June 19, 2016 (Mankato, MN) – Joelle Numainville (Mission Health) held off a surging Samantha Schneider and Coryn Rivera (UnitedHealthcare) to take the win by a slim margin at the Mankato Road Race today. The Canadian champion attacked with seven miles remaining in Stage 5 of the North Star Grand Prix.
Schneider outsprinted Rivera to take second after 77 miles of racing around the city of Mankato, Minnesota.
Ellen Noble (Mission Health) and Monika Volk (Medica Collegiate All-Stars) came across the line in fourth and fifth place, respectively.
“I just wanted to have an aggressive race and make the most of it, so I attacked twice,” said Numainville, who recently finished second at GP Gatineau. “I’m really happy with how I raced.”
In the overall competition, race leader Brianna Walle (TIBCO – Silicon Valley Bank) retains her lead in the overall competition. Walle is four seconds ahead of her teammate, Lauren Stephens and 17 seconds in front of Rivera. Numainville’s efforts jumped her up to 4th place and Greg Lemond Best Young Rider Lauretta Hanson (Colavita/Bianchi) is currently in fifth place overall.
Stage 5 had three large 20-mile circuits to tackle before the course turned toward five finishing circuits, three and a half miles in length.
The action started nine miles into the stage, when previous wearer of the Surly Most Aggressive jersey, Ellen Watters (SPBRC) tried to ride clear. Aggressive racing from UHC meant that Watters small attack didn’t last long.
“We were definitely on the offensive to get TIBCO to work,” Rivera said after the stage. “The girls did a great job. We had them riding the whole day and that was the plan, to try and break them down. It was the same idea on the finishing circuits, to get TIBCO to crack. On the final climb it was my job to put as much time in between me and Bri as possible.
Despite UHC’s accelerations, Numainville, Justine Clift (Canyon-Shimano) and Watters (SPBRC) split off the front after the second K’ul Chocolate sprint, where Sophie MacKay (Hagens Berman Supermint) collected max sprint points. Over the course of the stage, Australian criterium champion successfully won all three available intermediate sprints to take back the sprint jersey from Rivera.
The trio worked well together until the base of the second to last QOH climb. The tempo set by Numainville turned out to be too much for Clift and Watters, who dropped back into the peloton on the ascent. Numainville made it to the top still 15 seconds clear, but was caught with 34 miles remaining.
UHC continued to put the pressure on Team Tibco on the last long loop before the finishing circuits. The efforts of Katie Compton and her UHC teammates caused some panic when the field began to fracture, but the pace slowed enough for the struggling riders to rejoin the main group when they reached the circuits.
Taking advantage of a lull in the main group, Sara Poidevin (Rally Cycling) and Kate Sherwin (UHC) escaping up the road just as the race made its way on to the first of five finishing circuits. The duo gained an advantage of 50 seconds, but quickly lost a chunk of time on the draining uphill drag a few miles before the start/finish line.
With 10 miles to go, Poidevin and Sherwin were caught, and Numainville gave it another go off the front. Four miles later, the 28-year-old gained a 45 second gap on what was left of the remaining peloton, making her the virtual leader on the overall classification.
Numainville’s advantage grew before Tibco, realizing the GC threat, rallied at the front and quickly chopped her safety net down from 1 minute to less than 20 seconds. However, the chasers’ efforts weren’t enough to catch a determined Numainville, who crossed the line just 10 seconds ahead of a charging Schneider and Rivera.
“I just wanted that last climb to end as quickly as possible,” Numainville said. “I was really in a lot of pain. I wanted to give my all and know that I did my best at the end.”
1. Joelle Numainville (North Memorial Health Care) 3:10:11
2. Samantha Schneider (ISCorp Cycling p/b SmartChoice MRI) 0:10
3. Coryn Rivera (Team UnitedHealthcare)
4. Ellen Noble (North Memorial Health Care)
5. Monica Volk (Medica Collegiate All Stars)
6. Erica Allar (Rally Cycling)
7. Gray Patton (QCW Breakawaybikes.com p.b. Felt Bicycles-JLVelo)
8. Lauretta Hanson (Colavita/Bianchi Racing)
9. Kathryn Buss (Medica Collegiate All Stars)
10. Justine Clift (Canyon Bicycles-Shimano-Specialized)
12. Sara Poidevin (Rally Cycling)
30. Gabrielle Pilote Fortin (North Memorial Health Care) 0:56
38. Carrie Cartmill (Canyon Bicycles-Shimano-Specialized) 1:39
49. Gillian Ellsay (Rally Cycling) 5:04
50. Catherine Ouellette (Rally Cycling)
60. Ellen Watters (SPBRC/Grand Performance) 10:19
GC after Stage 5
1. Brianna Walle (Team TIBCO – Silicon Valley Bank) 7:09:06
2. Lauren Stephens (Team TIBCO – Silicon Valley Bank) 0:04
3. Coryn Rivera (Team UnitedHealthcare) 0:17
4. Joelle Numainville (North Memorial Health Care) 0:19
5. Lauretta Hanson (Colavita/Bianchi Racing) 0:28
6. Amanda Miller (Visit Dallas DNA Pro Cycling) 0:45
7. Samantha Schneider (ISCorp Cycling p/b SmartChoice MRI) 0:46
8. Erica Allar (Rally Cycling) 0:47
9. Jessica Cutler (Colavita/Bianchi Racing) 0:48
10. Heather Fischer (Rally Cycling)
14. Sara Poidevin (Rally Cycling) 0:56
16. Justine Clift (Canyon Bicycles-Shimano-Specialized) 1:09
34. Gabrielle Pilote-Fortin (North Memorial Health Care) 2:40
38. Carrie Cartmill (Canyon Bicycles-Shimano-Specialized) 4:55
44. Gillian Ellsay (Rally Cycling) 6:20
53. Catherine Ouellette (Rally Cycling) 10:15
59. Ellen Watters (SPBRC/Grand Performance) 11:46