The final three Stars-and-Stripes of the 2010 USA Cycling Juniors, U23, Elite Road National Championships were awarded on Sunday as Mara Abbott (Peanut Butter & Co TWENTY12) used a late-race attack to grab her second elite women’s road race national title. Lawson Craddock (Hot Tubes) completed the sweep winning the junior men’s 17-18 road race after earning the time trial and criterium titles earlier in the week. Michael Olheiser (TriStar Cycling Team) won the elite men’s road race to cap off the week’s action in Bend.
With their victories Abbott and Craddock sewed up automatic nominations to the USA Cycling team that will compete at the UCI Road Cycling World Championships later in the summer.
Powerful Abbott. After a bit of early animation, Robin Farina (Team Vera Bradley Foundation), Rachel Warner (BMW-Bianchi) and Rebecca Much (Team TIBCO/To The Top) were able to get away from the 100+ rider elite women’s field just over mid-way through the 113-kilometer event. However, at the start of the final of four trips around the Awbrey Butte circuit, the Peanut Butter & Co TWENTY12 squad, along with riders from Colavita-Baci and HTC-Columbia squads among others began to organize and quickly chased down the three leaders. With a lead group of 25 riders all together Evelyn Stevens (HTC-Columbia) attacked through the final feed zone taking 11 others along with her. The lead group of around 20 riders came together inside 10-kilometers to go when the fireworks began to go off.
A powerful group got a small gap with around three-kilometers remaining and about 1.5-kilometers out Abbott attacked. The 2007 elite women’s road race national champion and multi-time collegiate national champion held her slight advantage to the line finishing around five seconds ahead of the charging chase group.
“Wearing the national championship jersey is such a special thing and I’m so excited to do it again,” stated Abbott.
Abbott’s Peanut Butter & Co. TWENTY12 teammate Shelley Evans (Peanut Butter & Co. TWENTY12) capped off a successful week for her squad winning the chase sprint and collecting a silver medal to go with her criterium gold. Also surging out of the group Carmen Small (Colavita-Baci p/b Cooking Light) grabbed third with Stevens and Theresa Cliff-Ryan (Colavita-Baci p/b Cooking Light) just behind. Another Peanut Butter & Co. TWENTY12 rider, Sinead Miller finished sixth to earn the U23 women’s title.
Trifecta. Craddock showed he is ready to contest for a junior world title as he completed the trifecta on Sunday, winning the junior men’s 17-18 men’s road race. After winning the time trial on Thursday and the criterium on Friday Craddock had one thing on his mind as he toed the line with 125 other junior men’s on Sunday morning.
“I’m ecstatic with how the weekend turned out,” said Craddock. “My team was amazing all weekend long.”
Things were interesting in the early going with a group of 10 jumping out to more than 2:30 ahead of the field. As soon as a strong group of five, including Tanner Putt (Cole Sport), Craddock and his Hot Tubes teammate Anders Newbury, began chasing, the gap began to close. The chasers were able to catch the lead group with around 10-kilometers to go when Craddock launched his attack. Eventual silver medalist Putt went after him but was not able to close the gap. Daniel Farinha (San Jose Bicycle Club) sprinted for third as Robin Carpenter (Young Medalists) and Edison Turner (Greenville Spinners) rounded out the podium finishers.
“I took it easy the first half and was able to bridge across to the break with Tanner Putt on the last lap,” said Craddock. “I then countered Putt’s attack on the climb before the finish and was able to hold on for the win.”
Two for Olheiser, who earned his second Stars-and-Stripes of the week while defending his national title in the elite men’s road race. Much like Ben King’s win on Saturday in the U23 men’s road race, Olheiser simply rode away from the field to take the Stars-and-Stripes in the elite men’s road race for the second year in a row. Russell Stevenson (Seattle Super Squadra) won the field sprint for second, Jesse Moore (Cal Giant) grabbed the bronze and Yahoo! Cycling teammates Philip Mooney and Ryan Parnes completed the podium.
(Report by USA Cycling)
Top 5 Elite Women (Complete Results)
1. Mara Abbott (Boulder, Colo./Peanut Butter & Co. TWENTY 12) 2:55:24.70
2. Shelley Evans (Scotts Valley, Calif./Peanut Butter & Co. TWENTY 12) 2:55:27.40
3. Carmen Small (Durango, Colo./Colavita-Baci p/b Cooking Light) 2:55:27.90
4. Evelyn Stevens (New York, N.Y./HTC-Columbia) 2:55:32.60
5. Theresa Cliff-Ryan (Cedar Springs, Mich./Colavita-Baci p/b Cooking Light) 2:55:48.80
U23 Women (Complete Results)
1. Sinead Miller (Pittsburgh, Pa./ Peanut Butter & Co. TWENTY 12) 2:55.48.90
Top 5 Junior Men 17-18 (Complete Results)
1. Lawson Craddock (Houston, Texas/Hot Tubes) 2:42:16.30
2. Tanner Putt (Park City, Utah/Cole Sport) 2:42:28.60
3. Daniel Farinha (San Jose, Calif./San Jose Bicycle Club) 2:42:35.80
4. Robin Carpenter (Philadelphia, Pa./Young Medalists) 2:42:36.10
5. Edison Turner (Waxhaw, N.C./Greenville Spinners) 2:42:36.40
Top 5 Elite Men (Complete Results)
1. Michael Olheiser (Huntsville, Ala./TriStar Cycling Team) 03:52:53
2. Russell Stevenson (Seattle, Wash/Seattle Super Squadra) 3:53:49.40
3. Jesse Moore (Sacramento, Calif./Cal Giant) 3:53:49.50
4. Philip Mooney (Davis, Calif./Yahoo Cycling Team) 3:53:50.20
5. Ryan Parnes (Davis, Calif./Yahoo Cycling Team) 3:53:51.50