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Small claims women's Tour of California circuit race

Carmen Small (Specialized-lululemon) took the bunch sprint victory at the Women’s Invitational Circuit Race on Sunday. She caught and passed Coryn Rivera (UnitedHealthcare), who initiated the sprint, at the line. Brianna Walle (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) placed third.

"The first half of the race was animated," Small said. "I definitely felt the wind through the start-finish and it was a long sprint, so I had to keep that in mind coming into the last lap. UHC and Colavita did a good job of bringing things back. We were pretty aggressive and that was our game plan going into the race. I was supposed to save it for the second half and get ready for the sprint."

The elite women’s peloton lined up for the new women’s race that is held in conjunction with the men’s eight-day Tour of California. The women competed for 60 minutes on a roughly two-kilometer circuit in downtown Sacramento.

The race was aggressive from the start with Specialized-lululemon forcing many of the early-race attacks with former La Flèche Wallonne winner Evelyn Stevens and Redlands Bicycle Classic winner Tayler Wiles.

UnitedHealthcare came to the race with a young but proven sprinter, Rivera, and had no interest in joining any of the early moves. Rather the team kept the speed high at the front of the field in an attempt to hold the field together for a field sprint. The team’s Tour of San Luis winner Alison Powers stayed protected tucked in behind her teammates with Rivera on her wheel for much of the race.

The Canadian team’s Stephanie Roorda made a strong attempt to gain some time on the field, which was followed by counter attack from Robin Farina (Spy Giant Ride p/b MRI). Their efforts were short-lived and the field was back together with in seconds of each attack.

A small but strong breakaway formed mid-race that included Wiles, however, they were reabsorbed into the field with in half a lap. Roorda, a member of the decorated Canadian women’s team pursuit squad, took advantage of a lull in the field and made another move that gained about 10 seconds.

It took a combination of efforts between Specialized-lululemon and UnitedHealthcare to reduce the gap to Roorda, but she was eventually brought track into the field. Colavita-Fine Cooking and Spy Giant Ride p/b MRI made some counter attacks but everything was back together when the bell ran for eight laps to go.

Stevens made a strong move with seven laps to go and opened a sizable lead that was followed by her teammate Anna Grace Christiansen. Teams Colavita-Fine Cooking, UnitedHealthcare and the Canadian national team began to organize their lead outs with six laps to go, making it even more difficult for any attacks to stick.

Late-race moves came from Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies, a team that had been relatively quiet during the early part of the race. The Canadian national team, Tibco-To The Top and Vanderkitten Racing also sent riders on final attacks during the closing laps.

With one lap to go, Wiles and Small led the field through the start-finish line, and UnitedHealthcare set up their train directly behind followed by Tibco-To the Top and Colavita-Fine Cooking.

Powers started the lead out and sprint on the final stretch while her teammate Rivera waited to jump with 200m to go. She was caught and passed by Small, who took the victory at the line. "The lap was pretty long and there were a lot of people fighting for my teammate’s wheel," Rivera said. "I was trying to surf wheels and set myself in the right position without using too much energy. Coming out of the last corner, I was too far back and had to make up some ground."

The top three riders in the circuit race were given an automatic entry to tomorrow’s women’s time trial in Folsom.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Carmen Small (USA) Specialized-lululemon0:58:54
2Coryn Rivera (USA) UnitedHealthcare
3Brianna Walle (Can) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
4Erica Allar (USA) Colavita/Fine Cooking
5Jo Kiesanowski (NZl) Tibco / To The Top
6Alison Powers (USA) UnitedHealthcare
7Christina Gokey (USA) Spy Giant Ride p/b MRI
8Amy Cutler (USA) FCS/Zngine p/b Mr. Restore
9Tina Pic (USA) DNA Cycling p/b K4
10Gillian Carleton (USA) Vanderkitten
11Morgan Patton Brown (USA) BMW Development Team
12Colleen Gulick (USA) BMW Development Team
13Mary Maroon (USA) Twenty16
14Sofia Arreola (Mex) Twenty16
15Heather Fischer (GBr) DNA Cycling p/b K4
16Annie Ewart (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
17Judith Wexler (USA) Folsom Bike/Cervelo
18Kate Chilcott (NZl) Vanderkitten
19Kendall Ryan (USA) Tibco / To The Top
20Olivia Dillon (USA) Colavita/Fine Cooking
21Sarah Lough (USA) BMW Development Team
22Anika Todd (Can) Tibco / To The Top
23Mia Loquai (USA) FCS/Zngine p/b Mr. Restore
24Sha Zhao Xi (Chn) China Chongming-Giant-Champion System
25Anna Sanders (USA) FCS/Zngine p/b Mr. Restore
26Stephanie Roorda (Can) Canada0:00:07
27Anne Perry (USA) DNA Cycling p/b K4
28Caitlin LaRoche (USA) Monster Media Racing
29Amber Brown (USA) IRT-Reactor P/B JL Velo
30BrittLee Bowman (USA) Stan's Notubes P/B Endurancewerx
31Amber Vredenburg (USA) Jet Cycling
32Jie Jiang Xiu (Chn) China Chongming-Giant-Champion System
33Jasmin Glasser (Can) Tibco / To The Top
34Annie Foreman-Mackey (Can) Canada
35Sara Headley (USA) Tibco / To The Top0:00:12
36Laura Brown (Can) Colavita/Fine Cooking
37Beth Newell (USA) BMW Development Team
38Amber Gaffney (USA) Twenty16
39Kemi Garvin (USA) DNA Cycling p/b K40:00:16
40Rushlee Buchanan (NZl) UnitedHealthcare
41Heather Ross (USA) Threshold Sports
42Erica Zaveta (USA) FCS/Zngine p/b Mr. Restore
43Mara Abbott (USA) UnitedHealthcare
44Tayler Wiles (USA) Specialized-lululemon0:00:18
45Robin Farina (USA) Spy Giant Ride p/b MRI0:00:43
46Korina Huizar (NZl) Vanderkitten
47Evelyn Stevens (USA) Specialized-lululemon
48Lindsay Bayer (Irl) Colavita/Fine Cooking
49Kimberly Fong (USA) Threshold Sports0:01:26
50Anna Grace Christiansen (USA) Specialized-lululemon0:01:32
51Heather Lipana (USA) Folsom Bike/Cervelo0:01:43
52Emily Thurston (USA) Threshold Sports
53Mary-Ellen Ash (USA) Metromint
54Erica Grief (USA) IRT-Reactor P/B JL Velo0:01:46
55Allison Beveridge (Can) Canada0:01:47
56Diane Moug (Can) Folsom Bike/Cervelo0:01:48
57Catherine Desserault (Can) Canada0:02:01
58Jessica Cerra (USA) Spy Giant Ride p/b MRI0:02:38
59Fiona Strouts (Can) Vanderkitten0:02:50
60Jessica Cutler (USA) FCS/Zngine p/b Mr. Restore
61Eileen Mazzochette (USA) Metromint0:03:30
62Alison Tetrick (USA) Twenty160:03:49
63Liza Rachetto (USA) Vanderkitten0:04:31
64Jennifer Whalen (USA) Spy Giant Ride p/b MRI0:04:53
65Martina Patella (USA) IRT-Reactor P/B JL Velo0:04:55

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