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)

Mammoth Mountain Bike Park: Bullet Downhill Course Preview

Kamikaze Bike Games:

Bullet is a true gnarly DH (downhill) trail from top to bottom. You’ve got some fast flowy sections, into gnarly rocking sections, into the triple drop and some man-made features into the house jump. It’s definitely a pro-line,” says Cliff Klock, Mammoth Mountain’s Bike Park Manager.

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Bell, Kline win at Bucks County Classic

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Team SmartStop concluded their exceptional year of racing with a double win over the weekend at the Thompson Bucks County Classic, where Zach Bell took out the road race on Saturday and Shane Kline the Criterium on Sunday.

In the wet and cold Zach Bell raced away from a breakaway of six riders in the final 20km of the Bucks County Classic to solo to victory after 100 miles of racing.

In a race filled with drama, rain and crashes, Team SmartStop’s ultimate goal was to finish the year the way we started, hold onto the National Racing Calendar’s leaders jersey and the UCI America’s Tour.

With Kiel Reijnen (United HealthCare), our threat to the UCI America’s Tour jersey going down in a n unfortunate crash early on in the race, the NRC and America’s Tour were all but sealed up for Team SmartStop.

With only four riders left in the field from the team, both Julian Kyer (crash) and Adam Myerson had abandoned, it was up to Bell, Kline, Livermon and McCabe to control a field represented by Optum Pro Cycling, Team Jamis Hagens-Berman and United HealthCare.

The rain came down and the field was getting whittled down, with riders crashing and abandoning due to the conditions. Throughout the race there was a flurry of attacks and on the final of six 14 mile circuits, Zach Bell would find himself in the winning move of six riders.

With 20km of racing left, Zach launched an attack on the climb and left the remaining breakaway riders in his wake. He would ride solo in the rain into New Hope to take his first UCI win of the season and the final road race win of 2014 for Team SmartStop.

The Criterium on Sunday defied all historic logic and was won from a field sprint and not a breakaway group as has happened in previous years.

Because of the way the race has unfolded in the past, Team SmartStop were extremely active for the entire 60 mile race to ensure they would not miss that winning move.  A number of riders attempted to escape but were only given a rope of up to 10 seconds before a full gas peloton would swallow them back up again.

Crashes were once again prominent in the race with Kline hitting the deck with three other riders midway through the race. He got up unscathed though and after a quick wheel change from mechanic, Chris Kreidl, and a free lap he was back in the pack and ready to use his frustration in the race.

On the final lap, Adam Myerson and Shane Kline would connect to start the lead out and with 200m before the finish line, Shane launched his attack and rode away from the field for a convincing win.

Video of the final 200m can be viewed here.

The Bucks County Classic concludes the racing year for Team SmartStop.

2014 Masters National Criterium Championship 40-44

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2014 Masters National Criterium Championship 40-44

by Matthew Carinio

2014 hadn’t necessarily gone to plan due to a combination of limited racing, an untimely mechanical at Gila, and not being at my best for a majority of the season. Unfortunately, this trend continued earlier in the week at Nationals in Ogden, Utah. In the time trial I didn’t have a great ride and it left me a handful off seconds off a podium spot. In the road race I just missed the podium again but most likely didn’t have the legs to stand on the top step. Heading into the criterium I was already looking to next season. I told my teammate John Olsen that I would step my game up for 2015 after a frustrating year where I felt a bit “off” the entire season.

It has been three years since I last competed in the National Criterium Championship, mainly because I’m usually ready to pack in the season after the TT and RR events. However, this year I had the pleasure of coaching John into his first Masters 1/2/3 races of his career at Nationals so having him do the criterium would be a great experience. Once we saw the course, I told him that it was tailor made for a breakaway. A 1.5 km course, nine corners, a very small rise in turn one, and the longest straight being only 300 meters long. I told him one thing that is unique about Nationals is that it is more open than any other race due to teams being broken up by the tight age categories. This means that the big criterium teams would not be able to control the race as they typically would. At most, a big team may have only 3-4 riders.

