Theresa Cliff-Ryan (Colavita-Forno D’Asolo) won her second consecutive victory at the Presbyterian Hospital Invitational Criterium held on Saturday in Charlotte, North Carolina. She out-paced her rival sprinters in a bunch kick to the line ahead of Laura Van Gilder (Mellow Mushroom) in second and Erica Allar (RideClean p/b PatentIt.com) in third.
“My team did an excellent job tonight,” Cliff-Ryan said. “Our race plan was to have it come down to a sprint and they did it. When every breakaway was off the front, they reeled it in nice and steady. All I had to do was sprint, that’s my job and my team looked after me.”
Cliff-Ryan led the Pro-Cat 1,2 women’s line-up competing for a $25,000 purse. The race is a valuable member of the National Racing Calendar (NRC) and the seventh race of the USA CRITS. The women lined up under still air and above 100 degrees, turning the criterium into a race of attrition.
“The heat played a factor tonight but everyone was dealing with the same conditions, so as long as you hydrated, it was OK,” Cliff-Ryan said.
Other riders called to the line included US National Road Champion Robin Farina (Now-Novartis for MS), Erica Allar (RideClean p/b PatentIt.com), Laura Van Gilder (Mellow Mushroom), Samantha Schneider (TIBCO-To the Top), Lauren Tamayo (Peanut Butter & Co Twenty12) and Kelly Benjamin (Colavita-Forno D’Asolo), among others.
“I’m here with a two-person team and we ride like a full team,” Van Gilder said of her teammate Kristin LaSasso. “This has always been a great race and it always draws a competitive field. We are lucky to have this race.”
Racers contested a dumbbell-shaped course, coming through the finish area twice per lap and four corners on each end. The Pro-Cat 1, 2 women competed for a total of 40 km. The race benefited the Brain Tumor Fund for the Carolinas.
Race organizers offered a $500.00 prime on the first lap won by Anne Samplonius (Now-Novartis for MS). A second prime for $250.00 was announced several laps later, won by Farina.
A crash early in the race caused nearly a third of the field either to go down or get caught behind. Those riders were given a free lap out of the mechanic pit on the next lap. However, race organizers decided to neutralize the race to allow all riders who were injured to be removed safely form the course. Emma Mackie (TIBCO-To the Top) bore the brunt of the accident and was unable to restart the race.
The women restarted the race with 13 laps to go. Organizers offered another $500.00 prime won by Farina. The mid-race prime included ten points toward the USA CRITS won by Erika Graves (Now-Novartis for MS). The next two laps offered a prime for $250.00 each won by Kristin LaSasso (Mellow Mushroom) and Meredith Miller (TIBCO-To the Top). Van Gilder won the next prime, no doubt a test to figure out the final sprint for a potential race win.
Miller continued on solo and held a small lead ahead of the field for one full lap. The field saw two laps to go and the field was intact. The field rode through the start-finish line with one lap to go with Colavita-Forno D’Asolo and Tibco-To the Top. Van Gilder sat in good position. TIBCO-To the Top moved into the lead and drove the pace with half a lap to go, shattering the field nearly in half.
“I tucked in behind the Colavita riders and TIBCO riders,” Van Gilder said. “I stayed at the front because that is the safest place to be. I wanted to keep my eye out for anyone that was going to jump. It worked out. I was able to hold my spot and I’m pleased with the race.”
Cliff-Ryan came around the sprinters in the field with 200 metres to go to solidify her second consecutive victory. Van Gilder hung on for second place ahead of Allar in third, Joelle Numainville in fourth and Tamayo in fifth.
