Laura Van Gilder, John Murphy round up titles at 2012 Tour of America’s Dairyland

Thousands of racers and even more cartons of chocolate milk highlight the Tour of America's Dairyland in Wisconsin

MADISON, Wis. (VN) — The 11-day Tour of America’s Dairyland wrapped up on July 1 with Laura Van Gilder (Mellow Mushroom-Rose Bandits) and John Murphy (Kenda-5 Hour Energy) in the Holstein-pattern leaders’ jerseys — and thousands of cartons of chocolate milk inside the tour’s huge herd of competitors.

The Tour of America’s Dairyland, a points-based series of road races and criteriums through 10 Wisconsin dairy communities from June 21 to July 1, is an American cycling tradition like no other.

The series is open to professionals and amateurs, juniors and masters, men and women. It’s also a National Criterium Calendar (NCC) event, making the four criterium days some of the most competitive events of the series.

And thanks to its presenting sponsor, the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, the ToAD welcomes finishers not with sparkling wine, but rather with chocolate milk.

In the women’s series, Van Gilder took the title by a long shot, having won six of the 11 events. Emily Collins (VanderKitten-Focus) took second in the overall standings, while Nicole Whitburn (Velo Club LaGrange) rounded out the podium in third.

Van Gilder and Collins also went one-two in the NCC portion of the competition, while Erica Allar ( took third. With five events remaining in the NCC series Allar continues to lead with 657 points to Van Gilder’s 519. Sarah Fader (Pepper Palace-Spin-Tech Training) sits third with 299.

Murphy was the men’s overall standout. He won two races — the Shorewood Criterium Cycling Classic and the Greenbrush Road Race — and finished top-five in four others. Alexy Schmidt (Team Type 1) finished the series in second overall, while Murphy’s Kenda teammate James Stemper took third.

Fabrizio von Nacher (Velo Club La Grange-Quality Pos) scored top NCC points ahead of second-place Rahsaan Bahati (Bahati Foundation-CA). Schmidt was the only rider of the pro men to stand on both the overall and NCC podiums, finishing third in the NCC competition.

Hilton Clarke (UnitedHealthcare) leads the NCC series overall with 478 points. Teammate Jake Keough is second with 428 and Luke Keough (Team Mountain Khakis-SmartStop) is third with 354.