Although I only do one or two non-stage race criteriums a year, I was very aware our 80 rider field was stacked with talent: Charon Smith (SoCal legend), Phil Tinstman (has won everything this year), Chris DeMarchi (former National champion), Dean LaBerge (former National champion), Rudy Napolitano (former National Champion), Matt Gates (current National champion), the list goes on and on. Knowing I would need to use everything in my control to get the result I wanted, the prep began race morning. Preparing ice socks for the expected +90 degree weather, multiple ice bottles for the warm up and the race, cutting the long-sleeves off my speed suit, using the deepest wheel set I have, all with a goal of being aero and keeping my body temperature as cool as possible for the effort I knew would be required. Winning the race from a breakaway.

During the warm up I chatted with a few other riders and the consensus was the course was great for a break. Most riders were more interested in sharing war stories from the previous day’s Road Race and this kept the mood pretty relaxed leading to the start. I reminded John that all crits start fast but usually around the 15 minute mark the pace slows and everybody catches their breath. With that, we were called to the line.

As expected, the race started very aggressively. A few of the favorites were going for it early and that did surprise me a bit. At one point in opening few laps a group of eight, that contained a lot of the favorites, got away and gained 10 seconds. Rudy jumped across and I was quickly on his wheel. After a 1/2 lap chase we made contact but the field was on our heels and closed it down. The first lull was upon us, I looked at my computer for the first time and we were 12 minutes into the race. On the very next lap through the start/finish I was sitting around 30th position, the pack began to swell before hitting the little rise before turn 1 and unexpectedly shifted in mass to the inside curb on the straight. I made an instinctive decision. I went full throttle up the hill on the outside and around the entire group. It was now time and I pushed all my chips in. As we crested the hill during the turn I was already at full speed and passing the front riders of the group. As riders saw me, I could hear them yelling to “go” but I kept it wide open. After a quarter lap of what felt like an all out sprint, I finally turned around. I noticed two things immediately: Matt Gates was on my wheel and we had a small gap. I continued to pull for a full lap before swinging off with Gates smoothly pulling through. There is another rider with us who I hadn’t noticed in my original check and he opens a gap. I immediately pull behind Gates knowing we cannot mess around with who is or isn’t pulling. For the next two laps Gates and I trade 1/2 lap pulls with the third rider sitting on. No words are exchanged. As we head into our 3rd breakaway lap, I hear the announcer exclaim “25 laps to go”! Ugh, this is going to be a long and painful. At that moment I turn around again and see the third rider has blown and is no longer with us. We also get a time check of 7 seconds to a group of five riders attempting to bridge across. The defining moment of the race is upon us and I can feel it.

I’ve raced with Matt Gates frequently over the last three seasons at the Tour of Gila and Nationals so I am very aware of his capabilities and we were a perfect match for the effort we were embarking on together. I also know he has the biggest team in the race with four riders. What I really like about this situation isn’t that his team will cover attacks but quite the opposite. I have taken the horsepower of 4 strong riders out of the chase. I believe that if it were any other rider with me, the break would never have succeeded because Gate’s teammates would also have been adding to the chase and the break would have been doomed.

During the next lap the announcer says the five chasing riders are still at 7 seconds.   I never turn around but consider asking Gates to sit up so we can wait for them. Before I open my mouth, I have second thoughts about my idea. If one of the riders of the five isn’t completely committed, they may become disorganized and may not even make it across. Sure enough the next lap they were absorbed by the pack and the announcer says we now have 15 seconds. The elastic has snapped or at least stretched. Over the next 5 laps Gates and I continue our 1/2 lap pulls, rotating in the exact same spot each time. We never look at each other and we never say a word. With 20 laps to go our gap grows to its largest of the day at 25 seconds and I am still on the limit with the throttle wide open.

My ice sock has melted, my first water bottle is empty and has been discarded, and we still have 18 laps remaining. Typically in a breakaway there is a time when I can settle in and get comfortable. In my head, I calculated we would need a 45 second gap for that to happen. Until then, I was going to ride on the limit. With 15 laps remaining it became apparent that the gap I really wanted was never going to happen. Although riding at maximum effort for the last 10+ laps, our slim gap wasn’t growing and I was getting concerned with the effort and the heat. I wasn’t thinking about the win, I was thinking about just finishing. With 10 laps to go the gap was locked at a mere 18 seconds. It was at this time I emptied my last water bottle. My mouth is dry. I’m not recovering after my pulls. I am dizzy. This is becoming a mental exercise to overcome the demons.

