It was a party in Portland and the sprinters came to play at the Mt Tabor Criterium - a crit in name only - stage 1 at the Mt Hood Cycling Classic.

Under beautiful skies, warm temperatures, beautiful setting and an appreciative crowd, Tina Pic (Colavita/Sutter-Home) showed why she can wear the Stars & Stripes as the US Criterium Champion outsprinting GC leader Joanne Kiesanowski (Tibco) at the line. With the time bonuses on the line, Pic picked up the leaders jersey, the points jersey and the QOM jersey to add to her collection. Julie Beverige (Aaron's) came in third and kept her Best Young Rider jersey for another day.


Tina Pic (Colavita/Sutter Home) wins sprint at Mt Tabor; photo c. Lyne Lamoureux

"Jeannie [Longo] was driving it up there, and then we came down, it was kind of a fight down there, a lot of Cheerwine, they were definitely trying to do a leadout. And I was dodging in and my teammate Tiffany was in there, and Jo [Kiesanowski] went at 150 but she stayed to the right which is smart and I had to back up and come around the long way. It was a really good move on her part, she's a smart racer. I went with 100 or 50 to go." said Pic about the final lap.



"I had to try to something, I thought I could see if I could get someone to come with me." said a Kiesanowski.



Pic was concerned about the course when she saw for the first time during warm up, extremely winding course with nearly 135 feet of elevation for every 1.3 mile lap, and 90 degrees turn at the top of the climb. But she loved it.



"I was scared of that course when I saw it. First I thought this climb is pretty brutal, it's funny when we got in there, it wasn't so bad because this part you could actually... you had a fair draft coming up, it leveled a bit, really it was just this little bit and in the pack it wasn't as bad as alone. It was actually quite fun, it was a really cool course. It was a surprise."

Today's course was all about positioning, being at the front at the top of the hill. And of course teammates.

"It was good, I don't like crits, but it lots of fun, it had a good hill on it, that was great. The end was all Meredith [Miller] and Alison[Testroete] because I'm not such a great sprinter but Meredith drilled up the hill and she lead me to move up into position, it was kind of mess because Felicia [Gomez] went down, Alison came around me at the bottom and was like 'get on my wheel', and I was like 'okay'." said Beveridge about the finish.

"My team did so much work today, as usual, we're really cohesive this year, I sat, I didn't do much today." said Pic.

"We were trying to make the field a little smaller, we weren't quite sure what to expect on this course and we just thought... at the beginning try to keep it fast, whittle the field down a bit, just for safety purposes but it turned out that Jeannie [Longo] was at the front quite a bit so we thought okay we'll let her do it. And after that, just trying to keep the race hard, keep it fast. We had a bigger group come to the finish line than we were expecting so might not have been as hard." said Meredith Miller (Aaron's) about her effort at setting a high pace during the race.



The time bonuses on the line brought a small change to GC with Pic at the leader, followed by Kiesanowski and Beveridge. And then the whole circus moved down to Hood River for the Cooper Spur Circuit race, the next stage where the climbers will come out and play. It's only fair that they get their turn.