Gagne and Pendrel win final round and overall of 2015 US Cup in Colorado Springs

Gagne and Pendrel win final round and overall of 2015 US Cup in Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs, Colorado – June 29, 2015:  Canadians Catharine Pendrel (Luna Pro Team) and Raphael Gagne (Rocky Mountain Bicycles) won the final round of the USA Cycling US Cup Pro Series presented by Cannondale in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  The wins gave both the overall 2015 US Cup titles as well.


Elite women

A 40-strong field of the top women in North America toed the line for the 2015 US Cup finale, including six National Champions from six different countries:  Canada, USA, Mexico, Costa Rica, Columbia, Ecuador. Chloe Woodruff (Team Stans NoTubes) took hole-shot and set the early pace on the first lap. Later on that same lap, Catherine Pendrel (Luna Pro Team) moved past Woodruff and only teammate Katerina Nash could follow. These two would stay off the front for the majority of the race.

Chloe Woodruff (Team Stans NoTubes) and Erin Huck (Scott 3 Rox) led the chase group, which ballooned and shrunk over and over again with Larissa Connors (Ridebiker Alliance), Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team), and Rose Grant (Team Stans NoTubes) all coming back to them before being dropped.

In the end, things were all decided on the final quarter lap when the lead group split in half and the chasing group was shattered. Pendrel attacked Nash within the final mile to win solo by just 15 seconds. The rest of the field staggered in one at a time, evidence of just how hard the racing had been.

Further evidence of the difficulty was that as the temps rose from the high 70’s to the low 90’s, the womens’ lap times slowed from 15 to over 17 minutes throughout the day. The wind also picked up and made for a tough headwind on the long climb.

Series leader Emily Batty (Trek Factory Racing) started and rode in the main chase group for the first ten minutes, but pulled out and was a DNF on the first lap, apparently with difficulty breathing.


Elite men

The Elite men started in the high heat and Todd Wells (Specialized Factory Racing) took the lead shortly after the first corner and didn’t let off the gas all day. After one lap, only Russell Finsterwald (SRAM / Troy Lee Designs) and Raphael Gagne (Rocky Mountain Bicycles) were left on his wheel.

Gagne sat 3rd wheel and rarely took a pull, while Finsterwald moved to the front on a few descents but never was able to create any separation. By lap two a four-man chase group had formed consisting of Geoff Kabush and Derek Zandstra (both Scott 3 Rox Racing) and Keegan Swenson and Stephen Ettinger (both Team Sho-Air / Cannondale). It was Kabush who did the lion’s share of the work in this group for most of the six-lap race, while the Sho-Air / Cannondale duo looked under pressure in the group and were eventually dropped.

With one lap to go, the lead three slowed as Wells sat up and the gap came down to just fifteen seconds. Kabush took off in pursuit of the leaders but Gagne attacked hard with just one kilometer to go and took Wells and Finsterwald with him, eventually taking the win by just a few seconds.

Wells and Finsterwald had a tight sprint for second place that the officials gave to Finsterwald. Wells was clearly upset after the race and filed an official complaint with the UCI. They did not change their ruling and the result stood.


USA Cycling US Cup presented by Sho-Air Cycling Group final series standings

The final round of the USA Cycling US Cup presented by Cannondale series certainly shook things up. Wells’ controversial near-miss in the sprint left a three-way tie for third in the men’s standings behind the Canadian 1-2 of Gagne and Zandstra, and Batty’s misfortunes saw her chances at the overall win slip away to Pendrel.

Men’s winner Gagne finished off an impressive showing in the 2015 US Cup, taking two wins, two second-places and a fifth at Sea Otter. This consistency led to his incredible 81-point victory in the overall raking.

Pendrell showed similar consistency as Gagne, with two wins (Sea Otter and Colorado Springs), and podium places in the remaining rounds.


Colorado Springs cross country brief results

Elite women

1 Catharine Pendrel (Canada) Luna Pro Team 1:34:48
2 Katerina Nash (Czech Republic) Luna Pro Team 1:35:02
3 Erin Huck (United States) Scott 3 Rox 1:36:35
4 Chloe Woodruff (United States) Team Stans NoTubes 1:37:18
5 Georgia Gould (United States) Luna Pro Team 1:37:41


Elite men

1 Raphael Gagne (Canada) Rocky Mountain Bicycles; 1:36:28
2 Russell Finsterwald (United States) SRAM / TLD Race Team; 1:36:29
3 Todd Wells (United States) Specialized Factory Racing; 1:36:29
4 Geoff Kabush (Canada) Scott 3 Rox Racing; 1:36:30
5 Derek Zandstra (Canada) Scott 3 Rox Racing 1:36:44


