Australian Rory Sutherland of the Health Net Pro Cycling Team presented by Maxxis and Tina Pic of the Colavita/Sutter Home Women’s Cycling Team presented by Cooking Light are the overall individual 2008 USA Cycling National Racing Calendar (NRC) champions. For Sutherland, it was his second consecutive title after finishing the 2007 season atop the standings. Pic’s 2008 accomplishment marked her fifth career NRC title, adding to her championships in 2000, 2004, 2005 and 2006.
Pic, one of the nation’s most decorated criterium racers, won nine events throughout the course of the season, while Sutherland’s title was largely due to three major overall stage race victories.
Pic’s nine wins included first-place finishes at the Sunny King Criterium, the Nalley Historic Roswell Citerium, the Tour of Somerville, the Chris Thater Memorial and the Priority Health Grand Cycling Classic. She also won both criterium stages of the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic, the Workers’ Credit Union Downtown Criterium stage of the Fitchburg-Longsjo Classic and the Canon Falls Road Race stage of the Nature Valley Grand Prix.
Sutherland claimed overall wins at the Joe Martin Stage Race, the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic and the Nature Valley Grand Prix. He also won a stage in each of those races – the stage 1 time trial at Joe Martin, the stage 4 time trial at Mt. Hood and the stage 5 road race at Nature Valley – as well as the prologue at the Redlands Bicycle Classic.
When the points were tallied after the 34 races on the 2008 NRC, Sutherland had finished with a dominant 590-point lead over second-place finisher Teddy King (Bissell Pro Cycling Team). Sutherland finished with 1,403 points, while King scored 813. King’s teammate, Ben Jacques-Maynes , finished third overall with 643 points, while Anthony Colby (Colavita-Sutter Home-Cooking Light) was fourth with 624 points and John Murphy (Health Net-Maxxis) rounded out the top five with 589.
In the women’s standings, Pic scored 1,249 points over runner up and defending champion Laura Van Gilder (Cheerwine), who finished with 1,177. Canadian Anne Samplonius (Cheerwine) was third with 912 points, while Olympic gold medalist Kristin Armstrong (Cervelo Lifeforce) and New Zealander Catherine Cheatley (Cheerwine) completed the top five with 870 and 852 points respectively.
Sutherland’s Health Net Pro Cycling Team presented by Maxxis also claimed the men’s team honors for the fifth year in a row, while the Cheerwine Professional Cycling Team took home the overall women’s team title.
In the team standings, the Health Net-Maxxis Team claimed the men’s title with 2,823 points over runner-up Colavita/Sutter Home Men’s Cycling Team presented by Cooking Light (2,648), followed by the Bissell Pro Cycling Team (2,331), the Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team (2,058) and the Successful Living Pro Cycling Team (1,466).
With the top-five individual efforts per team contributing to a squad’s overall standing, Health Net-Maxxis’ team championship came courtesy of Sutherland and Murphy, as well as Phil Zajicek, 23rd overall with 349 points, Karl Menzies, 27th with 275 points and Kyle Gritters, 35th with 207 points.
With three women in the top five, Cheerwine claimed the women’s team title with 4,255 points ahead of Aaron’s Pro Women’s Cycling Team (2,890), the Colavita/Sutter Home Women’s Professional Cycling Team p/b Cooking Light (2,755), Team Tibco (2,348) and ValueAct Capital (1,276).
Women who also contributed to Cheerwine’s overall title include Leigh Hobson and Robin Farina who finished 8th and 14th respectively in the individual standings with 765 and 549 points to complement the efforts of Van Gilder, Samplonius and Cheatley. Cheerwine’s team championship was marked by several wins throughout the year as Cheatley won both the CSC Invitational and the Fitchburg-Longsjo Classic, Farina captured the Joe Martin Stage Race and Van Gilder won the International Tour de ‘Toona. Additionally, Samplonius and Hobson scored a 1-2 finish at the Tour de Leelanau.
Of note, neither the Health Net-Maxxis nor the Cheerwine squads will be returing for the 2009 season. For the former, Health Net decided to stop sponsoring a cycling team, and for the latter, Cheerwine Cycling Team Owner and financial sponsor Anne Bolyea announced that she and the team will take a hiatus for the 2009 season.
2008 NRC Final Overall Standings (Top 5):
Men’s Individual Standings
1. Rory Sutherland (AUS/Health Net-Maxxis) 1,403
2. Teddy King (Calhoun, Ga./Bissell) 813
3. Ben Jacques-Maynes (Watsonville, Calif./Bissell) 643
4. Anthony Colby (Durango, Colo./Colavita-Sutter Home) 624
5. John Murphy (Athens, Ga./Health Net-Maxxis) 589
Men’s Team Standings
1. Health Net Pro Cycling Team presented by Maxxis 2,823
2. Colavita/Sutter Home Men’s Cycling Team presented by Cooking Light 2,648
3. Bissell Pro Cycling Team 2,331
4. Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team 2,058
5. Successful Living Pro Cycling Team 1,466
Women’s Individual Standings
1. Tina Pic (Buford, Ga./Colavita-Sutter Home) 1,249
2. Laura Van Gilder (Cresco, Pa./Cheerwine) 1,177
3. Anne Samplonius (CAN/Cheerwine) 912
4. Kristin Armstrong (Boise, Idaho/Cervelo Lifeforce) 870
5. Catherine Cheatley (NZL/Cheerwine) 852
Women’s Team Standings
1. Cheerwine Professional Cycling Team 4,255
2. Aaron’s Pro Women’s Cycling Team 2,890
3. Colavita/Sutter Home Women’s Cycling Team presented by Cooking Light 2,755
4. Team Tibco 2,348
5. ValueAct Capital Cycling Team 1,276
For complete team and individual standings from the 2008 NRC, go to www.usacycling.org/nrc