Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling’s Chloe Hosking has won La Course by Le Tour de France in a bunch sprint on probably the most prestigious avenue in World Cycling, the Champs-Elysées in Paris. The Australian Sprint blasted past late breakaway rider Ellen van Dijk (Boels-Dolmans) in the final 100 metres of the race, with Finnish Champion Lotta Lepistö (Cervélo-Bigla) and former World Champion Marianne Vos (Rabo-Liv) trailing across the line metres behind her.
“I was like ‘Are they coming? Are they coming?’ And then they didn’t come!” Hosking said afterwards. “To cross the line with my hands in the air was just crazy! I still haven’t seen my teammates, I think they came down in some crashes, so I’m a bit like ‘I want to know where they are!’
“I just kept riding after the finish, and people probably thought I was a bit weird,” Hosking laughed. “But my family and my fiancé are about 200 metres past the finish line, so I just wanted to go and see them. I think we’re all in a bit of disbelief at the moment.”
Hosking’s victory came at the end of a strong race for every member of the Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling team, with Dutch Classics specialist Amy Pieters part of a late breakaway that was only closed down in the closing kilometres of the final lap. Unfortunately, Olympic Track Champion Dani King and French Time Trial Champion Audrey Cordon-Ragot were brought down in late crashes, but their work to protect Hosking throughout the race had been done.
“They were incredible,’ Hosking said. “There were a few moments there. We missed that first break that had about three or four girls in it, but I just looked up the peloton and they were all just on the front. Then Amy Pieters was in a break with a lap to go, and I don’t even know when we caught them actually…
“Amy Roberts, our young British rider, was up the front, then at the back, and then up the front and never gave up. Then of course Audrey, our French rider, was protecting me for the last three laps, and put me in position.
“I’m so lucky!”
Despite the hard work from many teams to ensure a bunch sprint, van Dijk escaped alone just as the Pieters break was caught on the Quai des Tuileries, just before the peloton ducked into the tunnel beneath the Jardin des Tuileries for the last time. With a kilometre to go it looked as though the former World Time Trial Champion might be able to hold off the sprinters but, as she crossed the Place de la Concorde on the approach to the finishing straight, the Dutchwoman was in Hosking’s sights.
As she accelerated, Hosking surged several lengths clear of her sprint rivals, and had crossed the line before they could pull her back.
“She sort of took a flyer as we through the tunnel and I was just jumping from train to train,” Hosking explained. “First of all Canyon were going, then Rabo came, and I came through that bottom corner – which is still 400 to go – on Pauline Ferrand-Prevot’s wheel.
“Then she sort of swung with 300 to go and I thought ‘this is way too early!’ but I went, kicked, sat on Ellen’s wheel, and then kicked again. As I said, I was waiting for them to come, and they didn’t come!”
Hosking’s victory is her fourth in the UCI Women’s WorldTour in 2016. The Australian sprinter won the second stage of the Tour of Chongming Island in May, then went on to take the race overall, and won her first ever stage of the Giro d’Italia Femminile earlier this month.
Rally Cycling Dominates Cascade Cycling Classic Time Trial
Tom Zirbel and Evan Huffman dominated the stage two Crooked River Time Trial at the Cascade Cycling Classic, finishing first and second. Zirbel set a blistering pace to record the fastest time of the day with a 30:45 on the 16-mile course. His Rally Cycling teammate, Huffman crossed the line a few minutes later in a time of 31:03 to give Rally Cycling the top two spots on the leaderboard. Stage one winner Robin Carpenter (Holowesko-Citadel) crossed the line in third at 31:09.
“I felt pretty good out there today, said Zirbel after his win. “It’s a time trial course that suits me well, but I have never come away with a victory here in my career so I’m happy about that. We set ourselves up well for the rest of the race with four guys in the top ten on the general classification. It should be an exciting next three days!”
The win moves Zirbel into the overall lead and continues a successful farewell season for the 37 year-old. Although retiring at the end of the year, Zirbel has not been riding off quietly into the sunset. In addition to today’s victory, Zirbel smashed the stage three, Tyrone Time Trial at the Tour of the Gila, as well as the prologue of the North Star Grand Prix. He was also a key member of the U.S. National Team Time Trial winning squad, and finished second at the U.S. National Time Trial Championships.
The team will now look to defend Zirbel’s lead in the final three stages. Behind Zirbel in the general classification, Huffman sits in second, Emerson Oronte in ninth and Danny Pate in tenth – giving the team plenty of options for overall victory. In addition to claiming the yellow jersey on Sunday, Rally Cycling will use the remaining stages as a testing ground and final tune-up ahead of the Tour of Utah, August 1-7.
