NCC: Stephens nabs women's lead as Hilton extends stay on top

  
  


The USA Cycling National Criterium Calendar (NCC) took a three-week respite before the riders contested the Presbyterian Hospital Invitational Criterium in Charlotte, N.C., on April 13. After the evening of racing was finished, the women's individual and team standings were shaken up, while the men's leaders remained the same.

Hilton Clarke won the men's race in Charlotte and leads the NCC men's standings. (Photo by Weldon Weaver)
Hilton Clarke won the men's race in Charlotte and leads the NCC men's standings. (Photo by Weldon Weaver)
After winning Saturday's race in North Carolina, Hilton Clarke (AUS/UnitedHealthcare) collected 120 points and now leads the NCC men's standings by 185 points after four races. Clarke has amassed 375 points, while Luke Keough (Sandwich, Mass./UnitedHealthcare), who finished second in Saturday's race, moved from fourth into second place with 190 points. Keough's lead on Carlos Alzate Escobar (COL/UnitedHealthcare) is 32 points, while Demis Aleman (ARG/Jamis Hagens Berman p/b Sutter Home) is only 11 points out of third place with 147 points. Shane Kline (Bally, Pa./Team SmartStop-Mountain Khakis) rounds out the top five with 132 points.

Lauren Stephens (Dallas, Texas/FCS-Zngine p/b Mr. Restore) won Saturday's women's race and jumped into first place in the NCC women's standings with a one-point edge on last week's standings leader Erica Allar (Tucson, Ariz./CARE4CYCLING p/b Solomon). Allar placed 12th in Saturday's race to boost her season total to 174 points. Jacquelyn Crowell (Maitland, Fla./Exergy TWENTY16) moved into sole possession of third place with 130 points, only three points better than Laura van Gilder (Cresco, Pa./Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers), who finished third in North Carolina. Joanie Caron (CAN/Primal Pro Women p/b BH) dropped from second place in the previous standings into fifth place with 120 points.

Lauren Stephens won the women's race in Charlotte and has assumed the top spot of the NCC women's standings. (Photo by Weldon Weaver)
Lauren Stephens won the women's race in Charlotte and has assumed the top spot of the NCC women's standings. (Photo by Weldon Weaver)
UnitedHealthcare is threatening to run away with the NCC men's team standings. After four races, the defending NCC men's team standings winners have collected 729 points and hold a 476-point cushion on the second-place Team SmartStop-Mountain Khakis. Jamis Hagens Berman p/b Sutter Home is battling for second place and is only 27 points behind Team SmartStop-Mountain Khakis. CashCall Mortgage holds a narrow, six-point advantage on Champion System pp/b Stan's NoTubes in the race for fourth place.

Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies has jumped from third place after the Delray Beach Twilight Festival in March into the top spot of the NCC women's team standings with 298 points. Exergy TWENTY16 remains in second place with 272 points, only 14 points ahead of the previous leaders, CARE4CYCLING p/b Solomon. FCS-Zngine p/b Mr. Restore moved into the top five with 199 points, 25 points ahead of the fifth-place Primal Pro Women p/b BH.

Full results from the Presbyterian Hospital Invitational Criterium.

 

USA Cycling NCC Standings:

Men
1. Hilton Clarke (AUS/UnitedHealthcare) — 375
2. Luke Keough (Sandwich, Mass./UnitedHealthcare) — 190
3. Carlos Alzate Escobar (COL/UnitedHealthcare) — 158
4. Demis Aleman (ARG/Jamis Hagens Berman p/b Sutter Home) — 147
5. Shane Kline (Bally, Pa./Team SmartStop-Mountain Khakis) — 132

Women
1. Lauren Stephens (Dallas, Texas/FCS-Zngine p/b Mr. Restore) — 175
2. Erica Allar (Tucson, Ariz./CARE4CYCLING powered by Solomon) — 174
3. Jacquelyn Crowell (Maitland, Fla./Exergy TWENTY16) — 130
4. Laura Van Gilder (Cresco, Pa./Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers) — 127
5. Joanie Caron (CAN/Primal Pro Women p/b BH) — 120

Men's Team
1. UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling — 729
2. Team SmartStop-Mountain Khakis — 253
3. Jamis Hagens Berman p/b Sutter Home — 226
4. CashCall Mortgage — 116
5. Champion System p/b Stan's NoTubes — 110

Women's Team
1. Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies — 298
2. Exergy TWENTY16 — 272
3. CARE4CYCLING powered by Solomon — 258
4. FCS-Zngine p/b Mr. Restore — 199
5. Primal Pro Women p/b BH — 174

 

For complete standings, visit the NCC's official webpage at usacycling.org/ncc.

The NCC continued next weekend with the Sunny King Criterium in Anniston, Ala., on April 20. The event, which begins at 1 p.m. EST, will be streamed live on the USA Cycling website.



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