It was amazing to see and hear all the riders watching the race and familiar faces around the course giving us time gaps and encouragement. It was like having a race radio providing us the information to stay motivated. The announcer was also important by giving us an indication of how organized or disorganized the pack was riding every lap. For us to survive, we needed every advantage we could get.

As the laps counted down so did the gap. With 6 laps to go the gap was down to 14 seconds. I turned around for one of the first times since we started this move nearly an hour earlier and the pack was in sight behind us on the short start/finish straight. I start calculating, we can’t lose more than 2 seconds a lap. I continue my TT tuck as I take my pulls trying to stay as aero as possible knowing that every second will count. My big concern now is with the pack so close, a solo rider will be tempted to jump across after hiding in the pack during the entire chase. Over the next few laps this is exactly what started to happen. However, what was making this bridge for these riders difficult was the surprising amount of wind that was on course. Gates and I had been dealing with this the entire race but it would go unnoticed in the pack until you stuck your nose in the wind.

With only three laps remaining the gap had gone back out to 18 seconds. The heat and pressure are taking its toll and the pack is having difficulty closing us down.   The time check is motivating but I am really suffering from the effort, the heat, severe dehydration and I’m now having difficulty even holding Gate’s wheel on his pulls. During this entire ride I haven’t had the luxury to even think about how I am going to beat Gates to the finish With the gap the entire race being so small, I am never confident we would even survive. That lap was the toughest of the race both physically and mentally and it showed. With two laps remaining the gap is down to the smallest margin of the race at only 7 seconds. I turn around again and they are upon us. It feels like the pack can just reach out and physically grab and pull us into their clutches. We’re dangling at 50 meters. During this next lap I continue to give everything but I mentally curse the race for being one lap too long! Somehow, we survive. We have made it to the bell lap.

Then announcer is yelling. The crowd around the course has made it’s way to the finish to witness the outcome and Gates is now raging.   We hit the bottom of the hill for the final time. Things go black. The next thing I remember is two corners later and I’m still on Gates’ wheel. I turn around to see a rider right on top of us attempting to bridge with the pack a few meters from his rear wheel. Gaps are showing in the front of the field. Gates and I are approaching the left hand turn where he had been pulling off every lap. Without thinking, I lay off him to open a gap heading into the turn, put it in the 11 and make a run. Out of the turn, I jump as hard as I can across the road and after a few seconds I turn around. Gates looked to be just in front of the pack and I have the same gap of 50 meters when we heard the bell. Five turns remain and I am now in winning mode. Full throttle on all the straights asking my body to give whatever is left and but I demand even more. Three turns from the finish I check again…same 50 meter gap. I have no idea what riders are behind me (a video online shows it was DeMarchi and Charon). At this point I knew if i could make it the second to final straight, the only part on course with a tailwind, there may be a chance to pull this off. I am still turning over the 11 and I finally hit the tailwind section. I check again and the gap is still 50 meters. Can this actually happen?? I reach the final turn which is only 100 meters from the finish and I check again. Same gap. I stand on the pedals a bit to get everything out and just before the line I check again and I’m still clear.

It is over. I sit up to end this horrible pain and suffering. I am about to cross the finish line and all I can think about is that the I did it. By “it” I don’t even mean winning the Nationals Criterium Champion. During the entire breakaway I never though about Nationals. It became an adventure; a challenge to overcome the elements, my competitors, and the demons of the season. I just wanted to finish off the breakaway that I started and shared with Gates. Gates and I did. I did it. As I crossed the line I was snapped back to reality by the announcer when I heard him say “….your National Champion”. Oh shit, this is Nationals and I just won!! It hit me. I let out a scream of relief and joy. A few seconds later I woke up laying on my back on the sidewalk just past the finish. Blinded by the sun behind him, I see Gates . He standing over me shaking my hand. It seemed right.

