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USA Cycling National Festival - CN

Seven Springs, PA, USA, July 6-16, 2007

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Day 11 - July 16: Elite men & women's road races

Abbott claims Elite Women's championship

Multiple collegiate national champion Mara Abbott (Webcor Builders) notched the biggest victory of her young career on Monday by winning the national championship in the elite women's road race at the 2007 USA Cycling National Festival at Seven Springs. Abbott won a head-to-head sprint over defending champion Kristin Armstrong (Team Lipton) after 92 kilometers of racing to claim her first elite stars-and-stripes jersey.

The 21 year-old Abbott was part of a six-woman breakaway late in the race that included Armstrong, a two-time winner of the event, 2003 winner Amber Neben (Flexpoint), 2005 winner Katheryn Curi (Webcor Builders), Kori Seehafer (Team Lipton) and Christine Thorburn (Webcor Builders). After the final ascent that led to the finish line, only Armstrong and Abbott remained in contention and the two sprinted it out for the title of national champion with Abbott crossing the line first.

"I've never been thought of as a sprinter," Abbott explained of her reputation as one of the nation's top climbers. "Right now, nobody thinks I can sprint, but yesterday, my coach said he thought I could sprint."

Abbott rode to a fifth-place finish at Seven Springs a year ago - a then-breakthrough performance at the elite level for one of the nation's top collegiate cyclists. With a solid year of elite competition under her belt, that included a second-place finish at the Montreal World Cup in May, Abbott returned to Seven Springs as one of the pre-race favorites to contend for a national title.

"I look at this race as being the one-year anniversary of becoming a good cyclist," Abbott said. "Everything just felt right being back here and I proved to myself I could do it."

With Team Lipton and Webcor Builders the two strongest teams on paper entering the contest, an early-race breakaway of Abbott and Armstrong rolled off the front of the peloton, but was eventually caught by a small chase group before a second two-woman breakaway of Curi and Seehafer was established. With Seehafer and Curi working well together, it appeared as though the move would keep its distance from the remaining chasers, but in the closing kilometers the pair was joined by Neben, Armstrong, Abbott and Thorburn. Eventually, Curi and Seehafer fell off the pace and a last-kilometer attack from Abbott left her and Armstrong alone to battle it out at the line. With 200 meters to go, Armstrong led out the sprint, but Abbott came around to take the victory.

"Kristin was so nice to me last year when I was first starting out," Abbott said. "I told her it was good to have her back from Europe. I love having her here, but beating her in a sprint, which everyone said I couldn't do, made it all much cooler."

Behind the leaders, Neben, one of the strongest riders in the world who routinely competes at the national championships without any teammates as the sole American on the Dutch Flexpoint squad, placed third ahead of Thorburn and Curi.

Abbott earned two stars-and-stripes jersey with her victory, also claiming the U23 national title. Earlier in the week, she claimed the U23 time trial title, placing fourth overall in the race against the clock.

Abbott's victory also meets the automatic nomination criteria for the U.S. National Team for the UCI Road World Championships this September in Germany, an accomplishment she already achieved with her second-place effort at the Montreal World Cup.

With the Olympic-caliber women's field highlighting Monday's competition, the elite men's contest, featuring the nation's top amateurs, was also contested. Paul Martin (Texas Roadhouse), the 1997 elite men's champion, rode to a national title in the 138-kilometer contest.

Over the course of the event, significant natural selection pared the field down to just a handful of contenders as a five-man group containing Martin, Mike Olheiser (Memphis MotorWerks), James Mattis (Cal Giant-Specialized), Dan Cassidy (CCB-Volkswagen) and Matthew White (Fiordifrutta) emerged from the 100-plus rider field as the key contenders.

In the final-kilometer stretch - an uphill run to the finish - Martin, Olheiser and Mattis were together before Martin escaped to the line with an 11th-hour surge. The winner of the master men's 35-39 race last week, Martin benefited from having already won a national title on the course's final stretch.

