The new Menomonie Road Race shook up Nature Valley Grand Prix on Saturday. With the peloton split into multiple groups after numerous attacks and crosswinds, Erinne Willock (Webcor) jumped after the final Queen of the Hill (QOH) to get away solo. Seeing her chance, Linda Melanie Villumsen (HTC-Columbia) who sat second on GC bridged up and the duo were off.
Behind them, the Peanut Butter Co TWENTY12 team organized to give chase to protect Shelley Evans‘ lead but the pair built up a gap of 40+ seconds by the time they reached the first of the four finishing circuits, a 3-mile loop. By that time, the main field had somewhat regrouped and was massed behind Evans’ teammates.
The chase was on but the gap remained 26 seconds on the final lap as Willock sprinted to the line with Villumsen happy to let her go. The gap, along with the 10-second time bonus was enough to propel Villumsen into the lead with one stage to go.
Brooke Miller (TIBCO/To The Top) led the charge in for third place.
Villumsen has a lead of 11 seconds on Evans going into the final stage and 34 seconds on Ruth Corset (TIBCO/To The Top). She also is the new Best Young Rider.
Evans remains the Sprint leader. Mara Abbott (Peanut Butter Co TWENTY12) takes over the QOH. Chloe Forsman (specialized d4w bicyclehaus) is still the Best Amateur. Willock also picked up the Most Aggressive jersey.
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