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Nature Valley Grand Prix 2009


WCN quicklink >>   Stage 1      Stage 1 Full       Stage 2     Stage 2 Full    Stage 3     Stage 3 Full  

                                   Stage 4     Stage 4 Full  Stage 5     Stage 5 Full    Stage 6  Stage 6 Full




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Stage 3 - Erica Allar (Value Act Capital) won, Armstrong stays in yellow

Cannon Falls, 60 miles (100km) 

Race Writeup

Erica Allar of Value Act Capital won the Cannon Falls stage after a catalogue of crashes on the day. Tina Pic (Colavita/Sutter Home presented by Cooking Light) finished second, with Shelley Olds (Proman Hit Squad) third.

The Cannon Falls Road Race winds through scenic Goodhue County before finishing on a circuit in downtown Cannon Falls .
There are no defining climbs and the course was not affected by any adverse weather conditions. The race was affected by a number of bad decisions, moves that in some instances took down numerous riders. Through a series of crashes, some missed turns and this created a number of breakaway attempts and strung out along the course.

The action started from the beginning, with the first Queen of the Hills (QOH) competition at 3.6 miles, won by Ruth Corset (Jazz Apple Women’s Cycling Team). An early attack by Christina Smith (Veloforma) launched after the first QOH marked the only notable break, gaining up to 20 seconds before getting caught within 4 miles.  

Attack after attack caused havoc in the bunch and just before the turn at 5km onto the dirt track a number of riders hit the ground including most of Webcor, Team Tibco and Tina Pic. Many teams were affected by the accident, but Webcor-Builders took the brunt of the fall, which erased third placed and best young rider Alexis Rhodes, fourth placed Erinne Willock, eight placed Katheryn Mattis, Rebecca Much and Gina Grain. Team TIBCO riders caught up in the accident included Julie Beveridge, Ambar Rais and Meredith Miller.

Recovering from the crash the front of the peloton missed turn onto the stretch of gravel road and the remainder of the peloton continued on in pursuit of the finishing circuits. Both Pic and Allar were embodied in the group that missed the turn and found themselves chasing their way back up to the field with enough time to sprint. The pack sprinted to the line and Allar managed to find her way through to the line.

Tiffany Cromwell won the Sport Beans Queen of the Hills Jersey. Stage winner, Erica Allar, took over the Freewheel Most Aggressive Rider Jersey. Kristin Armstrong maintained the leader’s jersey, while the Wheaties Sprint Jersey stayed with Kirsty Broun (Riverstone CDA). Jacquelyn Crowell (Team Type 1) starts the Uptown Minneapolis Criterium in the APC Best Young Rider Jersey after the crash of Alexis Rhodes. Kate Veronneau (Altarum Women’s Cycling Team) in the Nature Valley Top Amateur Jersey.

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Post Race Comments

Erica Allar (Value Act Capital) reflected on the race, “We missed the turn [onto the 1-mile stretch of gravel road] so we had to stop, turn our bikes around, chase through the dirt section and make it back to the front,” said Aller fresh off her win. “After I missed the turn I said to myself, ‘Well, there goes my race’, but I wasn’t willing to give up. Yesterday we didn’t have a very good day. We were itchin’ for a better day and it couldn’t be any better than this.”

Kristen Armstrong (Cervelo Test Team) avoided the crashes to stay in the leaders jersey. “It was non-stop,” said Kristin Armstrong, who stayed within the top 10 throughout the race, dropping back to 30 just briefly after reeling in several breakaways in a row. “All the teams were represented in the breaks. Everyone looked at me [to bring back the breaks]. It was a lot of work for me at the end of the day, but you know what – that’s what I’m here for. I respect that everyone’s out there racing their bikes. It’s so much fun, that’s what bike racing is.”

Tina Pic (Colavita/Sutter Home presented by Cooking Light) was involved in the big crash, “I crashed a few miles before the turn onto the dirt road,” says Pic. “We were last onto the gravel part, and we missed the turn, if it wasn’t for my teammates, I wouldn’t have been able to do so well – I thought I was done after I chased back onto the pack!”


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Results - Top 15 - click here to see full result

Rider Team Time Gap Bonus
1   * Erica ALLAR ValueAct Capital Cycling Team 2.37.36      15"  
2   Tina PIC Colavita Sutter Home p/b Cooking Light 2.37.36      10"  
3   Shelley OLDS PROMAN Hit Squad 2.37.36      6"  
4   Kirsty BROUN Riverstone CDA 2.37.36        
5   Kristin ARMSTRONG Cervelo Test Team 2.37.36        
6   Laura VAN GILDER Altarum Women's Cycling Team 2.37.36        
7   Joanne KIESANOWSKI Team TIBCO 2.37.36        
8   Nikki BUTTERFIELD Webcor Builders 2.37.36        
9   Alison POWERS Team Type 1 2.37.36        
10   Emma RICKARDS Team TIBCO 2.37.36        


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General Classification Top 10 - click here to see full GC

Rider Team Time Gap
1.   Kristin ARMSTRONG Cervelo Test Team 3.48'19"     
2.   Alison POWERS Team Type 1 3.48'31"   12"  
3.   Shelley OLDS PROMAN Hit Squad 3.49'02"   43"  
4.   Anne SAMPLONIUS Lip Smacker 3.49'07"   48"  
5.   Katharine CARROLL Team TIBCO 3.49'10"   51"  
6.   Lauren TAMAYO Team TIBCO 3.49'17"   58"  
7.   Joanne KIESANOWSKI Team TIBCO 3.49'23"   1'04"  
8.   Evelyn STEVENS Velo Classic Tours/Radical Media p/b Schick/Playtex 3.49'24"   1'05"  
9.   # Kate VERONNEAU Altarum Women's Cycling Team 3.49'29"   1'10"  
10.   Andrea DVORAK Colavita Sutter Home p/b Cooking Light 3.49'33"   1'14"  


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Photos   Click on any image to enlarge >>


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