Monday, June 20, 2011

Nature Valley Grand Prix, What Did We Learn About the Women?

Peanut Butter & Co/2012 rider Lauren Tamayo shows us the results of a race mishap.

When it was all over for the ladies on early Sunday afternoon we knew for sure a couple of things that we may have suspected. First, Italian sprint queen and current world road champion Giorgia Bronzini can climb hills, too, if they don't go on all day. Second, Kristin Armstrong, who sat out this race last year because she was about to become a mother, is working her way back to where she was when she won this event three years in a row and was an Olympic gold medalist. Third, Joelle Numainville, a rookie in the women's pro peloton last year, is now a bonafide threat to occupy the podium after any race, along with her more experienced Tibco to the Top team mate Erinne Willock. These two Canadians regularly compete with Colavita rider Leah Kirchmann from Winnipeg. Canadian ladies are a dominant force in women's cycling. Lastly, for even the casual spectator, women's racing is a much more exciting affair than the formulaic product produced by the men. Sorry, guys.

Nature Valley Stillwater Criterium results:
1. Giorgia Bronzini
2. Evelyn Stevens
3. Kristin Armstrong

Nature Valley General Classification results:
1. Amber Neben
2. Erinne Willock
3. Kristin Armstrong

HTC-High Road star Evelyn Stevens gets ready to put the hurt on the peloton charging up Chilkoot Hill in Stillwater.

Joelle Numainville rides to the start line.

2008 World Time Trial Champion and race leader Amber Neben gets ready for 18 miles of racing with 2,000 feet of vertical climbing.

The ladies begin their 13 laps of torture, forgetting about the picturesque scenery of Stillwater and the St.Croix Valley.

Amber Neben leads world champion Giorgia Bronzini across the line two laps before the finish.

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