Two weekends of NRC races, the Tour de Grove and Wilmington Grand Prix, during the Tour of California showcased the sprinters and shuffled the top 5 of the NRC standings, most noticeably in the men’s classifications. With two wins and a podium finish, Jake Keough (UnitedHealthcare) was propelled up to second behind leader Francisco Mancebo (RealCyclist.com) in the men’s individual classifications while BISSELL has taken over the top spot in the men’s team standings.
Colavita/Forno d’Asolo continues to top both the women’s individual classification with Janel Holcomb and the team classification. Laura Van Gilder (Mellow Mushroom) moves into the top 5 bolstered by a podium finish at Wilmington.
Inclement low temperatures, rain and gusty win for the Tour de Grove in St Louis, on May 14, on a two-kilometer, six-cornered, L-shaped criterium course.
Mike Northey (PureBlack Racing) sprinted to victory in the men’s race. The young New Zealander broke ahead of runner-up Jake Keough (UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team p/b Maxxis) and Christian Helmig (ELBOWZ Racing), who would finish third, with three turns remaining in the race.
The race featured several crashes and flat tires through the first 30 minutes of the race. Several attacks were thwarted until 10 riders broke away to open an advantage on the field with 40 minutes remaining. That group of riders worked together and did not allow any breakaways for the majority of the balance of the race. Northey, who tried a solo breakaway, but was quickly returned to the lead group, handled the remainder of the race with precision to secure the win.
Lithuanian rider, Edita Janeliunaite (Colavita-Forno d’Asolo) won her first race in America when she took the bunch sprint ahead of second-place finisher Joelle Numainville (TIBCO-To the Top) and Leah Kirchmann (Colavita-Forno d’Asolo), who placed third in a field of 52 women.
The 60-minute, plus three laps, women’s race, saw the race dominated by riders from Colavita-Forno d’Asolo and Team TIBCO-To the Top. Several attacks were unable to stick due to rain-slicked roads and wind gusts contributing to a series of crashes. The field entered the last corner complete. A late crash separated the field, allowing Janeliunaite and Kirchmann to work together and finish first and third.
The top 20 men’s finishers split the $15,000 prize purse, while purse for the top women’s riders was $7,500. (Complete results for the Tour de Grove can be found here.)
The Wilmington Grand Prix men’s omnium consisted of a 35-mile criterium race on Saturday May 21, in downtown Wilmington before Sunday’s 110.9-mile road race.
In the men’s criterium on Saturday, the UnitedHealthcare team’s strategy essentially guaranteed at least one rider from the team would win. The team gathered at the front of the peloton, forming a five-man train through the last stretch of the race. Keough capitalized on this tactic and crossed the finish line ahead of his teammate, Boy Van Poppel and Andrew Crater (Aerocat Cycling).
During Sunday’s road race, the riders maintained a speed over 30 miles per hour as the race snaked along a fairly flat course from Wilmington to Dover. There was a three-rider break in the early stages of the road race, with each rider earning sprint points before eventually being absorbed back into the peloton.
After the turnaround, the riders of the UnitedHealthcare team broke away from the peloton, building a lead of nearly three-and-a-half minutes. Again the peloton worked together to whittle that gap down, creating a bunch sprint to the finish. (For full results of the Wilmington Grand Prix, click here.)
Kyle Wamsley (BISSELL Pro Cycling) edged Keough by less than a second at the finish line. Demis Aleman (Jamis-Sutter Home) placed third, less than one-half second behind Keough.
Kristin Sanders (Colavita-Forno d’Asolo), won the Wilmington Grand Prix ahead of Laura van Gilder (Cresco, Pa./Mellow Mushroom). Sander’s teammate Edita Janeliunaite added a third-place finish to her win last week at the Tour de Grove.
The women’s criterium was fast from the start with 34 of the 50 starters finishing. The Colavita-Forno d’Asolo team seemed to realize that with van Gilder in the race, it would be best not to let the race come down to a sprint.
On her 40th Birthday (the crowd sang happy birthday at the start of the race), Sanders went off the front, building a 17-second lead, but Team TIBCO-To the Top, working with van Gilder brought Sanders back to the group. In the end, the peloton came up just short as Sanders squeaked in three seconds ahead of the fast-charging Van Gilder.
Keough sits in second, 298 points behind Mancebo who has been leading since the NRC opener, the Redlands Bicycle Classic. Trailing Keough is Ben Jacques-Maynes (BISSELL Pro Cycling Team) who crashed out with a broken collarbone in California. Northey is in fourth and Chris Baldwin (BISSELL Pro Cycling) rounds out the top five.
As a result of her second-place finish in the women’s 25-mile criterium (the only women’s event in Wilmington), van Gilder has moved into third place in NRC women’s standings. Holcomb remains the leader, 124 points ahead of Clara Hughes (Pactimo Cycling). Amber Neben (HTC-Highroad Women) and Mara Abbott (Diadora Pasta Zara) complete the top five.
|Top 5 Men’s Individual Standings||Top 5 Men’s Team Standings|
|1. Francisco Mancebo (Realcyclist.com) — 575 pts||1. BISSELL Pro Cycling Team — 880 pts|
|2. Jacobe Keough (UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team p/b Maxxis) — 297||2. Realcyclist.com — 801|
|3. Benjamin Jacques-Maynes (BISSELL Pro Cycling Team) — 222||3. UnitedHealthcare — 499|
|4. Michael Northey (PureBlack Racing) — 194||4. Chipotle Development Team — 469|
|5. Christopher Baldwin (Bissell Pro Cycling) — 170||5. PureBlack Racing — 420|
|Top 5 Women’s Individual Standings||Top 5 Women’s Team Standings|
|1. Janel Holcomb (Colavita-Forno d’Asolo) — 368 pts||1. Colavita-Forno d’Asolo — 1,388 pts|
|2. Clara Hughes (Pactimo Cycling) — 244||2. Team TIBCO-To the Top — 795|
|3. Laura van Gilder (Mellow Mushroom) — 223||3. HTC-Highroad — 381|
|4. Amber Neben (HTC-Highroad Women) — 217||4. Primal/MapMyRider Women’s Racing — 332|
|5. Mara Abbott (Diadora Pasta Zara) — 201||5. Diadora Pasta Zara — 176|