|1||Theresa Cliff-Ryan (Colavita/Forno d'Asolo p/b Cooking Light)||1:01:04|
|2||Laura Van Gilder (Mellow Mushroom)|
|3||Erica Allar (RideClean p/b PatentIt.com)|
|4||Joelle Numainville (Team TIBCO/To The Top)|
|5||Lauren Tamayo (Peanut Butter & Co TWENTY12)||0:00:01|
|6||Kacey Manderfield (Pure Energy Cycling)|
|7||Robin Farina (NOW and Novartis for MS)|
|8||Kendall Ryan (Team TIBCO/To The Top)||0:00:02|
|9||Janel Holcomb (Colavita/Forno d'Asolo p/b Cooking Light)|
|10||Amy McGuire (Wheelworks Racing)|
|11||Sarah Fader (Pain Pathways Women's Team)|
|12||Kristen Lasasso (Mellow Mushroom)|
|13||Leah Kirchmann (Colavita/Forno d'Asolo p/b Cooking Light)||0:00:03|
|14||Samantha Schneider (Team TIBCO/To The Top)||0:00:08|
|15||Lindsay Bayer (XO Communications/Battley Harley-Davidson)||0:00:12|
|16||Lauren Hall (Colavita/Forno d'Asolo p/b Cooking Light)|
|17||Megan Guarnier (Team TIBCO/To The Top)||0:00:13|
|18||Sara Tussey (Hincapie / Green Creation)||0:00:16|
|19||Jennifer Rasmusson (Team Kenda p/b Geargrinder)|
|20||Jacqueline Kurth (Team Kenda p/b Geargrinder)||0:00:17|
|21||Jennifer Wheeler (Team TIBCO/To the Top)||0:00:21|
|22||Devon Gorry (NOW and Novartis for MS)||0:00:28|
|23||Erika Graves (NOW and Novartis for MS)|
|24||Marianne Holt (Pain Pathways Women's Team)||0:02:14|
|25||Laura Parsons (Primal Rose Bandits)|
|26||Kristin Sanders (Colavita/Forno d'Asolo p/b Cooking Light)|
|27||Andrea Dvorak (Colavita/Forno d'Asolo p/b Cooking Light)|
|28||Peggy Legrand (US Military)|
|29||Heather Logan-Sprenger (Colavita/Forno d'Asolo p/b Cooking Light)||0:02:56|
|29||Meredith Miller (Team TIBCO/To The Top)|
|31||Addyson Albershardt (NOW and Novartis for MS)||0:03:14|
|32||Colleen Paine (Team Kenda p/b Geargrinder)||0:03:44|
|33||Jacqueline Blair (Hincapie / Green Creation)||0:05:15|
|33||Elizabeth Morse Hill (Primal Rose Bandits)|
|33||Cheryl Fuller-Muller (LG Factory Team)|
|33||Colleen Hayduk (Pure Energy Cycling)|
|37||Katherine Shields (Pain Pathways Women's Team)|
|37||Klara Rossouw (ABRC)|
|37||Emily Shields (Pain Pathways Women's Team)|
|37||Erica Chard (ABRC)|
|37||Kathryn Clark (Team Kenda p/b Geargrinder)|
|43||Brittany MacDonald (Vanderkitten Racing)||0:12:15|
|DNF||Kelly Benjamin (Colavita/Forno d'Asolo p/b Cooking Light)|
|DNF||Maria Luisa Calle Williams (Colombian National Team)|
|DNF||Lenore Pipes (Gaum Cycling Team)|
|DNF||Anne Samplonius (NOW and Novartis for MS)|
|DNF||Thea Kent (Pain Pathways Women's Team)|
|DNF||Cinthia Lehner (Pain Pathways Women's Team)|
|DNF||Kate Ross (Pain Pathways Women's Team)|
|DNF||Hannah Coughlin (Team Kenda p/b Geargrinder)|
|DNF||Stacey Jensen (Team Kenda p/b Geargrinder)|
|DNF||Emma Mackie (Team TIBCO/To The Top)|
|DNF||Jennifer Pope (Vanderkitten Racing)|
|DNF||Laura Cook (Vanderkitten Racing)|
|DNF||Ali Ingram (Vanderkitten Racing)|
|DNF||Debbie Milne (MSMOC)|
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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 cycling from the community and 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 men's and women's races including Spring Classics, Grand Tours, World Championships and Olympic Games, and writes and edits news and features. As the Women's Editor at Cyclingnews, Kirsten also coordinates and oversees the global coverage of races, news, features and podcasts about women's professional cycling.
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