Multiple scenarios played out in the Women’s Pro 1/2 race of the Chris Thater Memorial Criterium, held in Binghamton, New York on Saturday. Brooke Miller (Tibco-To The Top), who won the race a year ago, announced her retirement just before the race began.
Her teammate Sam Schneider out-sprinted NRC leader Cath Cheatley (Colavita Baci) after the duo broke away from the peloton with 10 laps to go. Another Tibco rider, Joanne Kiesanowski, won the field sprint. Cheatley still managed to secure the NRC Individual championship title after holding a big points advantage going into the
Erica Allar (unattached) successfully defended her USA Crits Series leaders jersey in the series finale.
Schneider outkicks Cheatley
Colavita and TIBCO marked each other all race long, and that’s exactly what Schneider did when Cheatley went off the front with eight laps to go. She happened to turn her defensive move into a race victory.
“I was working just to establish it and then I decided with four laps to go to just kind of sit on and save it for the sprint,” Schneider said. “Cath was doing a pretty good job keeping it moving.”
The duo expanded the gap from 16 seconds to 22 with five laps remaining, as the field sat up and decided to focus on field sprint position for third place.
“My team just did an amazing job,” Kiesanowski said. “We had it lined up with one lap to go. We had four riders on the front, so we couldn’t ask for a better lead out, really. There was definitely some fighting going on over the back straights. But I managed to get my leadout’s wheel so I just held on for the finish.”
Cheatley sat on the front of the field for much of the race before escaping.
“When I was in the break with Sam I knew she was a pretty good sprinter,” Cheatley said. “So I knew that if I didn’t out sprint her for the finish we’d still get the number one goal of nailing the NRC for the team. So, it worked out well.”
Several riders launched attacks earlier on in the race, but nothing stuck. Meghan Guarnier (Tibco) took a flier with 27 to go and expanded the gap to 10 seconds within a few laps before getting caught by the field. Meredith Miller (Tibco) earned an eight-second gap on the sole climb of the course when she attacked up the left side with 23 laps remaining, but Colavita led the chase at the front of the field to reel her back in.
Tibco had extra motivation, as the team’s top sprinter, Brooke Miller, donned the team kit for the last time.
“We just really wanted to go out with a bang today,” Schneider said.
Allar, who came into Chris Thater wearing the orange and white USA Crits series leaders jersey, said she didn?t plan to win the series.
“It was just something that kind of accumulated after Athens,” Allar said. “I ended up third there. I sort of pursued it at Iron Hill, it was kind of local for me based out of my parent’s home this summer, and I just made the ticket to go to Grafton and kind of started pursuing the USA Crits Series.”
Chris Thater action continues Sunday with the men’s race.
- 1. Samantha Schneider, Tibco
- 2. Catherine Cheatley, Colavita-Baci
- 3. Joanne Kiesanowski, Tibco
- 4. Modesta Vzesniauskaite, Colavita-Baci
- 5. Brooke Miller, Tibco
- Complete results