July 4, 2006 – The 2006 Women’s Prestige Cycling Series kicked off at the Nature Valley Grand Prix. Prerace predictions that Webcor-Platinum would dominate the Series proved to be unfounded, thanks to strong performances by a much-improved TEAm Lipton
TEAm Lipton made some savvy acquisitions on the off season, including Kristin Armstrong and Kori Seehafer from T-Mobile and Laura Van Gilder from Quark. The investment in those new riders paid off handsomely, as TEAm Lipton claimed the early lead in the Series. However, Webcor-Platinum, the preseason favorite, is close behind and this competition is shaping up to be a cliffhanger as the Series moves to the International Tour de “˜Toona in July.
1. 450 – TEAm Lipton
2. 418 – Webcor-Platinum
3. 137 – Colavita / Cooking Light
4. 78 – Team Biovail
5. 60 – Victory Brewing
Kristin Armstrong showed the form that earned her a National Championship in 2005 and a bronze medal at Worlds. She claimed the lead in her specialty at the Nature Valley Grand Prix’s Saint Paul Riverfront Time Trial prologue. She and TEAm Lipton then successfully defended the jersey through the rest of the stages, including an impressive solo win by Armstrong on the brutal finishing circuits of the Mankato Road Race. Teammate Kori Seehafer is in second and 2005 Series champion Christine Thorburn (Webcor-Platinum) in third.
1. 220 – Kristin Armstrong (TEAm Lipton )
2. 165 – Kori Seehafer (TEAm Lipton)
3. 132 – Christine Thorburn (Webcor-Platinum)
4. 110 – Erinne Willock (Webcor-Platinum)
5. 99 – Sue Palmer-Komar (Colavita/ Cooking Light)
Best Young Rider
The lead in the Series Best Young Rider competition was claimed by Erinne Willcock (Webcor-Platinum), the 2005 winner of this competition. She had been edged out for the BMC Best Young Rider award at the Nature Valley Grand Prix by a narrow 16″ by Team Biovail rider Alex Wrubleski, but Wrubleski was a late addition and was not eligible for the Series. The leaders in the young riders division are rounded out by Katharine Carroll (Victory Brewing) and Joelle Numainville (Team Biovail).
1. 220 – Erinne Willock (Webcor-Platinum)
2. 165 – Katharine Carroll (Victory Brewing)
3. 132 – Joelle Numainville (Team Biovail)
4. 121 – Flavia Oliveira (PABW Powered by TIBCO)
5. 110 – Jennifer Trew (Team Kenda Tire)
Brooke Miller, a newcomer riding for the PABW powered by TIBSCO, stunned the field by claiming the lead in the Series sprint competition. She was the surprise winner of the Cannon Falls Road Race, where she took the lead in the Nature Valley GP’s Freewheel Bike Sprint Competition, then successfully defended the jsersey through the final stage in Stillwater. The top three are rounded out by TEAm Lipton riders Kristin Armstrong and Kori Seehafer.
1. 220 – Brooke Miller (PABW Powered by TIBCO)
2. 165 – Kristin Armstrong (TEAm Lipton)
3. 121 – Kori Seehafer (TEAm Lipton)
4. 99 – Laura Van Gilder (TEAm Lipton)
5. 88 – Katharine Carroll (Victory Brewing)
The Women’s Prestige Cycling Series continues at the International Tour de Toona (July 24 — 30) and then concludes at the Bermuda Grand Prix (7 — 10).
About the Women’s Prestige Cycling Series
The Women’s Prestige Cycling Series began in 2004 with the goal of highlighting women’s racing by giving them a spotlight that they don’t have to share with the men. The Series grew out of meetings that began in Minnesota in 2003 at the first Yoplait Women’s Cycling Summit Conference hosted at the Nature Valley Grand Prix. The Summits, now sponsored by Yoplait Nouriche, take place twice a year: at the Nature Valley Grand Prix in June and at the Interbike trade show in September.
Visit www.WomenCyclists.com for more information.