Team races on three fronts this weekend in the U.S. and Canada
St. Louis’ Tour de Grove ended on Sunday with a near miss for Leah Kirchmann. The Optum p/b KBS rider had strong results over the 3 days of racing placing 5th in Friday’s Midtown Grand Prix and 4th in Saturday’s Tour de Grove.The three day event concluded with the Dutchtown Classic. After 2 days of races finishing in bunch sprints, it seemed there were a lot of riders and teams keen for a break on the final day and the racing was aggressive from the start.
The 8 corner course seemed suited to a breakaway but despite the continual attacks no group could get more than a few seconds clear of the field and it started to look like a bunch sprint was once again in the cards. However, with just 9 laps remaining, a group of 4 broke the stranglehold and within a lap, the gap was 15 seconds, eventually pulling out to 25 seconds by the finish. It was a strong group with Kirchmann present along with Theresa Cliff Ryan of Fearless Femme, Lauren Stephens, winner of the recent Charlotte Presbyterian Hospital Criterium and Exergy’s Jacqui Crowell. Despite a concerted chase from the field, the 4 in the breakaway worked well together and the gap held steady. Knowing the strength of Cliff Ryan’s sprint, Leah launched early on the uphill finish, almost holding it, before being passed on the line, earning a well deserved 2nd place.
This weekend, the women will triple their efforts heading to Wilmington and Baltimore to take on the Wilmington Grand Prix and Kelly Cup while also tackling Canada’s 2 Day UCI 1.1 ranked Grand Prix Cycliste Gatineau and the Tour of California Women’s Time Trial. Looking to win in the U.S. and Canada, the terrain for the events will vary greatly as the Wilmington GP and Kelly Cup will suit our young fast finishing talent while Gatineau features a long and hilly circuit race of 83 miles and a challenging 12 mile time trial. The TOC time trial will also feature undulating terrain, culminating with a steep 1 mile climb to the finish.
Our hearts go out to Annie Ewart following her crash during Friday night’s race. Annie came in contact with a barrier resulting in a broken scapula as well as other injuries. She has since returned home and is doing well after her first surgery to clean out her wounds. She is expected to have surgery on her scapula within the week. We wish her a quick recovery.
Wilmington Grand Prix and Kelly Cup:
GP Cycliste Gatineau:
Tour of California Women’s Time Trial