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Americans Abroad: Guarnier nabs first wins of 2016

Megan Guarnier notches a notable win, American men get into the break in Amstel Gold, and Owen wins U23 Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

Welcome to Americans Abroad, our weekly check-in with the American pros in the European peloton. VeloNews will publish these updates every Monday throughout the season.

Boels – Dolmans continues to dominate as American Megan Guarnier won Tuesday’s Durango-Durango Emakumeen Saria in Spain. The U.S. national champion got her chance to shine after world champion Lizzie Armitstead withdrew ahead of the race due to illness. Boels – Dolmans has recorded 11 wins this season, but this was the first for Guarnier. She won the 113-kilometer race ahead of Elisa Longo Borghini and her Wiggle – High5 teammate Emma Johansson. “Elisa [Longo Borghini] and I worked well together, and I ended up on the front for the final kilometer. It is a somewhat technical finish, and I jumped after the last round-about,” Guarnier said of her victory.

Guarnier went on to finish second overall in the Euskal Emakumeen Bira stage race, and won Sunday’s stage 4 as well to close out a terrific week. “Being second on the overall, I knew I wouldn’t be allowed up the road, but we were really hoping that one of Evie or Karo’s attacks would stick,” Guarnier said. “It was another team effort for the win. I stayed fresh in the bunch, which meant I had the legs to take out the sprint.”

Nathan Brown (Cannondale)

Brown was the top-placed American at De Brabantse Pijl, coming in 56th. He also raced Amstel Gold on Sunday, a lifelong dream, but he abandoned. Before the race, he tweeted

Kristabel Doebel-Hickok (Cylance)

In her first week back from a collarbone injury suffered during Strade Bianche, Doebel-Hickok was 12th in Durango-Durango. In Euskal Emakumeen Bira, she was 42nd overall.

Caleb Farily (Giant – Alpecin)

Fairly raced Wednesday’s Brabanste Pijl, but was unable to finish.

Phil Gaimon (Cannondale)

Gaimon finished 132nd in Brabantse Pijl.

Chad Haga (Giant – Alpecin)

Haga completed his third race of the season Sunday at Amstel Gold. He finished the race 118th overall, 11:24 behind winner Enrico Gasparotto (Wanty – Groupe Gobert).

Sara Headley (Podium Ambition)

Also in Spain, Headley was 62nd in Durango and 54th overall at Bira.

Alex Howes (Cannondale)

Howes spent much of the day at Amstel Gold in the breakaway. He eventually finished in 32nd place, 34 seconds behind Gasparotto as the top-placed American.

Ben King (Cannondale)

King finished 63rd in Brabantse Pijl, 6:49 back. He headed to the Netherlands for Sunday’s WorldTour race and came in 103rd.

Gavin Mannion (Drapac)

Mannion was the lone American in the peloton in the Vuelta a Castilla y León. He was 77th overall, 40:32 behind winner Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)

Logan Owen (Axeon – Hagens Berman)

Owen won Saturday’s under-23 Liège-Bastogne-Liège after attacking out of an early breakaway in the 180km day.

Kiel Reijnen (Trek – Segafredo)

Reijnen was among the Americans in Holland at Amstel Gold. He finished but was not given a placing due to confusion caused by a group that had withdrawn and taken a shortcut to get back to the team buses more quickly.

Carmen Small (Cervelo – Bigla)

After coming in third in the Bira prologue, Small finished the race fifth overall. She was third in mountains competition and led the race for a day. “I attacked over the second climb,” Small said, explaining stage 1. “That was our tactic for the day, to go there and see if I can hold it to the finish. If we stayed away, I would take the jersey, and if we were caught, Lotta [Lepisto] would then hold the jersey.”

Evelyn Stevens (Boels – Dolmans)

Stevens had her two best finishes of the year in Spain this week. Tuesday, she was 11th in Durango-Durango, second American, coming in 42 seconds behind Guarnier. The next day, she was fourth in the Bira prologue and finished the five-day race in eighth overall, 54 seconds behind Johansson.

Alison Tetrick (Cylance)

Tetrick was 83rd in Durango and in Bira, she was 52nd overall, coming in 13th in the prologue, her best stage finish of the race.

Larry Warbasse (IAM)

At Amstel Gold, Warbasse spent much of the day with Cannondale’s Alex Howes. At the end of the day, he finished 44th, 40 seconds behind Gasparotto.