Jade Wilcoxson attacks to her first USPRO women’s title
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Monday, May 27, 2013

Jade Wilcoxson attacks to her first USPRO women’s title

by Ben Atkins at 12:03 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results, National Championships
 
Lauren Hall plays it cool to make it a one-two for Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies

jade wilcoxsonJade Wilcoxson (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) took her first ever United States championship, after attacking her breakaway companion in the final three kilometres and soloing to the finish in downtown Chattanooga, Tennessee. The 35-year-old Oregan-based Californian left Kristin McGrath (Exergy-Twenty16) behind her, after the pair of them had escaped an elite leading group, and managed to hold off the chase all the way to the finish.

McGrath was caught and passed by a counterattack from Alison Powers (NOW and Novartis for MS), with Wilcoxson’s teammate Lauren Hall on her wheel. Having played it cool on McGrath’s wheel, as she defended Wilcoxson’s lead, Hall easily took the sprint for second place with McGrath taking third.

Reactions to follow

The first attack of the race came almost immediately, as Maura Kinsella (Now and Novartis) jumped away. She was soon joined by Lauren Tamayo (Exergy-Twenty16), but the peloton swept the two riders up before they could get very far.

Following the first climb of Lookout Mountain, Jaqueline Crowell and McGrath (Exergy-Twenty16), Wilcoxson and Hall, Carmen Small and Tayler Wiles (Specialized-lululemon), Amanda Miller (Tibco-To the Top), Robin Farina (NOW & Novartis) and Scotti Wilborne (Leborne Development) got away from the peloton, and opened up a lead of 1’25” over the peloton by the time they hit the climb for the second time.

Farina was soon dropped as the road began to rise, but the rest of the group stayed together. Mara Abbott (Exergy-Twenty15) led the chasing pack onto climb, with Evie Stevens (Specialized-lululemon) tucked in behind her, but then Stevens attacked. Abbott followed as the two left the group behind and made their way towards the eight remaining riders up ahead.

On the steepest part of the climb Abbott left Stevens behind, just as Small was struggling to stay with the leaders. The 2008 Giro Donne champion immediately went to the front of the group and began to drive the pace to try to prevent Stevens from closing the last few seconds.

Wiles then took over at the front, even though Stevens was still trying to bridge, with Kaitlin Antonneau (Exergy-Twenty12) and Powers on her wheel. Crowell attacked the group on the final downhill section, but Powers caught the group as it hit the foot of the descent and blasted straight past in pursuit of Crowell.

Abbott then attacked herself, with just over 40km to go, and quickly opened up a 15 second gap over the rest.

Across the line to start the three 8.2km finishing laps, Abbott was just under 20 seconds clear of the chase group, which was splitting into pieces under the impetus of Optum and Specialized-lululemon. Midway through the first lap Wilcoxson attacked, and was chased by Wiles.

Abbott punctured and, as neutral service was trying to changed her rear wheel her rear derailleur snapped off and she had to wait for a replacement bike. The chase group streamed past as she was waiting for her team car and, by the time she got going again, her race was effectively over.

Wilcoxson meanwhile was all alone, with Wiles unable to catch her, 15 seconds ahead of the rest of the break. McGrath jumped clear of the rest, and was only four seconds behind as they crossed the line at the end of the first lap; Wiles was leading the chasers just ten seconds behind the leader.

McGrath soon caught Wilcoxson and the two of them began to work together, and they opened their lead to 25 seconds.

Having allowed Wiles to do all of the chasing Powers then attacked, and was marked by Hall whose teammate Wilcoxson was in front. Small - who had been sitting at the back as her teammate chased - quickly jumped across, but she was soon followed by Wiles and the others.

By the time they hit the bell, the two leaders were just five seconds clear, as Wiles took up station at the front of the group again.

With six kilometres left, as they hit the exposed Tennessee river bridge for the last time, McGrath tried to escape. Wilcoxson was soon on the Exergy-Twenty12 rider’s wheel, however, and they began to work together again. Wiles was still the only chaser in the group behind, with the gap out to 15 seconds; Powers then attacked again, but was marked by Hall and the others again.

The group accelerated as Powers continued, which saw Wiles left behind but, up ahead, Wilcoxson put in a big attack with two and a half kilometres to go and left McGrath behind.

Powers attacked the group again, with Hall glued to her back wheel, but Wilcoxson was into the final two kilometres and riding into the stars and stripes jersey. Rounding the corner alone she sat up and held out the front of her skinsuit to display her sponsors and punched the air with both fists as she hit the line.

Having sat on Powers’ wheel, Hall easily came around at the finish and celebrated as much as her teammate as she sprinted to silver.

Result
1. Jade Wilcoxson (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
2. Lauren Hall (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies @ 11s
3. Alison Powers (USA) NOW and Novartis for MS
4. Kristin McGrath (USA) Exergy-Twenty16
5. Jacquelyn Crowell (USA) Exergy-Twenty16 @ 17s
6. Amanda Miller (USA) Team Tibco-To The Top
7. Carmen Small (USA) Specialized-lululemon
8. Andrea Dvorak (USA) Exergy-Twenty16
9. Tayler Wiles (USA) Specialized-lululemon @ 47s
10. Mara Abbott (USA) Exergy-Twenty16 @ 4’19”

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