"Generally I'm not a very good sprinter, but it was good preparation to see how the long climb to the finish played into the end of a race situation." Martin explained.

Olheiser claimed the silver medal and Mattis took home the bronze.


Elite men

1 Paul Martin (Texas Roadhouse)                      3.34.23
2 Mike Olheiser (Memphis Motor Werks/Carve)             0.01
3 James Mattis (California Giant/Specialized)               
4 Dan Cassidy (CCB/Volkswagen)                          0.28
5 Matthew White (Fiordifrutta )                         0.31
6 Dirk Pohlmann (Team Krystal/Litespeed/SCV)            1.15
7 Josh Dillon (Fiordifrutta )                           1.17
8 Paul Ward (Nature's Path Cycling)                     2.09
9 Jonathan Baker (Vitamin Cottage Cycling Team)         2.32
10 David Nelson (Cycling Center)                        2.40
11 Edmund Overend (Unattached)                          2.43
12 Phillip Gaimon (CRCA/Sakonnet Technology U25 )       2.59
13 Alberto Blanco (GS Mengoni)                          3.15
14 Mark Hekman (Abercrombie & Fitch)                    4.03
15 Matt Seagrave (FCS Cycling Club)                     5.41
16 Steve Tilford (HRRC/Trek Store)                      6.40
17 John Hunt (California Giant/Specialized)             6.43
18 Christopher Peck (Fiordifrutta )                     6.48
19 Norman Zellers (Team Spine)                          7.40
20 Kirk Albers (Texas Roadhouse)                        7.49
21 Jonathan Erdelyi (Metra/Wendys PB Ideal Tile)        7.54
22 Johnny Hayes (CRCA/Sakonnet Technology U25 )         7.54
23 Osvaldo Olmos (California Giant/Specialized)         7.58
24 Nick Clayville (Hagens Berman/ LLP)                  8.02
25 Bill Stolte (HRRC/Trek/Shimano)                      8.08
26 Tom Burke (West Michigan Coast Riders)               8.10
27 Chris Monteleone (TIME Factory Development Team)     8.10
28 Brian Butts (Battley Harley-Davidson/Hudson)         8.11
29 Akira Wong (OrganicAthlete )                        10.36
30 Christian Walker (TIME Factory Development Team)    11.25
31 Chris Rozdilsky (Fiordifrutta Elite)                13.14
32 Matt Weyen (Team                 15.01
33 Michael Telega (California Giant/Specialized)            
34 Ian Stanford (Abercrombie & Fitch)                  16.06
35 Gregory Christian (West Michigan Coast Riders)      17.39
36 Jake Hollenbach (CCB/Volkswagen)                    17.59
37 Wayne D. Stetina (US Postal - Masters)              18.57
38 Kevin Attkisson (Texas Roadhouse)                   18.58
39 Ryan Gamm (Abercrombie & Fitch)                     19.35
40 Robert Giannini (CRCA/Sakonnet Technology U25 )     20.31
41 Ian Holt (US Armed Forces)                          23.18
42 Mark Warno (Evolution Cycling)                      25.18
43 Eric Marcotte (Bianchi / Grand Performance)         26.22
44 Bryson Perry (Sievna Development -Goble Knee)       27.22
45 Justin Maciekowicz (Big Shark)                      40.43
46 Craig Snydal (Kelly Benefit Strategies/LSV)         40.43
47 Daniel Vinson (5 Star Fish)                         41.06
48 Shawn Forsythe (CCB/Volkswagon)                     41.36
49 Alvin Nordell (Lathrup Industries/Giant)            42.43
50 Chris Judy (US Armed Forces)                        45.13
51 Ian Birlem (Battley Harley Davidson/Hudson)         56.08
52 Keil Reijnen (Hagens Berman/ LLP)                 1.02.29
53 Scott Romero (Unattached)                         1.30.24
DNF Cory Burns (Fiordifrutta )                              
DNF Russ Langley (Battley Harley-Davidson/Hudson)           
DNF Eric Brownell (Bicycling Magazine)                      
DNF Jered Gruber (TIME Factory Development Team)            
DNF Karl Bordine (5 Star Fish)                              
DNF Derik Archibald (Team                
DNF Nathan Griffith (Manulife Financial)                    
DNF John Minturn (Meredith Group - GPOA - Cannon)           
DNF David Sommerville (Anthem Blue Cross )                  
DNF Andy Applegate (Abercrombie & Fitch)                    
DNF Joshua Tarrant (Lathrup Industries/Giant)               
DNF David Guttenplan! (CRCA/Sakonnet Technology U25)        
DNF Michael Stoop (Seigler / Axley Cycling Team)            
DNF Max Jenkins (California Giant/Specialized)              
DNF Jesse Moore (California Giant/Specialized)              
DNF Andrew Fischer (Hagens Berman/ LLP)                     
DNF Nicholaus Schreiber (Summit Velo)                       
DNF Thomas Nelson (California Bicycle Racing)               
DNF Christian Kearney (BPG/ Montano Velo)                   
DNF Chris Hardee (Kelly Benefit Strategies/LSV)             
DNF Boyd Johnson (Team Alliance Environmental)              
DNF Johannes Huseby (Fiordifrutta )                         
DNF David Glick (OrganicAthlete )                           
DNF Brandon Archibald (Team              
DNF Robert Campbell (Team Bob's               
DNF Tad Hamilton (Team                   
DNF George Ganoung (US Armed Forces)                        
DNF Evan Fader (Battley Harley-Davidson)                    
DNF Thomas Nelson (California Bicycle Racing)               
DNF Sean Coleman (US Armed Forces)                          

