Alison Powers Announces Retirement

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After an outstanding year racing with the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team around the world and representing the United States at the 2014 UCI Road World Championships, Alison Powers will retire from professional cycling and transition into the next chapter of her life. Looking back over her career, Powers commented, “It has been a pretty amazing career! I have won or been part of a team that has won almost every single race in the United States. All of my cycling goals have been accomplished and I feel very satisfied leaving the sport. I’m proud to have won the Tour of the Gila criterium in 2006, my first year doing NRC races, and then to have won it again this year, my last year racing.”

Alison Powers came to the team with a long list of accomplishments; a Pan American time trial championship title, the US National criterium championship title, and general classification wins at the Joe Martin Stage Race, Cascade Classic Stage Race, and Redlands Classic. In her incredible final season, Powers won the overall classification at the Tour de Femenino de San Luis, took victory in the Amgen Tour of California time trial, and claimed US national titles in both the road and time trial disciplines among many other impressive victories while wearing the blue and white of the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team. Alison said, “Being a part of the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team has been wonderful. This year felt like I was getting my ‘master’s degree’ in bike racing. I am so proud and happy to have been part of the team– and also sad to leave the program, my teammates, and the staff. They are all really wonderful people who took great care of me and taught me to become a better and more complete bike racer.”

In retirement, Powers plans to spend more time at home with family and friends in Colorado, while remaining active on her bike and Nordic skis. She will put more emphasis on her coaching business, ALP Cycles Coaching, allowing her share her racing skills and training expertise with other athletes. Powers concluded, “The past 10 years of my life as a bike racer have been really wonderful. I feel so lucky to have had this kind of hard work, team camaraderie, and success in my life. I really love riding my bike, and to know I have accomplished so much feels really wonderful and happy. I can leave the sport with a smile on my face and two current national championship jerseys.” General manager Mike Tamayo added, “Alison was instrumental in creating this program and yielding the one of the most successful seasons for a women’s team ever, especially a debut season. Not only is Alison is an extremely valuable rider in terms of her own results, the knowledge she brought as a coach, mentor, and racer was invaluable to the rest of the team. Alison will always be a part of the UnitedHealthcare Blue Train family, and will continue to stay involved with the team as a high-performance advisor and mentor to riders.” The UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team wishes Powers the best in her retirement and thanks her for her contributions to the program as a rider and a leader.

Jens Voigt sets new Hour Record

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Jens Voigt has put the Hour Record back into the headlines Thursday evening in Grenchen, Switzerland in front of over 1600 fans at the Velodrome Suisse, setting a new record distance of 51.110 kms to break the 2005 benchmark of 49.700 kms set in 2005 set by Ondrej Sosenka.

Jens Voigt was ahead of his set timetable from the first lap, and he slowly built on his lead as the seconds ticked off the clock. He never appeared in trouble and was able to increase his pace in the final 10 minutes to bring his speed over the 51km/h mark for the first time.

“I started as usual too fast, but that is just me I can’t control myself, and I realized that I was a second faster on the first lap than on the timetable so I tried to pace myself a little. But I was in good shape, just right. I am perfectly fit for this moment, I am in very good shape, and after 20 minutes I had gained one lap but I was still feeling in control. Then from 20-40 minutes I had a comfortable lead and I paced myself and was still gaining a little time. Then in the last 20 I sped up a little and gained another lap. The last 10 minutes were flat out – all-in.

“My only thoughts were to not over pace, to focus on holding the black line and to stay aero – no side thoughts. 51.1- yah I am pretty happy.”
– Jens Voigt

General Manager Luca Guercilena commented on Voigt’s Hour Record from Spain where Trek Factory Racing is currently preparing for the World Championship Team Time Trial on Sunday:

“At the start I was pretty worried because I knew the time schedule and he was fast, but then I was happy when I saw him balancing. I knew that at 40 minutes it was the line where he would either increase or go down and I was super happy to see him increase. It was really impressive to see him do this at the age of 43 – but Jens is Jens.

