Optum Pro Cycling and TIBCO / To the Top have split the honors in the 2012 Womenís Prestige Cycling Series. Optum claimed the Team title and the Sprinterís jersey while TIBCO took the Individual overall and the Best Young Rider classifications.
The most startling result was in the Sprint classification, where neo-pro Jade Wilkoxson (Optum Pro Cycling p/b KBS) jumped from sixth after the Nature Valley Grand Prix to first place after the BMC Cascade Classic, passing riders like Series champion Megan Guarnier (TIBCO / To the Top) and veteran sprinter Teresa Cliff Ryan (Exergy Twenty12). Wilcoxson is a phenom who was came to the attention of the pro teams last year through the Nature Valley Pro Chase talent identification program, riding for the Nature Valley Cycling Team coached by Michael Engleman and winning the Nature Valley Top Amateur jersey. The National Racing Calendar has now concluded, with Wilcoxson sitting in an impressive third place with her new Optum Pro Cycling team.
ďItís been a whirlwind seasonĒ, said Wilcoxson. ďThe Nature Valley Grand Prix was my first big race, so I didnít know what to expect when I joined Optum Pro Cycling presented by Kelly Benefits Strategies. I certainly didnít expect to win the Series sprint jersey or two NRC stage races, much less finish third on the National Racing Calendar.Ē
Wilcoxsonís performances along with teammates like Carmen Small (Nature Valley Grand Prix champion) helped propel Optum Pro Cycling to dominate the Team classification, outpacing second place TIBCO / To the Top by an impressive margin of 1,559 to 917 points, respectively. Exergy Twenty12 finished third.
But the Series didnít belong to Optum Pro Cycling, with TIBCO / To the Top claiming top honors in the Individual and Best Young Rider classifications.
Megan Guarnier led wire-to-wire in the individual competition, but only edged out Small by a slim margin of 407 to 385 points. Wilcoxson finished third, an impressive result for a neo-pro that added to Optumís Team win.
Lindsey Myers (TIBCO / To the Top) win in the Best Young Rider classification was far more comfortable. She claimed the lead at the Nature Valley Grand Prix and then defended it at the BMC Cascade Classic. She easily outpaced second place finisher Jackie Crowell (Exergy Twenty12) by a margin of 407 to 286 points. Joelle Numainville (Optum Pro Cycling), who had the lead after the Redlands Bicycle Classic, finished third.
1-1559 - Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
2 - 917 - Team TIBCO / To the Top Cycling
3 - 727 - Exergy TWENTY12
4 - 147 - Vanderkitten Focus
5 - 89 - FCS|ROUSE p/b Mr. Restore
1 - 407 - Megan Guarnier (Team Tibco / To the Top)
2 - 385 - Carmen Small (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)
3 - 352 - Jade Wilcoxson (Optum Pro Cycling / Kelly)
4 - 190 - Kristin McGrath (Exergy TWENTY12)
5 - 178 - Amanda Miller (Team Tibco / To the Top)
Best Young Rider classification
1 - 407 - Lindsay Myers (Team Tibco / To the Top)
2 - 286 - Jackie Crowell (Exergy TWENTY12)
3 - 220 - Joelle Numainville (Optum Pro Cycling / Kelly)
4 - 220 - Denise Ramsden (Optum Pro Cycling / Kelly)
5 - 220 - Lex Albrecht (Optum pb Kelly Benefit Strategies)
1 - 363 - Jade Wilcoxson (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)
2 - 352 - Megan Guarnier (Team TIBCO / To the Top)
3 - 352 - Theresa Cliff Ryan (Exergy TWENTY12)
4 - 264 - Carmen Small (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)
5 - 235 - Kristin McGrath (Exergy TWENTY12)
About the Women's Prestige Cycling Series
The Womenís Prestige Cycling Series, now in its ninth year, is the only national-level competition produced by women for women. Its goal is to promote womenís cycling by giving them a spotlight that they donít have to share with the men. The Series origin can be traced back to a discussion at the 2003 Women's Cycling Summit Conference, held at the Nature Valley Grand Prix. Since then, more than 30 teams have participated in some of the United States' top races from coast to coast. The 2012 edition began at the Redlands Bicycle Classic in California (March 22 Ė 25), followed the Nature Valley Grand Prix in Minnesota (June 13-17). It will conclude at the Bend Memorial Clinic Cascade Cycling Classic (July 17-22) in Oregon.
About the USA Cycling National Racing Calendar
Entering its 16thseason in 2012, the USA Cycling National Racing Calendar (NRC) is a road cycling series sanctioned by USA Cycling. It is designed to provide a ranking system for all elite-level cyclists, both amateur and professional, through participation in the nationís premier cycling events. More info at www.usacycling.org/nrc