Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Devo Wrap: Top-5 Finishes Highlight Strong European Week

The elite women, U23 and juniors riders in the USA Cycling National Development Programcontinue recording stellar results internationally. The development program's riders registered a pair of top-five overall results in standout week in Europe.
The USA Cycling contingent surged in the second half of Tour de l'Avenir in France to place a pair of riders in the top 16 of the final results. The top finisher among the Americans was Ian Boswell (Bend, Ore./Bontrager Livestrong Team), who finished fifth in the final results, only 19 seconds behind the winner Warren Barguil (FRA). Larry Warbasse (Traverse City, Mich./BMC-Hincapie Sportswear Cycling Team) placed 16th, 5:10 behind Barguil. Nate Brown (Covington, Tenn./Bontrager Livestrong Team) was the next American rider, finishing in 30th, 14:55 back while Nate Wilson (Elk Grove, Calif./California Giant Berry Farms-Specialized) and Evan Huffman (Elk Grove, Calif./California Giant Berry Farms-Specialized) placed 91st and 94th, respectively.
Boswell also finished seventh in the points classification and eighth in the King of the Mountains classification.
Boswell gained 23 seconds on the race leader, Barguil, in the penultimate stage of the race, a 130-kilometer trek spanning Valloire-Galiber-Les Saisies. Boswell finished in second place, only three seconds behind the stage winner Alexey Lutsenko (KAZ) and 23 seconds ahead of Barguil, who placed sixth. Warbasse finished only 55 seconds behind the stage winner, in 15th place.
In the final stage, Boswell finished with the lead group, placing fourth on the 83-kilometer contest.
Robert Bush (Louisville, Ky./Chipotle-First Solar Development Team) also contested the race.
The USA Cycling contingent performed well at the Premondiale Giro Toscana Int. Femminile-Memorial Michela Fanini in Italy from Aug. 29-Sept. 2.
Tayler Wiles (Murray, Utah/Exergy TWENTY12) recorded the squad's best result, placing 14th in thegeneral classification. Riding for their trade teams, Americans Megan Guarnier (Mountain View, Calif./Team TIBCO-To the Top) and Amanda Miller (Fort Collins, Colo./Team TIBCO-To the Top) each scored top-10 finishes. Guarnier placed fifth while Miller was ninth overall.
Among USA Cycling's contingent, Carmen Small (Durango, Colo./Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) finished 23rd, Janel Holcomb (San Diego, Calif./Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) was 49th and Ruth Winder (Lafayette, Calif./Vanderkitten-Focus) was 62nd. Jamie Bookwalter (Asheville, N.C./Colavita Racing) and Emily Kachorek (Sacramento, Calif./Primal-MapMyRide Women's Racing) also contested the race for USA Cycling.
Small placed second in the sprint classification and fifth in the points. Additionally, a pair of Americans finished in the top five of the Queen of the Mountains classification as Guarnier finished third and Small was fifth.
Small recorded the best result in the prologue, placing 19th, just eight seconds behind the stage winner Annemiek Van Vleuten (NED). Wiles was just one second behind Small while Kachorek was 10 seconds back and Holcomb finished 11 seconds back. Bookwalter was only two seconds behind Holcomb in 38th while Winder finished 16 seconds behind Van Vleuten.
The contingent's best single-stage result came from Bookwalter, who finished fourth in the second stage, a 137.6-kilometer contest from Pontedera to Volterra.
Tour Cycliste Féminin International de l'Ardeche 2012
A different group of women are contesting the Tour Cycliste Féminin International de l'Ardeche in France. The six-stage race started Monday and continues until Sunday, Sept. 9.
In the prologue of the race, Kristin McGrath (Boise, Idaho/Exergy TWENTY12) finished just one second behind the leader Cecilie Johnsen (NOR). Wiles also finished in the top 10, placing 10th, seven seconds behind Johnsen.
Joining McGrath and Wiles in France are Erin Donohue (Norwich, Vt./KMS-Start House Cycling Team), Andrea Dvorak (Crozet, Va./Exergy TWENTY12), Kachorek and Alexis Ryan (Ventura, Calif./Team TIBCO II).
Geoffrey Curran topped the podium after winning the fourth stage of G.P. Ruebliland in Switzerland. (Photo by Billy Innes)
Geoffrey Curran topped the podium after winning the fourth stage of G.P. Ruebliland in Switzerland. (Photo by Billy Innes)
On Aug. 31, G.P. Ruebliland started in Switzerland under heavy rain and very cold temperatures. The USA Cycling Juniors contingent of Miguel Bryon(Miami, Fla./BLUE STAR-BOOM Development Team), Geoffrey Curran (Tustin, Calif./Surf City Cyclery-Sterling BMW), Gregory Daniel(Englewood, Colo./Slipstream-Craddock Junior Development), Alex Darville (Santa Barbara, Calif./Hammer Nutrition-CMG Racing Team), T.J. Eisenhart (Lehi, Utah/Velosport Racing) andAlexey Vermeulen (Pinckney, Mich./Bissell-ABG-NUVO) survived the conditions and finished the 107-kilometer race in the front pack of the first stage.
The second stage presented a comparatively, shorter 77-kilometer, but the slick roads proved to be a bigger challenge. Curran and Daniel both crashed, but returned to the race. Daniel buried himself to return Curran to the main group that included the remaining USA Cycling riders. The USA Cycling contingent finished about a minute behind the front three riders.
The third stage was a complicated and technical 11.8-kilometer time trial course that forced the riders to be aware when they applied power to the pedals. After great rides in cold and wet conditions, Vermeulen and Eisenhart climbed to tenth and 11th in the general classification. Curran moved into 18th and Darville ascended to 25th.
The fourth stage, a 111-kilometer queen stage allowed the USA Cycling contingent to ride tactically. The group placed all of its riders on the front and drilled the first category 1 climb, shredding almost half the field from contact. On the second climb of the day, the short, but steep category 2 climb, Vermeulen and Eisenhart rode away, forcing a team from the Netherlands to chase. On the second time up the category 2 climb, Eisenhart and Curran drilled the pedals, forcing the French team to join the Dutch team in chasing. They were only successful in catching Eisenhart. Curran stayed away, building a gap as large as 1:10 and hanging on to win the stage in front of a hard-charging peloton. Darville also cracked the top five, placing fifth on the day.
Curran's move secured him a well-deserved fourth place in the final results. Vermeulen and Eisenhart placed 11th and 12th, respectively. Darville finished 25th overall while Daniel placed 43rd and Bryon was 70th.

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