The final results show that Charon, DeMarchi, LaBerge, and Derryl Halpren were the fastest of the bunch and finished 1 second behind me. If this was any other race, I’d be proud just to have my name on top of the results ahead of them as they represent the best Masters criterium riders in the country. I would later find out that Matt Gates got absorbed by the pack just as I attacked and ended up 15th. After the race, I had so many people tell me it was the most exciting race they had ever seen. That was amazing to hear. The stars aligned for me that day and I walk away with the most unexpected victory of my career and my second national title.

I remind the athletes I coach to not limited themselves with a racing label. Don’t call yourself a “sprinter”, a “climber”, a “flat lander”, a “crit rider” but consider you are a “racer”. Labels are just excuses to hedge against failure. Those who win are not afraid to fail.

Thanks for taking the time to read this,

Matt Carinio (2012 Masters RR Champion and 2014 Masters Criterium Champion)

Nat Crit Results

Miller, Nys Win Crossvegas

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Meredith Miller takes the win at Crossvegas

I’m as surprised as you are,” Miller said after the race. “I didn’t take a lot of pulls at the front, a lot of the credit goes to those girls.” Credit, yes, but victory? No.

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Sven Nys (Crelan-Aa Drinks) Repeats as Cross Vegas Champion.

With one lap to go Sven Nys (Crelan-Aa Drinks) hit the gas and gapped the remaining riders of his group by 200 meters and his horse power was more than any one could handle.

Optum Pro Cycling presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies Enters 3rd Cyclocross Campaign

2014 Cyclocross National Championship | Boulder, CO | C. Sam Wiebe

Optum Pro Cycling presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies Enters 3rd Cyclocross Campaign
Crystal Anthony returns following standout ’13 season. Kerry Werner flies Orange & Black flag for the men
September 10th | Minneapolis, MN
The Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies team announced the lineup today for the 2014 Cyclocross Campaign. Leading the charge will be Crystal Anthony who returns following a standout season last year. Winner of the Cycle-Smart International and Baystate Cyclocross events in ’13, Anthony also claimed 8 other UCI podiums, 4th at the American National Championships, multiple top 20 results in World Cup races in Europe and earned a ticket to the World Championships in the Netherlands. Anthony looks to the 2014 season as one fully dedicated to cross as she takes a step away from her teaching position.
“I’m super excited to be representing Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies for a second season starting with Cross Vegas tomorrow.  Last year was a huge opportunity for me to have amazing team support all season, and this year, with my leave of absence from teaching, I’m thrilled to be able capitalize on that opportunity even more by being able to focus on racing.”
Joining Anthony will be a new addition on the men’s side, Kerry Werner. Werner comes with a strong mountain bike background but has successfully dipped his feet into the muddy side of cyclocross as well. The three time US Collegiate National D1 Cyclocross Champion also grabbed a silver medal in this year’s MTB US National Championships in Cross Country. A well rounded rider, Werner looks toward his first full season of cross to make further inroads to the discipline.
“This will be my first full season of cross and I couldn’t be more excited to be on board with Optum p/b KBS. The last two years of cross I have had some partial support, which was great while I was still in school pursuing a degree. However, this year with no collegiate requirements and full support from a great program like Optum p/b KSB, I am really excited to see how I match up against the top level of competition.”
Jesse Anthony and Leah Kirchmann signed up for limited cross duty
Jesse Anthony put his cyclocross ambitions on hold last season to focus solely on his road career. However his hometown race in Gloucester will pull him out of retirement, for just one race. The Rapha Supercross of Gloucester, September 27/28 is a race that Jesse has attended every year since it first began in 1999.
Meanwhile, the Canadian National Cyclocross Championships are in Leah Kirchmann’s hometown of Winnipeg, Manitoba this year. The triple Canadian champion finds the proximity of the event and possibility of claiming 4 national championships in one season too good to pass up.
Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies 2014 Cyclocross Schedule

