The USA Cycling National Racing Calendar (NRC) continued last week with the Joe Martin Stage Race in Fayetteville, Ark. The four-stage race started with an individual time trial on Thursday before two grueling road races and a criterium allowed a worthy winner to be crowned on Sunday.
Francisco Mancebo (Competitive Cyclist Racing Team) took a commanding lead of the NRC men’s standings after topping the general classification of the Joe Martin Stage Race. Mancebo finished in the top five in three of the four stages to top the general classification by 14 seconds over Shawn Milne (Kenda 5 Hour Energy p/b Geagrinder). After his win in Fayetteville, Mancebo’s lead grew to 184 points over Philip Gaimon (Kenda 5 Hour Energy p/b Geagrinder). Patrick Bevin (Bissell Pro Cycling), who placed 55th in the race, remains in third place 22 points behind Gaimon and 49 points ahead of the new fourth-place rider Milne. Milne holds the slimmest of advantages over Michael Friedman (Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies), who trails Milne by only one point. Of note is Jeremy Vennell (Bissell Pro Cycling), who stormed from ninth place to only eight points out of fifth place after finishing fifth overall in Arkansas.
For the second consecutive week, there is a new leader of the NRC men’s team standings. Competitive Cyclist Racing Team placed three riders in the top 12 overall, including Mancebo in the top spot, to overtake Bissell Pro Cycling and top the men’s team standings. Bissell and Kenda 5 Hour Energy p/b Geargrinder each has 506 points, 41 points fewer than Competitive Cyclist, placing second and third, respectively. Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies sits in fourth with 483 points. Team Exergy passed California Giant Berry Farms-Specialized to assume fifth place by 52 points.
The NRC women’s standings have been reshuffled after the Joe Martin Stage Race. Megan Guarnier (Team Tibco/To the Top) remains the leader, but her margin has been trimmed to only five points by the overall winner in Fayetteville, Jade Wilcoxson (Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies), who topped the women’s general classification by only two seconds ahead of her teammate Carmen Small. Kathryn Donovan (FCS|Rouse p/b Mr. Restore), who was only 12 seconds behind Wilcoxson in the final results, sits in third place in the standings, 45 points behind Wilcoxson. Joëlle Numainville (Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) slipped from second into fourth, 26 points behind Donovan and six points ahead of fifth-place Alison Powers (NOW and Novartis for MS).
The NRC women’s team standings are under new leadership as Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies assumed the top spot, overtaking and opening a 162-point cushion on second-place Team TIBCO to the Top. FCS Rouse p/b Mr. Restore jumped from fifth into third place, 151 points behind Team TIBCO-To the Top and 64 points ahead of NOW and Novartis for MS, which slipped from third in the previous standings. Exergy Twenty12 dropped one spot into fifth place, 81 points behind NOW and Novartis for MS.
USA Cycling NRC Standings:
1. Francisco Mancebo (ESP/Competitive Cyclist Racing Team) — 401
2. Phillip Gaimon (Ellicott City, Md./Kenda 5 Hour Energy p/b Geargrinder) — 217
3. Patrick Bevin (NZL/Bissell Pro Cycling) — 195
4. Shawn Milne (Beverly, Mass./Kenda 5 Hour Energy p/b Geargrinder) — 146
5. Michael Friedman (Superior, Colo./Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) — 145
1. Megan Guarnier (Mountain View, Calif./Team TIBCO-To the Top) — 237
2. Jade Wilcoxson (Talent, Ore./Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) — 232
3. Kathryn Donovan (Los Angeles, Calif./FCS-Rouse p/b Mr. Restore) — 187
4. Joelle Numainville (CAN/Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) — 161
5. Alison Powers (Pinecliffe, Colo./NOW and Novartis for MS) — 155
1. Competitive Cyclist Racing Team — 547
2. Bissell Cycling — 506
3. Kenda 5 Hour Energy p/b Geargrinder — 506
4. Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies — 483
5. California Giant Berry Farms-Specialized — 211
Women’s Team Standings
1. Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies — 590
2. Team TIBCO-To the Top — 428
3. FCS-Rouse p/b Mr. Restore — 277
4. NOW and Novartis for MS — 213
5. Exergy Twenty12 — 132
For complete standings, visit the NRC’s official webpage at usacycling.org/nrc.
The NRC resumes Wednesday with the five-day SRAM Tour of the Gila in Silver City, N.M. The race, recently added to the 2012 UCI America Tour, will feature many of the best men and women vying for NRC points.