Ganzar crowned US Pro Criterium Champion in Knoxville

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. 

This podcast is brought to you in association with Prendas Ciclismo, Pinarello, and Floyds of Leadville (opens in new tab). You can find the provisional start list for the 2018 Tour de France, here.

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Leigh Ann Ganzar (USA) Wolfpack P/B Hyperthreads1:14:22
2Kelly Catlin (USA) Rally CyclingRow 1 - Cell 2
3Jennifer Luebke (USA) Hagens Berman-Supermint0:00:02
4Emma White (USA) Rally Cycling0:00:03
5Coryn Rivera (USA) Team Sunweb0:00:04
6Skylar Schneider (USA) Boels Dolmans Cycling TeamRow 5 - Cell 2
7Samantha Schneider (USA) Iscorp Pro CyclingRow 6 - Cell 2
8Kendall Ryan (USA) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank0:00:05
9Christina Gokey-Smith (USA) Colavita|Bialetti Racing0:00:06
10Lily Williams (USA) Hagens Berman-SupermintRow 9 - Cell 2
11Laura Jorgensen (USA) Feed Hungry Kids Project P/B HaRow 10 - Cell 2
12Tina Pic (USA) Colavita|Bialetti Racing0:00:08
13Jolene Holland (USA) Colavita|Bialetti RacingRow 12 - Cell 2
14Shayna Powless (USA) Twenty20 P/B Sho-Air0:00:10
15Margot Clyne (USA) Twenty20 P/B Sho-Air0:00:13
16Madison Kelly (USA) Papa Johns Racing P/B TrekRow 15 - Cell 2
17Holly Breck (USA) Cylance Pro CyclingRow 16 - Cell 2
18Danielle Morshead (USA) Twenty20 P/B Sho-AirRow 17 - Cell 2
19Jessica Cerra (USA) Hagens Berman-SupermintRow 18 - Cell 2
20Summer Moak (USA) Rally Cycling0:00:14
21Regina Legge (USA) Green Line Velo Driven By ZipcaRow 20 - Cell 2
22Maddy Ward (USA) Sdbc/Emerald Textiles P/B Uc CyRow 21 - Cell 2
23Hannah Arensman (USA) Feed Hungry Kids Project P/B HaRow 22 - Cell 2
24Carlyn Jackson (USA) Orthocarolina Winston Womens CRow 23 - Cell 2
25Heidi Franz (USA) Rally Cycling0:00:15
26Debbie Milne (USA) Papa Johns Racing P/B Trek0:00:17
27Lindsay Goldman (USA) Hagens Berman-Supermint0:00:18
28Whitney Allison (USA) Hagens Berman-SupermintRow 27 - Cell 2
29Megan Heath (USA) Rally Cycling0:00:20
30Janelle Cole (USA) Unitedhealthcare Pro Cycling0:00:22
31Laurel Ratbun (USA)Row 30 - Cell 2
32Emily Newsom (USA) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank0:00:23
33Abigail Mickey (USA) Rally Cycling0:00:26
34Hannah Shell (USA) Papa Johns Racing P/B Trek0:00:28
35Elizabeth Harden (USA) Papa Johns Racing P/B Trek0:00:34
36Allie Dragoo (USA) Twenty20 P/B Sho-Air0:00:35
37Carolyn Defoore (USA) Wolfpack P/B Hyperthreads0:01:00
38Stephanie Nave (USA) Orthocarolina Winston Womens C0:01:11
39Stefanie Sydlik (USA) Qcw Cycling0:01:18
40Kathryn Buss (USA) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank0:01:19
41Liza Rachetto (USA) Hagens Berman-Supermint0:01:44
42Julie Kuliecza (USA) Hagens Berman-SupermintRow 41 - Cell 2
43Kyrstin Bluhm (USA) Papa Johns Racing P/B Trek0:02:16
44Flora Yan (USA) Papa Johns Racing P/B TrekRow 43 - Cell 2
45Ashley Weaver (USA) Papa Johns Racing P/B TrekRow 44 - Cell 2
46Maria Danker (USA) Hicks Orthodontics Womens RaciRow 45 - Cell 2
47Jennifer Hale (USA) Orthocarolina Winston Womens CRow 46 - Cell 2
48Allison Arensman (USA) Feed Hungry Kids Project P/B HaRow 47 - Cell 2
49Victoria Kanizer (USA) Cth Performance ProjectRow 48 - Cell 2
DNSStarla Teddergreen (USA) Hagens Berman-SupermintRow 49 - Cell 2
DNSJennifer Tetrick (USA) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley BankRow 50 - Cell 2
DNSErica Clevenger (USA) Twenty20 P/B Sho-AirRow 51 - Cell 2
DNSKristen Arnold (USA) The Meteor-IntelligentsiaRow 52 - Cell 2
DNSDaphne Karagianis (USA) The Meteor-IntelligentsiaRow 53 - Cell 2
DNSKat Sweatt (USA) Mellow Mushroom Pizza BakersRow 54 - Cell 2
DNFAyesha Mcgowan (USA) Northern California/Nevada CyclRow 55 - Cell 2


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