Performance Director Jonas Carney writes about the team’s latest efforts in Europe as both the men’s and women’s teams competed in the Chrono Champenois time trialthis past weekend.
Yesterday was the 24th running of the Chrono Champenois in Betheny France. It was a 33 kilometer individual time trial and a UCI 1.2 event. We had three athletes racing. Carmen Small, who is preparing for the World Championships in the time trial and the road race, would compete in the women’s race. Scott Zwizanski and Tom Zirbel, who are preparing for the World Team Time Trial Championship, would represent Optum in the men’s event.
The course was fairly straight forward, with long stretches through the French champagne region’s countryside broken up by some technical sections through small French villages. It was a very windy day and much of the course was exposed with stiff crosswinds.
In the mens race, Scott Zwizanski went first and set a time of 42:40, which placed him in 16th. Scott commented after that he had a bad day, but his time was still respectable. Lots of riders were clustered with a similar time, and Scott was only 13 seconds from finishing top 10. Zirbel had a solid ride, finishing with a time of 41:41. He ended up in 5th place behind some very strong time trialists and only 12 seconds off the podium.
In the women’s’ race, Carmen Small set a blistering time of 46:24, which would be good enough for 2nd place behind Wendy Houvenaghel of Great Britain. The third place finisher, Olga Zabelinskaya from Russia recently won the Olympic bronze medal in the time trial in London. It was an impressive ride by Carmen and proof that she is ready for the World Championships.
Today we will race in the Kermesse de Zwevegem, a 166 kilometer circuit race just 25 kilometers from where we are staying in Belgium.
1. Wendy Houvenaghel (GBr) Great Britain
2. Carmen Small (USA) Optum Pro Cycling p/b KBS
3. Olga Zabelinskaya (Rus) Rusvelo
4. Julia Shaw (GBr) Great Britain
5. Natalia Boyarskya (Rus) Rusvelo
1. Rohan Dennis (Aus) Australia
2. Sergey Chernetskiy (Rus) Itera-Katusha
3. Rasmus Quaade (Den) Denmark
4. Damien Howson (Aus) Australia
5. Tom Zirbel (USA) Optum p/b KBS