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Winder solos to US road championship in Knoxville

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The 2019 USA Cycling Pro Road Championships elite women's road race podium (left to right): Coryn Rivera, Ruth Winder and Emma White

The 2019 USA Cycling Pro Road Championships elite women's road race podium (left to right): Coryn Rivera, Ruth Winder and Emma White (Image credit: Wil Matthews)
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The women's peloton in action at US Pro

The women's peloton in action at US Pro (Image credit: Wil Matthews)
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Ruth Winder's race-winning bike

Ruth Winder's race-winning bike (Image credit: Wil Matthews)
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Chloe Dygert, Emma White and Madeline Bemis on the U23 podium at US pro

Chloe Dygert, Emma White and Madeline Bemis on the U23 podium at US pro (Image credit: Wil Matthews)
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Sho-Air Twenty20 riders fuel up before the US Pro road race

Sho-Air Twenty20 riders fuel up before the US Pro road race (Image credit: Wil Matthews)
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Rally UHC riders discuss the race plan ahead of US Pro

Rally UHC riders discuss the race plan ahead of US Pro (Image credit: Wil Matthews)
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SRAM neutral support was on the scene at US Pro

SRAM neutral support was on the scene at US Pro (Image credit: Wil Matthews)
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Rally UHC riders sign in for the US Pro road race

Rally UHC riders sign in for the US Pro road race (Image credit: Wil Matthews)
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The riders are ready to start the US Pro road race in Knoxville

The riders are ready to start the US Pro road race in Knoxville (Image credit: Wil Matthews)
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The women's peloton in action at US Pro

The women's peloton in action at US Pro (Image credit: Wil Matthews)
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Ruth Winder in action during the elite women's road race at US pro

Ruth Winder in action during the elite women's road race at US pro (Image credit: Wil Matthews)
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It was a rough days for riders and fans alike at the US Pro championships in Knoxville

It was a rough days for riders and fans alike at the US Pro championships in Knoxville (Image credit: Wil Matthews)
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Trek-Segafredo's Tayler Wiles and teammate – and eventual winner – Ruth Winder talk tactics ahead of the 2019 women's US road race championships

Trek-Segafredo's Tayler Wiles and teammate – and eventual winner – Ruth Winder talk tactics ahead of the 2019 women's US road race championships (Image credit: Wil Matthews)
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Emma White (Rally UHC) en route to third place ahead of Sho-Air TWENTY20 Chloe Dygart

Emma White (Rally UHC) en route to third place ahead of Sho-Air TWENTY20 Chloe Dygart (Image credit: Wil Matthews)
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Emma White (Rally UHC) is delighted with her third place

Emma White (Rally UHC) is delighted with her third place (Image credit: Wil Matthews)
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Rally UHC riders sign on for the start of the women's race

Rally UHC riders sign on for the start of the women's race (Image credit: Wil Matthews)
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Riders wait for the start of the 2019 women's US road race championships

Riders wait for the start of the 2019 women's US road race championships (Image credit: Wil Matthews)
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The 2019 women's US road race championships hots up

The 2019 women's US road race championships hots up (Image credit: Wil Matthews)
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Sho-Air Twenty20's Allie Dragoo and Chloe Dygert

Sho-Air Twenty20's Allie Dragoo and Chloe Dygert (Image credit: Wil Matthews)
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Ruth Winder wins the 2019 USA Cycling Pro Road Championships elite women's road race

Ruth Winder wins the 2019 USA Cycling Pro Road Championships elite women's road race (Image credit: Wil Matthews)
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Ruth Winder wins the 2019 USA Cycling Pro Road Championships elite women's road race

Ruth Winder wins the 2019 USA Cycling Pro Road Championships elite women's road race (Image credit: Wil Matthews)

Ruth Winder (Trek-Segafredo) soloed to victory Sunday at the USA Cycling Pro Road Championships elite women's road race in Knoxville, Tennessee, going solo from a two-rider move on the penultimate lap and just holding off the reduced peloton led in by defending champion Coryn Rivera (Team Sunweb) ahead of Emma White (Rally UHC) on a hot and humid day in the American Southeast.

Winder attacked with more than 32km to go, bridging up to a breakaway and then distancing sole companion Lily Williams (Hagens Berman-Supermint) on the final steep 1km climb up Sherrod Road, then held off a charging peloton that nearly made contact on the final turn.

The Yorkshire-born American was thrilled to claim her first national title on the road since her junior years.