“The men’s team had a good day today,” said Team Director Pat McCarty. “We went 1-2 in the time trial and have the overall lead with Tom. We also have Evan in third overall. We will do everything we can to keep Tom in yellow, but there are some challenging days coming up. Having arguably the strongest rider overall in the race sitting third, Evan, and one of the strongest most experienced teams here puts us in a good position.”
In the women’s race, Jessica Prinner was the team’s top finisher in 11th, and now holds the same position overall. Sara Poidevin extended her lead in the Best Young Rider’s competition with a solid 18th place performance. In addition to Poidevin remaining in the white jersey, Erica Allar will start stage three in the green jersey of best sprinter as today’s stage was void of sprint points.
The Cascade Cycling Classic continues on Friday with the Cascade Lakes Road Race. The men will race for 105 miles, the women 83 miles.
Cascade Cycling Classic Stage 2: Men
1. Tom Zirbel (Rally Cycling)
2. Evan Huffman (Rally Cycling)
3. Robin Carpenter (Holowesko-Citadel)
Best Young Rider Stage 2: Women
Sara Poidevin (Rally Cycling)
Points Competition Stage 2: Women
Erica Allar (Rally Cycling)
PRO WOMEN RESULTS:
Pro Men Results:
Curran Doubles Up At U23 Nationals
As Axeon Hagens Berman Dominates Again
Louisville, Kentucky – Geoffrey Curran won the Under 23 U.S. national road title Friday to go with the time trial championship he took home on Thursday while leading a 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-9 finish by Axeon Hagens Berman Cycling Team riders at the USA Cycling Amateur Road Nationals.
Curran and USA Cycling Pro Road Tour leader Neilson Powless teamed together for a 150-kilometer breakaway that eventually lapped the field in the 177-km race on a 7.7-km circuit in Cherokee Park.
Powless, who was also runner-up to Curran on Thursday, said his 20-year-old teammate from Tustin, California, was clearly the strongest rider.
“I could tell from the pulls that he was taking that Geoffrey is really on good form now,” Powless said. “In pretty much every single one of my races he has given up plenty of results for himself, especially to help me. I thought it was only fitting that he take home two gold medals. He is really deserving of it.”
Joining their teammates in the top 10 were Tyler Williams (third), Phil O’Donnell (fourth), Colin Joyce (fifth), Will Barta (sixth), Chad Young (seventh) and Justin Oien (ninth). Curran and Powless finished 2:47 ahead of Williams and O’Donnell, who sprinted it out for the bronze medal. A further 2:22 behind, Joyce won a three-up sprint ahead of Barta and Young. Cooper Willsey (CCB Racing) was the first non-Axeon Hagens Berman rider to finish, 8:04 behind the winning pair.
Axeon Hagens Berman Sport Director Jeff Louder said about the only thing that did not go well was a flat tire to the team car during the race. On Thursday, Axeon Hagens Berman swept the podium as part of a 1-2-3-4-7-9-10 finish in the race against the clock.
“We knew coming in we were the favorites and it was important that we lived up to that,” Louder said. “I told the guys this morning that we only win by racing as a team. We had to be great teammates. And everyone raced aggressively – but in support of the team and always trying to have the odds in our favor. The results speak for themselves. The guys executed on a lot of stuff everyone talks about but is not so easy to do when you are out there. They raced really smart and pulled it off.”
Curran came into the national championships with a season-best result of fourth place and a finish at nationals never better than 10th. But on back-to-back days in Louisville, he won twice to help Axeon Hagens Berman score its seventh and eighth national titles, a team record. His latest victory was the team’s 25th on the year, also a record.
“Nationals has never been my forté,” Curran said. “You can come in as good as you want and nothing can happen. In the road race, if you have the form and everything you could do well, or you might not do well at all. This year, for the road race, it was a combination of my form and execution. For the time trial, I have had some pretty solid results coming into it, so it was execution again today.
“Success at nationals is one of those things that translates well to civilian life,” he said. “You can say you are a national champion and people understand that. You can tell people you won the Tour de France – and that’s a lot bigger – but people have no idea. So when I say I won and here’s my jersey and here’s my medal, it is very satisfying.”
The team’s list of national champions is topped by Greg Daniel, who won the professional U.S. men’s road race in late May. The remaining seven are all Under 23 titlists: Curran (American road and time trial), Eddie Dunbar (Irish road), Tao Geoghegan Hart (British road), Ruben Guerreiro (Portugese road) and Krists Neilands (Latvian road and time trial).
Williams, who also medaled in nationals competition for the first time in his career, said there was rarely an easy moment in the 23-lap race.
