Skip to main content

Cecchini wins Winston Salem criterium

Image 1 of 20

Elena Cecchini (Estado de Mexico Faren) takes the win in Winston Salem.

Elena Cecchini (Estado de Mexico Faren) takes the win in Winston Salem.
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich)
Image 2 of 20

A UnitedhealthCare rider glides through the sixth turn on Saturday during the Winston-Salem Criterium.

A UnitedhealthCare rider glides through the sixth turn on Saturday during the Winston-Salem Criterium.
(Image credit: David Gill/USA Crits)
Image 3 of 20

Palace Pepper rider speeds past the crowd during the 4th round of the USA CRITS Series.

Palace Pepper rider speeds past the crowd during the 4th round of the USA CRITS Series.
(Image credit: David Gill/USA Crits)
Image 4 of 20

The women on the start line of the Winston-Salem Criterium on Saturday evening.

The women on the start line of the Winston-Salem Criterium on Saturday evening.
(Image credit: David Gill/USA Crits)
Image 5 of 20

Easter Sunday celebrant Presley Wilkerson and her father Brian watch the riders on Saturday evening during the 4th event of the USA CRITS Series.

Easter Sunday celebrant Presley Wilkerson and her father Brian watch the riders on Saturday evening during the 4th event of the USA CRITS Series.
(Image credit: David Gill/USA Crits)
Image 6 of 20

Elena Cecchini handily outsprints Alission Powers to take the win.

Elena Cecchini handily outsprints Alission Powers to take the win.
(Image credit: David Gill/USA Crits)
Image 7 of 20

Eventual winner Elena Cecchini rides behind Hannah Barnes at the Winston-Salem Criterium Saturday evening.

Eventual winner Elena Cecchini rides behind Hannah Barnes at the Winston-Salem Criterium Saturday evening.
(Image credit: David Gill/USA Crits)
Image 8 of 20

Third place finisher Alison Powers stayed well protected by her teammates all evening.

Third place finisher Alison Powers stayed well protected by her teammates all evening.
(Image credit: David Gill/USA Crits)
Image 9 of 20

Joanne Kiesanowski (NZl) Team Tibco/To the Top, winner Elena Cecchini (Ita) Estado de Mexico Faren and Alison Powers (USA) UnitedHealthcare on the podium after the 4th week of the USA CRITS Series.

Joanne Kiesanowski (NZl) Team Tibco/To the Top, winner Elena Cecchini (Ita) Estado de Mexico Faren and Alison Powers (USA) UnitedHealthcare on the podium after the 4th week of the USA CRITS Series.
(Image credit: David Gill/USA Crits)
Image 10 of 20

UnitedHealthcare comes to the front with one lap to go.

UnitedHealthcare comes to the front with one lap to go.
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich)
Image 11 of 20

Janel Holcomb (Optum) tries to get off the front on her own.

Janel Holcomb (Optum) tries to get off the front on her own.
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich)
Image 12 of 20

Erica Allar (Colavita) riding at the front.

Erica Allar (Colavita) riding at the front.
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich)
Image 13 of 20

Alison Powers (UnitedHealthcare) the field.

Alison Powers (UnitedHealthcare) the field.
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich)
Image 14 of 20

Olivia Dillon (Colavita) attacks on the backside hill.

Olivia Dillon (Colavita) attacks on the backside hill.
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich)
Image 15 of 20

The field bunches up before another attack goes up the road.

The field bunches up before another attack goes up the road.
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich)
Image 16 of 20

Hannah Barnes (UnitedHeatlhcare) in the UK National Champion stripes.

Hannah Barnes (UnitedHeatlhcare) in the UK National Champion stripes.
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich)
Image 17 of 20

Alison Powers (UnitedHealthcare) sports her National Champion colors.

Alison Powers (UnitedHealthcare) sports her National Champion colors.
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich)
Image 18 of 20

UnitedHealthcare came to the front from the gun.

UnitedHealthcare came to the front from the gun.
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich)
Image 19 of 20

The women get ready for the start.

The women get ready for the start.
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich)
Image 20 of 20

The women’s podium.

The women’s podium.
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich)

Italian Elena Cecchini (Estado de Mexico Faren) won the Winston-Salem criterium with well-timed and well-positioned finishing kick to the line over Kiwi Joanne Kiesanowski (Tibco) and US criterium champion Alison Powers (UnitedHealthcare).

Cecchini, clad in a long sleeve jersey that covered the bright pink of her Faren team, made sure to hit the front at the last turn as she knew the distance from the turn to the line was very short.

"My team brought me to the front on the last lap and I got behind the UnitedHealthcare train, " Cecchini said. "I knew there was very little room to pass other riders after the last turn, so I went into that in first position. It worked out well."

Unfamiliar with the short, technical and fast-paced races that are so common in the USA, Cecchini thanked her team for their work in keeping her at the front and out of trouble throughout the race.

