Saturday, June 24, 2017

Alison Powers Crushes US National Championship Time Trial, Earns Stars and Stripes for UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team

Less than two weeks after dominating the Amgen Tour of California Women’s Time Trial, Alison Powers took to the starting ramp at the USA Cycling Professional Time Trial National Championships today with hopes of repeating her 2008 victory and earning the coveted stars and stripes jersey for the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team. The 2014 course in Chattanooga, Tennessee was relatively long at 30.9 kilometers with rolling hills and technical turns. Alison has shown great form recently with fantastic strength and stamina, allowing her to power through the undulating course with speed and precision. Top form, flawless equipment, and determination all converged for Alison Powers today, as she devoured the course and claimed the victory by a margin of 30 seconds. 

Alison adds this accomplishment to her already impressive résumé which includes the current US national professional criterium championship jersey, the 2013 national racing calendar points title, 2014 Tour Femenino de San Luis overall victory, and many more. Elated with her result, Alison Powers commented, “I am super happy-- everyone believed in me, and to go from huge disappointment last year to sheer happiness this year is incredible. The team’s belief in me and the support they've given me have been big contributing factors.” Sports Director Rachel Heal added, “Alison had an amazing start to this year and we knew she had the form to get a great result here. She's worked really hard for this and it's fantastic to see her pull off the win. It was a full team effort with the support from Adrian, Tavis, Mike (team staff) and our sponsors playing a big part in ensuring Alison only had to focus on riding her bike... very fast!”

This race was an important goal for the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team and they prepared accordingly with extensive testing in the Faster wind tunnel optimizing the riders' fit and position on their Wilier Twin Blade time trial bikes. To emerge from the race victorious shows commitment of the team, riders, and partners to the progress and success of the program. General Manager Mike Tamayo concluded, “We had a clear goal with Alison when we hired her last summer: get to the World Championships and to be capable of a medal. The first step in that process was to win nationals and secure the automatic qualification.  We’ve just accomplished the first step.”

The US National Professional Road Championship takes place on Monday, May 26th, in which the men and women of the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team will race for the honor of wearing the stars and stripes, this time in the road race discipline. The women’s race totals 101.5 kilometers while the men’s event totals 161.9 kilometers. Both events will be covered live on the USA Cycling National Championships TourTracker.

Three Jerseys and a Podium for UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team in Women’s Tour Opener

The UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team had a fantastic showing amidst massive crowds in today’s opening stage of the Friends Life Women’s Tour of Britain. The undulating 93.8-kilometer route proved challenging, with two intermediate sprint competitions and two queen of the mountains competitions along Great Britain’s winding and narrow roads. Sharon Laws set her sights on the QOM competitions, climbing to second and third place respectively on the hilltops and amassing enough points to clench the queen of the mountains jersey after stage 1, with a 3-point lead over runner-up Marriane Vos.


With the mountains jersey in the team’s the possession, the riders turned their focus to the stage finish. Numerous breakaway attempts formed throughout the aggressive stage, the last of which was brought back with only 3 kilometers left in the race, setting the stage set for an exciting sprint for the finish. Channeling the support of thousands of fans lining the finishing straight, Hannah Barnes applied her local course knowledge and immense motivation to sprint to 3rd place against a truly world-class field. Hannah’s performance yielded not only a position on the podium, but also the best young rider and best of Britain jerseys after stage one.

Ecstatic with the day’s result and the overwhelming amount of support, podium finisher Hannah Barnes commented, “It was very special to race along my home training roads and the crowds made it even more so. I didn’t know what to expect with such a strong field, so to come away with 3rd is a great feeling! Earning two jerseys in addition to Sharon's climbers jersey made this a great day for the team.” Sharon Laws added, “I am totally blown away by the support on the race route - I was so proud to be British today. I’m also extremely happy to come away with the mountain jersey and to see Hannah earn 3rd on today’s stage. This is a great start to the tour!”

Sports Director Rachel Heal concluded, “This race is setting a new standard in women's racing, the level of organization and support is incredible and the crowds watching the race were huge. For the women's first foray into European racing, I couldn't be happier with today's result. To place 3rd on the stage behind the world’s top-ranked rider and the World Champion is a great achievement. To walk away from the first stage with three jerseys exceeds all our expectations.” The women of the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team will race 118.5 kilometers from Hinkley to Bedford tomorrow with two more QOM competitions and two more intermediate sprints up for grabs.

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