“We basically started hitting out from almost kilometer zero,” the 21-year-old Santa Rosa, California, resident said. “I did most of the first lap alone, off the front, and there were always groups coming and going. Right after the first couple of laps, Neilson attacked and was alone. Then, Geoffrey was able to bridge shortly after that and that was how they got away. Of course, when you are chasing the guys who finished first and second in the time trial, it is hard to bring those guys back.”
Williams said the loop, while short on kilometers, provided plenty of challenging, up-and-down and technical terrain.
“The course was quite taxing,” he said. “You were able to make a difference pretty easily and create quite a gap. By no means was it an easy race. I know everyone is completely trashed. So while we had amazing results, we all gave 100 percent today and then some.”
Cylance Pro Cycling State-of-the Union Update
Shelley Olds and Kathryn Bertine Return From Injury – Doris Schweizer and Sheyla Gutiérrez Claim Road Race National Championships
Team racing stronger than ever; Shelley Olds and Kathryn Bertine recovering well from crash-related injuries.
At the six-month mark of Cylance Pro Cycling’s inaugural year, great strides are in the making for this Women’s World Tour professional team. In the past month, every member of the team pulled their weight in domestique/teammate roles to help Cylance riders reach new heights. Rossella Ratto and Valentina Scandolara stood atop the podium of UCI Winston-Salem, while Krista Doebel-Hickok climbed to 9th place at UCI Philadelphia International Classic, Sheyla Gutierrez garnered many best young rider UCI points/finishes, and Shelley Olds started the season with the most consistent top-10 finishes of any professional rider.
While wins and high-placing finishes are a successful pinnacle for any new team, the celebratory world of professional cycling comes with the troublesome caveat of crashes and injuries. Cylance Pro Cycling’s Shelley Olds and Kathryn Bertine both sustained crashes involving head injuries. Luckily, each rider has not only survived, but shown a unique, personal tenacity in overcoming injury. Both athletes are focused on coming back to the peloton after wisely prioritizing time to heal. Olds, who crashed in early March and sustained a head injury in addition to three herniated cervical spine discs, tendinitis, bursitis and arthritis, offers insight on her recovery.
“Well, I would say that I have finally turned a corner, but I don’t want to get ahead of myself. It’s really all been about taking it slow and one day at a time… But I believe I am at a point where I am truly moving forward now, “ Olds says. She is currently staying in South Lake Tahoe at high altitude as she rehabs her injuries, and was able to ride and train again two months after the crash.
“I have done everything in my power and control to heal and rejoin the team. There is nothing I would like more. I will continue to rehab and seek medical treatments for all of my injuries and work daily on a full recovery!” Olds adds, noting that her return to racing will begin in July.
Less than a month after Olds’ fall in Europe, teammate Kathryn Bertine encountered a serious injury at UCI Vuelta Feminil in Baja, Mexico. A mid-peloton pile-up caused by another rider’s fall vaulted Bertine to a head injury that nearly ended in devastation. Immediate seizures resulted from two broken bones in the skull, creating a life-threatening situation on the race course, where the doctor in UCI caravan took action and got Bertine to hospital in just enough time. For the next 2.5 weeks, Bertine was hospitalized in La Paz, Mexico and Tucson, Arizona. After two months, the neurological (and broken right clavicle) healing progressed to a point some medical professionals label “lucky” and “miraculous.”
“I don’t remember the crash,” Bertine says, “But I do know that I’m very lucky to be alive! I have followed my doctors’ orders for self-care, healing, resting, regaining physical strength and neurological advancements. I understand how serious this crash was. It truly amazes me that I’m able to ride and train now, and that there is still a chance for me to race. Especially in my last pro season before retirement! To stand on the start line in my Cylance kit will close the chapter of this accident, bring a victory to surviving and hopefully inspire others that we all have the power and possibility to overcome our injuries.”
Bertine, just like her determined teammate Olds, plans to return to the Cylance roster in July. We’re fortunate and thankful they’ve both regained their health.
From the managers, directors, sponsors and partner of Cylance Pro Cycling, we believe our team has given an exceptional, inaugural six months of results that go far beyond the podium. We won races, but we also “won” a roster of athletes who embody what it means to be passionate, professional and driven. Whether a race yields wins or injuries, our cyclists inspire us all to overcome obstacles and embrace the journey of sport. At Cylance Pro cycling, we’re excited to see what the next six months have in store!
Cylance Pro Cycling’s Doris Schweizer Earns Her Second Swiss Road Race Crown to Match her Time Trial Champion Jersey
Sunday in Martigny, Switzerland, Doris Schweizer matched her gold medal from Wednesday in the Swiss Time Trial National Championships by taking the red Swiss Champion’s Jersey in the Road Race. Doris made her way into the race’s final selection of 8 riders with one lap of the course to go and then made a solo bid for victory which ultimately proved successful. “I am very happy with this victory,” added Doris, “because, even though I realized quickly that I was the strongest, often these races on difficult circuits are the hardest to win! I am particularly pleased to finally be able to give my team two victories, and, of course, this gives me additional motivation for the Giro Rosa in July!”
