Nicky Wangsgard (Roosters p/b Edge Composite Wheels)) took her chances in a late-race breakaway and won the Sunny King Criterium. She out paced her companions Carla Swart (Team Vera Bradley) who placed second and Jackie Crowell (Team Type 1) in third.
The event was one of the most spectator friendly of criteriums with a Red Diamond Jumbotron located at the finish line near the expo area along with an annual Red Diamond Restaurant Tour and festival held throughout the day. The sun shone on the women's field that lined up to start the race in the late afternoon.
Call ups included 2007 race winner Laura van Gilder (Mellow Mushroom), former US National Criterium Champion Theresa Cliff-Ryan (Colavita-Baci), Jackie Crowell (Team Type 1) and Robin Farina (Team Vera Bradley Foundation).
The pace rose to blistering speeds as race organizers rang the bell for several cash primes in the opening laps. Things slowed down and the peloton spread wide across the road in anticipation of a flurry of attacks from riders who wanted to start an early move.
A crash through the third corner caused the peloton to splinter as riders made their way to the mechanic's pit. Two riders launched themselves of the front from teams TIBCO and Vera Bradley Foundation.
The momentum of the field reeled in the two escapees and Team Vera Bradley Foundation assumed position at the front. Carla Swart (Vera Bradley Foundation) took a solo flyer and held a nearly 10-second gap ahead of the field for four laps. Jackie Crowell (Team Type 1) put forth a strong effort to bridge across.
Swart picked up several 100 dollar primes during her time off the front. Crowell made contact with her when there was 40-minute remaining in the women's 60-minute race.
Colavita-Baci tried to close down the gap to the breakaway riders in an attempt to hold the field together for its prominent sprinter Theresa Cliff-Ryan. Its all-rounder Andrea Dvorak used her top-form to close the gap.
The peloton was back together and spread across the road with Colavita-Baci sitting at the front. The next move came from Robin Farina (Vera Bradley Foundation) who clearly recharged her battery after the first effort.
Colavita-Baci put enough pressure on the front of the field to bring Farina back. Team Type 1 and Colavita-Baci did much of the pace setting on the front mid-race.
Sprinters Laura van Gilder (Mellow Mushroom), Theresa Cliff-Ryan (Colavita-Baci) and Erica Allar (Vera Bradley Foundation) sat protected and sheltered in the middle of the pack waiting for a shot at the final sprint.
Crowell counter attacked her teammate that resulted in the formation of a three-rider break away with Swart and Wangsgard.
The breakaway gained a sizable lead with five laps to go and turned out to be the winning move. Team Vera Bradley Foundation liked its chances with Swart and controlled the pace at the front of the field to make sure no riders tried to bridge across. Notably missing from the break were the Colavita-Baci and Kenda teams.
Wangsgard and Crowell did the much of the work to keep the break away rolling fast while Swart sat back, checking behind to negotiate the break's chances of staying away from the peloton during the final two laps.
With one lap to go the trio's pace slowed as they played a game of cat and mouse approximately 20-seconds in front of the field. Farina and Samantha Schneider (TIBCO) attempted to bridge across on the last lap.
Wangsgard attacked before the final turn and sprinted to the finish line. She held off the her breakaway companions to take the win by a slim margin ahead of Swart and Crowell. Chasers Farina and Schneider placed fourth and fifth respectively.
|1||Nichole Wangsgard (USA) Roosters p/b Edge Composite Wh||1:24:14|
|2||Carla Swart (USA) Team Vera Bradley Foundation|
|3||Jacquelyn Crowell (USA) Team Type 1||0:00:04|
|4||Schneider Samantha (USA) Team TIBCO/To The Top||0:00:17|
|5||Robin Farina (USA) Team Vera Bradley Foundation|
|6||Erica Allar (USA) Team Vera Bradley Foundation||0:00:22|
|7||Laura van Gilder (USA) Mellow Mushroom|
|8||Jacqueline Kurth (USA) Team Kenda|
|9||Kori Seehafer (USA) Team Type 1|
|10||Katherine Bates (Aus) Colavita/Baci Pro Cycling||0:00:23|
|11||Nicole Vincent Jordan (USA) Performance Bicycle Racing|
|12||Carrie Cash-Wootten (USA) Team Vera Bradley Foundation|
|13||Anna Young (USA) MVP Health Care Cycling|
|14||Amity Elliot (USA) Team Kenda|
|15||Kate Veronneau (USA) Mellow Mushroom|
|16||Marie Rosado (USA)|
|17||Davis Kirsten (USA) Performance Bicycle Racing|
|18||Dana Martin (USA) Performance Bicyle Racing||0:00:24|
|19||Cheryl Fuller Muller (USA) Pedal Right Cycling Team|
|20||Shontell Gauthier (USA) Colavita/Baci Pro Cycling||0:00:25|
|21||Ashley James (USA) Team Kenda|
|22||Alexis Brown (USA) NGCA-Atlroof.com|
|23||Priscilla Cazer (USA) Carve||0:00:26|
|24||Deb Whitmore (USA) BMW/Bianchi||0:00:28|
|25||Andrea Dvorak (USA) COLAVITA/BACI presented by COO||0:00:29|
|26||Katherine Ross (USA)|
|27||Michele Moulton (USA) PCP|
|28||Colleen Paine (USA) Pedal Right|
|29||Melissa Petty (USA) Team Krystal Elite|
|30||Kitty Wickes (USA) Team Cycleworks p/b HDR|
|31||Jennifer Schuble (USA)|
|32||Katie Curtis (USA) Team Kenda|
Latest on Cyclingnews
Chris Froome: Bernal says he will support me at 2020 Tour de France34-year-old has sights set on record-equalling fifth yellow jersey
Plaza retires aged 39 after Il LombardiaSpaniard won stages at the Tour de France and Vuelta a España during 19-year career
Basso Palta: First Ride ReviewAs capable on the rough stuff as on the open dirt road, the Basso Palta is one of the raciest gravel bikes on the market
Eddy Merckx in hospital with 'serious head injury' after crashBelgian newspaper reports five-time Tour de France winner crashed while riding with friends