Colorado Springs, Colo. (April 9, 2007)—The women’s U.S. National Team kicked off its European Spring campaign Sunday in Belgium as six riders took part in the Tour of Flanders, the second round of the UCI Road World Cup. The six-woman squad was comprised of a combination of experienced international competitors and several aspiring athletes who got their first look at a world-class field.
Reigining world and national time trial champion, Kristin Armstrong (Boise, Idaho/Team Lipton) led the way for the squad with a 27th-place effort in the 120-kilometer race, finishing in a group 28 seconds off the pace of winner Nicole Cooke (GBR).
Strong performances were also turned in by Alison Powers (Boulder, Colo./Colavita-Sutter Home-Cooking Light) and Brooke Miller (Los Altos, Calif./Team Tibco) who placed 50th and 66th respectively in their first-career European race. The trio of Armstrong, Powers and Miller all remained in contention for the win late in the race before Cooke outsprinted Zoulifa Zabirova (KAZ) and reigning world champion Marianne Vos (NED).
The other members of the U.S. National Team, Rebecca Larson (Gainesville, Fla./Aarons), Lauren Franges (Ashville, N.C./Team Lipton) and Katheryn Curi (Mountain View, Calif./Webcor) were involved in a crash less than 20 kilometers into the race and were unable to reconnect with the peloton.
American Amber Neben (Irvine, Calif.), riding for her Belgium-based Flexpoint pro team, was the highest placed American overall, coming in 19th in the same group as Armstrong.
The U.S. National Team next travels to the Netherlands where it will compete in the third round of the UCI World Cup series, the Ronde van Drenthe on April 14, as well as two other single-day races, the Drentse 8 van Dwingeloo on April 12 and the Novilon Internationale Damesronde van Drenthe on April 15.
UCI Women’s Road World Cup #2
Ronde van Vlaanderen
1. Nicole Cooke (GBR) 3:11.00
2. Zoulifa Zabirova (KAZ) +0:02
3. Marianne Vos (NED) +0:05
19. Amber Neben (Irvine, Calif.) +0:28
27. Kristin Armstrong (Boise, Idaho) +0:28
50. Alison Powers (Boulder, Colo.) +1:10
66. Brooke Miller (Los Altos, Calif.) +1:10
DNF. Katheryn Curi (Mountain View, Calif.)
DNF. Rebecca Larson (Gainesville, Fla.)
DNF. Lauren Franges (Ashville, N.C.)
About USA Cycling
Recognized by the U.S. Olympic Committee and the Union Cycliste Internationale, USA Cycling promotes American cycling through its 58,000 members and 2,000 annual events. USA Cycling associations include the BMX Association (BMX), National Off-Road Bicycle Association (mountain bike), U.S. Cycling Federation (road/track), the National Collegiate Cycling Association and the U.S. Professional Racing Organization (professional men’s road). For more information visit www.usacycling.org or contact, USA Cycling Director of Communications, Andy Lee at 719-866-4867.
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