Elite Women: Philadelphia
It was a mission completed for Evelyn Stevens (Specialized-lululemon), who successful defended her title at the Philadelphia Cycling Classic on Sunday in Pennsylvania. She climbed to victory atop Manayunk Wall ahead of a runner-up Lex Albrecht (Twenty16 Pro Cycling), who was quickly gaining ground but ran out of road before the finish line, and Lauren Hall (Optum presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies) in third.
"My team laid it all on the line for me," Stevens said. "When I went, I knew that I had to completely empty my tank. I was not going to look back until I was over the finish line. I had an idea that I had won with 100 meters to go, but I didn't want to get cocky, so I had no victory salute because I wanted to make sure that I had it. On these kinds of courses, you can win or lose in the last 25 meters. When your team does everything for you — it's really special."
Triple national champion, Alison Powers (UnitedHealthcare), reaped the rewards of being in an all-day solo breakaway and secured both the climber and sprint competitions. Kristabel Doebel-Hickok (Tibco-To The Top) earned the event's Miji Reoch Award for being the top under-23 rider.
The more the merrier on Manayunk
Some 140 cyclists from around the world lined up at the top of Manayunk Wall for the second edition, which was upgraded to UCI 1.1 status and one of two UCI events for women in the US. Fans increasingly gathered at the top of the climb with beer in-hand and ready to celebrate the annual event.
The race started with what has been typically dubbed “the fall from the wall,” a fast and technical descent to the first intermediate sprint where Niman Song (China Chongming-Giant-Champion System) took the full points. The race went over Strawberry Mansion, descended back onto Kelly Drive and over to Lemon Hill where Alena Amialiusik (Astana) picked up the first set of QOM points. She went on to climb over Manayunk and take the second set of QOM points.
The race descended Manayunk for the start of the second lap and Anna Stricker (Astana BePink) claimed the second intermediate sprint points. Powers made an impulsive attack and ended up gaining an immediate 35-second advantage, and with little effort from the main field to close it down, her lead bloomed to 1:10 minutes heading into the second climb over Manayunk.
"It was a spur-of-the-moment move,” Powers said. “We planned to have me go later in the race. There was a gap after the sprint points and then I was by myself. I was going full gas. I wanted to stay out as long as possible and allow my teammates to save their legs. It was a super bonus to get the sprint and QOM award."
Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies made a concerted attempt to get one of their riders across to Powers, sending off attack after attack during the next two laps but their efforts were dampened without the support of other teams.
"You have to save a bullet for Manayunk but with Alison up to road, that was the race," Hall said. "You can't let somebody get up the road and just expect them to come back. We really raced our bikes today. We wanted to bridge across to her but everyone sat on and nobody wanted to let us go."
Powers continued to pick up the full points at the intermediate sprint and at the QOMs on top of Lemon Hill and Manayunk on each lap. Teams Astana, Specialized-lululemon and Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies set a quick pace at the front of the field and reduced Powers's gap until she was back in the field before the penultimate climb over Manayunk, and the start of the last lap.
"You can't give Alison too much time but four laps on this course is hard," Stevens said. "I did think maybe she could do it because she's so good right now. It made people race. This is the kind of race where you need one big bullet. The more teams used their energy the more I could save it."
The field started the fifth and final lap intact with Astana doing the bulk of the pace-setting. UnitedHealthcare set Powers up to take the full set of QOM points on Lemon Hill and secure the category win.
Several attacks along with a seven-rider breakaway were short-lived on Kelly Drive and into main street Manayunk. Specialized-lululemon secured the first lead out train heading up the initial climb and through the technical chicane followed by Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies, Twenty16 Pro Cycling and UnitedHealthcare.
"The goal was for us to stay up front and my team did a great job today," Albrecht said. "We were hungry for the win today. The last climb is like a little race in itself. It was essential to be well positioned through the chicane to have a good start to the climb."
Stevens got a jump on the climb, which was packed with cheering fans, and raced her way to her second consecutive victory. Hall, who thought she had second place sewn up, was caught and passed by Albrecht near the top. "Evie got a jump on me and I kept her the same distance up and then Lex came out of nowhere and was closing the gap to Evie. I'm happy with my results and our team did an awesome job. Optum attacked their butts off today."
