Saturday, June 24, 2017

Bridging the Gap with USCR's Amy Bush

-written by Amy Bush

As has become my practice, for whatever unexplained reason, I like to start my BTG reports with Mountain Biking. Perhaps it's a "save the best for last" type thing but it's hard to say. I've never seen a Mountain Bike race but I have a suspicion that I would really like it. Regardless, why change things now.

The Breck Epic got underway August 12th in Breckenridge, Colorado. Stage 1 was the Pennsylvania Creek stage in which the riders faced a 63.6km course. They were faced with near freezing temperatures but it did nothing to deter the racers. The following days of racing many different faces to the top step of the podium. Here are the results:

Pennsylvania Creek (Stage 1):

Solo Open Men: Benmelt Swanepoel

Solo Open Women: Yolandi Du Toit

Solo Singlespeed Men: Macky Franklin

Solo Singlespeed Women: Jennifer Wilson

3 Day Men Open: Matt Simmons

3 Day Women Open: Holly Wade

The Colorado Trail (Stage 2):

Solo Open Men: Calle Friberg

Solo Open Women: Amanda Carey

Solo Singlespeed Men: Brady Kappius

Solo Singlespeed Women: Jennifer Wilson

3 Day Men Open: Aaron Gulley

3 Day Women Open: Sage Melley

The Guyot Loop (Stage 3):

Solo Open Men: Benmelt Swanepoel

Solo Open Women: Amanda Carey

Solo Singlespeed Men: Brady Kappius

Solo Singlespeed Women: Jennifer Wilson

3 Day Men Open: Aaron Gulley

3 Day Women Open: Holly Wade

3 Day Men Open Final GC: Matt Simmons

3 Day Women Open Final GC: Holly Wade

The Keystone Loop (Stage 4):

Solo Open Men: Matthys Beukes

Solo Open Women: Yolandi Du Toit

Solo Singlespeed Men: Macky Franklin

Solo Singlespeed Women: Jennifer Wilson

The Wheeler Loop (Stage 5):

Solo Open Men: Matthys Beukes

Solo Open Women: Amanda Carey

Solo Singlespeed Men: Brady Kappius

Solo Singlespeed Women: Andrea Wilson

The Gold Dust Loop (Stage 6):

Solo Open Men: Benmelt Swanepoel

Solo Open Women: Yolandi Du Toit

Solo Singlespeed Men: Macky Franklin

Solo Singlespeed Women: Andrea Wilson

Solo Open Men Final GC: Ben Sonntag

Solo Open Women Final GC: Andrea Carey

Solo Singlespeed Men Final GC: Macky Franklin

Solo Singlespeed Women Final GC: Jennifer Wilson

Next up is the US Pro XTC # 5 & WORS # 8: Subaru Cup held in Mt. Morris, Washington August 18th-19th. Both the Elite Men and the Elite Women were in action with the cross country events taking place on Saturday and the short track and super D taking place on Sunday. For the cross country event, Judy Freeman (Crankbrothers Race Club) took a solo victory by defeating Amanda Sin (Scott 3Rox Racing) by 16 seconds. For the men, Derek Zandstra (Scott/ 3 Rox Racing) also had a solo win with Todd Wells (Specialized Racing) finishing 15 seconds down. On Sunday in the short track event, Heather Irmiger (Subaru-Trek) won for the women while Todd Wells (Specialized Racing) was able to pull out a victory by just 1 seconds ahead of Raphael Gagne (Equipe du Quebec/Rocky Mountain). Abby Strigel (Honey Stringer/Bontrager) and Gagne won the super D events.

Finally in Mountain Biking, the National Ultra Endurance (NUE) Series: Hampshire 100 was held in Greenfield, New Hampshire on August 19th. The winners of both the men's and women's event both had relatively comfortable victories with Christian Tanguy (Team CF) defeating 2nd placed rider David Juarez (Cannondale Factory) by over 6 minutes and Cheryl Sorenson (Team CF) defeating 2nd placed riders Vicki Barclay (Stan's NoTubes Elite Women's Team) by over 15 minutes.

