New series addition is final stop on 2009 tour
Minneapolis - The 2009 Women's Prestige Cycling Series wraps up this week at the Cascade Cycling Classic in Bend, Oregon. Held right before the US National Championships in Bend, the Cascade Classic boasts one of the strongest women's fields of the year.
The Team Competition has been a see-saw battle between Team TIBCO and Webcor Cycling all season, with TIBCO claiming the lead at the opener in Redlands Bicycle Classic in March, then losing it to Webcor at the Joe Martin Stage Race in May before reclaiming it at the Nature Valley Grand Prix in June. But TIBCO's lead is razor thin, with only 769 point compared to 740 for Webcor, so the final standings will come down to the grand finale at Cascade.
In contrast, Team Type 1's Alison Powers appears to have the individual classification all locked up, barring an unforeseen catastrophe. With 484 points, she seems to have an insurmountable lead over Team TIBCO's Katherine Carroll (300 points) and Webcor's Katherine Mattis (275 points), leaving Carroll and Mattis to battle for second place.
The Series' Best Young Rider competition is still up for grabs, but it's a family affair, with Webcor teammates at the top of the standings. Rebecca Much took the lead at Joe Martin but then lost ground to Alexis Rhodes at Nature Valley, where Rhodes won the Mankato Road Race. While Much and Rhodes are close (484 vs. 429 points), third place Julie Beveridge (Team TIBCO) is far enough back (308 points) as a result of missing the Joe Martin Stage Race that she doesn't represent a threat to either of the Webcor riders.
The Series sprint classification is very much in play, coming out of the Nature Valley Grand Prix as a dead heat, with Alison Powers tied with Tina Pic (Colavita Sutter Homes). The tie was broken because Powers had the higher ranking at Nature Valley. But the favorite for the Series Sprint title may be Australian Criterium Champion Kristy Broun, who'll be racing for Lip Smackers in Cascade. Although she trails Powers and Pic (165 vs. 209 points), she scored all of those points in just one event, the Nature Valley Grand Prix. Similar performances by these three riders could see Broun vault over Powers and Pic and into the Sprint jersey at the Series finale.
About the Women's Prestige Cycling Series
The 2009 Women's Prestige Cycling Series began at the Redlands Bicycle Classic (March 26 - 29), followed by the Joe Martin Stage race (May 7 - 10) and then the Nature Valley Grand Prix (June 10 - 14). It will conclude at the Cascade Cycling Classic (July 21 - 26).
The Women's Prestige Cycling Series began in 2004 with the goal of highlighting women's racing by giving them a spotlight that they don't have to share with the men. Organized by the Nature Valley Grand Prix, the Series grew out of meetings that began in Minnesota in 2003 at the first Women's Cycling Summit Conference hosted by that event.