Jade Wilcoxson returns to the winner circle for the first time in 2013 following a very successful 2012 Road and CX season. Taking a victory in the Sea Otter Classic Criterium, Jade and teammate Amber Gaffney have their work cut out for them to try to keep the leader’s jersey until Sunday. Rachel Heal also reports on the Women’s double criterium weekend of the Charlotte Criterium and Noda Grand Prix in North Carolina.
Optum pb KBS’ Jade Wilcoxson returned to the winner’s circle for the first time in 2013 today in the opening stage criterium of the Sea Otter Classic. Joined by just one other teammate, Amber Gaffney, on the infamous Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey, the Optum p/b KBS duo outdueled the other teams to deliver Jade to the finish with a clear victory. Wilcoxson, who jumped into 2013 without a break from her standout 2012 road and cross season, continues to impress as she also took 3 of the 4 sprints during the stage. She holds a 7 second lead over 2nd placed Heather Fischer (Exergy TWENTY16) and has a 9 point lead in the sprint competition.
Tomorrow’s road race will be a challenge for the pair to control the race against the teams with larger numbers. However Jade appear to be on good form at the moment.
Stay tuned for more updates as the weekend progresses.
Wilcoxson came close to a win last week following the double weekend of the Charlotte Criterium and Noda Grand Prix in North Carolina. Just beaten to the line, Jade grabbed 2nd at the Noda Grand Prix while teammates Brianna Walle and Janel Holcomb finished up 6th and 8th. The day before, at one of America’s biggest and longest running criterium, the Optum p/b KBS women battled to 4th and 5th following a late race move, that featured the team’s top sprinter Joelle Numainville, which didn’t quite make it to the finish.
Here is a report from Women’s Director Rachel Heal:
As always, the Presbyterian Hospital Invitational Criterium was a fast and chaotic race, with lots of strong teams but no one-dominant team. A break was a good possibility and with 3 strong sprinters in Joëlle, Jade and Brie it was one we would be happy with. The girls did an awesome job of representing the team in every break and with 5 laps to go Joëlle was in a very strong break and things were looking really promising. With just 2 laps to go however, 4 more riders bridged to the break and made it just too big to survive and a bunch sprint was on the cards. Janel led the bunch through 1 to go picking up the gamblers prime, and in a chaotic sprint Jade and Brie took 4th and 5th.
Having enjoyed the evening crit, the girls had a slight change of plan and decided to race Sunday’s Noda GP, where Jade just missed out on the win. But it was a very successful weekend, and the team continues to come together looking ahead to our stage race goals of Joe Martin and the Tour of the Gila.