On the strength of a dominant performance at the Nature Valley Grand Prix, the HTC-Highroad women are atop the Women’s Prestige Cycling Series standings in three of four categories.
Amber Neben (HTC-Highroad) regained the lead in the individual standings she previously had after the first Women’s Prestige Cycling Series event (Redlands Bicycle Classic) by winning the overall at the Nature Valley Grand Prix.
Her HTC-Highroad teammate, Chloe Hosking, took the lead in a tight race in the sprint classification, replacing previous leader Heather Logan-Sprenger (Colavita Forno D’Asolo presented by Cooking Light), who is in a three-way tie with Christina Smith (Rouse Bicycles) and Leah Kirchmann (Colavita Forno D’Asolo).
HTC-Highroad also has a commanding lead in the team standings, followed by Colavita Forno D’Asolo and Team TIBCO/To The Top.
In the Best Young Rider category, Denise Ramsden (Team Juvederm-Specialized-Mazda) held onto her lead despite not competing at the Nature Valley Grand Prix.
Neben said it’s “fantastic” to be leading the individual standings ahead of Erinne Willock (Team TIBCO/To The Top) and her HTC-Highroad teammate, Evelyn Stevens.
“I think it speaks to the strength of my team,” she said. “It would be fun to try to defend the jersey in the final race. However I will be with HTC-Highroad in Germany racing an important UCI 2.1 stage race, Thuringen, at the same time as Cascade.”
Neben said winning the overall title at the Nature Valley Grand Prix was definitely a challenge. She held off Willock, four-time race winner Kristin Armstrong and reigning world road champion Giorgia Bronzini (Colavita Forno D’Asolo), who won three stages.
“We won because we raced very well as a team, and it was only that teamwork that made the victory possible,” Neben said. “Evie (Stevens), Amanda (Miller), Ally (Stacher), and Chloe all contributed. Without any one of their efforts, both the Nature Valley Grand Prix jersey and the Women’s Prestige Cycling Series jersey would not be mine.”
The final event of the series, the Bend Memorial Clinic Cascade Cycling Classic, runs July 19-24 in Oregon. The Women’s Prestige Cycling Series is the only national bicycle racing series exclusively showcasing the country’s top female cycling talent.
1. Amber Neben, HTC-Highroad, 440.
2. Erinne Willock, Team TIBCO/To The Top, 330.
3. Evelyn Stevens, HTC-Highroad, 242.
4. Andrea Dvorak, Colavita Forno D’Asolo, 231.
5. Kristin Armstrong, Peanut Butter & Co. TWENTY12, 220.
1. Chloe Hosking, HTC-Highroad, 253.
2. Heather Logan-Sprenger, Colavita Forno D’Asolo, 220.
3. Christina Smith, Rouse Bicycles, 220.
4. Leah Kirchmann, Colavita Forno D’Asolo, 220.
5. Amanda Miller, HTC-Highroad, 187.
Best Young Rider Classification
1. Denise Ramsden, Team Juvederm-Specialized-Mazda, 440.
2. Kasey Clark, Primal-Map My Ride, 330.
3. Rachel Warner, Missing Link Coaching Systems/Specialized, 264.
4. Ally Stacher, HTC-Highroad, 256.
5. Lindsay Myers, Danbury Audi, 220.
Best Team Classification
1. HTC-Highroad, 1,197.
2. Colavita Forno D’Asolo, 886.
3. Team TIBCO/To The Top, 637.
4. Peanut Butter & Co. TWENTY12, 387.
5. Team Juvederm-Specialized-Mazda, 369.