Elite Women: Anniston, Alabama
One of the event’s marquee contests, the women’s race began under the lights of downtown Anniston, and was controlled from the gun by Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies; however when it came to the finish line Erica Allar of Ride Clean / Patentit.com came away the winner.
After an initial flurry of attacks in the 60-minute NCC event, a break of five riders, made up of Allar, Optum Pro Cycling riders Jade Wilcoxson, Annie Ewart and Emma Grant, and former Sunny King Criterium winner Laura Van Gilder, were able to get away from the field. The group built a steady gap, but as the lap countdown began so did the testing from the leaders.
"Every year it's a hard race,” said Van Gilder, a local crowd favorite racing for Mellow Mushroom “It's one I really want to win, but so do thirty other women. This year with Optum having such a strong group of women I knew we'd have our work cut out for us. In that first breakaway I thought this is a long way from the finish. I don't know if they're going to like our chances. It reworked itself and I was there again."
In the main bunch, three Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies riders controlled the front, preventing any bridge attempts. The strung out five-rider group came into the uphill finish straight together but Allar’s kick proved too great for the Optum trio as she finished several bike lengths ahead of Optum’s Wilcoxson. Wilcoxson placed second and Laura Van Gilder of the Mellow Mushroom team slotted third.
"I was out numbered three to one and Laura Van Gilder and I took turns covering Optum's attacks and counter attacks," said 2012 Sunny King pro women's race winner Erica Allar of Ride Clean / Patentit.com. Everything really clicked today. Physically I was strong, mentally I was strong; which is great since I flatted my rear tubular eight minutes before the race start, so I had to get a last minute wheel change. For everything to come together and get the win was great."
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team|
|1||Erica Allar (RideClean / PatentIt.com)|
|2||Jade Wilcoxson (Optum Pro Cycling)|
|3||Laura Van Gilder (Mellow Mushroom)|
|4||Annie Ewart (Optum Pro Cycling)|
|5||Emma Grant (Optum Pro Cycling)|
|6||Sarah Fader (Pepper Palace/SpinTech Training)|
|7||Courteney Lowe (Optum Pro Cycling)|
|8||Lex Albrecht (Oprum Pro Cycling)|
|9||Cheryl Fuller Muller (Louis Garneau Factory Team)|
|10||Anna Barensfeld (Optum Pro Cycling)|
|11||Hanan Alves-Hyde (RideClean / PatentIt.com)|
|12||Meghan Korol (Pepper Palace/Spin-Tech Training)|
|13||Ann Koehler (Moody Evergreen)|
|14||Christina Gokey-Smith (NOW and Novartis for MS)|
|15||Hannah Miller (Pain Pathways)|
|16||Amy Phillips (Mystique)|
|17||Marianne Holt (Pain Pathways)|
|18||Ashley James (NOW and Novartis for MS)|
|19||Rebecca Larson (Team Type 1-SANOFI)|
|20||Debbie Milne (Absolute Racing/ MSMOC)|
|21||Katherine Williams (Team Belladium)|
|22||Kathryn Clark (Team Kenda presented by Geargrinder)|
|23||Colleen Paine (Team Kenda p/b Geargrinder)|
|24||Jennifer Schuble (US Paralympics)|
|25||Lauren De Crescenzo (Team Kenda p/b Geargrinder)|
|26||Addyson 'Addy' Albershardt (NOW and Novartis for MS)|
|27||Shannon Parrish (Team Kenda presented by Geargrinder)|
|28||Beth Hollingsworth (VeloCity Pro Cycle - Tuscaloosa)|
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