In the first multi-event week of the USA Cycling National Criterium Calendar (NCC), there was a lot of movement in the standings. The men and women contested three races in the southeast as part of USA CRITS Speed Week on the before only the men competed in the Amgen Breakaway from Cancer Dana Point Grand Prix in southern California on Sunday.
Men. Hilton Clarke (UnitedHealthcare p/b Maxxis) finishing fourth at the Dana Point Grand Prix earned him enough points to remain the leader of the NCC’s men’s standings, but his lead has been trimmed to only six points by Carlos Alzate (Team Exergy). Alzate won one criterium and was the runner up in two others at Speed Week to jump from third place, 72 points behind Clarke in last week’s standings, to second place and only six points back. Isaac Howe (Kenda/5-Hour Energy p/b Geargrinder) slipped one spot to third place, trailing Alzate by 68 points. Jake Keough (UnitedHealthcare p/b Maxxis) used a win in Friday’s Spartanburg Classic, a second-place in Sunday’s Global Imports Sandy Springs Cycling Challenge and a fourth-place finish in Saturday’s Electric City Circuit to climb one spot into fourth place, one points behind Howe. Brad Huff‘s (Jelly Belly Cycling Team) second, consecutive win at Dana Point earned him the fifth spot in this week’s rankings, 60 points behind Keough.
Thanks in part to Keough’s performance, UnitedHealthcare p/b Maxxis has a commanding 194-point cushion atop the NCC men’s team standings. Team Exergy, bolstered in large part by Alzate’s results, jumped from fourth place into second place, bumping each Kenda/5-Hour Energy p/b Geargrinder and Jamis/Sutter Home down one spot from last week’s standings. Kenda/5-Hour Energy p/b Geargrinder is now in third place, 33 points behind Team Exergy while Jamis/Sutter Home is 30 points further behind in fourth place. Team Mountain Khakis p/b SmartStop is the new fifth-place team, overtaking last week’s fifth-place team Team Type 1.
Women. The top three riders in the NCC women’s standings are unchanged, although Erica Allar (RideClean-PatentIt.com) has increased her lead. Allard placed in the top four in each of the three Speed Week criteriums, including winning Friday’s Spartanburg Regional Classic, to extend her lead to 138 points. Nicky Wangsgard (Primal/MapMyRide Women’s Racing) remains in second place, clinging to a six-point edge on Jade Wilcoxson (Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies). Laura van Gilder (Mellow Mushroom) slid into fourth place after placing fifth at Friday’s race in Spartanburg and Sunday’s Global Imports Sandy Springs Cycling Challenge. Wilcoxson leads van Gilder by two points while Kendall Ryan (Team TIBCO-To the Top) jumped two spots into fifth place. Ryan won Saturday’s Electric City Circuit after lapping the field to fortify her position in the standings.
The NCC women’s team standings, by contrast, are shuffled from last week’s tally. Team TIBCO-To the Top, the new standings leader, moved from fifth place in last week’s standings to the top spot after their ladies flecked the top 10s of the Speed Week criteriums over the weekend. Last week’s standings leader, Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies slipped one spot into second place, 30 points behind Team TIBCO-To the Top while Primal/MapMyRide Women’s Racing dropped one spot into third place, 102 points behind Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies and three points ahead of Exergy Twenty12. NOW and Novartis for MS added eight points to its total, but remains in fifth place, 21 points behind Exergy Twenty12.
USA Cycling NCC Standings:
1. Hilton Clarke (AUS/UnitedHealthcare p/b Maxxis) — 235
2. Carlos Alzate Escobar (COL/Team Exergy) — 229
3. Isaac Howe (Concord, N.H./Kenda 5 Hour Energy p/b Geargrinder) — 161
4. Jacobe Keough (Sandwich, Mass./UnitedHealthcare p/b Maxxis) — 160
5. Charles Brad Huff (Springfield, Mo./Jelly Belly Cycling Team) — 100
1. Erica Allar (Tucson, Ariz./RideClean-PatentIt.com) — 258
2. Nicky Wangsgard (Cedar City, Utah/Primal-MapMyRider Women’s Racing) — 120
3. Jade Wilcoxson (Talent, Ore./Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) — 114
4. Laura van Gilder (Cresco, Pa./Mellow Mushroom) — 112
5. Kendall Ryan (Ventura, Calif./Team TIBCO-To the Top) — 104
1. UnitedHealthcare p/b Maxxis — 463
2. Team Exergy — 269
3. Kenda/5-Hour Energy p/b Geargrinder — 236
4. Jamis/Sutter Home — 206
5. Team Mountain Khakis p/b SmartStop — 197
1. Team TIBCO-To the Top — 252
2. Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies — 222
3. Primal/MapMyRide Women’s Racing — 120
4. Exergy Twenty12 — 117
5. NOW and Novartis for MS — 96
For complete standings, visit the NCC’s official webpage at usacycling.org/ncc.
Next week, the NCC makes its sixth stop of the as it rolls into the midwest on Saturday, May 19 for the Tour de Grove in St. Louis.