Devo Wrap: Strong results for Americans on two continents
The USA Cycling National Development Program contested only two events, but still returned with strong results. A group of women overcame adverse weather conditions to place their top rider in the top 10 in Luxembourg while a group of juniors turned in stellar performances in the Juniors Pan American Games in Guatemala.
A group of four riders contested the Festival Luxembourgeois du cyclisme féminin Elsy Jacobs 2012 for USA Cycling. Considering that the four-rider squad shrunk to three after the prologue, Megan Guarnier (Mountain View, Calif./Team TIBCO-To the Top) placing seventh in the final results (27 seconds behind the winner, Marianne Vos (NED)) is remarkable. Theresa Cliff-Ryan (Cedar Springs, Mich./Team Exergy Twenty12) and Kristin McGrath (Boise, Idaho/Team Exergy Twenty12) placed 47th and 64th, respectively.
The competition began with a 1.7-kilometer time trial on Friday with sporadic rain showers. Fortunately for Guarnier, the rain subsided long enough for the course to dry up, allowing her to finish in 2:17.50, 5.3 seconds behind the stage winner Annemiek Van Vleuten (NED). Cliff-Ryan, however, had to overcome adverse weather conditions as the skies opened a deluge in Luxembourg and Cliff-Ryan placed 27th with a time of 2:19.37. McGrath and Ruth Winder (Lafayette, Calif./Vanderkitten) also contested the time trial, finishing in 2:27.24 and 2:28.01, respectively.
On the second day, the riders contested the first stage, a 102.6-kilometer road race comprised of a long 53-kilometer loop and five smaller loops. Cliff-Ryan crashed early in the stage, but was able to rejoin the peloton. McGrath was unable to overcome her crash later in the contest because at the same time the pack was shredding. Guarnier rode into a 12-rider breakaway which proved to be the winning move. She attacked with 300 meters remaining and held on to finish fourth in the stage.
The final stage, a 99.1-kilometer road race came down to a field sprint, which made things difficult for the three remaining USA Cycling riders. As McGrath was riding into position for the final lead out, Cliff-Ryan got caught behind a crash, jumped the curb and sped through the finish line in 11th place. Guarnier, who also was behind the crash finished seventh.
The Juniors Pan American Games in Guatemala concluded with the road events over the weekend.
The Americans placed two riders in the top 10 of Saturday's individual time trial as Noah Williams (Wimberley, Texas/Slipstream-Craddock Junior Development) and Jonathon Schilling (Grover, Mo./Slipstream-Craddock Junior Development) placed sixth and ninth, respectively. Williams placed 1:39 behind the winner Sebastian Trillini (ARG) while Schilling was eight seconds behind Williams in the final results.
The final cycling event was the road race on Sunday. Five of the six Americans contesting the race placed within the top 15, including three in the top 10 of the final results. Miguel Byron (Miami, Fla./BLUE STAR-BOOM Development Team) won a sprint to finish sixth, 36 seconds behind the winner Jose Alfredo Aguirre (MEX).
The Americans placed riders ninth, 10th, 11th and 12th as Imari Miller (Fort Worth, Texas/Slipstream-Craddock Junior Development), Erik Volotzky (Chatsowrth, Calif./VRC-Get Crackin'-MS Society), Zach Gould (Boulder, Colo./Slipstream-Craddock Junior Development) and Williams, each finished with the same time as Bryon. Schilling rounded the Americans' performance, placing 42nd, only 53 seconds behind Aguirre.
The following five juniors are slated to contest the Peace Race from May 3-6 in the Czech Republic:
Geoffrey Curran (Tustin, Calif./Surf City Cyclery-Sterling BMW)
Micheal Dessau (Boulder, Colo./Slipstream-Craddock Junior Development)
Alexey Vermeulen (Pinckney, Mich./Bissell-ABG-NUVO)
Thomas Wrona (Pinehurst, N.C./Hot Tubes Development Cycling Team)
Chad Young (Newmarket, N.H./CCB Racing)
Megan Guarnier holding her spot in a sprint to the final line during the final stage in Luxembourg. (Photo by Bart Hazen)
Miguel Bryon winning a sprint for sixth place during the road race in Guatemala. (Photo by Gus Carillo)
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.