Haga 3rd, Numvainville 4th in individual standings
With a full calendar of road racing coming to a close, the Optum Pro Cycling presented by Kelly Benefits Strategies men’s team took the top spot on USA Cycling’s National Race Calendar (NRC) series, a longstanding measurement of success on the US circuit. Powered by strong individual performances during the NRC calendar year from Chad Haga (3rd overall, individual standings), Jesse Anthony (7th overall, individual standings), Tom Zirbel (8th overall, individual standings), and Mike Friedman (12th overall, individual standings), the men were able to finish the NRC calendar with a commanding lead in the team standings.
The Orange and Black outdistanced Team Jamis – Hagens Berman by nearly 600 points, with a final tally of 1738 points to 1186 points after the series’ final race, the Bucks County Classic in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.
Performance Director Jonas Carney was happy with the team’s NRC win, despite the face that the NRC series was not a priority at the beginning of the season.
“The NRC Team standings wasn’t really a goal for our program at the beginning of the season, but it’s certainly great to see our team recognized as the number one team in North America,” said Carney. “We always race aggressively and race to win, and in the end, it just worked out that we scored the most points because the guys rode so well at every NRC event.”
Optum p/b KBS began the NRC series with a strong 1-2 performance in the stage one time trial at Redlands Bicycle Classic thanks to Haga and Zirbel, and only got better from there; Haga won the overall at Joe Martin Stage Race, Friedman won the overall at Nature Valley Grand Prix, Haga 2nd overall at Cascade Cycling Classic, and Haga won the opening prologue at Tour of Elk Grove with Ryan Anderson 2nd overall.
Helped by a plethora of strong individual performances, the women secured 2nd place in the NRC team standings, which officially concluded following the Tour of Elk Grove, where Numainville won stage one and finished second overall. The women were unable to repeat on their 2012 sweep of the NRC team and individual titles, but Performance Director Rachel Heal’s team delivered another incredibly strong year of racing.
“Obviously, it would have been nice to win the overall team standings again, but we accomplished a lot of goals outside of just what goes on in the NRC,” said Heal. “We won a multitude of national titles across all the disciplines, including a sweep of the women’s road nationals in Canada. It’s fantastic that we took that form to Europe with us, where we were just crowned best team at Tour Cycliste Feminin International de l’Ardeche.”
Final 2013 NRC Standings
Men’s Team Overall
1. Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies, 1,738
2. Jamis-Hagens Berman, 1,186
3. 5-Hour Energy, 1,160
4. Hincapie Sportswear Development, 1,134
5. UnitedHealthcare, 958
Men’s Individual Overall
1. Francisco Mancebo (5-Hour Energy), 814
2. Joseph Rosskopf (Hincapie Sportswear Development), 556
3. Chad Haga (Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies), 554
4. Kiel Reijnen (UnitedHealthcare), 452
5. Serghei Tvetcov (Jelly Belly), 428
Women’s Individual Overall
1. Alison Powers (NOW and Novartis for MS), 1,108
2. Claudia Haeusler (Tibco-To the Top), 1,054
3. Shelley Olds (Tibco-To the Top), 1,018
4. Joelle Numainville (Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies), 848
5. Mara Abbott (Exergy Twent16), 624
Women’s Team Overall
1. Tibco-To the Top, 2,922
2. Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies, 1,920
3. NOW and Novartis for MS, 1,806
4. Exergy Twent16, 1,262
5. Specialized-lululemon, 738