Devo Wrap: Road season gets underway in Belgium

  
  


The NDP team at the 2014 Omloop Het Kieuwsblad (l to r): Korina Huizar, Lauren Komanski, Alexis Ryan, Maura Kinsella and Jade Wilcoxson
The NDP team at the 2014 Omloop Het Kieuwsblad (l to r): Korina Huizar, Lauren Komanski, Alexis Ryan, Maura Kinsella and Jade Wilcoxson. (photo by Jack Seehafer)
(March 4, 2014) -- The road season for the USA Cycling National Development Program (NDP) began on Saturday in Ghent, Belgium, where a squad of five women competed in the 126-kilometer Omloop Het Nieuwsblad-Vrouwen.

The returning riders to the USA Cycling NDP displayed their comfort with the European style of racing by showing good representation during the race. For the first-time racers in Europe, the focus was on getting comfortable with the European pack movement and flow, learning how to correctly ride the cobbles, and coming back up through the caravan after service.

Unfortunately, a large crash at the front of the field occurred at the 59-kilometer mark involving defending national champion Jade Wilcoxson (Talent, Ore./Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) and she was unable to finish the race. The crash also shuffled most of the U.S. riders to the back of the group just before the key climbs of the Cote de Trieu and the cobbled Paterberg.

The NDP team knew that placement at the front of the peloton prior to these climbs was vital as the climbs were sure to break the field into small groups. When the breaks occurred, the trio of Alexis Ryan (Ventura, Calif./UnitedHealthcare), Maura Kinsella (Boulder, Colo./Team Optum p/b/ Kelly Benefit Strategies) and Lauren Komanski (Winston-Salem, N.C./Twenty16 Pro Cycling) ended up in the second group on the road and finished just over six minutes behind winner Amy Pieters of the Netherlands. Megan Guarnier (Mountain View, Calif./Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team), riding for her trade team, was the top American finisher in 14th place, six seconds behind Pieters.

Ryan crossed the line in 53rd place, followed by Komanski in 63rd place and Kinsella in 65th position. Korina Huizar (Roseville, Calif./Vanderkitten) also contested the event for the U.S. National Team but did not finish the race. Brianna Walle (Portland, Ore./Team Optum p/b/ Kelly Benefit Strategies) was overcoming an illness and did not start the race, but is expected to compete in the Le Samyn des Dames on March 5. Wilcoxson will miss Le Samyn des Dames, and will be re-evaluated prior to the Omloop van het Hageland -Tielt-Winge on March 9.

COMING UP
The following group of women continue to compete in several one-day races in Belgium. On Wed., March 5, the women will compete at Le Samyn des Dames, followed by the Omloop van het Hageland -Tielt-Winge on March 9:

Korina Huizar (Roseville, Calif./Vanderkitten)
Maura Kinsella (Boulder, Colo./Team Optum p/b/ Kelly Benefit Strategies)
Lauren Komanski (Winston-Salem, N.C./Twenty16 Pro Cycling)
Alexis Ryan (Ventura, Calif./UnitedHealthcare)
Brianna Walle (Portland, Ore./Team Optum p/b/ Kelly Benefit Strategies)
*Jade Wilcoxson (Talent, Ore./Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)

*will not compete in Le Samyn des Dames on March 5

PHOTOS
Photo of the American riders are from left to right: Korina Huizar, Lauren Komanski, Alexis Ryan, Maura Kinsella and Jade Wilcoxson. (Photo by Jack Seehafer)

Want to be part of USA Cycling’s Development Program? The first step is getting on USA Cycling’s radar. One of the best ways to do this is by attending a USA Cycling Regional Talent Identification Camp. The primary goal of the Talent ID Camps is to recognize athletes who, at an early age, show signs of potential future success in cycling. Receiving instruction from some of USA Cycling’s finest coaches, the camps also provide the necessary framework to improve the athletes' skill set thus progressing their talent development. In some cases, the Regional Talent ID Camps assist in selecting riders for international competition and/or a national development camp.

For more information and the full 2014 schedule of USA Cycling’s Regional Talent ID Camps, please click here.

USA Cycling's National Development Programs are supported by the USA Cycling Development Foundation. Support the future of American cycling with an online donation now.
 
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This Article Published March 4, 2014 For more information contact:
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