September 10 – Clif Bar Cross Vegas, Las Vegas, NV

September 13 – US Open of Cyclocross, Boulder, CO

September 14 – Boulder Cup, Boulder, CO

September 20-21 – Trek CXC Cup, Waterloo, WI

September 27-28 – Gran Prix of Gloucester, Gloucester, MA

October 4-5 – Providence Cyclocross Festival, Providence, RI

October 11-12 – Full Moon Vista Cyclocross, Rochester, NY

October 25 – Canadian National Championships, Winnipeg, MB

October 31-Nov 2 – Cincy3 Harbin Park, Cincinnati, OH

November 8-9 – Derby City Cup, Louisville, KY

November 14-16 – Jingle Cross, Iowa City, IA

December 6-7 – NEPCX-NBX Gran Prix of Cross, Warwick, RI

January 3-4 – Resolution ‘Cross Cup, Dallas, TX

January 11 – USA National Championships, Austin, TX

Universal Sports and Richmond 2015 Announce U.S. Broadcast Details for the 2015 UCI Road World Championships

More Than 64 Hours of Unprecedented Cycling Event Coverage from Richmond to Air on Universal Sports, NBC, NBCSN and CNBC

 

LOS ANGELES and RICHMOND, Va. (September 8, 2014) – Richmond 2015 and Universal Sports Network announced today a media partnership for next year’s 2015 UCI Road World Championships in Richmond, Va., September 19-27, 2015. The deal provides comprehensive coverage in the United States of the UCI’s pinnacle event with more than 64 original hours across multiple networks including Universal Sports, NBC, NBCSN and CNBC. In addition, live digital streaming of all races will be available via a new, state-of-the-art Richmond 2015 mobile app for iOS and Android devices set to launch next year.

 

The agreement includes daily LIVE event coverage on both Universal Sports and NBCSN with LIVE coverage of the final day of racing on NBC and CNBC. Universal Sports will also produce daily pre- and post-race shows onsite, bringing fans across the country closer to the action through interviews, race highlights and course previews in addition to airing daily primetime encore presentations.

 

The nine-day event features 12 World Championship races, including those for Elite Men and Women, Under 23 Men and Junior Men and Women, taking place in Virginia’s historic capital city from September 19-27, 2015. The event is expected to attract more than 450,000 spectators from around the world. Some of Central Virginia’s most iconic views will be featured along the various courses with all of the races finishing in downtown Richmond.

 

“Universal Sports’ agreement with Richmond 2015 is unprecedented, delivering more U.S. coverage of cycling’s annual championship than ever before,” said Robert James, SVP of content and communications at Universal Sports. “It’s been nearly 30 years since cycling’s World Championship was on domestic soil, and we plan to maximize that opportunity by providing in-depth coverage of the races, athletes and key storylines live to a national audience.”

 

“Next year, the top cyclists in the world will ride through the Richmond region, and this partnership ensures that more people than ever will be able to watch one of the premier cycling events in the world,” added Tim Miller, COO of Richmond 2015. “Not only will fans be able to tune into the action on Universal Sports, NBC, NBCSN and CNBC, but they also will love the interactive, second-screen experience that the Richmond 2015 mobile application will provide.”

 

The UCI Road World Championships attracts 1,000 of the world’s best cyclists who take this rare opportunity to compete for their countries, just as they do during an Olympic Games. The United States will serve as the host country for the first time since 1986, when Colorado Springs, Co., staged the event.

 

“Racing in the UCI Road World Championships at home is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said American professional cyclist and Olympian Taylor Phinney. “It will be great for USA Cycling to be the ‘home’ team as we welcome the world’s best riders to the bike-friendly city of Richmond, and as we look to inspire the next generation of American cyclists to compete on the world stage.”

 

With more than 180 hours of exclusive television coverage this year, Universal Sports Network is firmly established as the leader in cycling coverage on American television. Marquee events in the 2014 cycling series include the UCI Road World Championships from Spain, the Vuelta a España, Volta a Cataluyna, Tour of Belgium, Tour of Britain, Track Cycling World Championships from Colombia, BMX World Championships from The Netherlands, the Mountain Bike World Championships from Norway, and the Cyclo-cross World Championships in The Netherlands.

 

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Images 2014 USA Cycling Road Nationals

UHC celebrates.  USA Cycling 2014 Crit Nats. Photo by Weldon Weaver

2014 USA Cycling  Road Nationals
Ogden, UT

After a three-year stint in Oregon, the USA Cycling  Road National Championships moves to Ogden for 2014. Riders from across the country will travel to northern Utah seeking to add a Stars-and-Stripes jersey to their closet.

