Devo Wrap: Small is molto bene and Neben is muy bien
The women of USA Cycling's National Development Program remained in the spotlight last week. Carmen Small continued her strong riding with a victory in Italy while Amber Neben battled the heat and hills in El Salvador and came away with three jerseys and a fourth-place overall result.
Classica Citta di Padova
Carmen Small wins the Classica Citta di Padova. (Photo by Jackson Stewart)After strong riding in the Netherlands last week, Carmen Small (Durango, Colo./Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) powered out of a late breakaway, and soloed the final few hundred meters to win the 2012 Classica Citta di Padova on Saturday. Riding for USA Cycling’s National Development Program, Small beat second-place finisher Simona Frapporti (Italy/Be Pink) to the line by three seconds in the final results.
After taking part in a short-lived breakaway early on, Small was part of a group of 11 that rode away from the peloton with a few laps remaining in the nine-lap race.
"I am really excited to come out with the win today," Small said after the race. "The team rode really well, we executed our plan of being aggressive and pushed for a break. After the break was established, I weighed my chances of winning in that group. I thought I needed to get away solo or with a smaller group so I attacked with about eight kilometers to go and then again with four kilometers left. When I looked back and saw that I only had one girl come with me this was the best scenario. I then attacked her one kilometer out and held it."
Alexis Ryan (Ventura, Calif./Team TIBCO II), Robin Farina (Charlotte, N.C./NOW and Novartis for MS) and Ashley James (Dousman, Wisc./NOW and Novartis for MS) each finished 15 seconds behind Small, placing 15th, 83rd and 91st, respectively.
GP El Salvador
As a prelude to the Vuelta El Salvador, a group of six women contested the GP El Salvador, a 93.2-kilometer road race in the heat of Central America.
Amber Neben (Lake Forest, Calif./Specialized-lululemon) bested the heat and the hills to place third, only four seconds behind the race winner Noemi Cantele (ITA).
Janel Holcomb (San Diego, Calif./Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) finished 12th while Amber Pierce (Colorado Springs, Colo./Diadora-Pasta Zara) placed 23rd and Coryn Rivera (Tustin, Calif./Exergy Twenty12) was 50th.
Vuelta El Salvador
Amber Neben wearing the Queen of the Mountains jersey at Vuelta El Salvador. (Photo by Gus Carillo)The five-stage Vuelta El Salvador ended Tuesday with Amber Neben (Lake Forest, Calif./Specialized-lululemon) capturing three jerseys and placing fourth overall. Neben earned the Points, Queen of the Mountain and Most Agressive Rider jerseys while finishing only 2:20 behind the winner Clemilda Fernandes Silva (BRA).
After winning the second stage, Neben assumed the yellow jersey and held on to it through both parts of the third stage. After falling victim to a pothole with seven kilometers remaining in the fourth stage, Neben slipped to fourth in the general classification. She finished the race, placing 24th in the fifth and final stage.
Below is a look at how the American riders fared in the final results:
4. Amber Neben (Lake Forest, Calif./Specialized-lululemon) +2:20
33. Amber Pierce (Colorado Springs, Colo./Diadora-Pasta Zara) +25:27
43. Janel Holcomb (San Diego, Calif./Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) +33:23
51. Coryn Rivera (Tustin, Calif./Exergy Twenty12) +1:06:16
52. Jessica Prinner (South Elgin, Ill./ABD Cycling Club) +1:19:40
Istarsko Proljece-Istrian Spring Trophy
A year after pacing the USA Cycling development riders with a seventh-place finish, Larry Warbasse (Traverse City, Mich./BMC-Hincapie Sportswear Cycling Team) registered the team's best finish, placing 33rd in the final results of the Istarsko Proljece-Istrian Spring Trophy, just 2:04 behind the winner, Markus Eibegger (AUT).
Anders Newbury (Fairfield, Vt./Chipotle-First Solar Development Team) was 1:15 behind Warbasse, placing 48th while Tanner Putt (Park City, Utah/BMC-Hincapie Sportswear Cycling Team) finished just 14 seconds behind Newbury. Rob Squire (Sandy, Utah/Chipotle-First Solar Development Team) finshed 19 seconds behind Putt and Paul Lynch (Colchester, Conn./Team Type 1-Development) was 7:35 behind the winner.
After each of the American riders placed within 15 seconds of the leader following the prologue, the riders were tasked with the 159-kilometer first stage. As the riders were 15 kilometers from the finish, a crash clogging the road prevented the Americans from finishing among the leaders. Warbasse placed highest on the squad, finishing 1:24 behind the stage winner Marko Kump (SLO).
The second stage spanned 157 kilometers, finishing with a short climb and 300 meters of cobblestones. The team was charged with delivering Warbasse in the best possible position for the final climb. The team, particularly Putt, delivered and Warbasse finished just 33 seconds behind the winner Eibegger.
The third, and final, stage stretched 169 kilometers, including four 17-kilometer laps at the finish. The downhill part of the final lap didn't allow for breakaways to last, despite the Americans' best efforts. Each of the American riders finished with the main group, with Putt posting the best placement, finishing 25th.
The following group of six women will contest the Trofeo Alfredo Binda-Comune di Cittiglio in Italy on Sunday, March 25:
Kristin Armstrong (Boise, Idaho/Exergy Twenty12)
Jamie Bookwalter (Asheville, N.C./Colavita Racing)
Kasey Clark (Lafayette, Colo./Primal-MapMyRide Women's Racing)
Robin Farina (Charlotte, N.C./NOW and Novartis for MS)
Carmen Small (Durango, Colo./Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)
Tayler Wiles (Sandy, Utah/Exergy Twenty12)
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.