In one of the biggest upset wins in recent US Pro history, Leigh Ann Ganzar (Wolfpack-Hyperthreads) took out the US Pro Criterium Championships Friday in Knoxville, Tennessee, joining Kelly Catlin (Rally Cycling) and Jennifer Luebke (Hagens Berman-Supermint) in a penultimate-lap move that stuck to the finish. Catlin finished second in a neck-and-neck sprint, followed by Luebke several bike lengths back.
Rally Cycling's Emma White won the bunch sprint for fourth place and the U23 title.
Ganzar, who was a runner in college and started racing just four years ago, described her win as "amazing."
"I couldn't really believe when we turned that last corner that there was no one between us and the line, and so it was just put the head down and try to hold on," she said in the finishing straight.
Ganzar held off Catlin by less than a wheel length, but it was enough to claim the biggest win of the 29-year-old’s relatively brief cycling career.
"All the other women here are just so strong and great racers, so it's really an honour to be out here racing with them," she said. "Coming into today we just decided that we were going to put it all on the line. There was no pressure on us. So when the time strikes make a move and hold on."
Ganzar is somewhat of a critterium specialist, having taken out wins recently at the OKC Pro Am Classic criterium and taking multiple wins at a hometown series in Austin, Texas.
How it unfolded
The women's criterium took place on a 1.8km course in downtown Knoxville. Six corners and some gentle climbs dotted the course, but the wide-open roads and slightly downhill finish made for fast racing.
Although the women started under a steady rain that continued until the very last laps, the racing was aggressive throughout the 75-minute event.
Attacks flew frequently from Rally Cycling, Twenty20-Sho Air and Hagens Berman-Supermint, but nothing was able to stick for more than a lap as teams quickly pulled back everything that went up the road.
Pre-race favourite Coryn Rivera started the race tail-gunning the field as she settled into the course, but she was active late in the day as she tried several times to start moves. None of the teams wanted to let Rivera go too far afield, however, and when she joined three other riders in a move with 10 laps to go, the bunch jumped on the move.
From there Hagesn Berman-Supermint launched successive solo attacks, with Lindsay Goldman joining Cylance rider Holly Breck for a couple laps off the front. Rally pulled that move back, and then had a rider join Allie Dragoo (Twenty20-Sho-Air) and Rivera in another attempt to get up the road. Rivera faded back to about 20th spot for the next couple laps as Dragoo and a Hagens Berman-Supermint rider tried another attack with two laps remaining.
That move also failed, but it served as a springboard for Ganzer, Kelly and Luebke's counter on the penultimate lap.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Leigh Ann Ganzar (USA) Wolfpack P/B Hyperthreads||1:14:22|
|2||Kelly Catlin (USA) Rally Cycling|
|3||Jennifer Luebke (USA) Hagens Berman-Supermint||0:00:02|
|4||Emma White (USA) Rally Cycling||0:00:03|
|5||Coryn Rivera (USA) Team Sunweb||0:00:04|
|6||Skylar Schneider (USA) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team|
|7||Samantha Schneider (USA) Iscorp Pro Cycling|
|8||Kendall Ryan (USA) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank||0:00:05|
|9||Christina Gokey-Smith (USA) Colavita|Bialetti Racing||0:00:06|
|10||Lily Williams (USA) Hagens Berman-Supermint|
|11||Laura Jorgensen (USA) Feed Hungry Kids Project P/B Ha|
|12||Tina Pic (USA) Colavita|Bialetti Racing||0:00:08|
|13||Jolene Holland (USA) Colavita|Bialetti Racing|
|14||Shayna Powless (USA) Twenty20 P/B Sho-Air||0:00:10|
|15||Margot Clyne (USA) Twenty20 P/B Sho-Air||0:00:13|
|16||Madison Kelly (USA) Papa Johns Racing P/B Trek|
|17||Holly Breck (USA) Cylance Pro Cycling|
|18||Danielle Morshead (USA) Twenty20 P/B Sho-Air|
|19||Jessica Cerra (USA) Hagens Berman-Supermint|
|20||Summer Moak (USA) Rally Cycling||0:00:14|
|21||Regina Legge (USA) Green Line Velo Driven By Zipca|
|22||Maddy Ward (USA) Sdbc/Emerald Textiles P/B Uc Cy|
|23||Hannah Arensman (USA) Feed Hungry Kids Project P/B Ha|
|24||Carlyn Jackson (USA) Orthocarolina Winston Womens C|
|25||Heidi Franz (USA) Rally Cycling||0:00:15|
|26||Debbie Milne (USA) Papa Johns Racing P/B Trek||0:00:17|
|27||Lindsay Goldman (USA) Hagens Berman-Supermint||0:00:18|
|28||Whitney Allison (USA) Hagens Berman-Supermint|
|29||Megan Heath (USA) Rally Cycling||0:00:20|
|30||Janelle Cole (USA) Unitedhealthcare Pro Cycling||0:00:22|
|31||Laurel Ratbun (USA)|
|32||Emily Newsom (USA) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank||0:00:23|
|33||Abigail Mickey (USA) Rally Cycling||0:00:26|
|34||Hannah Shell (USA) Papa Johns Racing P/B Trek||0:00:28|
|35||Elizabeth Harden (USA) Papa Johns Racing P/B Trek||0:00:34|
|36||Allie Dragoo (USA) Twenty20 P/B Sho-Air||0:00:35|
|37||Carolyn Defoore (USA) Wolfpack P/B Hyperthreads||0:01:00|
|38||Stephanie Nave (USA) Orthocarolina Winston Womens C||0:01:11|
|39||Stefanie Sydlik (USA) Qcw Cycling||0:01:18|
|40||Kathryn Buss (USA) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank||0:01:19|
|41||Liza Rachetto (USA) Hagens Berman-Supermint||0:01:44|
|42||Julie Kuliecza (USA) Hagens Berman-Supermint|
|43||Kyrstin Bluhm (USA) Papa Johns Racing P/B Trek||0:02:16|
|44||Flora Yan (USA) Papa Johns Racing P/B Trek|
|45||Ashley Weaver (USA) Papa Johns Racing P/B Trek|
|46||Maria Danker (USA) Hicks Orthodontics Womens Raci|
|47||Jennifer Hale (USA) Orthocarolina Winston Womens C|
|48||Allison Arensman (USA) Feed Hungry Kids Project P/B Ha|
|49||Victoria Kanizer (USA) Cth Performance Project|
|DNS||Starla Teddergreen (USA) Hagens Berman-Supermint|
|DNS||Jennifer Tetrick (USA) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank|
|DNS||Erica Clevenger (USA) Twenty20 P/B Sho-Air|
|DNS||Kristen Arnold (USA) The Meteor-Intelligentsia|
|DNS||Daphne Karagianis (USA) The Meteor-Intelligentsia|
|DNS||Kat Sweatt (USA) Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers|
|DNF||Ayesha Mcgowan (USA) Northern California/Nevada Cycl|
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Growing up in Missoula, Montana, Pat competed in his first bike race in 1985 at Flathead Lake. He studied English and journalism at the University of Oregon and has covered North American cycling extensively since 2009, as well as racing and teams in Europe and South America. Pat currently lives in the US outside of Portland, Oregon, with his imaginary dog Rusty.
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