|Cyclingnews TV News Tech Features Road MTB BMX Cyclo-cross Track Photos Fitness Letters Search Forum|
U.S. National Criterium Championships - NE
Downers Grove Village, Illinois, USA, August 19-20, 2006
Stage 3 - August 20: USCF Womens National Criterium Championship, 50 km
World champion skater wins on the bike too
Pic's five-peat chance crashes before final turn
By Mark Zalewski, North American Editor in Downers Grove, Ill.
Tina Pic (Colavita-Cooking Light) may be the most humble champion in cycling. The four-time national criterium champion always leaves the racing on the road where it belongs. Even today, when a dramatic crash between her and Laura Van Gilder (TEAm Lipton) sent her to the pavement right before the final turn, her reaction immediately after was typical Pic. "I just got bumped." The placement of the crash just 200 meters from the line put a huge hesitation in the field sprint, with riders just trying to get through the turn. Van Gilder managed to stay up-right and led through the final turn, but on her wheel was former inline skating world champion Theresa Cliff-Ryan (Verducci Breakaway) who used her momentum to come inside Van Gilder for the national championship.
"In the second to last turn I was fourth wheel," Cliff-Ryan said. "I was next to McRae and we were behind Pic and Van Gilder who were side-by-side too. I'm lucky I was behind Laura and was able to come around the crash with her. I was outside her wheel in the turn and she hit the brakes hard so I had to switch to the inside to come around her."
Behind the win Pic lay on the ground having gone totally vertical and landing on her shoulder hard. "I'm disappointed, that's for sure," she told Cyclingnews as she was being checked by the medics. "I went out early on the final lap because of the headwind on the back of the course and I came into the second-to-last turn in the lead. Then I got bumped really hard by Lipton."
Colavita-Cooking Light director Jim Williams was fast on the scene and immediately talking about a protest after seeing an amateur photographer's angle of the crash which showed Van Gilder's foot unclipped from her pedal and Pic crashing. However, the protests were not successful and the results stood.
Laura Van Gilder, a former lead-out of Pic's, was visibly upset about the situation after the race. "It's so disconcerting to have a crash like that," she said. "We are all friends with each other. Tina and I were side-by-side when we happened to bump. Her bike must have come over my pedal because my foot was caught in her wheel -- it's still hurting now."
Adding insult to injury, race officials were not going to allow Pic to collect the mid-race prime she won because she did not technically finish the race. Cyclingnews spoke to the head commissaire who said that the three kilometer rule present in stage racing was not in place here and that the race bible said the rider must finish the race to collect the prime. However, after consideration, the promoter decided to award the prime to Pic after all.
Much of the race to that point was controlled by TEAm Lipton who had a single goal of trying to force Pic to chase. Meredith Miller started this early when she went out on the first two laps of the race solo. "Our goal was to make it hard for Colavita because we know she gets anxious," Miller said. "I was really hurting but I was hoping everyone else was hurting too."
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us
Images by Dave Schneider/www.wheelandsprocket.net
Images by Mark Zalewski/Cyclingnews.com
Images by Matthew Moses/www.moses-images.com
1 Theresa Cliff-Ryan (USA) Verducci Breakaway 1.16.40 2 Laura Van Gilder (USA) Team Lipton 3 Mackenzie Dickey (USA) Aaron's Corp Furn 4 Shontell Gauthier (USA) Team Joy 5 Brenda Lyons (USA) Victory Brewing 6 Anna Webb (USA) Karl Strauss/SDBC 7 Candice Blickem (USA) Aaron's Corp Furn 8 Rebecca Larson (USA) Aaron's Corp Furn 9 Kelly Benjamin (USA) Cheerwine 10 Kacey Manderfield (USA) Wolverine/Redken 11 Shannon Hutchison-Krupat (USA) Aaron's Corp Furn 12 Brooke O'Connor (USA) Hub Racing 13 Nicky Wangsgard (USA) Colorado Premier 14 Mindi Martin (USA) Team Revolution 15 Sarah Caravella (USA) Team Lipton 16 Carrie Cash (USA) Team Revolution 17 Natalie Klemko (USA) America's Dairyland 18 Taitt Sato (USA) McGuire Cycling 19 Janett Williams (USA) Hub Racing 20 Bri Kovac (USA) Texas Roadhouse 21 Liza Rachetto (USA) Team Lipton 22 Erica Allar (USA) Team Fuji 23 Andrea Myers (USA) Team Kenda Tire 24 Leigh Valletti (USA) travelgirl Magazine 25 Sarah Uhl (USA) Serotta/Home Depot 26 Katharine Carroll (USA) Victory Brewing 27 Lisa Jellett (USA) Verducci Breakaway 28 Courtenay Brown (USA) McGuire Cycling 29 Catherine Walberg (USA) Team Kenda Tire 30 Jessica Cole (USA) C-U Racing 31 Sarah Tillotson (USA) Colavita/Cooking 32 Kristin Wentworth (USA) Nova - IS Corp 33 Holly Borowski (USA) McGuire/US Armed 34 Kristin Sandels (USA) Cheerwine 35 Sheba Farrin (USA) Hub Racing 36 Kori Seehafer (USA) Team Lipton 37 Lauren Franges (USA) Victory Brewing 38 Chrissy Ruiter (USA) Victory Brewing 39 Tracy Haber (USA) KY Flyers/Texas 40 Kathryn Clark (USA) TEAM FUJI/ Bolt 41 Heather Albert (USA) America's Dairyland 42 Catherine Powers (USA) Aaron's Corp Furn 43 Laura Bowles (USA) Victory Brewing 44 Katheryn Curi (USA) Webcor-Platinum 45 Anne Meyer (USA) Mercy-Specialized 46 Allyson Brandt (USA) ConexTrain 47 Charmian Breon (USA) Cheerwine Cycling 48 Stacey Bertsch (USA) Mercy Cycling 49 Shana Sturla (USA) Flanders/MBRC 50 Katharina Weber (USA) Morris Trucking Velo 51 June Joshaw (USA) Kenda Tire 52 Trish Bell (USA) Morgan Stanley 53 Rebecca Anderson (USA) America's Dairyland 54 Melissa Cox (USA) Mercy Cycling 55 Becky Broeder (USA) Hub Racing 56 Megan Esmonde (USA) travelgirl Magazine 57 Grace Fleury (USA) Team Lipton 58 Lara Kroepsch (USA) Team Lipton 59 Gina Voci (USA) Cheerwine 60 Debbie Dust (USA) Team Kenda Tire