June 09, 2015 (Philadelphia, PA) – The 30-year anniversary of the Philadelphia International Cycling Classic was a special one for the Orange & Black, with both the men’s and women’s teams placing a rider on the podium atop Philly’s infamous Manayunk Wall. Mike Woods hammered up the Wall on the last of eleven laps in the men’s 173km race, outdistancing all but one rider, Carlos Barbero Cuesta of Spain’s Caja-Rural team.
“It’s days like today that, even though we didn’t win, it makes me very proud to be a part of this team,” said Men’s Performance Director Jonas Carney. “The team worked together all day, and in the end Woods and Guillaume Boivin showed some serious tactical savvy, recognizing a key split and then driving the pace to make it to the line. We love to see efforts like this out of our athletes.”
Jasmin Glaesser worked herself into a solo breakaway over the first several laps of the women’s race, chalking up enough points to open a gap in the queen of the mountains competition. After her solo breakaway was absorbed, she continued to smartly capture more QOM points, sealing up the competition and it’s $5,000 prize purse before the final lap.
“Today we showed the quality of our team at a World Cup event,” said Women’s Performance Director Patrick McCarty. “We stayed in contention throughout the race, winning the QOM and launching a decisive attack in the last 500 meters, putting 3 riders in the top ten. Everyone wanted a better result in the finale, and we can critique the performance but we can’t complain – ultimately, I’m happy with how we rode today.”
Although short of the podium, the women placed three riders in the top ten at the Philadelphia Classic, the first Women’s World Cup race in the United States since 2001. Leah Kirchmann and Lex Albrecht finished 7th and 8th and Brianna Walle rounded things out in 10th. It was a watershed moment for women’s cycling in the U.S. for many reasons – World Cup status, equal prize money, and a prime time, afternoon start with live television coverage broadcast around the world. The final podium was all international – Great Britain, Italy, and Belarus, but North America has six riders in the top ten, aided by the trio from Optum p/b KBS.
Woods’ chance at the top step of the podium came thanks to a smartly managed race by the team over the majority of its winding, undulating 173 km route. Each of the eight rider roster played their role accordingly during a race that accelerated to top speed quickly – it was the first sub-200km race in Philadelphia’s storied history of its one day race bookended by the hard climbs on the Manayunk Wall and Lemon Hill. The decisive moment of the day came when a 15-man breakaway went clear on the penultimate climb up the Wall, initiated by an attack by Airgas-Safeway’s Chris Horner and towing with it some serious threats for the win. Significantly, the breakaway did not include two-time defending champion Kiel Reijnen (Team UnitedHealthcare), giving other teams in the move added incentive to ratchet up the pace significantly to keep the dangerous Reijnen out of contention for the three-peat.
Woods’ countryman Guillaume Boivin was exceptional from the breakaway over the final lap, keeping the gap wide all the way to the base of the final trip up the Wall on the way to the finish line.