At the end I was really hoping he could beat the time of Moser because that was the first reference for the hour record and that would have been good. He was really, really close. It was a really nice way to finish his career with a good performance, and we gave him all our support and this is what he deserved. I am really happy the event went well. We all watched [the Hour Record] from a computer in Spain and I can say it was inspirational, and has given us a boost for Sunday.”
– Luca Guercilena

After it was over he was able to take in what he had just accomplished in front of a packed house in the Velodrome Suisse, and also televised live throughout the world. He admitted, even through the suffering, he was able to enjoy the moment:

“The first 10 minutes I could not feel the pedals and thought, ‘oh this is easy!’ Then I went, ‘oooooh, maybe you’d better pace yourself a little bit here.’ Then I went on cruising speed from 20-40 mins. But I could feel at that speed I was good, I could hold on to this speed, I am not going to break down or slow down. So I felt in control, and yes indeed I had a little bit of time to enjoy it.”

In the final 30 minutes Jens Voigt began standing at interspersed moments, the first show of the strain and pain from the tremendous effort.

“Having this cramped up position to hold for an hour is pretty tough. Basically the place where I sit on the saddle was really beginning to hurt and giving me a lot of pain, so every 10 laps I got out of the seat to stretch and release some pressure of my behind so to speak. I am happy that I don’t have to sit on the saddle for the next days now!

“I remember how Chris Boardman was walking after his effort and I am not far off from that. I am basically limping. It hurts in my glutes!

“Boardman was my first roommate in 1997 and I can’t ask for a better good-bye than this.”
– Jens Voigt

In 2014 the UCI unified the two previous classifications (Athlete’s Hour and Best Human Effort) into a single classification in line with regulations for current track pursuit bikes and Jens Voigt was the first attempt under the new ruling.

“It’s absolutely what we thought would happen, to bring the Hour Record back to status in a new era. It was pointless to continue the old system, we needed to allow the technology and bring back the magic. It was wonderful! Congratulations to Jens and all the Trek Factory Racing team.”
– Brian Cookson (president UCI)

Results: It’s The UHC Show In Tulsa

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@Luke_Keough wins in the sprint at the Brady District crit

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@bannahharnes takes the top step of podium again & @CorynRivera right behind takes 2nd Erica Allar 3rd-

Brady District

@bannahharnes takes the win and @CorynRivera right behind takes 2nd – 2 nights on the podium

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Co-Ed UHC

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2014 TT Brady District Women’s Pro-1-2 RESULT

2014 TT Brady District Men’s Pro-1 RESULT

©Danny Munson

Alison Powers Crushes US National Championship Time Trial

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Alison Powers Crushes US National Championship Time Trial, Earns Stars and Stripes for UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team

Less than two weeks after dominating the Amgen Tour of California Women’s Time Trial, Alison Powers took to the starting ramp at the USA Cycling Professional Time Trial National Championships today with hopes of repeating her 2008 victory and earning the coveted stars and stripes jersey for the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team. The 2014 course in Chattanooga, Tennessee was relatively long at 30.9 kilometers with rolling hills and technical turns. Alison has shown great form recently with fantastic strength and stamina, allowing her to power through the undulating course with speed and precision. Top form, flawless equipment, and determination all converged for Alison Powers today, as she devoured the course and claimed the victory by a margin of 30 seconds.

 

Alison adds this accomplishment to her already impressive résumé which includes the current US national professional criterium championship jersey, the 2013 national racing calendar points title, 2014 Tour Femenino de San Luis overall victory, and many more. Elated with her result, Alison Powers commented, “I am super happy– everyone believed in me, and to go from huge disappointment last year to sheer happiness this year is incredible. The team’s belief in me and the support they’ve given me have been big contributing factors.” Sports Director Rachel Heal added, “Alison had an amazing start to this year and we knew she had the form to get a great result here. She’s worked really hard for this and it’s fantastic to see her pull off the win. It was a full team effort with the support from Adrian, Tavis, Mike (team staff) and our sponsors playing a big part in ensuring Alison only had to focus on riding her bike… very fast!”

