The scenic 6th annual Mt Hood Cycling Classic returned bigger than ever as one of only three UCI women's point races in the United States making it a very important stopping point for the women hoping to earn a selection for the Olympics.

A pair of Kiwi track riders, from two different teams, took over the podium at the Mt Hood Cylcing Classic. Points race specialist, Joanne Kiesanowski, on her second race with her new team Tibco, won the prologue in downtown Portland with a time of 3:08 average a speed of 32. m/hr (52. k/hr) over 1.7 mile out and back course. Pursuit specialist Alison Shanks (Jazz Apple) came in second with less than a second behind the winner.

Rounding off the podium is Dotsie Bausch (Colavita/Sutter Home), also not a stranger to the track, as she has just returned from the Pan American Championships with a gold medal in the Women's 3000 meter Individual Pursuit.

Joanne Kiesanowski (Tibco), prologue winner, photo c. Lyne Lamoureux

"I rode the course a lot of times before, I just went around and around it. I just knew that I had to have a good turn around, it was important not to lose too much time around there, just went hard." said Kiesanowsk.

Team Tibco is ready to defend the jersey against expected attacks.

'Neither of us have done this race before, but I know there's a lot of climbing. She's actually a good climber, she finished fourth at Gila overall, and that was coming off an airplane from Europe a couple of days before. We've got a strong team, we've got a lot of cards to play, it's not just Jo. As long as we keep the jersey tomorrow, that's our first goal." said Tibco Director Linda Jackson.

Three-time defending champion Leah Goldstein (ValueAct) finished seven seconds behind, as was Jeannie Longo who is riding in a composite team. The Aaron's team is also well positionned with four riders in the top ten, including climbing ace Felicia Gomez who finished second in last year's edition of the race.

Tomorrow, the women will face a new stage in the Mt Hood stage race, the Mt Tabor Criterium. The men will race 60 minutes over extremely winding course with nearly 135 feet of elevation for every 1.3 mile lap, with time bonuses on the finish line.

Joanne Kiesanowski (Tibco), winner

"I've been racing in Europe for the last two years, come back to North America for the next two months, I started off with Gila as my first race back and finishing off with Nature Valley and all the races through there with this team Tibco. I'm really excited that they let me join their team for this year. "

"I've got a really strong team actually, I'm really excited to have the girls behind me, we raced all together at Gila so yeah we're definitely up to the challenge this week."

Alison Shanks (Jazz Apple), second place

"The corner, I guess because it's wet and I took it pretty easy. I was halfway through the corner going 'come on, get through this', I lost a little bit time in that corner because of that. It was a fast course, it was over so quick."

"I've been riding for two and half years, pursuit on the track is my main event, racing with the Jazz Apple team here for two months before getting back in with the track team for the Olympic build up.

"It was sort of the perfect distance for me, and it's great for Jazz Apple to get on the podium."

Dotsie Bausch (Colavita/Sutter Home), third place

Dotsie Bausch, photo c. Lyne Lamoureux

"No [trouble with the turn] but I'm not really a risk taker. I just shifted down, calmed down, went around it, jumped out and came home."

"I just got in from Uruguay yesterday, and I was pretty sure that that was going to be one of the ugliest efforts ever and it was. It was really nasty out there but it's so short. Thank goodness for the SRM, I knew to watch my limit and I just kind of stared at that, and put those out."

"I didn't prepare for the track at Pan America, there's the kicker, they pulled on me maybe three weeks before. Like about three weeks, 'hey you want to go do it?' I hadn't been on the track since December, so I went to the track once and I said okay I think I can do it because it's an outdoor track at Pan America so it's much more road specific than those indoor World Cup tracks, I had been training, I was like allright, it went okay. "

"The team is having so much fun, we've got such a cool group and the synergy is so good. We've got some oldies but goodies, some of the new ones that are fresh and excited, we're just having a blast. And that's when you get the results when you're just having fun together. We've got a multi-talented team, we've got somebody for everything. We've got Tina [Pic] for the crit, we've got Tiff [Cromwell] and those for the climbs."

Women's podium (l-r): Alison Shanks (Jazz Apple), Joanne Kiesanowski (Tibco), Dotsie Bausch (Colavita/Sutter Home), photo c. Lyne Lamoureux

Top 10 Results
1 Joanne Kiesanowski (NZl) Team TIBCO 3.08
2 Alison Shanks (NZl) Jazz Apple Cycling Team
3 Dotsie Bausch (USA) Colavita / Sutter Home p/b Cooking Light
4 Meredith Miller (USA) Aaron's Professional Women's Cycling Team 0.01
5 Julie Beveridge (Can) Aaron's Professional Women's Cycling Team
6 Anne Samplonius (USA) Cheerwine Cycling 0.02
7 Felicia Gomez (USA) Aaron's Professional Women's Cycling Team
8 Kristin Sanders (USA) Aaron's Professional Women's Cycling Team 0.03
9 Lauren Franges (USA) Team TIBCO
10 Tina Pic (USA) Colavita / Sutter Home p/b Cooking Light