"The whole time I kept telling myself 'It's not over until it's over, just keep going' - trying to push until I saw the finish line. I thought for sure everyone is about to pass me and it was going to be one of those super dramatic finishes like in Rio when Mara [Abbott] was passed just before the line, and then I looked around and was like, 'what?!'," Winder said.

"I knew I couldn't leave it to a sprint because Coryn Rivera, Alexis Ryan, Emma White are all so fast in the sprint. Tayler and I knew we had to start giving it a go. I didn't have a plan, necessarily, it was just a good moment to go and I ended up staying away. You never know it's going to work until the end."

Last year, Rivera benefitted from the work of Winder when they were teammates on Sunweb, but this time she was flying solo.

"It is hard on your own, but at least it's a worthy winner with Ruth," Rivera said. "We came so close to getting her so many times, I gave it my all on the last hill there. So close but it was just not enough. It goes to show that extra teamwork really makes a difference. I think she really deserved it. I had a great time in the stars and stripes and I will always remember that. I'll just have to go for it again next year."

White won the U23 Women's title with her third place, topping Chloe Dygert (Sho-Air Twenty20) and Madeline Bemis (Milligan College) to take her third jersey of the event after winning the elite and U23 criterium titles.

"Last year I made a pretty big mistake and my wheel slid out in the last corner, so all year I've been thinking about how I'm going to improve that last climb," White said. "I didn't slide my wheel out but I just didn't have enough to get Coryn.

"Being on the pro podium is really special, but the U23 title is also special because we have a strong generation coming up. I'm really proud to wear this jersey," White said.

How it unfolded

Seventy-five women took the start for the 113.5km championship road race on a hot and sunny day in Knoxville, and right from the gun, the always-aggressive Hagens Berman-Supermint squad launched their first attack with Julie Kuliecza jumping clear.

Kuliecza was chased for a time by Gabrielle Russell (Orion Racing) but remained solo until the second lap when her teammate Starla Teddergreen came across with Beth-Ann Orton (Instafund LaPrima). Once caught, Kuliecza dropped back to the field, while Teddergreen and Orton built up a maximum lead of 4:15 before Rally UHC came to the fore to whittle down the gap.

With three laps to go, Trek-Segafredo's Tayler Wiles drove the pace up the Sherrod Road climb and through the feed zone, where her teammate Winder launched a counter.

Winder was nearly caught, but she kept the pace up and was soon joined by Hagens Berman-Supermint's Lily Williams and Shayna Powless (Sho-Air Twenty20), who helped bring the move up to Teddergreen and Orton.

Having spent the better part of 100km off the front, Teddergreen and Orton soon dropped off, leaving Winder and Williams away.

On the penultimate trip up Sherrod Road, Winder distanced Williams, but the criterium podium finisher clawed her way back to the Olympian.

Behind, there were only 34 riders left in the peloton, with most of Hagens Berman-Supermint massed near the front. The gap edged near the minute mark as Sho-Air Twenty20 came to the front for Chloe Dygert, but with one lap to go, the duo's lead was down to 40 seconds and the peloton single file behind Twenty20's Jennifer Luebke.

On the final climb of Sherrod Road, Winder left Williams behind for good, but still faced 11 long kilometres and a 30-strong peloton chasing hard behind.

"I told Lily I really have to go as hard as I can on this climb because I don't know how close they are, even though it would have been better for us to be together on the final lap," Winder said.