 

This race was an important goal for the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team and they prepared accordingly with extensive testing in the Faster wind tunnel optimizing the riders’ fit and position on their Wilier Twin Blade time trial bikes. To emerge from the race victorious shows commitment of the team, riders, and partners to the progress and success of the program. General Manager Mike Tamayo concluded, “We had a clear goal with Alison when we hired her last summer: get to the World Championships and to be capable of a medal. The first step in that process was to win nationals and secure the automatic qualification. We’ve just accomplished the first step.”

 

The US National Professional Road Championship takes place on Monday, May 26th, in which the men and women of the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team will race for the honor of wearing the stars and stripes, this time in the road race discipline. The women’s race totals 101.5 kilometers while the men’s event totals 161.9 kilometers. Both events will be covered live on the USA Cycling National Championships TourTracker.

 

 

BMC Racing Team’s Phinney Is U.S. Time Trial Champion

 

Stock Photo By Brian Hodes

Stock Photo By Brian Hodes

Chattanooga, Tennessee

 

BMC Racing Team’s Taylor Phinney won his second national time trial title in dominant fashion Saturday at the USA Cycling professional road championships.

‘Feeling Good And Feeling Fast’
Phinney’s 51-second margin of victory over runner-up Tom Zirbel (Team Optum presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies) was the largest in the event since 2009. Phinney went 1:24 faster than third-placed David Williams (5-Hour Energy presented by Kenda) while adding to the national time trial title he won in 2010. “I was surprisingly nervous today,” Phinney said. “I sort of felt like all I could do was lose. So I was really happy when I was out there and feeling good and feeling fast and getting positive time splits.” Phinney’s win was his fourth of the season. In February, he won the Stage 1 individual time trial of the Dubai Tour on the way to winning the overall. Last week, he soloed the final 25 kilometers to win Stage 5 of the Amgen Tour of California. “It is always a huge honor to come here and be able to win,” Phinney said. “I won four years ago, so to come back after missing nationals two years in a row is a special feeling.” His victory was the BMC Racing Team’s 14th of the season.

‘The Pressure Is Off’
Crouched low on his BMC timemachine TM01, Phinney led Zirbel by 13 seconds at the halfway point of the 30.9-kilometer race on two laps of an out-and-back course. That margin kept growing as BMC Racing Team Sport Director Max Sciandri relayed time splits from the Acura TSX Sport Wagon. “Taylor took a little bit of a beating from (Bradley) Wiggins in the time trial in California,” Sciandri said. “But it pushed him a little bit harder in training. He went straight home after the race, came out here a day early and then it was like a piece of a puzzle that falls into place. The pressure is off now that he has won it. We will let it sink in tonight and then tomorrow we start thinking about the road race.” Phinney will be joined by teammate Peter Stetina for Monday’s 165.5-km national championship road race that includes four ascents of Lookout Mountain. “I am relaxed now, this is a big weight off my shoulders,” Phinney said. “Now I can go into Monday a little bit more relaxed and kind of take it easier, put the pressure on the other teams and just kind of follow wheels.”

Listen to complete comments from Phinney and Sciandri on the BMC Racing Team’s Audio Line:

http://bit.ly/Vg94Oh

 

Wilcoxson, Zirbel Aim to Repeat in Stars and Stripes

 

Team Gears Up to Defend National Titles in Chattanooga

Wilcoxson, Zirbel Aim to Repeat in Stars and Stripes

May 23rd | Minneapolis, MN

The men and women of Optum Pro Cycling presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies head to Chattanooga, Tenneessee this weekend to defend their two national titles and hunt for more at the 2014 US Road and Time Trial National Championships.

The team heads into the chase for more national titles fresh off two highly successful race campaigns. At last week’s Tour of California, the men won a stage and the king of the mountain competition. One week earlier, the women claimed best overall team at the inaugural Women’s Tour of Britain, while also landing two podiums at the 2-day Tour of California women’s event.

“With the women coming off big results at home and overseas and the men having perhaps their best week in team history at the Tour of California and dealing with the heat and incredibly tough courses there, both teams should be flying,” said Performance Director Jonas Carney.

