Bend, OR - In her first crack at the under-23 U.S. National Time Trial Championship, Jerika Hutchinson of Team TIBCO posted a strong 2nd place finish to earn the silver medal. Hutchinson, a month short of her 19th birthday, came in 0:14 behind Jacquelyn Crowell (Team Type 1), who posted a time of 53:44 on the hilly, 35 km circuit. Hutchinson's time would have placed her solidly in the top 20 of the elite women's group.

"It was a really challenging course," Hutchinson said. "It was also really hot. I had a bag of ice on my back before I started, and a wet towel on my back for the ride trying to keep me cool."

The course was similar to the course used for the Cascade Classic the week before, opening with a climb to the turn-around point 12 km out and return back to the start area. However, the national championship course added a 11 km loop with several rollers to bring it to 35 km.

"On the lollipop loop, I was just trying to get over the rollers as hard as I could and down the descents as fast as possible," Hutchinson said. "Toward the end I was just trying to survive."

Rais narrowly misses elite TT podium.
Apparently not feeling the after-effects of her epic solo attack during the road race on Thursday, Amber Rais put in a strong ride to place 4th in the National Time Trial Championship. Her time of 51:07 was 0:32 off the pace of winner Jessica Phillips (Lip Smackers), who also won the time trial during the Cascade Classic.

Cascade overall winner Evelyn Stevens (CRCA) finished 2nd just 0:02 back, while 2008 time trial national champion Alison Powers took 3rd, just 0:09 ahead of Rais.

TIBCO teammates Alison Starnes and Katharine Carroll, both posted top-20 times, with Starnes coming in 10th, and Carroll 17th.

Photo (c) Carson Blume