|Theresa Cliff-Ryan stands atop the podium at the Chris Thater Memorial in Binghamton, N.Y. (Photo by Barry Koblenz, www.basetwelvephoto.com)|
As the USA Cycling's National Racing Calendar (NRC) dwindles down to the last few events, the jostling for spots in the individual and team standings is heated. The 28th Annual Chris Thater Memorial in Binghamton, N.Y. took center stage as the contestants sprinted between rain drops and around wind gusts in Central New York.
Theresa Cliff-Ryan stands atop the podium at the Chris Thater Memorial in Binghamton, N.Y. (Photo by Barry Koblenz, www.basetwelvephoto.com)
The top of the women's NRC standings is beginning to resemble a Colavita-Forno d'Asolo roster. Janel Holcomb (San Diego, Calif./Colavita-Forno d'Asolo) maintains the lead with just a pair of races on the calendar, despite placing 30th at the Chris Thater Memorial in Binghamton on Saturday. Holcomb's teammate, Theresa Cliff-Ryan (Cedar Springs, Mich.), is surging up the standings and now sits in third after winning two consecutive weeks. Leah Kirchmann (CAN/Colavita-Forno d'Asolo) remains in second place, only 235 points behind Holcomb, but only 28 points ahead of Cliff-Ryan. Erinne Willock (CAN/Team TIBCO to the Top) is just 16 points behind Cliff-Ryan in fourth place while Amber Neben (Lake Forest, Calif./HTC-Highroad Women) is currently in fifth place.
Before the brunt of Hurricane Irene hit the northeast Saturday evening, the women contested a 40-lap criterium race through the streets of downtown Binghamton. After an early break by Rachel Warner (Luray, Va./MissingLinkCoachingSystems), the fast-paced race was controlled by the riders from Colavita-Forno d'Asolo and TIBCO to the Top. The race was ultimately decided by a bunch sprint. On the contest's final lap, the Colavita-Forno d'Asolo train delivered Cliff-Ryan, who won last week's Grand Cycling Classic, to the finish line ahead of Joanne Kiesanowski (Seattle, Wash./TIBCO to the Top), who finished second in the final results.
The top spot of the women's team NRC standings has already been decided for Colavita-Forno d'Asolo. TIBCO to the Top has a firm grip on second place, holding a 1,463-point lead on HTC-Highroad Women. Diadora Pasta Zara sits in fourth place with 531 points, which is 70 points better than Primal-MapMyRide.
Hurricane Irene scrubbed out Sunday's men's criterium race, leaving the men's NRC standings unchanged. Francisco Mancebo (ESP/Realcyclist.com) leads the standings with only three events remaining. Jacobe Keough (Sandwich, Mass./UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling) sits in second only 130 points behind. Luis Romero Amaran (CUB/Jamis-Sutter Home) is in third, just 46 points behind Keough while Jonathan Cantwell (AUS/Team Fly V) is only 24 points out of third. Frank Pipp (Boulder, Colo./Bissell Pro Cycling) trails Cantwell by 162 points in fifth place.
In the men's team standings, UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling trails the leader, Bissell Professional Cycling, by 176 points. Jamis-Sutter Home is in third place, only 258 points behind UnitedHealthcare. Team Exergy and Realcyclist.com continue to alternate between fourth and fifth places. Team Exergy sits in fourth, holding a 195-point cushion on Realcyclist.com.
1. Francisco Mancebo (ESP/Realcyclist.com) — 822
2. Jacobe Keough (Sandwich, Mass./UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling) — 692
3. Luis Romero Amaran (CUB/Jamis-Sutter Home) — 646
4. Jonathan Cantwell (AUS/Team Fly V) — 622
5. Frank Pipp (Boulder, Colo./Bissell Professional Cycling) — 460
1. Bissell Pro Cycling — 2,413
2. UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling — 2,237
3. Jamis-Sutter Home —1,979
4. Team Exergy — 1,338
5. Realcyclist.com — 1,143
1. Janel Holcomb (San Diego, Calif./Colavita-Forno d’Asolo) — 822
2. Leah Kirchmann (CAN/Colavita-Forno d'Asolo) — 587
3. Theresa Cliff-Ryan (Cedar Springs, Mich./Colavita-Forno d'Asolo) — 559
3. Erinne Willock (CAN/Team TIBCO-To the Top) — 543
4. Amber Neben (Lake Forest, Calif./HTC-Highroad Women) — 536
1. Colavita-Forno d'Asolo — 3,767
2. Team TIBCO-To the Top —2,723
3. HTC-Highroad Women — 1,260
4. Diadora Pasta Zara — 531
5. Primal/MapMyRide Women's Racing — 461
For more information on the National Racing Calendar, log on to www.usacycling.org/nrc.
The men and women are slated to contest the Labor Day Omnium in Georgia and South Carolina from Sept. 2-4.