The team will defend titles in both disciplines – Tom Zirbel in the time trial, and Jade Wilcoxson in the road race. Select riders will tackle the 19-mile course for the time trial on Saturday before chasing the coveted road race title on Sunday across a twisting course with multiple standalone circuits.

“With two titles to defend, it definitely brings added pressure and excitement for us. Everyone is very excited to see Tom defend his first TT title, and the road course always makes for a very competitive race. I think we have the ability this year to land a big result on Monday,” added Carney.

The road race course retains its unique layout for 2014, including three separate circuits. The grinding 1,100 foot ascent of Lookout Mountain is again its centerpiece, tackled four times by the men and two by the women. Both pelotons will roll through an opening and closing circuit in downtown Chattanooga, and new for 2014, tackle Chattanooga’s own “wall” on Kent Street, a one block kicker reaching 20 percent grade.

2014 US National Championships Rosters

women
Janel Holcomb (road race, time trial)
Jade Wilcoxson (road race, time trial)
Maura Kinsella (road race, time trial)
Lauren Hall (road race, time trial)
Brianna Walle (road race, time trial)

men
Jesse Anthony (road race)
Alex Candelario (road race)
Mike Friedman (road race, time trial)
Brad Huff (road race)
Carter Jones (road race)
Bjorn Selander (road race)
Tom Soladay (road race)
Eric Young (road race)
Tom Zirbel (road race, time trial)
Scott Zwizanski (road race, time trial)

 

 

 

2014 Amgen Tour of California Stage 6

PETER SAGAN SPRINTS TO HIS FIRST 2014 AMGEN TOUR OF CALIFORNIA STAGE WIN IN FINAL WEEKEND OF RACING

 

Bradley Wiggins Retains Lead Heading into Tomorrow’s Race Finale

 

Final Chance for Leaders to Contest the Yellow Jersey in Tomorrow’s Thousand Oaks Circuit Race

 

PASADENA, Calif. (May 17, 2014) – With a new Amgen Tour of California champion to be decided as America’s premier annual road race concludes tomorrow, Team Sky and their former Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins (GBR) played it steady today to keep his 30-second lead in tact. But with a difficult course ahead for Stage 8 in Thousand Oaks, the quest to take home the prestigious yellow jersey is far from a foregone conclusion.

 

“It depends who’s there, how the race pans out at the start,” Wiggins said about the final stage. “I haven’t really looked at the route yet, so I have to take a look at it and try to think of all the scenarios that could happen tomorrow and try to work out a strategy for those. But I guess Peter [Sagan] will have another go if he’s there.”

 

Today’s Stage 7 presented by Crunchies Natural Snacks was finally the day the peloton’s top sprinters have been trying to materialize all week, with Cannondale Pro Cycling’s Peter Sagan(SVK) sprinting to his first Amgen Tour of California stage victory this year, and furthering his record stage wins in this race to 11. Marking his 66th career victory, Sagan will remain in the Visit California Sprint Leader Jersey, which he has won four years running.

 

“Today, I am very happy for this victory,” said Sagan. “It was big work of my team, all the team, because they were all pulling from the start to the finish. It was a very big stage for us. I am very happy for a victory because I’m a finish man and today we did very, very good work.”

 

The 88.7-mile stage from Santa Clarita to Pasadena began with a breakaway of seven cyclists around mile 13. Nearing the top of Angeles Crest, at more than 4,000 feet elevation, the final climb before a speedy descent into Pasadena, Team Garmin-Sharp’s Ben King (Charlottesville, Va.) attacked, narrowing the group to four, with the peloton trailing by about two minutes. Determined to deliver Sagan first over the line, Cannondale Pro Cycling propelled the peloton forward, steadily gaining on the lead group even as the elevation continued to rise.

 

As the breakaway descended into downtown Pasadena at speeds near 60 mph, rider by rider fell back until King and BMC Racing Team’s Greg Van Avermaet (BEL) punched up the speed to become the last two standing out front with 10 miles left to ride. As they crossed the iconic Colorado Street Bridge onto the first of three 3-mile circuits, the peloton bore down and finally caught the two just before the final lap. King’s ride earned him the Amgen Breakaway from Cancer® Most Courageous Rider Jersey.

