-time Olympic gold medalist and world champion, will come out of retirement to compete in the 2015 Pan Am Continental Road Championships held from May 5-10 in Leon, Mexico. Armstrong retired from professional bike racing three years ago.

"I am honored to have been selected as a member of the U.S. Pan American Championship Team and am thrilled to be representing Team USA in my first race back," Armstrong said. "Let the journey begin!"

USA Cycling announced its roster on Tuesday to include Armstrong and Carmen Small for the individual time trial. Small will also compete in the road race with Lauren Hall and Coryn Rivera. “We have a tremendous team,” said Jim Miller, Vice President of Athletics for USA Cycling. "And Kristin’s return to Team USA strengthens our medal potential in Mexico."

Armstrong won Olympic gold medals in 2008 in Beijing and in 2012 in London. She also won time trial world titles in 2006 and 2009.

Velocio-SRAM 1-2 overall at Energiewacht Tour

Not only did Velocio-SRAM snag their first season victory in the stage 3 team time trial at the Energiewacht Tour, they went on to secure the top two places in the overall classification upon the event’s conclusion on Sunday.

Lisa Brennauer, the current time trial world champion, won the overall title by nine seconds ahead of teammate Trixi Worrack and Christine Majerus (Boels Dolmans Cycling Team).

The team won the stage 2a 14.7-kilometre team time trial, not surprising as they are the three-time world champions in the discipline. During this stage, Velocio-SRAM took over the top five places in the overall with Worrack in the lead. Barbara Guarischi took over the lead during stage 2b. Brennauer took over the top spot when she placed third in a breakaway sprint on stage 3 and held her lead into the stage 4 finale.

"I am really happy to take the win. We just wanted to keep the jersey in our team, it did not matter who would wear it at the end, but of course I’m happy to have it. Trixi was so strong all week and today she was amazing. If she was not there today with me then it would have been very difficult for me to keep the distance to [Anna] Van der Breggen to a minimum. It was such a tough week of racing and the team was great," Brennauer said.
The team’s director Ronny Lauke added, "It was a challenging week and we had to use our strength in numbers from the TTT results to defend the jersey all week. The whole team rode really well to defend the lead, especially in yesterday’s and again today’s stage. It was a tough tour and we are very pleased with the team work, the TTT victory and then to finish 1, 2 on GC is very impressive."

D'hoore and Longo-Borghini move up in World Cup standings ahead of Flèche Wallone

Jolien D'hoore (Wiggle-Honda) has moved back into the lead of the World Cup standings after placing second in the third round at the women’s Tour of Flanders in April. The Belgian Champion took the early lead after winning the opening round’s Ronde Van Drenthe but lost the lead to Lizzie Armitstead (Boels-Doelmans), who won the second round in Cittiglio.

D’hoore is now leading with with 220 points, while Armitstead is in second with 195 points. "I didn’t expect it!" D’hoore said. "Lizzie was not in the top five so I took it. We’ll see how that will go!"

Tour of Flanders winner Elisa Longo Borghini (Wiggle-Honda) also move up from eighth to third and now has 190 points. The Italian was also fourth in the World Cup in Cittiglio.

The fourth World Cup will be held in La Flèche Wallonne Féminine on April 22 in Belgium.

World Cup standings after round three

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jolien D'hoore (Bel) Wiggle Honda220pts
2Elizabeth Armitstead (GBr) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team195
3Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Wiggle Honda190
4Anna Van Der Breggen (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team170
5Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Fra) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team140
6Annemiek Van Vleuten (Ned) Bigla Pro Cycling Team126
7Eleonora Van Dijk (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team120
8Alena Amialiusik (Blr) Velocio - SRAM110
9Elena Cecchini (Ita) Lotto Soudal Ladies104
10Amy Pieters (Ned) Team Liv-Plantur100

Abbott tops NRC after Redlands win; American reminisces about Oak Glen victory

Wiggle-Honda's Mara Abbott won the overall title at the Redlands Bicycle Classic that wrapped up on Sunday in Redlands, California. The five-stage race was the opener for the National Racing Calendar (NRC). Abbott placed second to Alison Jackson (Twenty16 p/b Sho-Air) in stage 1 and earned 20 points, won stage 3 atop Oak Glen for 30 points and the overall title for an additional 200 points, totaling a 250-point lead.

Amber Neben, who opened her road season at the San Dimas Stage race two weeks ago, is now sitting in second place with 170 points after placing second in stage 3 and placing second overall. Twenty16 p/b Sho-Air’s Allie Dragoo is in third place with 144 points after she placed third in stages 2 and 3, and third overall.

Abbott, a two-time Giro Rosa winner, competed for the team LA Sweat during the Redlands Bicycle Classic. Although she is considered one of the top climbers and general classification riders in the country (and world), she had never won the Redlands Bicycle Classic. In the past, she had finished second overall three times. She had won the Oak Glen stage back in 2007, which was her first professional victory.

