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Previous coverage of the Nature Valley Grand Prix  >>   2008    2007    2006    2005

 

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

      

 

 

On this page >>  Write-up      Comments     Results      General Classification     Photos

 

Stage 5- Alexis Rhodes (Webcor Builders)

Mankato

Cynthia Lou

Race Writeup

Alexis Rhodes won the 5th stage at Mankato. Rhodes blasting into second overall just 12 seconds behind Leader Kristen Armstrong (Cervelo Test Team)

Redemption was sweet for Webcor Builders today. After the unfortunate series of crashes that took them off the podium and out of their competition jerseys at Thursday’s Cannon Falls Road Race, Alexis Rhodes road away from Dotsie Bausch (Jazz Apples) and Brooke Miller (TIBCO) to take the stage win, the Queen of the Mountains Jersey, and the Best Young Rider Jersey. Teammate Kathryn Curi Mattis took the day’s Freewheel Most Aggressive Rider’s Jersey .

Shelley Olds (Proman Hit Squad) extended her lead in the Wheaties Sprint Competition by winning the first two sprints. Sprint competitions three and four were absorbed by the breakaway groups.

while all early attacks were brought back, with TIBCO, Webcor Builders, and Colavita staying active near the front, the attacks picked up approximately 28 miles into the race, after the second Sprint Competition. Webcor Builder’s Kathryn Curi Mattis escaped on a solo breakaway, later joined by Team Type 1’s Veronica Leal, Tibco’s Julie Beveridge, and Lip Smacker’s Jessica Phillips. The break grew to over 2’ 15“, putting Leal in the virtual yellow jersey, before Armstrong fought to bring it back with the help of Colavita.

The four-woman break of Rhodes, Bausch, Brooke Miller (Tibco), and Kelly Benjamin (Colavita/Sutter Home presented by Cooking Light) quickly grew to two minutes before the field reacted. Olivia Dillon (Nature Valley Cycling Team) and Nicole Evans (ValueAct Capital) chased for approximately 20 miles until they caught the lead group. Together, the group of six grew their lead to nearly four minutes, with little response from the peloton.

Rhodes
started the day 2’ 07" behind race leader Kristin Armstrong (Cervélo Test Team), secured a 15 second time bonus for her stage victory. When Rhodes and her lead group of six entered the finishing circuits, they were 3’ 10” ahead of the peloton. The lead was whittled down over the course of the four nail-biting two-mile circuits around Mankato that included a one-mile long Queen of the Mountains climb with an average grade of 14%.

Rhodes took off
on her own and left the rest to battle it out and they did in the end, it was a battle between Bausch and Miller for second.

Though there was a lot of excitement around whether or not Armstrong lost the yellow jersey today, the general consensus of the field is that Armstrong will take home her fourth Nature Valley Grand Prix overall win tomorrow evening.

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Post Race Comments

Alexis Rhodes (Webcor Builders) was very pleased with her decisive win, “I knew I was climbing really well, and I thought if I could drop Brooke on the last lap that would be good,” said a very calm Rhodes . “But I dropped her on the first lap so I guess, even better. I’m climbing really well at the moment, so I guess the [four laps of the tough QOM ] climb were really a blessing in disguise.”

When asked about challenging Armstrong for the yellow jersey tomorrow, Rhodes replied with a laugh, ”I felt pretty awesome today, but Kristin’s just a class above the rest of us. I’ll try my best to hold her wheel, and we’ll see how it goes.“

Kristen Armstrong (Cervelo Test Team) managed to hold onto the Yellow jersey despite missing the break, "When the break got up to three minutes forty [seconds], I couldn’t believe that every team out there was happy with this break,“ said Armstrong, explaining that she kept expecting other teams to come forth to help.

Brooke Miller (Team Tibco) was away in the break and reflected on the possible outcome of the overall, “Kristin is without question the best climber,” said Miller. “One of the things she has in her favour is that tomorrow’s race is everyone for herself. It’s difficult for any kind of team dynamic to play out.”

Laura Charmaeda (Team Director- Webcor) was very happy with the teams ability to come back, “How tough are they to be able to keep fighting and never give up,” beamed Charmaeda. “Not only did they not give up, but they came out here to stomp the race again. That’s just plain tough.” This was a blessing for Webcor, who took advantage of the opportunity to rest while the break was being reeled back. "The group of four were caught just as we were turning left into some crosswinds," explained Charmaeda. "That’s when I said, ‘Girls, make it hurt now,’ because that’s when you can effectively launch an attack. That’s when Alexis got away."

Dotsie Bausch, (Assistant Director and in-race mentor of the professional development squad Jazz Apple Women’s Cycling Team) saw the break forming and knew she had to take action. "Marina [Duvnajk] was awesome, she was off the front all day going for break after break, and Steph was back getting bottles. I saw two major teams go, then the third, and I knew we had to get somebody on this so I went for it. I just gritted it out because I wanted to get a podium for the girls. I knew that I had to conserve on the downhill,” said Bausch, drawing on her years of experience as a climber. “I just focused on catching Brooke the fourth lap. I knew that if I could just make it to the fourth lap relaxed and with full oxygen I could give it my all up that last climb and all the way down the backside.”

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Results - Top 10 - click here to see full result

Position Rider Team Time Gap Bonuses
1   * Alexis RHODES Webcor Builders 3.56'26"      15"  
2   Dotsie BAUSCH Jazz Apple Women's Cycling Team 3.57'01"   35"   10"  
3   Brooke MILLER Team TIBCO 3.57'06"   40"   6"  
4   Olivia DILLON Nature Valley Cycling Team 3.58'25"   1'59"     
5   Nicole EVANS ValueAct Capital Cycling Team 3.58'25"   1'59"     
6   Shelley OLDS PROMAN Hit Squad 3.58'25"   1'59"     
7   Katharine CARROLL Team TIBCO 3.58'25"   1'59"     
8   Alison POWERS Team Type 1 3.58'28"   2'02"     
9   Nikki BUTTERFIELD Webcor Builders 3.58'28"   2'02"     
10   Joanne KIESANOWSKI Team TIBCO 3.58'28"   2'02"     

 

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General Classification Top 10 - click here to see full GC

Position Rider Team Time Gap
1   Kristin ARMSTRONG Cervelo Test Team 8.35'10"     
2   * Alexis RHODES Webcor Builders 8.35'21"   11"  
3   Alison POWERS Team Type 1 8.35'22"   12"  
4   Shelley OLDS PROMAN Hit Squad 8.35'40"   30"  
5   Brooke MILLER Team TIBCO 8.35'42"   32"  
6   Katharine CARROLL Team TIBCO 8.35'58"   48"  
7   Anne SAMPLONIUS Lip Smacker 8.36'01"   51"  
8   Joanne KIESANOWSKI Team TIBCO 8.36'14"   1'04"  
9   Andrea DVORAK Colavita Sutter Home p/b Cooking Light 8.36'24"   1'14"  
10   Cath CHEATLEY Colavita Sutter Home p/b Cooking Light 8.36'32"   1'22"  

 

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Photos   Click on any image to enlarge >>

 

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