Elite women
1 Mara Abbott (Webcor Builders)                    2.38.02
2 Kristin Armstrong (TEAm Lipton)                     0.00
3 Amber Neben (Buitenpoort/Flexpoint)                 0.10
4 Christine Thorburn (Webcor Builders)                0.17
5 Katheryn Curi (Webcor Builders)                     0.41
6 Kori Seehafer (TEAm Lipton)                         0.57
7 Dotsie Bausch (Colavita-Sutter Home presented)      1.08
8 Stacy Marple (Team TIBCO)                           1.15
9 Laura Van Gilder (UCI WPTCheerwine)                 2.44
10 Kristin Sanders (Aaron's Pro Cycling Team)         2.46
11 Heather Labance (Advil ChapStick)                  2.47
12 Carmen Mcnellis (Aaron's Pro Cycling Team)         2.51
13 Kristen Lasasso (TEAm Lipton)                      2.51
14 Amy Dombroski (Excel Sports)                       2.52
15 Andrea Luebbe (Lehigh University Cycling Club)     2.53
16 Maria Monica (Touchstone Climbing)                 2.54
17 Rachel Warner (Charlottesville Racing Club)        3.05
18 Lauren Franges (TEAm Lipton)                       3.31
19 Katharine Carroll (Aaron's Pro Cycling Team)       3.31
20 Jenn Halladay (Team Tamarack Resort)               3.33
21 Katherine Lambden (Team TIBCO)                     3.44
22 Debbie Milne (ProBike/ First Choice Medical)       5.28
23 Kathleen Billington (Targetraining Womens Team)    6.39
24 Ann Turner (UGA Cycling)                           6.45
25 Megan Guarnier (Terry Precision Women's Cyclin)    6.54
26 Heather Sborz (Arizona State University)           6.57
27 Anna Mcloon (Harvard U Cycling)                   10.06
28 Sarah Bamberger (UCI WPTCheerwine)                10.23
29 Theresa Cliff-Ryan (Verducci/Breakaway Racing)    10.31
30 Rebecca Much (Targetraining Womens Team)          11.40
31 Christen King (Young's Training Group)            13.51
32 Brooke Ourada (UCI WPTCheerwine)                  13.51
33 Jennifer Bodine (ABRT/Latitude)                   13.53
34 Rebecca Larson (Aaron's Pro Cycling Team)         13.54
35 Kathryn Bertine (Team Sport Beans/NTTC)           13.55
36 Erica Allar (Salamander)                          13.55
37 Natalie Klemko (Team Advil-Chapstick)             13.55
38 Holly Borowski (Touchstone/US Armed Forces)       13.57
39 Heidi Goldberg (Team Kenda Tire)                  13.58
40 Kristin Wentworth (Team Kenda Tire)               14.03
41 Ashley Anderson (Furman University)               14.04
42 Christina Ruiter (UCI WPTCheerwine)               14.05
43 Melanie Wong (Team Get a Grip Cycles)             23.05
44 Allyson Brandt (HealthCoach)                      23.25
45 Shannon Koch (Compliance Depot Cycling Team)      26.57
