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Emma Langley brought home the stars and stripes jersey once again to EF Education – TIBCO – SVB after sprinting away from Lauren De Crescenzo (Cinch Rise) in the final 500 meters of the U.S. National Championships today in downtown Knoxville Tennessee.
“Our ultimate goal was to keep it in the team,” Langley said. “We didn’t have one specific person we were (working for). We knew all five of us could keep the jersey so we just wanted to keep the race hard and my attack stuck. It was pretty cool to be able to finish it off for the team.”
Most of the women starting the road race took the opportunity to protest the overturning of Roe v. Wade by again taking a knee during the national anthem. When the peloton rolled from the start, the field looked at overcast skies and temperatures that were still under 90 degrees.
Andrea Fasen (Cinch Rise) made an early first lap move. Still, the principal action didn’t take shape until her teammate Lauren De Crescenzo (Cinch Rise), Skylar Schneider (L39ION of Los Angeles) and Emma Langley (EF Education – Tibco – SVB) put a 1:15 second gap between themselves and what remained of the rest of the field near the midpoint of the 105km event. Behind them, the chase wasn’t particularly organized, and that fixed the state of play for the next six kilometres. The next time thought the start/finish line it was clear that Langley and Schneider had opted to stop working with De Crescenzo.
— One2Go_Results (@One2Go_Results) June 26, 2022
Meanwhile, solo rider Coryn Labecki (Team Jumbo-Visma) put in considerable work at the front of the chase group. Schneider was dropped off the next time up the tough climb up Sherrod Road, leaving just two riders up front. With just 17km remaining, things appeared to be tipping in favor of the breakaway. With the gap inching up towards two minutes, a sprint finish between the two leaders looked imminent.
Up ahead, Langley bided her time and, taking a page out of her team’s playbook, knew that the time to make her move against De Crescenzo was just as the duo approached the final tight turns up Clinch Ave. Langley bolted up the hill in the drops and did not look back.
“I’ll be honest, I was struggling every time up Sherrod,” Langley said. “It’s a very unforgiving climb, and we pushed it pretty hard each time around, so it kind of felt a little bit like just hanging on. So I knew from there it was going to have to be a late-game and wait until the sprint.”
Behind them 2021 victor Lauren Stephens provided the necessary separation from the field with 3km to go for the remaining step on the podium.
|1||4||Emma LANGLEY||EF Education – Tibco – SVB||2:57:12.||17:01.||10|
|2||71||Lauren DE CRESCENZO||CINCH RISE||2:57:16.||17:05.||10|
|3||1||Lauren STEPHENS||EF Education – Tibco – SVB||2:58:42.||16:37.||10|
|4||91||Shayna POWLESS||L39ION of Los Angeles||2:58:48.||16:44.||10|
|5||21||Coryn LABECKI||Team Jumbo-Visma||2:58:48.||16:46.||10|
|6||2||Veronica EWERS||EF Education – Tibco – SVB||2:58:48.||16:44.||10|
|7||34||Lily WILLIAMS||Human Powered Health||2:58:48.||16:45.||10|
|8||137||Austin KILLIPS||Pratt Racing||2:58:49.||16:43.||10|
|9||3||Clara HONSINGER||EF Education – Tibco – SVB||2:58:49.||16:44.||10|
|10||22||Heidi FRANZ||InstaFund Racing||2:58:51.||16:46.||10|