USA Cycling US Cup Series Final Standings

Elite women

1 Catharine Pendrel (Canada) Luna Pro Team; 175 points
2 Katerina Nash (Czech Republic) Luna Pro Team; 144 points
3 Emily Batty (Canada) Trek Factory Racing; 140 points
4 Georgia Gould (United States) Luna Pro Team; 138 points
5 Erin Huck (United States) Scott 3 Rox Racing; 130 points


Elite men

1 Raphael Gagne (Canada) Rocky Mountain Bicycles; 175 points
2 Derek Zandstra (Canada) Scott 3 Rox Racing; 94 points
3 Todd Wells (United States) Specialized Factory Racing; 91 points
4 Stephen Ettinger (United States) Sho-Air/Cannondale; 91 points
5 Sergio Mantecon (Spain) Trek Factory Racing; 91 points






Through the Eyes of a (Buzzed) Spectator

By: Christina Barton


Arriving to the race on the last day of Tulsa Tough was a lot less crazy than I had
anticipated. After hearing about this race for years, I almost felt like we showed up on the wrong
day. The shuttle dropped us off about a half mile from the race and we followed a very normal
crowd of people to the start/finish. Everything seemed pretty calm. It was like any other race I
had been to. I actually felt a little out of place with my crop top and beer in hand, that is until I
turned the corner onto Cry Baby Hill.
Watching the riders race through the massive crowd is probably how Moses felt when he
parted the Red Sea, except this was actually real. As we continued to walk up the hill, the party
got louder and crazier with every step. It was what I imagine the Tour De France being like, only
with more beer and grown men wearing diapers. We reached the center of the madness and I
almost could not handle it. The sun was beating down on us and my luke warm beer was not
keeping me as hydrated as I had hoped. So, what is a girl who is sweating on her upper lip
suppose to do when she thinks she might die from a heat stroke? Dance, of course. When the
riders were not present, the middle of the street was more hoppin’ than the gay club my friend
and I accidentally ended up at the night previous. Although, I did get more free beer at the gay
club. As the riders rounded the corner, referees wearing wigs and kilts would shove everyone to
the side. This was my least favorite part because, being short, I almost alway ended up in a
guy’s sweaty armpit.
Off into the distance up the hill I could see my haven. The KHS tent looked so cool and
inviting. I was almost worried it was a mirage. We headed in the direction of the tent shoving red
blow horns and baby dolls on sticks out of our way. I immediately collapsed in a folding chair.
Paul Abrahams, director of KHS/Maxxis/JLVelo, asked me why I was sweating so much and
handed me a cold beer (Thanks Paul.) We decided to head back down to the party. This was
when the torrential downpour started. We were soaked head to toe and I was so happy.
My friend and I traveled back and forth between the tent and the party throughout the
whole race. After a few beers, I really didn’t know what was going on in the actual race, but you
better believe I was the loudest cheerleader on the course.River-Parks-Criterium-39
When the race was over, I was happy to hear Fabrizio Von Nacher of
KHS/Maxxis/JLVelo got 3rd place for the stage and 2nd overall. I waited around with the team
afterward and acted as a security guard when drunk blue haired men wearing shower curtains
as togas would come over and fondle the riders. And how else would we end such an amazing
race day other than to eat barbeque and dance until 2am at SoundPony. Tulsa Tough you have
outdone yourself and I will definitely be there next year, but with more beer, less clothes.

Anderson Wins Uptown Minneapolis Criterium; Hill Extends GC Lead


Anderson Wins Uptown Minneapolis Criterium; Hill Extends GC Lead

By Cynthia Lou

The Uptown Minneapolis Criterium was all about the sprint for all jersey competitions, not just the K’ul Chocolate Sprint jersey competition.


Ryan Anderson and teammate Jesse Anthony (Optum p/b Kelly Benefits Strategies) took first and third on the stage as Ben Hill (Donkey Label Racing) took second. Hill secured eight seconds of time bonus for his second place finish and five seconds for winning the first time bonus sprint competition, extending his lead over second-placed Tom Zirbel (Optum) by 13 seconds.


Optum stacked their general classification options as Anderson’s 15 seconds of time bonus (12 for the stage win and three for second in an intermediate time bonus sprint) moved him into third overall at 20 seconds behind Hill. Teammate Scott Zwizanski sits fourth overall at 27 seconds back. Anthony moved into seventh overall from ninth due to his six seconds of time bonus.


Champion System-Stan’s NoTubes successfully organized to deliver Bryan Gomez to the K’ul Chocolate Sprint jersey lead. Gomez started the stage just one point behind Elbowz Racing’s Stefan Rolfe.


