Bend, Ore. - Team Type 1 put the finishing touches on an already successful week of racing at the USA Cycling Elite National Championships with a 1-2 finish Sunday in the women's Under 23 criterium.
Samantha Schneider and Jacquelyn Crowell attacked the field a third of the way into the race and rode away to finish first and second, respectively, in the 21-mile (35 km) race through the downtown streets of Bend, Ore. Lauren Hecht (Webcor Alto Velo) won the field sprint for third.
For the four days of the event, Team Type 1 came away with two gold medals, a silver, a bronze, and a fifth-place podium finish. It was an impressive performance that brought a big grin to the normally stoic face of Women's Team Director Jack Seehafer.
"We're definitely pleased with our performance," Seehafer said. "It's been a really good first year for us."
Crowell's silver medal adds to the gold she won in the Under 23 individual time trial on Friday. In the same event, Team Type 1's Alison Powers earned a bronze medal in the elite ranks. And on Thursday, Team Type 1's Kori Seehafer finished fifth in the elite road race.
In Sunday's criterium, Crowell and Schneider bided their time in the back of the field as a flurry of attacks went off in the first 10 trips around the six-tenths-of-a-mile course during the 35-lap race. But with 22 laps to go, Crowell attacked with Schneider on her wheel and the pair quickly built a seven-second lead.
"I think we caught a lot of people off guard," Schneider said of the attack through the second-to-last turn on the rectangular course.
Trading pulls on the front, the two ticked off lap-after-lap, averaging 26 miles per hour as their lead grew to 10 seconds, then to 15, then 20, but was pegged back to 10 with 14 laps remaining.
"I was getting a little worried when the gap dropped back down," Seehafer said. "The field was actually getting organized and working together."
But Schneider and Crowell produced their second-fastest lap of the race to push the lead back to 16 seconds and deflate the spirit of the chase behind. When their advantage grew to 38 seconds with three laps to go, the only question remaining was who would cross the finish line first.
Crowell said the decision was an easy one.
"The goal today was to get Sam a win and that's what we did," she said.
Schneider said she was happy to earn the victory - her second on the season - and the right to wear a special stars-and-stripes jersey for one year in every criterium she races.
"I think it was pretty fair," Schneider said. "She (Crowell) got the time trial championship and I got the criterium."