Wilcoxson solos to first US Pro women's road title

Jade Wilcoxson and Lauren Hall made it an Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies 1-2 at the inaugural Women's Professional US Road Race Championships in Chattanooga, Tennessee ahead of Alison Powers (Now & Novartis for MS). Wilcoxson attacked a group of riders chasing Mara Abbott (Exergy-TWENTY16) in the closing circuits of the race, then soloed away from Exergy's Kristin McGrath to take the victory.

Wilcoxson and her team were excited and confident going into today's race. "We worked really well as a team today," said Wilcoxson immediately after the finish. "It's really a team win. Everybody did a lot of work and I rested so I could make it over the climb. With a little luck I ended up off the front, and was able to motor away."

The race, which started on three circuits around downtown Chattanooga, was animated by Maura Kinsella (NOW and Norvartis for MS), who built a lead of 25 seconds before Lauren Tamayo (Exergy-Twenty16) bridged across to her. Kinsella and Tamayo were caught by the pack before leaving town, however, and the field stayed together until the base of the climb to Lookout Mountain.

The pack quickly disintegrated as they climbed up Lookout Mountain. An elite group of 16 riders including race favorites Evelyn Stevens (Specialized-lululemon), Megan Guarnier (Rabobank Liv/Giant), Shelley Olds (TIBCO), Mara Abbott (Exergy-TWENTY16) and Alison Powers (NOW & Novartis for MS), took the reins and separated themselves from the remainder of the field. The group was whittled down to 10 riders by the time they reached the top, but by the time pack had descended and started the circuit around downtown their numbers had grown to 25 riders.

After several attacks on the downtown circuit a group of nine riders including Hall, Wilcoxson, Kristin McGrath (Exergy-TWENTY12), Carmen Small and Tayler Wiles (Specialized-lululemon), Amanda Miller (TIBCO), Robin Farina (NOW and Novartis for MS) and Scotti Wilborne (Leborne Development) made what would be the move of the race when they rode away with a gap of 1:30 before starting up Lookout Mountain.

Before they crested the top, Abbott made a courageous, and successful effort to bridge to the lead group. Farina was dropped before the top putting pressure on Alison Powers to try and make contact with the leaders on the descent and remaining downtown circuits. "Once Robin was out of the break going up Lookout it was like 'This is what you have to do!'," Powers said. "As soon as I caught them I really had to be smart because with no teammates, and some people had two or three, I knew people were going to expect me to do a lot of work. And I'm okay with that."

Abbott attacked the lead group after the descent, and was able to build up a lead over almost 20 seconds before suffering a flat and a disastrous wheel change by neutral support that broke her rear derailleur. While waiting for a spare bike, Abbott watched Wilcoxson, who had launched an attack to reel her in, and then the pack go by before she was able to get going again.

With Abbott out of the equation, Wilcoxson was on her own until being joined by McGrath, and the two riders worked well together until the last half lap of the race. "The pack was closing in, they were 10 seconds back, and I was confident in Lauren being in that group, and I wanted to give it all I had, and I knew it was my last opportunity," said Wilcoxson about her decision to attack McGrath. "I was hesitant to attack because I thought she could stay on my wheel, but luckily I got a little bit of a gap on her, and she couldn't close it."

Wilcoxson crossed the line in first and was followed by Halll, who sprinted past Alison Powers for second place. "Powers actually got a gap on me into that right hand turn into the finish so I had to make a run at her," said Hall. "I had been on her wheel the last three laps because I knew she was going to be the strongest out of the break."

For defending champion Guarnier it was a disappointing race but she was motivated to return. "It was not my best day on the bike. The Lookout climb is definitely a difficult climb," said Guarnier. "Now I know what it looks like and I'll be here next year."