Several crashes shook up the field, most notably one that took down over 25 riders. Between the crashes and the fast paced attacks to win intermediate sprints, the field split into two main groups.


The day’s notable break formed after the field split  with about 19 laps to go and consisted of Greg LeMond Best Young Rider jersey wearer Tobin Ortenblad (California Giant/Specialized), second placed young rider George Simpson (GS Ciao), Sergio Hernandez (InCycle-Cannondale Pro Cycling Team), George Capelle (Isagenix / SeaSucker / Guttenplan Coaching), and Gabriel Baca (Elbowz Racing).


“It was a fight on the sprints today for the time bonus,” said Ortenblad. “I attacked down the back stretch and the second the guys pulled through I knew I was pretty marked because the second placed young rider was there. I was a little bummed he was in the group because I was hoping to pull some time on him today.” Ortenblad was indeed able to extend his lead over Simpson by winning the second time bonus competition from the break.


“Everyone worked together well,” said Ortenblad. “Then Optum must have lined it up because they caught us within 10 laps or so.”


“We expected that was going to happen,” said Anderson of the break. “We wanted to stay together with the team and commit to the finish.”


The break was caught with just under two laps to go.


“I’m new to the team so we’re sort of finding each other a bit,” said Hill. “Tonight for the first time we got a bit of organization going into the finish there. We’re starting to work well together. Optum, they’re another level. But we’re doing what we can.”


There was no change in the Luther VW Top Amateur jersey, which will be worn by Elbowz Racing’s Colin Strickland.


Other notable Elbowz Racing rider was the field’s only woman Carmen Small, who stayed comfortably in the front group for the duration of her race.


“I made it to my halfway mark, and did a few more laps because it got easier because Optum was trying to collect themselves on the front,” said Small. “The bigger picture is to finish Stillwater, so while it may be kind of weird that I quit the race but I have to be smart about where I put my efforts. Tomorrow’s going to be really really hard. I know the course and the climbs will hurt me more than most of the guys.”


“What I noticed yesterday [at Cannon Falls Road Race] is I was fine sitting in the flats but as soon as I would go in the wind it was really hard for me. It was literally 5km/hr faster than any European race I’ve ever done. The sections that were Strava’ed, I was five miles per hour faster than any woman last year so that gives you an idea of the speed difference.”


Small, ever the fan favorite, was awarded a crowd prime of over $500 for being the first woman across the line.


Racing continues tomorrow with the 100.1 mile Menomonie Road Race, featuring higher classified King of the Hills competitions which are sure to shake up the standings.

Zirbel Wins Opening Time Trial of North Star Grand Prix


Zirbel Wins Opening Time Trial of North Star Grand Prix
by Cynthia Lou.
Tom Zirbel (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) won the five-mile, out-and-back time trial along the Mississippi River in St. Paul with a time of 9’ 55”. Ben Hill (Donkey Label Racing) also broke the 10-minute barrier to finish second on the stage. Michael Sheehan (Elbowz Racing) took third and was the fastest amateur.


“There’s always a little bit of pressure coming into this race,” said Zirbel, a former U.S. National Time Trial Champion. “We’ve won here the last four years and the time trial is my event. It’s a straightforward course – pretty much go as hard as you can for about 10 minutes. Make sure you pace yourself a little bit and I think I did that here today.”


While the course may be straightforward, the time trial is nonetheless a test of mental and physical focus.


“This is definitely the best time trial I’ve even ridden,” said Sheehan. “[My time trial is] a work in progress, it’s been a weakness. To get on the podium is awesome, it’s a lot of improvement. I had a power number that my coach told me to try to stick with. I was dying for the last mile and a half but I pulled it off.”


“I loved the course. I’m not such a time trialist but the course was really good for me,” said Hill. “I just hit it with a lot of power out there. I knew 10 minutes was a good thing to aim for and I thought I was in the ballpark so I was happy with that.”


Hill, guest riding for locally-based team Donkey Label Racing, is fitting in some American racing while on vacation from Australia.


“My mate who’s racing on the team as well said, ‘I’m doing some racing with Donkey Label, they have a spot for an extra rider.’” said Hill. “It worked out really well. We’ve been here for a week, ridden the TT course, Stillwater and Menomonie stage. They suit me pretty well. Optum’s got the lead so we’ll try and play off the back of them and we’ll see how it goes. Normally I seek out the breakaways and try and seek opportunities there but I’m kind of in a trick position in second, I’m not going to be able to get up the road so I’m not sure what I’m going to do.”


Playing off of Optum’s strategy and experience will be the course of many teams, as they have three former overall champions on their roster and four riders in the top ten.


“The strategy started today with trying to stack the time trial as well as we could, and we did that today,” said Zirbel. “It’s such a dynamic race, it changes moment to moment so we just have to be attentive so we make sure we don’t get into a situation we’re not happy with.”


