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Amber Neben took home the U.S. national champion’s jersey after taking the women’s individual time trial title in Knoxville, Tennessee on Saturday.
The 42-year-old Team VéloCONCEPT Women rider finished the 23-kilometer (14.4 miles/3 laps) USA Cycling course in a time of 30 minutes and 27 seconds — 32 seconds ahead of runner up Lauren Stephens (Team TIBCO-SVB) and 1:04 in front of Leah Thomas (Sho-Air TWENTY20).
Stephens was nearly five seconds up on Neben at the first intermediate check, before the reigning two-time world champion rallied at by the second en route to her victory.
“This course was tricky. There was really no rhythm or flow to it. Mentally, I had to ride it a lot more than physically ride it,” said Neben, a California native who said she was not used to the heat and humidity of eastern Tennessee. “It was a challenge to figure out how to pace it, and then factor in the heat.
“The humidity was hard. So to be able to factor that in and take care of the hydration, and then understanding there were three laps, and how important the second and third laps were going to be,” she explained. “I had to make sure I stayed in formation in the beginning, so that I could nail the second laps.”
Stephens was equally proud of her result.
“I am really excited, it’s the first time I have made the national championship podium,” said the 30-year-old TIBCO-SVB rider. “I was 5th last year and 4th the year before. To get on the podium and be second to a great World Champion makes me very happy.”
Prior to her second national title victory, Neben, who also won in 2003, finished third in the ITT at Chrono de Gatineau (UCI 1.1) in May.
Emma White (Rally Cycling) was the best under-23 rider in 15th.
- 1. AMBER LEONE NEBEN, TEAM VELOCONCEPT WOMEN, in 30:27
- 2. Lauren STEPHENS, TEAM TIBCO – SILICON VALLEY BANK, at :32
- 3. Leah THOMAS, SHO – AIR TWENTY20, at 1:04
- 4. Julie EMMERMAN, at 1:29
- 5. Tayler WILES, UNITEDHEALTHCARE PRO CYCLING TEAM, at 1:50
- 6. Alison TETRICK, CYLANCE CYCLING, at 2:01
- 7. Allie DRAGOO, SHO – AIR TWENTY20, at 2:08
- 8. Whitney ALLISON, COLAVITA/BIANCHI, at 2:13
- 9. Beth Ann ORTON, at 2:16
- 10. Ruth WINDER, UNITEDHEALTHCARE PRO CYCLING TEAM, at 2:19
- 11. Jennifer VALENTE, SHO – AIR TWENTY20, at 2:21
- 12. Emily NEWSOM, at 2:31
- 13. Brianna WALLE, TEAM TIBCO – SILICON VALLEY BANK, at 2:32
- 14. Jennifer LUEBKE, VISIT DALLAS DNA PRO CYCLING, at 2:33
- 15. Emma WHITE, RALLY CYCLING, at 2:35
- 16. Margot CLYNE, at 3:05
- 17. Tarah COLE, at 3:22
- 18. Erica CLEVENGER, VISIT DALLAS DNA PRO CYCLING, at 3:31
- 19. Scotti LECHUGA, HAGENS BERMAN / SUPERMINT, at 3:42
- 20. Breanne NALDER, VISIT DALLAS DNA PRO CYCLING, at 3:51
- 21. Jennifer TETRICK, TEAM TIBCO – SILICON VALLEY BANK, at 3:54
- 22. Leah THORVILSON, CANYON SRAM RACING, at 3:55
- 23. Alexis RYAN, CANYON SRAM RACING, at 4:05
- 24. Stefanie SYDLIK, VISIT DALLAS DNA PRO CYCLING, at 4:06
- 25. Sara YOUMANS, at 4:27
- 26. Abigail MICKEY, COLAVITA/BIANCHI, at 4:41
- 27. Tabitha SHERWOOD, at 4:58
- 28. Hannah ARENSMAN, at 5:31
- 29. Nicole PRESSPRICH, at 5:31
- 30. Jennifer HILL, at 5:46
- 31. Danielle MORSHEAD, at 5:53
- 32. Charlotte BACKUS, at 6:21
- 33. Jennifer SCHUBLE, at 6:35
- 34. Catie THOMPSON, at 10:33
- 35. Maria DANKER, at 12:24