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jade Wilcoxson (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)2:46:39
2Lauren Hall (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)0:00:11
3Alison Powers (NOW and Novartis for MS)Row 2 - Cell 2
4Kristin McGrath (Exergy TWENTY16)Row 3 - Cell 2
5Jacquelyn Crowell (Exergy TWENTY16)0:00:17
6Amanda Miller (Team TIBCO/ To the Top)Row 5 - Cell 2
7Carmen Small (Specialized-lululemon)Row 6 - Cell 2
8Andrea Dvorak (Exergy TWENTY16)Row 7 - Cell 2
9Tayler Wiles (Specialized-lululemon)0:00:47
10Mara Abbott (Exergy TWENTY16)0:04:19
11Evelyn Stevens (Specialized-lululemon)Row 10 - Cell 2
12Scotti Wilborne (Mellow Mushroom Racing)Row 11 - Cell 2
13Janel Holcomb (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)0:04:29
14Megan Guarnier (Rabo Women Cycling Team)Row 13 - Cell 2
15Lauren Stephens (FCS|Zngine p/b Mr. Restore)Row 14 - Cell 2
16Robin Farina (NOW and Novartis for MS)Row 15 - Cell 2
17Jessica Cutler (Vanderkitten)0:04:32
18Kathryn Donovan (NOW and Novartis for MS)0:04:36
19Shelley Olds (Team TIBCO/ To the Top)0:07:33
20Jessica Prinner (CARE4CYCLING powered by Solomon Corp)0:07:36
21Brianna Walle (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)Row 20 - Cell 2
22Ally Stacher (Specialized-lululemon)Row 21 - Cell 2
23Kaitlin Antonneau (Exergy TWENTY16)Row 22 - Cell 2
24Mary Zider (Colavita-Fine Cooking)Row 23 - Cell 2
25Sara Tussey (Hincapie Cycling)Row 24 - Cell 2
26Katie Ryan (Team Belladium)Row 25 - Cell 2
27Amy Charity (Vanderkitten)Row 26 - Cell 2
28Lauren Komanski (NOW and Novartis for MS)Row 27 - Cell 2
29Anna Sanders (FCS|Zngine p/b Mr. Restore)Row 28 - Cell 2
30Kristabel Doebel-Hickok (Team TIBCO/ To the Top)0:07:48
31Erica Allar (CARE4CYCLING powered by Solomon Corp)0:08:53
32Lindsay Bayer (Colavita-Fine Cooking)Row 31 - Cell 2
33Amy Phillips (Hub Endurance Women's Cycling Team)Row 32 - Cell 2
34Jamie Bookwalter (Colavita-Fine Cooking)0:08:56
35Amber Gaffney (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)Row 34 - Cell 2
36Ruth Winder (Vanderkitten)Row 35 - Cell 2
37Alison Tetrick (Exergy TWENTY16)Row 36 - Cell 2
38Elizabeth Newell (NOW and Novartis for MS)Row 37 - Cell 2
39Kaelly Farnham (FCS|Zngine p/b Mr. Restore)Row 38 - Cell 2
40Devon Gorry (NOW and Novartis for MS)Row 39 - Cell 2
41Molly Van Houweling (Metromint Cycling)0:12:07
42Erica Zaveta (Pepper Palace Pro Cycling)Row 41 - Cell 2
43Elizabeth McCalley (Hub Endurance Women's Cycling Team)0:15:58
44Sara Clafferty (Pinnacle p/b Argon 18)1:00:23
45Maura Kinsella (NOW and Novartis for MS)Row 44 - Cell 2
46Samantha Schneider (Team TIBCO/ To the Top)Row 45 - Cell 2
47Alexis Ryan (NOW and Novartis for MS)Row 46 - Cell 2
48Jessica Chong (I AM Racing)Row 47 - Cell 2
49Kimberley Turner (I AM Racing)1:01:08
50Amber Pierce (Pasta Zara - Cogeas)Row 49 - Cell 2
51Addyson Albershardt (Pasta Zara - Cogeas)Row 50 - Cell 2
52Irena Ossola (Team Kenda presented by RACC)Row 51 - Cell 2
53Kimberly Flynn (Hub Endurance Women's Cycling Team)1:02:47
54Amanda Ragle (Team Belladium)1:03:47
55Caroline Moakley (Pepper Palace Pro Cycling)Row 54 - Cell 2
56Catherine Dewberry (Team Belladium)Row 55 - Cell 2
57Jennifer Schuble (I AM Racing)1:05:35
58Christina Birch (I AM Racing)Row 57 - Cell 2
59Amy McGuire (FCS|Zngine p/b Mr. Restore)Row 58 - Cell 2
60Jessica Owings (Team Belladium)Row 59 - Cell 2
61Terra James (Team Kenda presented by RACC)Row 60 - Cell 2
62Nichole Tower (I AM Racing)Row 61 - Cell 2
63Shannon Parrish (Team Kenda presented by RACC)1:06:43
64Pamela Tate (I AM Racing)1:07:43
DNSLauren De Crescenzo (Team Kenda presented by RACC)Row 64 - Cell 2
DNSAmity Elliot (Team Kenda presented by RACC)Row 65 - Cell 2
DNFKailin Acheson (Team Belladium)Row 66 - Cell 2
DNFGrace Alexander (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)Row 67 - Cell 2
DNFAllison Arensman (Pepper Palace Pro Cycling)Row 68 - Cell 2
DNFRachel Byus (FCS|Zngine p/b Mr. Restore)Row 69 - Cell 2
DNFLiz Gerrity (Rose Bandits)Row 70 - Cell 2
DNFChristy Keely (Pepper Palace Pro Cycling)Row 71 - Cell 2
DNFJacqueline Kurth (Colavita-Fine Cooking)Row 72 - Cell 2
DNFHeather Nielson (I AM Racing)Row 73 - Cell 2
DNFMelinda Spratt (Louis Garneau Factory Team p/b Fuji)Row 74 - Cell 2
DNFLauren Tamayo (Exergy TWENTY16)Row 75 - Cell 2
DNFKatherine Williams (Team BelladiumRow 76 - Cell 2

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