Results:

©Weldon Weaver

All images contained within the pages of CI may not be used for ANY purposes what so ever without the written permission of CI and the photographer and are protected under copyright law. Enjoy

Murphy And Rivera Win US Men’s And Women’s Pro Criterium Championship

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John Murphy Wins US Men’s Pro Criterium Championship

UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Rider, Teammates Lap Field from Early Breakaway
In the High Point Classic, host to the men’s US National Criterium Championship event in High Point, North Carolina, the racers threw out the script almost from the first pedal strokes of the day. The UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team was able to adjust their strategy on the fly, and they came out victorious, with John Murphy claiming the stars and stripes jersey and national championship that it symbolizes. This marks the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team’s fourth national championship of the 2014 season.

What everyone did expect as the race began was to see early attacks, which did, in fact, materialize. What no one expected was for an attack to go away within the first few laps, and for those riders to eventually go on to lap the field. Expected or not, the move was well covered by the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling team, which placed three riders into the group of thirteen. Murphy and his teammates, Brad White and Adrian Hegyvary, were active in the move, and could be seen discussing adjustments in tactics as it became clear that the break would go on to lap the field.

Team Director, Mike Tamayo said of the unexpected developments, “We knew this would be a hard race to control, so we planned to cover the moves and refine our plans as the race developed. We figured if it came down to a bunch sprint, we have Luke Keough and Ken Hanson, and if a break stayed away we were content with our chances as long as we had White, Hegyvary, Jeff Louder or Murphy in it. As it went, we had three guys in the bunch that lapped the field, and we were more than happy to play those cards.”

Back in the peloton, the remaining UnitedHealthcare riders adjusted their own plans, settling in and waiting for the leaders to come around. The efforts of the Blue Train would still be required, but the lead out would now be for Murphy rather than Keough.

The breakaway lapped the field with what was expected to be over 45 minutes of racing left to go, and the UnitedHealthcare squad knew they would have to chase a few more attacks before elevating the speed for a sprint finish. There was briefly a bit of confusion as race officials shortened the event, however, owing to the threat of thunderstorms, which loomed in the distance. Officials reset the race to fifteen laps to go, and the UnitedHealthcare Blue Train organized on the front not long after that.

Despite persistent challenges from the Athlete Octane team of Daniel Holloway, the rider who initiated the race’s early break and animated much of the event, the UnitedHealthcare Blue Train did what it does best: increased the pace over the closing laps, keeping its riders safe and well positioned for the finale, in which they went 1-2 over the line, with Murphy taking the win, and White close behind, both with arms raised, celebrating what they had just accomplished for the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling team.

“It was a great weekend of racing, winning the stars and stripes jersey with both the men and the women. We’re very pleased. The race tonight was dynamic and exciting from the start. It wasn’t your perfect script, but the guys adapted really well and gave us the win,” Tamayo concluded.

For Murphy, this is his second time winning the US National Criterium Championship, but this one feels more special to him than his first title. Of the win, he said,”It’s a good feeling to put your arms up as the winner. This is my first win of the year, and to have it come at national championships is really special. It feels great to have won this title for the UnitedHealthcare team.”

 

Coryn Rivera Wins US National Criterium Title

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UnitedHealthcare Women Complete Season Sweep of 2014 US National Championships
With a dominant win at the High Point Cycling Classic, Coryn Rivera and the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team’s women’s squad have won the US National Criterium Championship, and made it a complete season sweep of the women’s 2014 US National Championships, building on the Road Race and Time Trial titles won by Alison Powers in May.

“It feels pretty amazing to have won all three titles in the first year of having a womens’ component to the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team,” said director Rachel Heal, “We knew we’d hired strong riders, but to be able to create the team chemistry and teamwork to bring those results is very satisfying.”

When Powers won both the time trial and road race earlier this year, she became the first rider to ever hold all three women’s national championship titles simultaneously, having won the criterium championship in 2013. The team’s goal heading into the 2014 criterium national championships was obvious: to keep the jersey in the UnitedHealthcare family.