Following the Olympics, the Road season is picking back up again. The Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian, a race that goes back to 1981 and has seen such winners as Miguel Indurain, Lance Armstrong and Paolo Bettini, was held August 14th. After nearly 234km of racing, 2010 winner Luis Leon Sanchez was able to get off an attack that would just barely hold giving him his seventh win of the season. A large group followed him in just 7 seconds down with Simon Gerrans (Orica GreenEdge Cycling Team) finishing 2nd and Gianni Meersman (Lotto Belisol Team) finishing 3rd. Garmin-Sharp rider Christophe Le Mevel was highest placed from an American team in 4th with his teammate, Andrew Talansky the highest placed American rider in 12th.

The Vattenfall Cyclassics was held August 19th in Hamburg, Germany and came down to a sprint finish after a various combinations of riders lead the race which included such riders as Marco Pinotti (BMC Racing Team) and Yaroslav Popovych (Radioshack-Nissan). In the end, it would not be enough as FDJ-Big Mat rider defeated the likes of Andre Greipel (Lotto Belisol Team) and Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) in the sprint. Heinrich Haussler (Garmin-Sharp) was highest placed from an American team finishing 7th in the sprint with his teammate, Jacob Rathe, the highest placed American rider in 58th, less than a minute down on the winner.

The Elite women were in action this week as will as they participated in the Open de Suede Vargarda TTT and the Open de Suede Vargarda on August 17th and 19th respectively in Sweden. The TTT was 48.7km and was won by Team Specialized-Lululemon by just shy of 30 seconds. The team consisted of Evelyn Stevens (USA), Ina Teutenberg (Ger), Trixi Worrack (Ger), Amber Neben (USA), Eleonora Van Dijk (Ned) and Charlotte Becker (Ger). Iris Slappendel (Stichting Rabo Women Cycling Team) won the 2nd day of racing ahead of Hanka Kupfenagel (Rusvelo), Marianne Vos (Stichting Rabo Women Cycling Team) and American Shelley Olds (AA Drink-Leontien.nl Cycling Team). Vos leads the World Cup Standings with 260 points.

The Tour de Limousin got underway on August 14th in France. Stage 1 was 162.1km from Limoges to La Souteraine and came down to a sprint finish with the win going to Team Type 1-Sanofi rider Jur Kocjan. Stage 2 was another sprint finish with the victory this time going to Evaldas Siskevicius (La Pomme Marseille). Stage 3 was again won by Kocjan who also held the GC lead going into the 4th and final stage which was won by Jeremy Roy (FDJ-Big Mat). The final overall GC victory went to Yukiya Arashiro (Team Europcar) who finished in essentially the same time as Roy who finished 2nd on GC. Vegard Stake Laengen (Team Type 1-Sanofi) was highest placed from and American team finishing 11th on GC.

Winding up this week's report is the Volta a Portugal em Bicicleta which got underway on August 15th and will run through August 25th. The first day of racing was a 2.2km ITT in Castelo Branco. The win went to Reinardt Van Rensburg (MTN Qhubeka) giving him the first leader's jersey. Stage 1 was not to be taken lightly at 200.8km. UnitedHealthcare rider Jay Thomson took the victory and overtook the GC lead as well. Francesco Lasca (Caja Rural) took the Stage 2 sprint ahead of Van Rensburg and Cesar Fonte (Efapel Glassdrive) won Stage 3. Fonte's Efapel Glassdrive team dominated Stage 4 taking all 3 steps of the podium with the victory going to Rui Sousa, Sergio Ribeiro finishing 2nd and David Blanco finishing 3rd. Going into the 5th stage, Hugo Sabido (LA Aluminios Antarte) hold the GC lead by just 8 seconds ahead of Fonte.

Thank you for your dedication to USCR.

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