Smaller rosters of six riders per team, versus eight riders per team in some races, makes for more dynamic racing.


“We have to be smart with our energy usage,” said Zirbel. “We’re not going to be able to chase every move, and make sure we’re aggressive enough to represent in every breakaway, be happy with any situation that goes up the road.”


Tobin Ortenblad (California Giant/Specialized) was the fastest rider under the age of 23, and will wear the white Greg Lemond Best Young Rider jersey into tonight’s Downtown St. Paul Criterium.


Hill will wear the K’ul Chocolate Sprint Competition jersey, and Sheehan the Luther VW Top Amateur jersey tonight in St. Paul where the action continues in Stage 2

Andrew Talansky, Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling, Crowned U.S. National Time Trial Champion

Andrew Talansky, Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling, Crowned U.S. National Time Trial Champion, Ben King 2nd on a Great Day for Green Argyle


Andrew Talansky and Ben King delivered a one-two finish for Cannondale-Garmin in the individual time trial at the USA Cycling National Road Championships on Saturday. Talansky posted the fastest time on the 30.9 kilometer course, stopping the clock at 38:48 to win first elite national title. King finished 10 seconds further back to secure the silver medal.


“I’m very proud to have won today and I’m even more proud of the fact that Cannondale-Garmin went 1-2 with myself and Ben King,” said Talansky about his first elite national title. “I haven’t won a time trial since U23 Nationals in 2010 so to win here in Chattanooga is an incredible feeling. More than anything I am looking forward to bringing the jersey back to Europe, to the Dauphine, and especially to the Tour de France. I cannot wait to line up at the start of the greatest race in the world in the stars and stripes, representing Cannondale-Garmin. It’s an honor.”


“First and second for the team – it couldn’t be any better than that,” added King, who had previously won gold in elite road race championships but had never medalled in the elite time trial. “I would be disappointed with second place if it were to anyone but Talanksy, especially at only 10 seconds. It’s a small margin on that course. I’m proud of what we did today. I’m proud of Andrew and myself. It was a great bit of work done by the team.”


The time trial course in Chattanooga, Tennessee is comprised of two identical laps. Each lap features rolling roads and turnaround points. Talansky negative split his race, posting a faster time on the second lap than the first, while King posted the fastest lap of the day on lap one.


“I always love time trials because it is about getting the most out of yourself,” continued Talansky. “That is all you have control over. Today I did the best ride I was capable of and thankfully that landed me on the top step of the podium. I wasn’t confident it would be enough but in the end it was, and it was a satisfying feeling to know that I had won.”


“Coming into today, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Two weeks ago I had to stop the first stage of the Amgen Tour of California due to illness. That was extremely disappointing. To come back today and to feel as strong as I did out there on the course really shows that things are heading back in the right direction.”


“Before the race, I was thinking that regardless of the outcome, it’s all or nothing,” said King. “It’s the National Championships, so you’re going to leave it all out there, and that’s exactly what I did.”


Talansky and King will join forces with Joe Dombrowski, Alex Howes and Ted King on Monday in pursuit of a second national title for Cannondale-Garmin – this time in the road race.

“To be first and second today gives us great momentum heading into the road race,” said King. “It shows we have what it takes to win. I think it gives us a lot of confidence and makes us even more hungry.”

2015 Amgen Tour of California Men Stage 4 Results

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Jersey Winners

  • Amgen Leader Jersey – Toms Skujins (LAT), Hincapie Racing Team (USA) – Note, this is Skujins’ second day winning the leader jersey
  • Lexus King of the Mountain (KOM) Jersey – Toms Skujins (LAT), Hincapie Racing Team (USA) – Note, this is Skujins’ second day winning the KOM jersey
  • Visit California Sprint Jersey – Mark Cavendish (GBR), Etixx – Quick-Step Pro Cycling Team (BEL) – Note, this is Cavendish’s fourth day winning the sprint jersey
  • SRAM Best Young Rider Jersey – Julian Alaphilippe (FRA), Etixx – Quick-Step Pro Cycling Team (BEL) – Note, this is Alaphilippe’s second day winning the Best Young Rider jersey.
  • Breakaway from Cancer®  Most Courageous Rider Jersey – Gregory Daniel (USA), Axeon Cycling Team (USA)



Stage 4 Men  Top – 3

  • FIRST – Peter Sagan (SVK), Tinkoff-Saxo (RUS)
  • SECOND – Wouter Wippert (NED), Drapac Professional Cycling (AUS)
  • THIRD – Mark Cavendish (GBR), Etixx – Quick-Step Pro Cycling Team (BEL)