The Women’s Prestige Cycling Series (WCPS) concluded at the the fourth and final race of the series, the Cascade Cycling Classic in Oregon with three titles being awarded: the individual classification, the sprint classification, best young rider and the team classification.
Consistency was the name of the game for Team Type 1′s Alison Powers. She took the the lead in the individual classification by finishing third at the first race of the series, the Redlands Bicycle Classic and held on, building her lead with her overall win at Joe Martin Stage Race and third place at Nature Valley Grand Prix until the final race where she finished third. Powers finished with 616 points with TIBCO’s Kat Carroll in second spot at 228 points back and Webcor’s Katheryn Curi Mattis in third.
Powers also leads the NRC, and with only five races remaining in the series and a more than 200-point lead over her nearest competitor, Powers all but has the title locked up.
Team Director Jack Seehafer said Powers’ accomplishment does not come as a surprise, despite Team Type 1 being a first-year women’s program.
“We knew the abilities of all of our riders and what they were capable of achieving,” he said. “So it was a matter of holding up to those expectations. We also knew Alison wanted to learn and grow as a stage racer. So we worked to fuel that passion and work with her to succeed in putting her on the podium in every stage race this year.”
The team competition was a long battle between Team TIBCO and Webcor Builders with TIBCO coming out on top. TIBCO won the team classification at Redlands which put them in the lead for the WPCS but lost to Webcor after Joe Martin with the Series offering bonus points for young riders. After the third race, TIBCO was once again in the lead but with a very slim margin of 26 points. The TIBCO squad clinched the team classification at Cascade which put them on top of the WPCS. Although Webcor’s guest rider Evelyn Stevens won the stage race, she wasn’t eligible for the Series and Webcor finished third behind Team Type 1.
“One of our goals coming into this year was to be the top women’s team in North America,” said Team TIBCO founder and manager Linda Jackson. “We’ve shown race after race that we have the strongest team, and we’re proud to have earned the team title of the Women’s Prestige Series.”
Five of TIBCO’s riders placed in the top 11 of the individual standings, including Carroll and Joanne Kiesanowski in 4th. Julie Beveridge, who finished 10th in the individual standings, finished 2nd over all in the Young Rider category.
“We’ve been able to take advantage of our team’s depth on numerous occasions without having to rely on a single rider to get results,” Jackson said. “With so many riders capable of delivering, we’ve tried to make the racing hard every time out and put pressure on the other teams.”
The battle for the Sprint classification came down to the final race as Tina Pic (Colavita/Sutter Home) was tied on points with Powers, with the edge going to Powers because of the tie breakers after Nature Valley. By the end of the Cascade Classic, Pic had sown up the Series Sprint competition and Powers slipped to fourth. Kiesanowski claimed second and Webcor’s Gina Grain finished third.
Finally, Webcor’s Rebecca Much grabbed the lead in the Best Young Rider competition after the second race, bumping leader after one race Beveridge down to second, and defended it until the end despite Beveridge getting closer and closer. Webcor’s Alexis Rhodes finished third.
The 2009 Women’s Prestige Cycling Series began at the Redlands Bicycle Classic (March 26 – 29), followed by the Joe Martin Stage race (May 7 – 10) and then the Nature Valley Grand Prix (June 10 – 14 before concluding at the Cascade Cycling Classic (July 21 – 26).
The Women’s Prestige Cycling Series began in 2004 with the goal of highlighting women’s racing by giving them a spotlight that they don’t have to share with the men. Organized by the Nature Valley Grand Prix, the Series grew out of meetings that began in Minnesota in 2003 at the first Women’s Cycling Summit Conference hosted by that event.