 

In the final lap, Cannondale Pro Cycling, Team Giant-Shimano and BMC Racing Team maneuvered to put their sprinters into prime position to pounce, with Team Sky taking turns at the front to ensure their leader would not lose time at the line. In the final kilometer, BMC Racing Team’s Taylor Phinney (Boulder, Colo.) led out former world champion Thor Hushovd (NOR) in a bid for the stage win. At his heels were Team Giant-Shimano’s John Degenkolb (GER) and Sagan.

 

Sagan used three tight corners leading to the finish to his advantage, moving around to the front to claim the stage win by a clear margin. Hushovd, who has racked up stage wins in every Grand Tour, including nine in the Tour de France, placed second, with Trek Factory Racing’s Danny Van Poppel (NED) in third, Zakkari Dempster (AUS) with  Team NetApp-Endura in fourth andDegenkolb settling for fifth.

 

There was no change to the overall lead today, and Wiggins will ride the final stage in Thousand Oaks wearing the Amgen Race Leader Jersey (+:30) over Team Garmin-Sharp’s Rohan Dennis(AUS). Lawson Craddock (Austin, Texas) of Team Giant-Shimano remains in the Crunchies Best Young Rider jersey and in third place overall (+1:48) with Team NetApp-Endura’s Tiago Machado(POR) in fourth place (+2:02). Will Routley (CAN) of Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies further cemented his hold on the Michelob Ultra King of the Mountain Jersey today, which he alone has worn all week.

 

“The Amgen Tour of California provides an opportunity to raise awareness of some of the world’s most serious illnesses, such as cancer and cardiovascular disease,” said Ray Jordan, senior vice president, Corporate Affairs, Amgen. “Our sponsorship also allows us to connect with patients through programs running in tandem with the race, such as the national Breakaway from Cancer®initiative.”

 

Founded by Amgen in 2005 as a complementary component to its title sponsorship of the Amgen Tour of California, Breakaway from Cancer continues to raise awareness of the important resources available to people impacted by cancer – from prevention to survivorship.

 

As part of today’s activities, Santa Clarita resident and cancer advocate Lisa DeLong fired the official start gun, and Bakersfield’s Larry Aronat, winner of the recent design contest to create this year’s Amgen Breakaway from Cancer Most Courageous Rider Jersey, presented the jersey to Team Garmin-Sharp’s Ben King.

 

For access to resources or to learn more, visit breakawayfromcancer.com.

 

From iconic ocean vistas to mountaintop finishes to desert scapes, the cyclists will cover more than 720 miles of beautiful and varying California terrain this week as they ride from the north to the south of the state in the ninth annual Tour de France-style competition.

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2014 Amgen Tour of California Stage 6

Jersey Winners

  • Amgen Leader Jersey – Bradley Wiggins (GBR), Team Sky (GBR)
    • Wiggins has won the Amgen Leader Jersey five times since stage 1
  • Michelob Ultra King of the Mountain (KOM) Jersey – Will Routley (CAN), Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies (USA)

o   Routley has won the Michelob Ultra King of the Mountain (KOM) Jersey every stage

  • Visit California Sprint Jersey – Peter Sagan (SVK), Cannondale Pro Cycling (ITA)

o   Sagan has won the Visit California Sprint Jersey twice since stage 1

  • Crunchies Best Young Rider Jersey – Lawson Craddock (USA), Team Giant-Shimano (NED)
    • Lawson has won the Crunchies Best Young Rider Jersey five times since stage 1
  • Amgen’s Breakaway from Cancer® Most Courageous Rider Jersey – Christopher Jones (USA), UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team (USA)

 

 

Stage 6 Men – Top 3

  • FIRST – Johan Esteban Chaves Rubio (COL), ORICA-GreenEDGE (AUS)
  • SECOND – David De La Cruz Melgarejo  (ESP), Team NetApp-Endura (GER)
  • THIRD – Tom Danielson (USA), Team Garmin-Sharp (USA)
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