In a busy weekend of racing for the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team.
The Blue Train found success on both sides of the country, with National Criterium Calendar racing in North Carolina, and road racing action in Redlands, California.
The Redlands Bicycle Classic stage race, one of the premier events on the North American calendar, has been a great event for UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team in the past, with Alison Powers (now retired) taking the stage win in the time trial last year. In the 2015 edition, the women have seen several top-ten performances in the first 4 stages and are now supporting Katie Hall, 5th place on the general classification. The race wraps up on Sunday, April 12th with a 109.6-km race on the mountainous roads of Southern California.
Coryn Rivera Wins the Redlands Classic Criterium
The criterium around downtown Redlands, California made up the fourth stage of the prestigious race, attended by the top teams in the nation. Continuing good form coming into the US Pro Criterium Championships next weekend, Coryn Rivera crossed the line with her hands aloft once more despite a chaotic final lap, followed swiftly by Alexis Ryan in second place.
Sporting Director Rachel Heal was clearly pleased with her team's preparation for Criterium Nationals next weekend, "We knew Coryn was the fastest in the field, so we made sure the race came down to a sprint finish. To take first and second is a huge bonus and shows the depth the team has when it comes to crits."
Hannah Barnes Repeats Success at the Novant Health Criterium
The National Criterium Calendar continued this weekend with the Novant Health Invitational Criterium in Charlotte, NC. The UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team lined up as favorites after their convincing win at the Sunny King Criterium last weekend, and as defending 2014 champions in the men's and women's professional fields (2014; Carlos Azate, Hannah Barnes). With the help of a fantastic lead out from teammate Ruth Winder, Hannah Barnes continued her streak of success with another win, extending her lead in the National Criterium Calendar standings.
Mike Tamayo, directing the women this weekend in North Carolina, attributed the success to a clear strategy, and perfect execution, "The women are dialed in how they race, and they proved it once again in how they performed. Clear plan and execution is important in criteriums, and we have proven again we are the strongest team in the Nation."
Alzate and Clarke Take the Top Spots for the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team at Novant Health Criterium
The men of the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team were once again out in force at the NCC race in Charlotte, looking to also repeat their 2014 victory. The squad has made it a mission to continue their dominance on the US circuit, and they did so resoundingly at the Novant Health Invitational with a 1-2 finish. The race unfolded with an early breakaway that included UnitedHealthcare Blue Train rider Karl Menzies. Hilton Clarke and Carlos Alzate bridged up to join their teammate and the other breakaway riders, and together the riders were able to lap the field. After creating a one-lap advantage on the rest of the peloton, Carlos Alzate took the win, followed by Hilton Clarke in second place. Tamayo concluded, "We've just finished a ten-day team time trial camp, so the guys are riding strong and you can see it. It is always good to see the benefits of hard work. Right now, the engines are running hot."