For the first time in his history, the Tour de Nez put on a women's race on Saturday. Due to conflicts with other races, such as the NRC Austin Crit, a small but strong field of 17 riders lined up to tackle the 22-mile (35 km) circuit race in the Northstar at Tahoe village.

Sarah Bamberger (Cheerwine) outsprinted her 4 breakmates to take the win, with Amber Rais (Tibco) coming into second. After chasing for what seemed half the race following a crash, Stacy Marple (Cheerwine) joined the lead group in the final lap and finished third.

Happy to be racing at Tour de Nez: Amber Rais (Tibco), Bev Harper (Webcor), Betina Hold (Proman) and Sarah Bamberger (Cheerwine)

Amber Rais (Tibco) makes a move in the Northstar village and is soon joined by Betina Hold (Proman) and Sarah Bamberger (Cheerwine)

Bev Harper (Webcor) chases the trio up the road

And then there were five in the lead group.

After a crash, Stacy Marple (Cheerwine) chases the lead group for many laps and will finally catch them on the final lap.

Sarah Bamberger (Cheerwine) wins the first ever women's race at Tour de Nez

Women's podium (l-r): Amber Rais (Tibco), Sarah Bamberger (Cheerwine) and Stacy Marple (Cheerwine)

Sarah Bamberger (Cheerwine), race winner

About the small field. It's because of competitive events going on in the country, there will be more people here next time, so don't get discouraged, it's great that Tour de Nez finally included us, I'm really stoked.

About the race. Stacy caught us, Ashley [Fouts (Tibco)] kept the pace high going out of the start/finish and then going into the village, where it's very hard to pass people but easy to keep going, it was Ashley still in the front and Betina [Hold (Proman)] behind her. It really came down to, for me, trying to take advantage of gravity and attacking on the uphill before the last turn. Otherwise I'd be trying to outsprint other people on the downhill and that wouldn't for me and Amber is a great sprinter anyway. But it was nice to turn around to see that Stacy was still in the game, because I knew she could take it up if I couldn't finish the job so it was great to have her there.

Stacy Marple (Cheerwine), third in the race

About her crash. Right after the attack on the uphill just past here [start/finish line], it was just a touch of wheels, everyone is out of the saddle. I've got a shoulder injury so it makes it difficult to stabilize the bars sometimes.

About her chase to rejoin her teammate. [I chased] A long time, long enough thank God. I caught them on the uphill on the last lap, if it had been one less lap, I wouldn't have caught them. Now if there had been two more laps, we might have gone one, two.

All photos copyright Lyne Lamoureux