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U.S. National Criterium Championships - NE

Downer’s Grove Village, Illinois, USA, August 19-20, 2006

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Stage 3 - August 20: USCF Women’s 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.

Theresa Cliff-Ryan (Verducee-Breakaway)
Photo ©: Jon Devich
(Click for larger image)

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."

Pic totally airborne.
Photo ©: Dave Schneider
(Click for larger image)

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."

The women's podium.
Photo ©: Mark Zalewski
(Click for larger image)


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                                     

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