NCC Leader Allar Tops ToAD Waukesha Podium; UnitedHealthcare’s Hanson Repeats Victory
Downtown Waukesha, Wisconsin, was the backdrop for Day 4 of the Tour of America’s Dairyland presented by Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board. Salt of the Earth fans and incredibly generous support from the City and title sponsor are mainstays of the Carl Zach Cycling Classic presented by Couri Insurance. Waukesha did not disappoint and was a cordial host to ToAD’s second of two USA Cycling National Criterium Calendar (NCC) dates.
After an early crash on the backside of the course, which neutralized the race, the Pro Women put on a shortened yet exciting show. At the midway point, Laura Van Gilder (Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers) took a solo flyer off the front, showcasing a set of legs which shouldn’t be put into retirement anytime soon. Van Gilder built up an 8-second gap, and then the Prime Express rolled out.
Van Gilder and and Tracey Cameron (Fearless Femme-Pure Energy) both picked up a treat as did Joanne Kiesanowski (TIBCO-To the Top). Kiesnowski stay up the road, with a little company from Cameron before a $100 field prime was picked up by Jessica Prinner (Colavita-Fine Cooking). Kiesanowski still up front, another $100 prime was deposited, this time into the pocket of Van Gilder teammate Laura Jorgenson. A handful of laps remaining, Jen Purcell (Colavita) nipped Lizzie Smith (Vanderkitten) for a $500 canon ball of a prime from Couri Insurance. Speed fast and furious, elbows flying, Erica Allar (Colavita) was tucked on Prinner’s wheel, with Fearless Femme at their sides. Massive power surge, all the big guns up front for the slight uphill straightaway sprint. TIBCO on the outside, Colavita on the inside, it was current NCC leader Allar besting Sam Schneider (TIBCO) and Van Gilder, in and second and third, respectively.
Entering the afternoon’s contest, just four points separated Sam Schneider, teammate Ryan, Allar and Tina Pic (Fearless Femme). Sam Schneider retained the Pink Boston Store-Younkers Overall Leaders Jersey, one point ahead of Allar, with Pic trailing by just six points. Heated competition for pink and green, as Skylar Schneider (TIBCO) leads Van Gilder teammate Laura Jorgensen by a single point in the Green Oarsman Cat 2 Amateur Overall. TIBCO remains atop the standings in the Smart Choice MRI Pro Women’s Team Omnium competition.
Local favorite James Stemper (5Hour Energy-KENDA) riled up his “Stemper Nation” contingent early on with a 15-minute solo flyer, which splintered the field. Once absorbed, Stemper shot back out like a yellow lightning bolt, much to the enjoyment of the crowd. Hardly showing signs of someone who suffered a broken collarbone nine weeks prior, Stemper’s lead continued to grow as three riders attempted to bridge. The gap started to close as the field reeled Stemper back in then out of nowhere, Alexander Ray (Hincapie Development Team) was on the chase. Stemper picked up a $100 prime but ARay stuck to his wheel.
And then there were two, with a group of four led by Conor Mullervy (Champion Systems-Stan’s No Tubes). The catch made, a 6-man break formed: Stemper, Mullervy, ARay, Astellas’ Murfet and Pincus and Gabriel Varela (Canyon Bicycles-Shimano). United HealthCare pulling the field with six up front, ARay and Stemper each picked up a couple more primes while the field continued to organize. The gap closing, Murfet popped off the front to best ARay and snag $250. Andrew Dahlheim, wanting some action, broke free from the field. On a day where 122 started, just 59 now remained with 10 laps to go. Stemper again opened the floodgates for another solo flyer before a new 5-man break formed and a $500 prime was thrown out with four remaining. Dahleim narrowly beat Murfet to the bank.
The crowd roar deafening…bang bang bang…clang clang clang…the roar of the train. United HealthCare off the front with one lap to go, the speed was ticket-worthy as a ridiculous sprint to the finish ensued. The Pro Men put on a fantastic show for the crowd as Daniel Holloway (Athlete Octane) threw his bike only nths behind the lunge of Ken Hanson (UHC). Hanson teammate Luke Keough rounded out the night’s NCC podium. Holloway stays in the Yellow Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board Overall Leaders Jersey, while he and his Athlete Octane teammates stay atop the Smart Choice MRI Pro Team Omnium standings.
Day five of the 11-Day Tour of America’s Dairyland presented by Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board continues tomorrow with the Beloit Bike Classic presented by Beloit Health System.
Recap by Lisa Downey of Midwest Cycling Series