The USA Cycling Pro Road Tour (PRT) wrapped up Sunday, and UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling barely missed a clean sweep of all four categories.
Gavin Mannion and Ruth Winder (UnitedHealthcare), took home the men’s and women’s individual PRT titles, respectively. Winder led a UHC one-two-three punch on the women’s side with teammates Katie Hall and Tayler Wiles finishing second and third. This meant UHC dominated the women’s team classification, beating Rally Cycling by almost 900 points. The UHC men, however, were bested by Rally Cycling in the teams classification.
The PRT overall was decided at three late-summer events. Racing kicked off at Rochester’s Twilight Criterium, August 19 in New York then headed westward for the TSG Realty Gateway Cup, September 1-4, in St. Louis. Finally, the season wrapped up at the Thompson Criterium of Doylestown in Pennsylvania on Sunday. The results from the men’s race at the Colorado Classic, August 10-13, were included in the final standings as well.
Mannion master of the stage races
“The second half of the season was definitely a success for me,” said Mannion, who placed second overall at both the Cascade Cycling Classic and Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah. “I’m very happy to have podium results at Cascade and Utah. Coming into the season I basically split the year into two parts. The first part of the year was focused around Gila and the second half was focused around Utah.”
Mannion filled the results sheet throughout the year, although victory eluded him.
“The PRT wasn’t a goal starting the year but by doing races like Joe Martin, Redlands, Cascade, and Tour of Colorado either in preparation or just after the races I was targeting I was able to have a high level of fitness at most PRT stage races. I would have liked to have won the overall or a stage of a PRT race this year, but walking away with the overall title is awesome too. It was a very consistent season for me and winning the PRT shows that.”
T.J. Eisenhart (Holowesko-Citadel) was able to maintain a top-five position in the PRT standings with a great ride at the Colorado Classic. The Utah native finished second on the tough Breckenridge circuit race stage and ultimately finished the race fourth overall. Serghei Tvetcov (Jelly Belly) was able to jump all the way to second in the final standings with stellar results at the Tour of Utah and Colorado Classic, where he finished third and second overall respectively.
Eisenhart’s Holowesko-Citadel team finished only 83 points behind Rally Cycling to seal third place in the team standings. Jelly Belly finished fourth.
Curtis White helped to solidify Rally Cycling’s team standings lead by winning the Rochester Twilight Criterium. “It’s incredible,” White said after the race. “This is one of the best races in New York, let alone the country, so it’s an honor to come here and win.
“My dad’s been taking me to races like this for 11, 12 years — since I was a little kid — so to win here in the pros is huge. My teammate, Tom Soladay, did a horse-load of work; it worked out perfectly. It was a very tactical race in the end. I was just able to play it right … My home state, just feeling the New York love.”
Soladay (Rally Cycling) will retire from pro cycling at the end of the season, as will New Zealander Greg Henderson (UnitedHealthcare).
White also took the win on the final day of the four-day Gateway Cup criterium series. Carlos Alzate (UnitedHealthcare) won the omnium and the first two days of racing as well. Brad Huff (Rally Cycling) took the third day.
Oscar Clark (Holowesko-Citadel) won the final PRT race of the season at the Thompson Criterium in Doylestown.
Winder goes wire-to-wire
On the women’s side, Winder dominated the PRT from the opening event in Arkansas, Joe Martin Stage Race. “Winning the PRT is crazy to me,” Winder said. “It really wouldn’t have been possible without my UnitedHealthcare teammates. I feel so lucky to have raced on such a special team this year. They really supported me and made this achievable.”
Winder’s solid domestic results translated into an impressive showing in Europe. She finished second overall at the Lotto Belgium Tour, September 5-8. Before heading overseas, she raced in front of home crowds at the Colorado Classic. She powered to fourth on the tough Breckenridge circuit race stage with teammate Wiles finishing second that day.
“Racing the Colorado Classic was really fun for me,” Winder said. “After moving to Colorado a few years ago, it’s really started to feel like home. We travel so far to race, but being able to share it with my friends in Colorado was very special. The racing was hard and the crowds were great, definitely hope to be back again.”
Beck Wiasak (Fearless Femme) won the Rochester Twilight criterium ahead of U.S. pro criterium national champion Erica Allar (Rally Cycling) and the Schneider sisters, Skylar and Samantha (ISCorp).
Kendall Ryan (Tibco-SVB) won the omnium at the Gateway Cup, as a different rider won each day on the women’s side. Lauren Hall (UnitedHealthcare) took day one, with Kyrstin Bluhm (Fearless Femme Racing) won the second day. Ryan captured her win in St. Louis on day three, followed by Tina Pic (Papa John’s Racing) winning the final day.
“Our team is currently racing in Europe, so I was solo with no teammates,” said Ryan, who’s Tibco-SVB team finished third in the PRT team standings. “My strategy was very limited. I had to watch all the moves, follow them up, but ensure I didn’t go too far into the red. From the start, the omnium was my target and I am really happy to have taken that and the win in the third race, the Giro della Montagna.”
Samantha Schneider took home the final PRT event for the women, the Thompson Criterium of Doylestown, scoring the win over Emily Newsom (Fearless Femme Racing) and her sister Skylar.
2017 PRT men’s final standings
1. Gavin Mannion (UnitedHealthcare) 459 pts
2. Serghei Tvetcov (Jelly Belly) 391 pts
3. Robin Carpenter (Holowesko-Citadel) 337 pts
4. T.J. Eisenhart (Holowesko-Citadel) 311 pts
5. Evan Huffman (Rally Cycling) 282 pts
2017 PRT women’s final standings
1. Ruth Winder (UnitedHealthcare) 736 pts
2. Katie Hall (UnitedHealthcare) 372 pts
3. Tayler Wiles (UnitedHealthcare) 353 pts
4. Lauren Stephens (Tibco-SVB) 330 pts
5. Emma White (Rally Cycling) 261 pts
2017 PRT final men’s team standings
1. Rally Cycling 1,635 pts
2. UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling 1,168 pts
3. Holowesko-Citadel 1,085 pts
4. Jelly Belly 435 pts
5. Cylance Cycling 396 pts
2017 PRT final women’s team standings
1. UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling 1,908 pts
2. Rally Cycling 1,042 pts
3. Team Tibco-SVB 994 pts
4. Sho-Air Twenty20 583 pts
5. Hagens Berman-Supermint 424 pts