Winston-Salem: Kiesanowski best placed Kiwi as Olds wins in sprint

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April 19th, ’14.  91km and nearly 5,000ft of climbing saw more than thirty of the original field drop out during the day’s racing, but for Ale Cipollini’s Shelley Olds the day was cause for celebration as she took just under two and a half hours to win the Winston-Salem Cycling Classic.

April 19th, ’14.  91km and nearly 5,000ft of climbing saw more than thirty of the original field drop out during the day’s racing, but for Ale Cipollini’s Shelley Olds the day was cause for celebration as she took just under two and a half hours to win the Winston-Salem Cycling Classic, beating Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies’ Joelle Numainville and BTC City Ljubljana’s Eugenia Bujak in the finishing sprint.

The day saw a very effective display of teamwork by the Ale Cipollini team, as Shelley Olds and her crew set about making sure that the race stayed under their control.  They had their work cut out though as several riders tried to get away during the course of the race.  The most successful attack of the day came from TWENTY 16 Pro Cycling’s Alison Tetrick who stayed away for the majority of the day, from the second lap to until about two and a half laps remained.  Her reward for her toils were both the Queen of the Mountain crown and the sprint competition that were also being held during the race. 

Tetrick may have been able to last longer out in the front but a sharp attack by UnitedHealthcare’s Alison Powers brought the race to heel, with Shelley Olds herself having to give chase.  Inevitably Tetrick and Powers were brought back, but that didn’t stop Powers from attacking again.  Powers’ second attack was more successful as she held a 10 second advantage going into the final climb, but it was too much too soon and the peloton were onto her.  Joelle Numainville pushed Shelley Olds all the way in the sprint but the American had just enough to hold on for the win.

Afterwards Olds said, “It’s probably my favourite win of the year by far, it’s my country and I never get to race here.  Now, to see some riders racing over here that I normally see in Europe, it kind of mixes up the whole dynamic of the racing.  You don’t just have American style racing or European racing.  You have a combination of both.  It makes it much more exciting.  It was really fun.”

Although Courtney Lowe didn’t make it to the finish, her work on behalf of teammate Joelle Numainville helped secure a podium position for the team; a great day’s work.  Rushlee Buchanan did a great job too for her UHC team, with teammates Hannah Barnes, Sharon Laws and Mara Abbott all placing inside the top 15.  But it was Joanne Kiesanowski who ended the day the best placed Kiwi rider.  Kiesanowski scraped into the top 25, a good result considering the curse of the mechanical troubles fell upon her!  “[It] was a great course, very technical and always up or down,” she said afterwards, “Unfortunately I didn’t have the best luck today and had to have 2 bike changes so I spent a few laps in between the cars . . . definitely not ideal.”  Next up for Kiesanowski and co is the Professional Criterium race tomorrow which Kiesanowski in particular is looking forward to.  We wish them all the best as they tackled the one-mile course around downtown Winston-Salem.

Results:
1st:  Shelley Olds (USA) Ale Cipollini
2nd:  Joelle Numainville (CAN) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
3rd:  Eugenia Bujak (POL) BTC City Ljubljana
4th:  Erica Allar (USA)
5th:  Elena Cecchini (ITA) Estado de Mexico-Faren Kuota
6th:  Lex Albrecht (CAN)
7th:  Jessica Cutler (USA)
8th:  Lauren Stephens (USA) Team TIBCO-To The Top
9th:  Hannah Barnes (GBR) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling
10th:  Denise Ramsden (CAN) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
OTHERS:
25th:  Joanne Kiesanowski (NZ) Team TIBCO-To the Top
30th:  Rushlee Buchanan (NZ) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling

By: Ed Wright

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