Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Erica Allar Sprints to 2nd Place at The USA Professional Criterium National Championships!

Team Colavita/Fine Cooking/Stradalli Cycle Wins the NCC Overall Team Competition! 

Erica Allar- 2nd Place - USA Cycling Professional Criterium National Championships

High Point, NC - Team Colavita/Fine Cooking/Stradalli Cycle competed in the USA Cycling Professional Criterium National Championships this past Saturday afternoon in High Point, NC. This was the second consecutive year the National Championships have been held in High Point, which offers some unique features never seen in a crit course. This year's race was on a new, 0.95-mile course that once again started and finished at the covered Mendenhall Transportation Terminal. In the early laps of the race Team Colavita/Fine Cooking/Stradalli Cycle traded blows with United Health Care (UHC) at attacking the peloton.  Each team attempted to send a rider up the road, but was unsuccessful, until Team Colativa/Fine Cooking/Stradalli Cycle's Mary Zider attacked the field.  Zider was able to get away from other riders that attempted to go with her, and ended up on a solo break that reached a gap of nearly 15 seconds.  Zider's move forced the UHC riders to  move to the front of the peloton and chase her down.  Once Zider was caught, UHC's Alison Powers countered with a solo move of her own.  Many riders remembered Powers winning last year's race out of a break, so her move was quickly brought back.  Multiple attacks continued to fire off the front of the race making it a very exciting and animated race as moves by the top teams would continue to dwindle down the field.  Inside of 25 laps, Alison Powers threw out another vicious attack.  This time she was marked by Mary Zider glued to her wheel as she launched out of the peloton. Inside of 20 laps Power and Zider continued to drive their break remaining away from the field for nearly 10 laps and building a nearly 20 second gap.  Several teams moved riders to the front and began chipping away at the Zider/Powers time gap.  After a determined effort by the field Zider and Powers were pulled back with just over 10 laps to go.  In the closing laps of the race the heat and intensity of the race, coupled with the additional 30 minutes of racing (this was a 90 minute crit compared to the typical 60 minute) the field had been dwindled down to a small group of approximately 25 riders.  Team Colavita/Fine Cooking/Stradalli Cycle demonstrated their prowess by animating the race at every chance possible.  Whitney Shultz was able to sprint out and grab a late race prime worth $500!  Jessica Prinner and Jen Purcell worked tirelessly in the closing laps to cover moves that allowed Erica Allar to challenge for the sprint finish.  

Mary Zider (with Alison Powers) drives the break


The race was thrown a curve ball with 3 laps to go as reigning champion Alison Powers, Tina Pic, Mary Zider and other riders were caught in an untimely crash in turn 1.  The crash caused chaos for many teams, but Team Colavita/Fine Cooking/Stradalli Cycle's remaining riders protected  Allar, who remained upright and in good position n her Stradalli R7 to tackle the final laps. Out of the final corner Allar positioned herself well and sprinted like a demon, only to be nipped at the line.  Allar's efforts made for a very close and exciting finish, all while grabbing the team an impressive 2nd place finish at the USA Cycling Criterium National Championships. 

Team Colavita/Fine Cooking/Stradalli Cycle finally sealed the deal on winning the National Criterium Calendar (NCC) Overall Team Standing competition.  The team was able to capture the team competition with one race left on the calendar, the TD Bank Mayor's Cup, in Boston, MA on September 20. Colavita/Fine Cooking/Stradalli Cycle ended the calendar with 1,835 points followed by United Health Care in second place with 1,365 points. Team Colavita/Fine Cooking/Stradalli Cycle dominated the NCC competition with Erica Allar winning the Individual Competition with her Stradalli R7 by a large margin over second place finisher Tina Pic of Fearless Femme. 

Up next for Team Colavita/Fine Cooking/Stradalli Cycle is the last stop on the NCC, the TD Bank Mayor's Cup, on September 20th in downtown Boston, MA.

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