Kristin Armstrong claims 1st Women’s USA Pro Challenge
Kristin Armstrong (Twenty16-Sho-Air) claimed the final yellow jersey in the inaugural Women’s USA Pro Challenge on Sunday in Golden, Colorado.
Coryn Rivera (UnitedHealthcare) took the victory in the concluding third stage, the Golden Circuit Race, run on a tight 1.5-mile circuit with hills and technical corners.
“It was a really fast finish,” said Rivera. “I had a feeling I wanted to be first out of the last corner as I know it was going to be fast and it was off camber. I wanted to take that risk without anyone near me. I took the last corner on my own and let it all out.”
Twenty16 riders set a fierce pace in the finale for race leader Armstrong, but UHC was well represented, with four riders in the front, including Rivera.
Linda Villumsen (UHC), Amanda Miller (Visit Dallas) and Amy Charity (Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies) each took solo flyers during the circuit race, and Lex Albrecht (Optum) launched a move that drew out Lauren Komanski (Twenty16) and Abby Mickey (UHC). But it all soon came back together, and with two laps to go Armstrong and Tayler Wiles (DNA) were on the front of the group and pushing the pace.
As the race hit the bell lap Armstrong was driving it, with Rivera sitting third wheel. And in the end it was the UHC sprinter taking the sprint ahead of Lauren Hall (Twenty16) and Joanne Kiesanowski (Tibco-SVB).
On the overall, Armstrong took the flowers with Wiles second and Mara Abbott (Amy D. Foundation) third.
The freshly crowned champion called the Women’s USA Pro Challenge “the beginning of the new U.S. women’s cycling.”
“This is hopefully going to be contagious across the nation, across the world, because this is what we deserve,” Armstrong added,
With her sprint victory Rivera clinched the sprint competition. Abbott won the mountains jersey, Mickey collected the best young rider kit, and Miller was awarded the most courageous rider jersey.