Minneapolis - Mara Abbott of Peanut Butter & Co. TWENTY 12 is the new leader of the Women's Prestige Cycling Series after the second of four events on the 2010 schedule.

Abbott tops the individual standings over Alison Powers (Team Vera Bradley Foundation) on the strength of her overall win at the recent SRAM Tour of the Gila. Ina-Yoko Teutenberg, who won the Redlands Bicycle Classic to initially take the Series lead, is third.

"The SRAM Tour of the Gila was an epic race," Abbott said. "Mother Nature threw all sorts of conditions at us, but my team protected me throughout the race and we came out on top. The team work was A+ and its the only way to win a race like that."

Abbott also leads the Best Young Rider (Under 26) classification and her Peanut Butter & Co. TWENTY 12 team is tops in the team category. Peanut Butter & Co. TWENTY 12 Manager Nicola Cranmer said she is happy to see her team at the top of the standings for the Women's Prestige Series.

"We have a very well rounded team that can battle in all terrain," Cranmer said. "The riders are very much looking forward to the Nature Valley Grand Prix. SRAM Tour of the Gila was one of the most challenging races I have witnessed. (Director) Kristin Armstrong had not seen winds like that in her 10 years of racing. Kudos to all the teams that endured the adversity. It's a great race to include in the series."

1. Mara Abbott, Peanut Butter & Co.TWENTY12 - 319.
2. Alison Powers, Team Vera Bradley Foundation - 253.
3. Ina-Yoko Teutenberg, HTC-Columbia - 220.
4. Katharine Carroll, Peanut Butter & Co. TWENTY 12 - 175.
5. Robin Farina, Team Vera Bradley Foundation - 165.

1. Mara Abbott, Peanut Butter & Co. TWENTY 12 - 440.
2. Rebecca Much, TIBCO/To the Top Pro Cycling Team - 231.
3. Chloe Forsman, Specialized D4W/Bicycle Haus, 220.
4. Melanie Meyers, Specialized D4W/Bicycle Haus, 209.
5. Alison Starnes, TIBCO/To the Top Pro Cycling Team - 198.

In the Sprint competition, Carmen Small (Colavita/Baci presented by Cooking Light), won that classification at the SRAM Tour of the Gila to overtake Teutenberg, who did not compete in the race. Coryn Rivera (Peanut Butter & Co. TWENTY 12) is third.

1. Carmen Small, Colavita/Baci p/b Cooking Light - 252.
2. Ina-Yoko Teutenberg, HTC-Columbia - 220.
3. Coryn Rivera, Peanut Butter & Co. TWENTY 12 - 165.
4. Shelley Evans, Peanut Butter & Co. TWENTY 12 - 165.
5. Andrea Dvorak, Colavita/Baci p/b Cooking Light - 132.

In the team standings, Peanut Butter & Co. Twenty 12 has widened its lead considerably over Team Vera Bradley Foundation, which won the team classification at Redlands. Colavita/Baci presented by Cooking Light is third.

1. Peanut Butter & Co. TWENTY 12 - 873.
2. Team Vera Bradley Foundation - 654.
3. Colavita/Baci p/b Cooking Light - 475.
4. HTC-Columbia - 369.
5. Webcor Builders - 326.

The Women's Prestige Cycling Series is the only national bicycle racing series solely showcasing the country's top female cycling talent in four events across the country. The third event is the Nature Valley Grand Prix (June 16-20), followed by the Cascade Cycling Classic (July 20-25).

For more information about the Women's Prestige Cycling Series, visit the official website, www.WomenCyclists.com.

(Photo Courtesy: www.gilawilderness.com)