Powers and Young ride away with pro criterium national titles

  
  


High Point, N.C. (July 27, 2013) – The 2013 USA Cycling Professional Criterium National Championships crowned the professional men’s and women’s criterium national championships in High Point, N.C., on Saturday evening.

Eric Young topped the professional men's podium
Eric Young topped the professional men's podium. (Photo by Weldon Weaver)

The two winners, Eric Young (Boulder, Colo./Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) and Alison Powers (Pinecliffe, Colo./NOW and Novartis for MS), won their respective races in different ways.

The 24-year-old Young, who topped the pro men’s criterium podium in 2011 in Grand Rapids, emerged from a field sprint to collect his second professional men’s criterium national championship in three years. The defending professional men’s criterium national champion, Ken Hanson (Santa Barbara, Calif./Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies), finished second in the sprint while Jacob Keough (Sandwich, Mass./UnitedHealthcare) collected the bronze medal.

In the early part of the men’s 110-minute race, a group of five riders - Michael Friedman (Superior, Colo./Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies), Christopher Uberti (Greenville, S.C./Team SmartStop p/b Mountain Khakis), Keil Reijnen (Boulder, Colo./UnitedHealthcare), Frank Pipp (Longmont, Colo./Bissell Pro Cycling) and Sean Mazich (San Diego, Calif./Jelly Belly Cycling) – opened a lead which grew to as large as 30 seconds. Four of the five riders returned to the field, but Uberti stayed away. Uberti, riding alone, grew his lead to over one minute for approximately 25 minutes of the race.

With the riders from UnitedHealthcare on the front of the peloton, Scott Zwizanski (West Chester, Pa./Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) attacked and quickly caught Uberti with six laps remaining in the race. Zwizanski was caught by the peloton with just over three laps remaining in the race, bringing the field back together for the finale.

“I was right on Alex Candelario's (Bend, Ore./Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) wheel. He helped navigate me through the whole backside of the course. We just came through the last couple corners on the perfect line. Into the last corner, I was the guy with the momentum going into the low riser going into the finish. A finish like this, with an uphill crest like this, if you have the momentum and a strong kick, you just go away with the win. That's exactly what happened. It was awesome.”

Alison Powers celebrates winning the professional women's race
Alison Powers celebrates winning the professional women's race. (Photo by Weldon Weaver)

Approximately 10 minutes into the women’s race, Powers and Amanda Miller (Fort Collins, Colo./Team TIBCO-To the Top) broke away from the field. Working together, the two strong women built a lead that approached 30 seconds at certain stages of the 90-minute contest.

With about eight laps remaining in the race, Erica Allar (Tucson, Ariz./CARE4CYCLING powered by Solomon Corp) attempted to bridge to the leaders, but was unable to reel them in. Allar’s move did cause the peloton to react as several counterattacks were launched and the gap to the leaders came down.

Miller and Powers resisted the charging peloton and tried to hold their lead. With about 400 meters remaining in the race, Powers attacked Miller and outlasted Miller and the hard-charging field to claim the top step of the podium. Miller finished second and the defending national champion, Theresa Cliff-Ryan (Cedar Springs, Mich./Fearless Femme p/b Pure Energy Vie13), placed third.

“Amanda wanted to sit on a little bit,” Powers, who finished third in the road race and time trial in Chattanooga at the 2013 Volkswagen USA Cycling Professional Road & Time Trial National Championships, said. “I said, 'No, you promised you'd work to the line.' It gave me just enough recovery on this downhill to be able to punch it hard. I have a little more power. This drag, it felt like forever, but I knew slightly uphill with a headwind favored me over her, so I had to go for it.

“To be national champion, is amazing,” Powers continued, “It's the best of the country. It's the best of all the racers in USA Cycling. It's the best of the best.”

The eight-corner, downtown course spanning 1.35 miles with a small hill on the backside endured rain in the early part of the women’s race. The moisture left the course wet, forcing the riders to use caution in the corners. The rain stopped in the late stages of the professional women's race.

For the first time since 2010, the professional women’s criterium national title was awarded in conjunction with the professional men’s national title. As the centerpiece of the High Point Cycling Classic, the professional criterium national championships featured an equal prize purse, $10,000, for the men and women for the first time in the history of the event.

For complete details on this event, including a complete schedule, results, course maps and a photo gallery, please visit the event web site. If you can’t make it out for the event, follow all of the action on Twitter using the hashtag #CritNats.

2013 USA Cycling Professional Criterium National Championships
High Point, N.C.
July 27, 2013

FULL RESULTS | PHOTO GALLERY

Men
1. Eric Young (Boulder, Colo./Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)
2. Ken Hanson (Santa Barbara, Calif./Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)
3. Jacob Keough (Sandwich, Mass./UnitedHealthcare)

Women
1. Alison Powers (Pinecliffe, Colo./NOW and Novartis for MS)
2. Amanda Miller (Fort Collins, Colo./Team TIBCO-To the Top)
3. Theresa Cliff-Ryan (Cedar Springs, Mich./Fearless Femme p/b Pure Energy Vie13)



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