With USA Cycling National Criterium Calendar (NCC) standings points at a premium, the action in Chicago was very competitive. Riders competed in sweltering heat and humidity at the Intelligentsia Cup Prairie State Cycling Series, a proud participant in the RaceClean program, from July 18-21. The Intelligentsia Cup Prairie State Series is a seven-day event which includes four criteriums on the NCC.
After topping the overall results of the Intelligentsia Cup Prairie State Cycling Series, Luke Keough (Sandwich, Mass./UnitedHealthcare) has overtaken his teammate Karl Menzies (AUS) and moved into third place of the NCC men's standings with 967 points. Keough strung together four top-five finishes, including winning Saturday's Lake Bluff Criterium. Hilton Clarke (AUS/UnitedHealthcare), who finished fourth overall over the weekend, added 200 points to his season total, bringing it to 1,403. Clarke leads Carlos Alzate Escobar (COL/UnitedHealthcare) by 217 points with three races remaining on the calendar. Keough is 219 behind Escobar and 111 points ahead of Menzies, who slipped into fourth place with 856 points. Shane Kline (Bally, Pa./Team SmartStop-Mountain Khakis) remains in fifth place with 654 points.
The NCC women's standings are unchanged after the races in Chicago. Erica Allar (Tucson, Ariz./CARE4CYCLING powered by Solomon Corp) placed second overall over the weekend and added 120 points to her season total to clinch the leader's spot with 1,260 points. Laura van Gilder (Cresco, Pa./Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers) finished fifth in the overall results and brough her season-long point total to 907 points, 103 points ahead of Theresa Cliff-Ryan (Cedar Springs, Mich./Fearless Femme p/b Pure Energy Cycling Vie13), who topped the final results and remains in third place in the standings with 804 points. Cliff-Ryan finished second in each of the four contests in Chicago. Cliff-Ryan's teammate, Kimberley Wells (AUS) is sitting in fourth place with 585 points, 62 points ahead of Samantha Schneider (Milwaukee, Wis./Team TIBCO-To the Top).
Boasting the top four riders in the final results in Chicago, UnitedHealthcare, which has already clinched the top spot of the NCC men's team standings, boosted its season-long point total to 4,681 with three events remaining on the calendar. Team SmartStop-Mountain Khakis is sitting in second place with 1,694 points, 1,048 points ahead of Jamis Hagens Berman. Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies holds fourth place with 454 points and Jelly Belly Cycling has moved into fifth place with 370 points.
Thanks, in part, to Cliff-Ryan's performance, Fearless Femme p/b Pure Energy Vie13 and jumped back into the top five of the NCC women's team standings. CARE4CYCLING powered by Solomon Corp remains the top team with 1,792 points, 794 points ahead of Colavita-Fine Cooking, which is second place. Team TIBCO-To the Top is sitting in third place with 890 points, only 13 points ahead of Fearless Femme p/b Pure Energy Vie13. Exergy TWENTY16 slipped down one spot in the standings into fifth place with 657 points.
Check out a photo gallery from the Intelligentsia Cup Prairie State Cycling Series.
Full results of the Intelligentsia Cup Prairie State Cycling Series.
USA Cycling NCC Standings:
1. Hilton Clarke (AUS/UnitedHealthcare) — 1,403
2. Carlos Alzate Escobar (COL/UnitedHealthcare) — 1,186
4. Luke Keough (Sandwich, Mass./UnitedHealthcare) — 967
3. Karl Menzies (AUS/UnitedHealthcare) — 856
5. Shane Kline (Bally, Pa./Team SmartStop-Mountain Khakis) — 654
1. Erica Allar (Tucson, Ariz./CARE4CYCLING powered by Solomon Corp) — 1,260
2. Laura Van Gilder (Cresco, Pa./Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers) — 907
3. Theresa Cliff-Ryan (Cedar Springs, Mich./Fearless Femme p/b Pure Energy Cycling Vie13) — 804
4. Kimberley Wells (AUS/Fearless Femme p/b Pure Energy Cycling Vie13) — 585
5. Samantha Schneider (Milwaukee, Wis./Team TIBCO-To the Top) — 523
Men's Team Standings
1. UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling — 4,681
2. Team SmartStop-Mountain Khakis — 1,694
3. Jamis Hagens Berman — 646
4. Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies — 454
5. CashCall Mortgage — 370
Women's Team Standings
1. CARE4CYCLING powered by Solomon Corp — 1,792
2. Colavita-Fine Cooking — 998
3. Team TIBCO-To the Top — 890
4. Fearless Femme p/b Pure Energy Vie13 — 877
5. Exergy TWENTY16 — 657
For complete standings, visit the NCC's official webpage at usacycling.org/ncc.
As they gear up for the final three events of the calendar, the riders get a break until the Chris Thater Memorial in Binghamton, N.Y., from Aug. 24-25.
Erica Allar celebrates winning the Lake Bluff Criterium. (Photo by Karl Hendrikse)