Sheyla Gutiérrez Second in Spanish Road Race National Championships; Claims U23 Jersey
Not to be outdone, Sheyla Gutiérrez, followed up her U23 Spanish time Trial Championship Jersey with a big result in the Spanish National Road Race Championships by earning a silver medal. Sheyla’s effort ultimately earned her the U23 Spanish National Road Race Champion’s Jersey.”Proud to earn two gold medals in the Spanish National Championships,” said Sheyla, “but I am still not finished. I will return stronger next year 💪 thank you all!”
In the exciting 1st stage of the Aviva Women’s Tour, 140k from Atherstone to Stratford-Upon-Avon, Cylance Pro Cycling’s Alison Tetrick broke away in the last 20k, and it looked like a win was on the horizon. After a crash Tetrick sustained in the early part of the race, the breakaway itself was a tremendous attack. With just 10k to go, time trial specialist Tetrick build a two minute lead on the peloton. Yet with the finish line in sight–and just 10 meters to go!–Tetrick was hunted down in a determined chase and outsprinted at the last moment. Christine Majeurs (Boels-Dolmans) and Marianne Vos (Rabo-Liv) packed a one-two punch for the podium and took five other riders with them to the line, as Tetrick finished her valiant effort in 8th place. While she may not have claimed the podium, Tetrick was easily the Fan Favorite of the day. Her exciting tactics and determination were well documented by the media and appreciated by the crowds, as she demonstrated the power of women’s pro cycling. “The Aviva Women’s Tour did not disappoint in challenging courses and aggressive racing,” says Tetrick, who would have to wait till stage 5 to understand the depths of her physical state after the crash and the breakaway.
The second day of the Tour traveled 132k from Southwold – Norwich and, as Tetrick recovered in the peloton from yesterday’s enormous effort, Rossella Ratto of Cylance Pro Cycling finished in chase group just 1:42 seconds off the winning break. The weather was an abysmal downpour, which brought out the character and grit of world class racers, who fought through the conditions. Amy Pieters (Wiggle-High5) , Lisa Brennauer (Canyon-SRAM) and Marianne Vos (RAbo-Liv) topped the podium.
Day three took the peloton 112k from Ashbourne – Chesterfield and the rain held off for another three-hour day of world-class racing. Cylance Pro Cycling’s youngest rider Sheyla Gutierrez finished the day in the top 25, less than thirty seconds from the win. Lizzie Armitstead (Boels-Dolmans) , Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (Cervelo Bigla) and Elisa Longo-Borghini (Wiggle High5) claimed the victories.
In a spirited day of breakaways and attacks for 119k from Nottingham – Stoke-on-Trent, Marianne Vos, Leah Kirchmann (Liv- Plantur) and Emma Johansson (Wiggle High5) would score the podium but Cylance Pro Cycling’s Valentina Scandolara showed her strength sticking with the chase group. After four days in the stage race and one month of back-to-back events with multiple podiums, Scandolara and her teammates proved this inaugural World Tour team shows nothing but strength and potential.
On the final day of Aviva’s Women’s Tour, 113k from Northampton – Kettering, a seven rider break stayed away, securing the podium for Lotta Lepisto (Cervelo Bigla), Marta Bastianelli (Ale Cipollini) and Elena Cecchini (Canyon SRAM). Cylance Pro Cycling’s Sheyla Gutierrez showed her fierce power once again, finishing 13th, just 11 seconds off the win. At the end of stage 5, Tetrick found out that the crash she sustained in stage 1 left her with cracked three ribs and injured her shoulder.
“I had crashed earlier in Stage 1 and was in quite a bit of pain but was determined to continue racing to help the team and to create more opportunities for another chance to win, “ said Alison Tetrick. “Unfortunately, the injuries were confirmed by the 5th day as three broken ribs and an injured shoulder. It had been 5 painfully fought days that I am proud of and also humbled by the amount of encouragement and positivity that I was able to soak up on the roads of England.”
The teamwork at Aviva Women’s Tour also left a great impression. “Each day the team was determined to perform at our best level, and to represent Cylance and our sponsors on the world’s biggest stage,” said Tetrick. “I am thankful to the team and the organization for providing such a large platform through media, television, and the fans for us to perform on at the Aviva Women’s Tour. I don’t know what was more painful, launching a bold attack at 25k to go and so closely losing the victory, or watching the replay on TV that evening. This race won’t be one that I will soon forget!”