Clarke and Numainville power to Air Force Clarendon Cup victory
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Saturday, June 11, 2011

Clarke and Numainville power to Air Force Clarendon Cup victory

by VeloNation Press at 6:53 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
 
UnitedHealthcare and TIBCO earn favorite status for Air Force Classic day two

Hilton ClarkeUnitedHealthcare's Hilton Clarke took his second consecutive Air Force Cycling Classic Clarendon Cup victory in the streets of Arlington, Virgina today, finishing off the job he started early on in the race.  In the women's pro race, it was Canadian Road Champion Joelle Numainville (TIBCO/To the Top) to take the win over her compatriot Leah Kirchmann (Colavita/Forno d'Asolo).

Clarke was part of an early move that included his UnitedHealthcare teammate Adrian Hegyvary and Team Exergy's Carlos Alzate.  The weather was hot, but fortunately for the riders, not the sweltering temperatures that marked the 2010 edition.  The trio worked well together to lap the field, and once they hooked up with the back of the peloton, the Australian's team remained in control for the rest of the race.

The UnitedHealthcare team was clearly the strongest on the day, but that didn't stop the rest from trying to force their way off the front.  The XO Communications/Battley Harley-Davidson amateur squad worked hard to try animate their home pro race, with Timothy Rugg and Chuck Hutcheson both getting involved in moves off the front.

Hutcheson was part of an escape that eventually whittled down to two, but was swept up in the closing laps by the UnitedHealthcare locomotive.  The blue train nailed the leadout after spending the bulk of the day on the front, topping it off by dominating the Chuck Hutchesonsprint to seal up Clarke's win.

The TIBCO/To the Top team were the dominant squad in the women's pro event.  Despite constant attacking from the bunch, TIBCO had enough firepower to keep things together to setup Numainville for the sprint.

“The girls rode really well today,” said TIBCO/To the Top Directeur Sportif Lisa Hunt. “Colavita was very aggressive but we were always in position to cover moves when something looked dangerous. And Meredith [Miller] and Jo put in strong attacks of their own in the middle of the race. Joelle got in a good move early as well and that put some pressure on the rest of the bunch.”

It was down to the final four laps of the 50 kilometer event when the TIBCO team put newcomer Tara Whitten on the front to start the leadout to drive them home.  The display of confidence didn't discourage Colavita/Forno d'Asolo's Janel Holcomb from taking a flier with two to go, but it wasn't enough to derail the TIBCO effort.

“I jumped to bring her back, “Miller said, “and it took me nearly a lap to reel her back in. Just as we were coming up on one lap to go, it was all back together.”

Numainville paid back her team's effort by powering to the line for the win.

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