The chase behind was disorganised by a number of attacks, but Winder's teammate Wiles played a crucial role in her victory, getting to the front in the penultimate turn and slightly slowing the bunch. Rivera managed to get past and launched her sprint early, but narrowly missed catching Winder and had to settle for second.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ruth Winder (USA) TREK-Segafredo3:17:41
2Coryn Rivera (USA) Team SunWeb0:00:01
3Emma White (USA) Rally UHC Cycling0:00:02
4Chloe Dygert (USA) Sho-Air TWENTY200:00:03
5Alexis Ryan (USA) Canyon SRAM Racing0:00:04
6Leah Thomas (USA) Bigla0:00:06
7Emma Langley (USA) Racing Women/Dornier Ra
8Katharine Hall (USA) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team0:00:08
9Tayler Wiles (USA) TREK-Segafredo0:00:10
10Madeline Bemis (USA) Milligan College
11Krista Doebel-hickok (USA) Rally UHC Cycling0:00:12
12Lily Williams (USA) Hagens Berman | Supermint
13Emily Newsom (USA) Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank0:00:13
14Amber Neben (USA) Cogeas Mettler Look Pro Cycling
15Leigh ann Ganzar (USA) Hagens Berman | Supermint
16Nina Laughlin (USA) CTS Cycling fueled by Hiball En0:00:14
17Whitney Allison (USA) Hagens Berman | Supermint0:00:49
18Clio Dinan (USA) Green Line Velo driven by Zipca0:02:18
19Shayna Powless (USA) Sho-Air TWENTY200:02:19
20Debbie Milne (USA) Supra Cycling Team
21Regina Legge (USA) Gray Goat - Bullseye Total Medi0:02:20
22Emma Bast (USA) Levine Law Group Elite Cycling0:02:22
23Jolene Holland-neve (USA) Colavita|Bialetti Racing0:02:23
24Kat Sweatt (USA) Specialized Wolfpack p/b Jakroo
25Clara Honsinger (USA) Team S&M CX0:02:25
26Kathryn Aman (USA) Green Line Velo driven by Zipca0:02:26
27Starla Teddergreen (USA) Hagens Berman | Supermint
28Lindsay Goldman (USA) Hagens Berman | Supermint0:02:31
29Stefanie Sydlik (USA) Femme Equipe p/b Swisse Wellnes
30Liza Rachetto (USA) Hagens Berman | Supermint0:02:43
31Jessica Cerra (USA) Hagens Berman | Supermint
32Samantha Schneider (USA) CWA Racing p/b TREK
33Katie Kantzes (USA) Specialized Wolfpack p/b Jakroo0:04:53
34Beth ann Orton (USA) Instafund LaPrima Racing0:05:13
35Erica Clevenger (USA) Sho-Air TWENTY20
36Jennifer Luebke (USA) Sho-Air TWENTY20
37Heidi Franz (USA) Rally UHC Cycling0:06:18
38Lisa Cordova (USA) Levine Law Group Elite Cycling0:10:33
@1LapAyesha Mcgowan (USA) A Quick Brown Fox p/b Liv Racin
@1LapHolly Breck (USA) Go Fast - Incycle /Go Fast
@1LapRachel Jordan (USA) 3T/Q+M
@1LapAbigail Mickey (USA) Rally UHC Cycling
@2LapAllie Legg (USA) Sho-Air TWENTY20
@2LapJulie Emmerman (USA) Rally Sport Cycling Team
@2LapLaurel Rathbun (USA) Colavita|Bialetti Racing
@2LapKendall Ryan (USA) Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank
@2LapSkylar Schneider (USA) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team
@2LapMelanie Wong (USA) Sho-Air TWENTY20
@2LapMargot Clyne (USA) Sho-Air TWENTY20
@2LapCharlotte Backus (USA) Orion Racing p/b Borah Teamwear
@2LapMichelle Howe (USA) Northwest Tri & Bike
@2LapMelissa Teeple (USA) American Flyers Racing
@2LapJillian Bearden (USA) Trans National Womens Cycling T
@2LapSummer Moak (USA) Rally UHC Cycling
@2LapLori Nedescu (USA) Femme Equipe p/b Swisse Wellnes
@2LapKrystal Burnham (USA) Milligan College
@2LapBrenna Wrye-simpson (USA) DNA Pro Cycling Team
@2LapGrace Chappell (USA) Specialized Wolfpack p/b Jakroo
@2LapErica Carney (USA) Rally UHC Cycling
@3LapHayley Bates (USA) Levine Law Group Elite Cycling
@3LapSamantha Quijano (USA) SquadraSF p/b Terun
@3LapDanielle Clark (USA) Racing Women/Dornier Ra
@3LapJennah Dunham (USA) Femme Equipe p/b Swisse Wellnes
DNFJulie Kuliecza (USA) Hagens Berman | Supermint
DNFGabrielle Russell (USA) Orion Racing p/b Borah Teamwear
DNFCaitlin Milne (USA) Supra Cycling Team
DNFChristina Gokey-smith (USA) Colavita|Bialetti Racing
DNFHeather Nielson (USA) Colavita|Bialetti Racing
DNFTina Pic (USA) Colavita|Bialetti Racing
DNFMeredith Moran (USA) Green Line Velo driven by Zipca
DNFJaime Larmer (USA) Team Elevate Racing
DNFMadison Kelly (USA) CWA Racing p/b TREK
DNFMasha Schneider (USA) E2Value p/b Verge Sport
DNFJanelle Cole (USA) Fast Chance Womens Cycling
DNSJennifer Hale (USA) Orion Racing p/b Borah Teamwear

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