"This was a really special victory for me because I won Oak Glen in 2007 – which was the last time that they held this stage – it was my very first professional win," Abbott added. "It’s a cool race. It’s one of those ones where the town loves having you there. It’s a cool race."

National Racing Calendar top 10 after Redlands Bicycle Classic

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mara Abbott (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling250pts
2Amber Neben (USA) Visit Dallas Cycling p/b Noise170
3Allie Dragoo (USA) Twenty16 p/b Sho-Air144
4Brianna Walle (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies130
5Katharine Hal (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling124
6Jasmin Glaesser (Can) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies110
7Alison Jackson (Can) Twenty16 p/b Sho-Air100
8Flavia Oliveira (Col) Visit Dallas Cycling p/b Noise80
9Coryn Rivera (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling66
10Miranda Griffiths (USA) BMW p/b Happy Tooth Dental60

Novant Health Invitational Criterium win increases Barnes' NCC lead

Hannah Barnes increased her lead in women’s individual standings for the National Criterium Calendar (NCC) when she won her second consecutive round at the Novant Health Invitational Criterium on Saturday in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Briton had taken the early lead when she won the series’ opener at the Sunny King Criterium at the end of March.

She is leading with 240 points (120 points for each win) while Erica Allar (Colavita-Bianchi p/b Fine Cooking) is sitting in second place with 144 points and Tina Pic (Pepper Palace p/b The Happy Tooth) is in third with 114. Allar placed third in both rounds and Pic placed fourth in the Novant Health Invitational Criterium and seventh at the Sunny King Criterium.

Barnes' team UnitedHealthcare is also leading the women’s team standings with 438 points ahead of runner-up team ISCorp Cycilng p/b Smart Choice MRI’s 267 points and Colavita-Bianchi p/b Fine Cooking is in third with 217.

The NCC series will continue with round three at the Dana Point Grand Prix of Cycling on May 3 in California.

National Criterium Calendar top 10 after Novant Health Invitational Criterium

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Hannah Barnes (Gbr) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling240pts
2Erica Allar (USA) Colavita-Bianchi p/b Fine Cooking144
3Tina Pic (USA) Pepper Palace p/b The Happy Tooth114
4Samantha Schneider (USA) ISCorp p/b Smart Choice MRI96
5Coryn Rivera (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling90
6Jamie Gilgen (USA) (Rise Racing p/b Cyclepath Woodbridge90
7Cari Higgins (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling90
8Kendall Ryan (USA) Tibco-To the Top90
9Skylar Schneider (USA) ISCorp p/b Smart Choice MRI87
10Yussely Soto (USA) ISCorp p/b Smart Choice MRI84

Batty wins again in Bonelli Park, leads Pro XCT series

Emily Batty (Trek Factory Racing) has won the third round of the USA Cycling Pro XCT at Bonelli Park in San Dimas, California on Saturday. She once again beat her compatriot Catharine Pendrel (Luna) by one second and Jenny Rissveds (Scott-ODLO Mtb Racing Team) by 17 seconds.

"I’ve worked so hard leading up to this," Batty said. "Hats off to Catharine for not making it easy! I really just had fun with it, throwing the rhythm off and dictating how I wanted it to go. I threw an attack in the corner and left it all out there."

Batty also won the Bonelli Park XC event, the opening round, held March 14. She beat Luna Pro Team teammates Pendrel and Georgia Gould.

Nash took the win in round two at Fontana XC held on March 21 in Fontana. She soloed to the win just ahead of the two-up sprint between her teammate Gould in second and Batty in third place.

Batty is leading the series with 200 points ahead of Pendrel with 150 points and Gould with 125.

The fourth round will be at the Subaru Sea Otter Classic in Monterey, California on April 18.

USA Cycling Pro Cross-Country Tour standings after round three

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Emily Batty (Can) Trek Factory Racing200pts
2Catharine Pendrel (Can) Luna Pro Team150
3Georgia Gould (USA) Luna Pro Team125
4Katerina Nash (Cze) Luna Pro Team114
5Erin Huck (USA) Scott 3Rox Racing71
6Chloe Woodruff (USA) Stans NoTubes65
7Larissa Connors (USA) Ridebiker Alliance62
8Lea Davison (USA) Specialized Racing44
9Jenny Rissveds (Swe) Scott-ODLO Mtb Racing Team40
10Sandra Walter (USA) Liv Cycling30

Video: Tiffany Cromwell video diary - part four: Behind the scenes at the Tour of Flanders

In the latest installment of Tiffany Cromwell's video diary for Cyclingnews, the 26-year-old takes us behind the scenes with Velocio-SRAM at the Tour of Flanders.  

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