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Ganzar crowned US Pro Criterium Champion in Knoxville

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Emma White waves to the crowd during call-ups at the US Pro Criterium

Emma White waves to the crowd during call-ups at the US Pro Criterium
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Sisters Samantha and Skylar Schneider get called up before the start of the US Pro Criterium

Sisters Samantha and Skylar Schneider get called up before the start of the US Pro Criterium
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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The women's field lines up for the start of the US Pro Criterium in Knoxville

The women's field lines up for the start of the US Pro Criterium in Knoxville
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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The women head toward the finish line in downtown Knoxville during the US Pro Criterium

The women head toward the finish line in downtown Knoxville during the US Pro Criterium
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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The women's peloton at the US Pro Criterium Championships

The women's peloton at the US Pro Criterium Championships
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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The peloton rounds a corner in the rain during the US Pro Criterium

The peloton rounds a corner in the rain during the US Pro Criterium
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank's Kendall Ryan in the bunch at the US Pro Criterium

Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank's Kendall Ryan in the bunch at the US Pro Criterium
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Twenty20-Sho Air's Allie Dragoo

Twenty20-Sho Air's Allie Dragoo
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Skyalr Schneider, Emma white and Daniel Morseheadon the U23 podium at the US Pro Criterium

Skyalr Schneider, Emma white and Daniel Morseheadon the U23 podium at the US Pro Criterium
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Leigh Ann Ganzar beats Kelly Catlin to the line to take the 2018 US Pro Criterium

Leigh Ann Ganzar beats Kelly Catlin to the line to take the 2018 US Pro Criterium
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Riders struggle in the rain during the US Pro Criterium

Riders struggle in the rain during the US Pro Criterium
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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The women line up for the start of the US Pro Criterium

The women line up for the start of the US Pro Criterium
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Team Sunweb's Coryn Rivera

Team Sunweb's Coryn Rivera
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank's Kendall Ryan

Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank's Kendall Ryan
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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The women's peloton in action during the US Pro Criterium

The women's peloton in action during the US Pro Criterium
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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The late breakaway sticks the move uring the US Pro Criterium

The late breakaway sticks the move uring the US Pro Criterium
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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The peloton takes a corner in the rain during the US Pro Criterium

The peloton takes a corner in the rain during the US Pro Criterium
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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The peloton powers down the start/finish straight during the US Pro Criterium

The peloton powers down the start/finish straight during the US Pro Criterium
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Leaigh Ann Ganzar powers the late break near the end of the US Pro Criterium

Leaigh Ann Ganzar powers the late break near the end of the US Pro Criterium
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Lindsay Goldman attacks during the US Pro Criterium

Lindsay Goldman attacks during the US Pro Criterium
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)

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. You can find the provisional start list for the 2018 Tour de France, here.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Leigh Ann Ganzar (USA) Wolfpack P/B Hyperthreads1:14:22
2Kelly Catlin (USA) Rally Cycling
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 Team
7Samantha Schneider (USA) Iscorp Pro Cycling
8Kendall Ryan (USA) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank0:00:05
9Christina Gokey-Smith (USA) Colavita|Bialetti Racing0:00:06
10Lily Williams (USA) Hagens Berman-Supermint
11Laura Jorgensen (USA) Feed Hungry Kids Project P/B Ha
12Tina Pic (USA) Colavita|Bialetti Racing0:00:08
13Jolene Holland (USA) Colavita|Bialetti Racing
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 Trek
17Holly Breck (USA) Cylance Pro Cycling
18Danielle Morshead (USA) Twenty20 P/B Sho-Air
19Jessica Cerra (USA) Hagens Berman-Supermint
20Summer Moak (USA) Rally Cycling0:00:14
21Regina Legge (USA) Green Line Velo Driven By Zipca
22Maddy Ward (USA) Sdbc/Emerald Textiles P/B Uc Cy
23Hannah Arensman (USA) Feed Hungry Kids Project P/B Ha
24Carlyn Jackson (USA) Orthocarolina Winston Womens C
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-Supermint
29Megan Heath (USA) Rally Cycling0:00:20
30Janelle Cole (USA) Unitedhealthcare Pro Cycling0:00:22
31Laurel Ratbun (USA)
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-Supermint
43Kyrstin Bluhm (USA) Papa Johns Racing P/B Trek0:02:16
44Flora Yan (USA) Papa Johns Racing P/B Trek
45Ashley Weaver (USA) Papa Johns Racing P/B Trek
46Maria Danker (USA) Hicks Orthodontics Womens Raci
47Jennifer Hale (USA) Orthocarolina Winston Womens C
48Allison Arensman (USA) Feed Hungry Kids Project P/B Ha
49Victoria Kanizer (USA) Cth Performance Project
DNSStarla Teddergreen (USA) Hagens Berman-Supermint
DNSJennifer Tetrick (USA) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank
DNSErica Clevenger (USA) Twenty20 P/B Sho-Air
DNSKristen Arnold (USA) The Meteor-Intelligentsia
DNSDaphne Karagianis (USA) The Meteor-Intelligentsia
DNSKat Sweatt (USA) Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers
DNFAyesha Mcgowan (USA) Northern California/Nevada Cycl

 

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