Rather than sit on the front of the field and chase breaks all day, the team took a more aggressive approach to the event. This served to catch much of the rest of the field off-guard, as the UnitedHealthcare squad not only marked attacks, but made breaks of their own, and comfortably followed anyone who dared to chase or bridge to a break containing a UnitedHealthcare rider.

The first half of the race saw Alison Powers boldly attack on her own, stringing out (and tiring out) the chasing field. Counter-attacks and additional moves came quickly through the first hour of racing, with Ruth Winder, Scotti Wilborne, Cari Higgins and Lauren Tamayo all spending significant time off the front, forcing other teams to adjust and chase. The field dwindled in size as riders were dropped before the pace decreased with just over ten laps to go, as the heat and the effort took their toll on the peloton, and everyone looked to regroup for the final charge to the line.

Activity from the field picked up again with eight laps to go, following a cash prize the lap prior. A few riders tried their hand at an escape, but at that point, the race was all but certain to come down to a sprint as it was controlled first by the Colavita team, and then by the UnitedHealthcare Blue Train. With barely more than two laps to go, a crash saw both Powers and Higgins hit the deck, along with several competitors. All of the riders were ok save for a few scratches and some disappointment. The remaining UnitedHealthcare racers quickly regrouped, with Winder setting pace on the front ahead of Wilborn and Tamayo, while Rivera sat comfortably in their draft.

The UnitedHealthcare Blue Train delivered Rivera out of the final corner and into the closing meters of the race. From there, Rivera did what she does best, finishing the task at hand, winning the sprint, and taking the win, keeping the national championship jersey within the UnitedHealthcare team.

“From the outset, we were going all-in for Coryn in a sprint finish. We’ve been working really hard on perfecting our leadout, and we were confident of it going into the race. Unfortunately, we lost our last two leadout riders with two laps to go, but the remaining racers were able to adjust and still deliver Coryn to the line,” said Heal.

For Rivera, it marked her fifty-ninth career national championship. After the race, she put it in this context, “It’s pretty incredible. It’s my first pro national title. Sometimes I get a little grief for having so many junior and collegiate titles. This one tops them all, and I’m so happy to have won it with the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team.”

USA Cycling Selects UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team Riders For 2014 UCI Road World Championships

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USA Cycling Selects UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team Riders Reijnen, Powers, and Abbott for 2014 UCI Road World Championships
USA Cycling announced this week that UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team riders Kiel Reijnen, Mara Abbott, and Alison Powers have been selected to represent the United States at the 2014 UCI Road World Championships, taking place from September 21st to 28th in Ponferrada, Spain. Reijnen will contest the elite men’s road race, Abbott and Powers will both contest the elite women’s road race, while Powers will also take part in the elite women’s time trial. Reijnen’s selection follows a season full of outstanding performances, including victory at the Philadelphia Cycling Classic for the second year in a row, victory in stage 1 and overall sprint classification of the USA Pro Challenge, and 3 top-ten finishes in both the Amgen Tour of California and the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah. Reijnen commented, “I am looking forward to having the American flag on my back, representing my country and my team. I’ve had amazing support all year from the team and I am really happy that I can go represent them at the World Championships. Having the opportunity to race for my country is so special. To say I am honored would be a major understatement.”

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Alison Powers earned her selection when she won national titles in both the road race and time trial disciplines at the 2014 USA Cycling national championships in Chattanooga, Tennessee, after also taking victory in the time trial at this year’s Amgen Tour of California. Mara Abbott was chosen for her impressive results and immense experience racing in Europe, having won the Giro Rosa twice in previous years and claiming 4th overall this year, along with overall victories earned at the 2014 Tour of the Gila and Vuelta El Salvador. Team riders Sharon Laws and Hannah Barnes have also made the long list to represent Great Britain in the elite women’s road race. Final roster selections for Great Britain will be made in the coming weeks. General Manager Mike Tamayo commented, “We’re honored to have so many riders selected for the World Championships to represent their countries, as well as this team. The World Championships are very important to us, and sending this many riders is a testament to the talent and depth on this roster.”

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