46 Kacey Manderfield (Verducci/Breakaway Racing)     27.17
47 Melissa Doherty (U of Wyoming Cycling)            31.06
48 Amy Mcguire (Wachovia/International Bicycle)      37.04
DNF Marisa Asplund-Owens (Team TIBCO)                     
DNF Leslie Jennings (ABRT/Latitude)                       
DNF Alexandra Kenzer (NEBC/Cycle Loft/Devonshire Den)     
DNF Arley Kemmerer (Boston Scientific)                    
DNF Jacquelyn Crowell (Cycle Science)                     
DNF Christine Saraceni (Verducci/Breakaway Racing)        
DNF Meredith Miller (TEAm Lipton)                         
DNF Tracy Kubas (UC Irvine)                               
DNF Arielle Filiberti (Target Training)                   
DNF Lara Kroepsch (TEAm Lipton)                           
DNF Allison Beall (Avanti/Ti Cycles Racing)               
DNF Amber Rais (Webcor Builders)                          
DNF Alison Littlefield (Contender Bicycles)               
DNS Molly Van Houweling (Metromint Cycling)               
DNS Wendy Ulmer (ABRT/Latitude)                           
DNS Heidi Von Teitenberg (ABRT/Latitude)                  
DNS Rebecca Wellons (NEBC/Cycle Loft/Devonshire Den)      
DNS Laura Bowles (Team Advil-Chapstick)                   
DNS Jennifer Stebbins (Boston Scientific Cycling)         
DNS Jennifer Greenberg (xXx-Athletico)                    
DNS Kim Geist (TEAm Lipton)                               
DNS Nicole Evans (TEAm Lipton)                            
DNS Brenda Lyons (TEAm Lipton)                            
DNS Catherine Walberg (Mesa Cycles)                       
Under 23
1 Mara Abbott (Webcor Builders)                    2.38.02
2 Amy Dombroski (Excel Sports)                        2.52
3 Rachel Warner (Charlottesville Racing Club)         3.05
4 Ann Turner (UGA Cycling)                            6.45
5 Megan Guarnier (Terry Precision Women's Cyclin)     6.54
6 Rebecca Much (Targetraining Womens Team)           11.40
7 Erica Allar (Salamander)                           13.55
8 Natalie Klemko (Team Advil-Chapstick)              13.55
9 Ashley Anderson (Furman University)                14.04
10 Melanie Wong (Team Get a Grip Cycles)             23.05
11 Shannon Koch (Compliance Depot Cycling Team)      26.57
12 Kacey Manderfield (Verducci/Breakaway Racing)     27.17
13 Melissa Doherty (U of Wyoming Cycling)            31.06
DNF Jacquelyn Crowell (Cycle Science)                     
DNF Arielle Filiberti (Target Training)                   
DNS Jennifer Stebbins (Boston Scientific Cycling)         
DNS Jennifer Greenberg (xXx-Athletico)                    
DNS Kim Geist (TEAm Lipton)