"We don't do this kind of racing in Europe, so I tried to stay in the first positions," Cecchini said. "My team did a wonderful job going in all of the breakaways so I could stay rested for the sprint."

Kiesanowski had to come back from a mechanical mid-race, but thanks to criterium rules was pushed back from the pits into a much-diminished field. Her team put her into a position on Powers' wheel for the finale, but she was caught by surprise by the Italian race winner.

“It was crazy and hectic the last few laps. A lot of elbowing. You had to hold your ground. My track experience definitely helped,” Kiesanowski said. “Ali led it out in the last lap and I think she thought she had Hannah Barnes on her wheel, but she didn’t. When she swung wide on the last corner, Cecchini got inside of Powers and I went with her and was able to get past Ali on the line but I couldn’t quite get to Cecchini.”

The highly tactical fourth round of the USA Cycling National Criterium Calendar series saw numerous attacks, but none that reached the proper configuration for success.

Powers was part of a late-race move that included two-time NCC overall winner Erica Allar (Colavita) but the UnitedHealthcare rider seemed displeased with the amount of work being done and sat up, taking Allar back to the field. A quick counter-attack included Charlotte Criterium winner Hannah Barnes (UHC), but Tibco missed the move and shut the break down.

UnitedHealthcare took control over the last five laps, hoping to dominate in the sprint, but the cagey Italian flew under everyone's radar, jumping away out of the final turn and winning by a clean set of wheels. Powers had to settle for third behind Kiesanowski.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Elena Cecchini (Ita) Estado De Mexico Faren0:58:43
2Joanne Kiesanowski (NZl) Team TIBCO To the Top0:00:00
3Alison Powers (USA) UnitedHealthcare0:00:01
4Shelley Olds (USA) Alé Cipollini
5Erica Allar (USA) Colavita-Fine Cooking0:00:01
6Hannah Barnes (GBr) UnitedHealthcare0:00:01
7Sam Schneider (USA) Team TIBCO To the Top0:00:03
8Lauren Stephens (USA) Team TIBCO To the Top0:00:03
9Laura Van Gilder (USA) Mellow Mushroom p/b Pink Siren0:00:03
10Lenore Pipes (Gum) Colavita-Fine Cooking0:00:04
11Barbara Guarischi (Ita) Alé Cipollini0:00:04
12Mia Radotic (Cro) BTC City Ljubljana0:00:05
13Anna Trevisi (Ita) Estado De Mexico Faren0:00:06
14Maria Giulia Confalonieri (Ita) Estado De Mexico Faren
15Liza Rachetto (USA) Vanderkitten
16Jade Wilcoxson (USA) Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit St0:00:06
17Eugenia Bujak (Pol) BTC City Ljubljana0:00:07
18Olivia Dillon (Irl) Colavita-Fine Cooking0:00:07
19Sharon Laws (GBr) UnitedHealthcare0:00:07
20Lara Vieceli (Ita) S.C. Michela Fanini - ROX0:00:07
21Laura Jorgensen (USA) Mellow Mushroom p/b Pink Siren0:00:09
22Arianna Fidanza (Ita) Estado De Mexico Faren0:00:10
23Meredith Miller (USA) Pepper Palace Pro Cycling0:00:11
24Marta Tagliaferro (Ita) Alé Cipollini0:00:11
25Malgorzata Jasinska (Pol) Alé Cipollini0:00:11
26Michela Pavin (Ita) Alé Cipollini0:00:11
27Maria Luisa Calle (Col) Colombian National Team0:00:12
28Mary Zider (USA) Colavita-Fine Cooking0:00:12
29Denise Ramsden (Can) Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit St0:00:15
30Andrea Dvorak (USA) Team TIBCO To the Top
31Brianna Walle (USA) Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit St0:00:15
32Anna Teresa Casas Bonilla (Mex) Mexican National Team0:00:17
33Jessica Cutler (USA) FCS|Zngine p/b Mr. Restore0:00:18
34Cinthia Lehner (USA) PainPathways Racing0:00:18
35Sarah Fader (USA) Pepper Palace Pro Cycling0:00:18
36Lauren Tamayo (USA) UnitedHealthcare0:00:19
37Alison Tetrick (USA) Twenty16 Professional Cycling T0:00:19
38Whitney Schultz (USA) Colavita-Fine Cooking0:00:20
39Sara Headley (USA) Team TIBCO To the Top
40Cari Higgins (USA) UnitedHealthcare0:00:22
41Amanda Miller (USA) Team TIBCO To the Top
42Allie Dragoo (USA) Twenty16 Professional Cycling T0:00:34
43Janel Holcomb (USA) Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit St0:00:44
44Joelle Numainville (Can) Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
45Rushlee Buchanan (NZl) UnitedHealthcare0:00:57
46Amy Cutler (USA) FCS|Zngine p/b Mr. Restore0:00:58

Latest on Cyclingnews