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Evelyn Stevens (USA) Specialized-lululemon||2:28:57|
|2||Lex Albrecht (CAN)|
|3||Lauren Hall (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies|
|4||Alena Amialiusik (BLR) Astana BePink|
|5||Flavia Oliveira (BRA)|
|6||Lizzie Williams (AUS)|
|7||Mara Abbott (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Women’s Team|
|8||Sharon Laws (GBR) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Women’s Team|
|9||Joanne Kiesanowski (NZL) Team TIBCO|
|10||Mandy Heintz (USA)|
|11||Kristabel Doebel-Hickok (USA) Team TIBCO|
|12||Janel Holcomb (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies|
|13||Dalia Muccioli (ITA) Astana BePink|
|14||Jessica Cutler (USA)|
|15||Amanda Miller (USA) Team TIBCO|
|16||Mary Zider (USA)|
|17||Laura Brown (CAN)|
|18||Amy Charity (USA)|
|19||Lauren Komanski (USA)|
|20||Khristi Lay (CAN)|
|21||Tina Pic (USA)|
|22||Olivia Dillon (IRL)|
|23||Stephanie Roorda (CAN)|
|24||Ingrid Drexel (MEX) Forno d'Asolo-Astute|
|25||Miranda Griffiths (AUS)|
|26||Anna Sanders (USA)|
|27||Hannah Barnes (GBR) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Women’s Team|
|28||Patricia Schwager (SUI) Team TIBCO|
|29||Leah Kirchmann (CAN) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies|
|30||Jasmin Glaesser (CAN) Team TIBCO|
|31||Sara Headley (USA) Team TIBCO|
|32||Rushlee Buchanan (NZL) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Women’s Team|
|33||Laura Jorgensen (USA)|
|34||Cecillia Davis-Hayes (USA)|
|35||Niman Song (CHN)|
|36||Daiva Tuslaite (LTU) Forno d'Asolo-Astute|
|37||Kate Chilcott (NZL)|
|38||Alison Tetrick (USA)|
|39||Jade Wilcoxson (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies|
|40||Maura Kinsella (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies|
|41||Kathleen Lysakowski (USA)|
|42||Simona Frapporti (ITA) Astana BePink|
|43||Edita Janeliunaite (LTU) Forno d'Asolo-Astute|
|44||Carmen Small (USA) Specialized-lululemon||0:01:30|
|45||Tayler Wiles (USA) Specialized-lululemon||0:01:52|
|46||Lauren Tamayo (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Women’s Team|
|47||Alison Powers (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Women’s Team||0:01:59|
|48||Anna Zita Maria Stricker (ITA) Astana BePink|
|49||Annie Foreman-Mackey (CAN)||0:04:30|
|50||Jessenia Meneses (COL) Forno d'Asolo-Astute||0:03:16|
|51||Ally Stacher (USA) Specialized-lululemon||0:04:57|
|52||Stephanie Wetzel (USA)||0:03:51|
|53||Abigail Mickey (USA)||0:04:19|
|54||Lauren Dagostino (USA)||0:07:39|
|55||Ivy Audrain (USA)||0:04:30|
|56||Michelle Miller (USA)|
|57||Jessica Chong (USA)|
|58||Emily Spence (CAN)|
|59||Xi Sha Zhao (CHN)|
|60||Alice Algisi (ITA) Astana BePink||0:04:57|
|61||Silvia Valsecchi (ITA) Astana BePink||0:08:22|
|62||Lenore Pipes (GUM)||0:05:35|
|63||Beth Ruiz (USA)|
|64||Carrie Cartmill (CAN)|
|65||Ellen Watters (CAN)|
|66||Georgina Beech (AUS)||0:07:39|
|67||Colleen Gulick (USA)|
|68||Kerrin Strevell (USA)|
|69||Hongyu Liang (CHN)|
|70||Arley Kemmerer (USA)|
|71||Nancy Labbe-Giguere (CAN)|
|72||Kathleen Wolfkuhle (USA)|
|73||Joanie Caron (CAN)|
|74||Christina Birch (USA)|
|75||Adrianne Provost (CAN)|
|76||Whitney Schultz (USA)||0:08:01|
|77||Lindsay Bayer (USA)|
|78||Elizabeth Bonilla (USA)|
|79||Amy Bradley (AUS)|
|80||Amber Gaffney (USA)||0:08:22|
|81||Gillian Carleton (CAN)|
|82||Patricia Buerkle (USA)||1 lap|
|83||Elle Anderson (USA)|
|84||Karlee Gendron (CAN)|
|85||Brittlee Bowman (USA)|
|86||Emily Underwood (USA)|
|87||Morgan Patton Brown (USA)|
|88||Brianna Walle (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies|
|89||Laura Van Gilder (USA)|
|90||Leslie Lupien (USA)|
|91||Amy Cutler (USA)|
|92||Jenny Rios (MEX)|
|93||Jessica Allen (AUS)|
|94||Andrea Brennan (USA)|
|95||Vanessa Drigo (SUI)|
|96||Raquel Miller (USA)|
|97||Erica Zaveta (USA)||2 laps|
|98||Erin Silliman (USA)|
|99||Rose Long (USA)|
|100||Amy Miner (USA)|
|101||Helen Hatch (USA)|
|102||Cheryl Fuller-Muller (USA)|
|103||Madeleine Mcconnell (CAN)|
|104||Fabienne Gérard (USA)|
|105||Deborah Leedale-Brown (USA)||3 laps|
|106||Lisa Vandivort (USA)|
|107||Kristie James (USA)|
|108||Kristin Lotito (USA)|
|109||Amélie Bruneau (CAN)|
|110||Emily Flynn (CAN)|
|111||Xiu Jie Jiang (CHN)|
|112||Karol-Ann Canuel (CAN) Specialized-lululemon||4 laps|
|113||Mia Loquai (USA)|
|114||Laura Darlington (AUS)|
|115||Aimee Layton (USA)|
|116||Kaitlyn Steeves (CAN)|
|117||Frances Morrison (USA)|
|118||Allyson Gillard (CAN)|
|119||Nikki Thiemann (USA)|
|DNF||Rachel Hallum-Montes (USA)|
|DNF||Tracey Cameron (CAN)|
|DNS||Allie Dragoo (USA)|
|DNS||Celia Riechel (USA|
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