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USPRO Criterium Championship - 1.3
Chicago, USA, August 22, 2004
Elite women's US criterium championship
Tina Pic takes the hat-trick
Genesis Scuba goes 1-2
By Mark Zalewski in Downers Grove, Ill
Veteran criterium racer Tina Pic (Genesis Scuba) gets to keep her stars and stripes national champion jersey for one more year with her win at the USCF Criterium National Championships. Pic had the help of her strong Genesis Scuba team through out the race to ensure victory, and even took the top two spots of the race with a strong sprint by Laura Van Gilder.
"The plan is to win, and it's so nice to have two on the podium, but if you are trying to get two on the podium you are going to lose the race," said Van Gilder. "We kinda talked about Tina having the three-peat, but if something happens you just have to race for the win." Coming off a win in the warm-up race last night, and having won this race two years in a row, Pic had the biggest bull's eye in the race, but that didn't seem to matter. All throughout the race it was the Genesis Scuba team on the front, patrolling the breaks and chasing when it mattered. T-Mobile, the other strong team of the race, sent riders off the front, including former time trial World Champion Mari Holden. "I wanted to try and get off the front, maybe with a small group, because Genesis is so strong in the sprint, but it didn't work!" explained Holden.
Kori Seehafer (Genesis Scuba) was charged with playing sheriff at the front to keep the race together. "We have the two best sprinters in the nation so it's a matter of controlling the field - being represented in all of the breaks. Not necessarily working with all of the breaks, just monitoring and making sure we can keep the field together. When it comes to all the primes in the middle, it just gets dicey and there are usually counter (attacks) right after that, so we were pretty much full-force up front to cover any counters."
Going into the final laps, T-Mobile and Genesis Scuba were strong at the front, taking turns keeping the pace high. Coming up the finish stretch with one to go, it was Pic, Seehafer and Van Gilder three-wide at the front of the field. "We were one rider short, but we took it down the back with one and a half to go, and then I came around and took it up the uphill," said Seehafer. "We were kind of saving it for both Laura and Tina, and didn't know who would get it. When I came over the top of the hill it was Laura on one side and Tina in the middle with me on the other side, and I was like, 'We need one more person!' but T-Mobile took over and had one of their riders finish the lead out that Laura and Tina followed down the hill."
Coming over the top, it was Pic and Van Gilder on the front - not the place to be on this course. "Tina and I found ourselves at the front which isn't the most ideal situation," said Van Gilder. "But I just looked for the next move to use as our lead out, and that was Amber Neben. And she made two really awesome jumps to help her teammates, but it ended up helping us. Then we got swarmed again in the final turns, and I went flying around the outside and Tina covered the inside, and we met at the corner!"
With some wheels touching in the field behind them, the chase eased off and the two Genesis Scuba riders had an immediate gap all the way to the line, with Pic taking first and Van Gilder right behind in second. Third place was snagged by a newcomer to the women's peloton, Brenda Lyons (Velo Bella) who is in her first season. "It seemed more technical today than yesterday because of the speed and turns. I was just trying to follow the experienced women and learn from them. "
There were plenty of experienced racers to watch as the Genesis Scuba team put on a clinic of race control all weekend.
Images by Jon Devich/www.epicimages.us
Images by Mark Zalewski/www.showchoir.net/
Images by Matthew E. Moses
Images by Paul Forsythe/www.teamkendatire.com
1 Tina Pic (Genesis Scuba/FFCC) 2 Laura Van Gilder (Genesis Scuba/FFCC) 3 Brenda Lyons (Velo Bella) 4 Kimberley Cunningham (Morgan Stanley 24 Hr Fitness) 5 Nicole Freedman (Basis) 6 Sherri Stedje (BBC) 7 Amber Neben (Team T-Mobile) 8 Lara Kroepsch (Team T-Mobile) 9 Kelly Benjamin (Abd Cycling Team) 10 Suzanne Sonye (Helens/Trek/VW) 11 Jennifer Purcell (MSU/HHH) 12 Liza Rachetto (America's Dairyland) 13 Kori Seehafer (Genesis Scuba/FFCC) 14 Laura Downey (Velo Club La Grange) 15 Mindi Martin (Team Kenda Tire) 16 Christina Dekraay (Team Fuji) 17 Kristin Linton (Cycle Science) 18 Melissa Sanborn (Wells Fargo/Ragatz) 19 Rebecca McClintock (Colarita Olive Oil) 20 Brooke O'Connor (Colarita Olive Oil) 21 Sarah Tillotson (Abd Cycling Team) 22 Lynn Gaggioli (Team T-Mobile) 23 Shannon Hutchison (Colarita Olive Oil) 24 Stacey Bertsch (Mercy Cycling Team) 25 Kathleen Billington (Team Fuji) 26 Mari Holden (Team T-Mobile) 27 Tracy Sproule (Colarita Olive Oil) 28 Betsy Bloom-Galenti (Velo Club La Grange) 29 Candice Blickem (Genesis Scuba/FFCC) 30 Mindy Ziffren-Hall (Team Group Health) 31 Alison McNulty (Dent Wizard) 32 Mackenzie Dickey (Team Bicycle Alley) 33 Katie Weber (Team Kenda Tire) 34 Deborah Durand (Helens/Trek/VW) 35 Trudy Van Der Straaten (Team Kenda Tire) 36 Cheryl Roth (Helens/Trek/VW) 37 Charmian Breon (Colarita Olive Oil) 38 Elizabeth Morse (Obru/Sportsbook.Com) 39 Becky Broeder (Wells Fargo/Ragatz) 40 Kimberly Bruckner (Team T-Mobile) 41 Dara Rogers (Trekvw Helens) 42 Sima Trapp (Tamarack/Goldy's) 43 Kelly Chang (Verizon Wireless Wheelworks) 44 Leigh Valletti (Genesis Scuba/FFCC) 45 Jessica Hulser (Basis) 46 Dotsie Cowden (Team T-Mobile) 47 Rook Campbell (Genesis Scuba/FFCC) 48 Shawn Heidgen (TDS-Schwalbe) 49 Nicole Brandt (Velo Club La Grange) 50 Catherine Powers (Velo Club La Grange) 51 Chrissy Ruiter (Basis) 52 Nichole Wangsgard (Basis) 53 Kristy Schefferacker (Colarita Olive Oil)