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USA Pro Challenge: Women Finish Strong in Golden

Well that's it, the inaugural USA Pro Challenge Women's Stage Race is complete. The last three days of racing, plus the team presentations on Thursday, have been a blast to follow and support. Next year I'll be there in person, but for 2015, I'm thankful for Twitter and Tour Tracker. Today, in addition to the usual social media resources, we were able to watch a couple periscope links from the stage! I don't know how Dave Towle and Brad Sohner keep up the energy (and voices) all week, but they were rocking it, plus the legend Connie Carpenter was on stage to add her insights. It was a nice treat but next year we must have live video coverage in order to give the women the attention they deserve.

The men's race was dominated by BMC Racing beginning with Taylor Phinney's emotional win on Stage 1. Then more emotion when Brent Bookwalter won Stage 2 and stayed in yellow for a couple days before passing it on to teammate Rohan Dennis who won Stage 4, 5 and the overall. The other 2 stages were won by UHC sprinters Kiel Reijnen and John Murphy, with Kiel winning the Sprint Jersey. As I've mentioned before, BMC wins are a big deal in Park City, but so are UHC wins since we have local presence with both teams and the athletes are often here training.

Speaking of United Healthcare sprinters, Coryn Rivera won today's women's race in Golden which put her in the Sprint Jersey for the women. Coryn won the last stage of the Tour of Utah Women's Edition as well. Teammate Abby Mickey kept the Best Young Rider jersey. There are plenty of reasons for "The Blue Train" to celebrate tonight in Colorado.

Kristin Armstrong (Twenty 16 p/b SHO-AIR) won the TT on Friday and never let go of the GC lead. She is the 1st winner of the USA Pro Challenge and had a very strong team behind her. Twenty 16 won the Team Competition and had 3 riders in the Top 5. It's also great to see Tayler Wiles (DNA Cycling p/b K4) and Mara Abbott (Amy D. Foundation) on the final GC podium, as they are two of the top Americans in the pro peloton and often racing in Europe. Mara also won the QOM jersey. There were several attacks during Stage 3 with Amanda Miller (Visit Dallas p/ Noise4Good) off the front the longest putting her in the Most Courageous jersey. 


Mary was everywhere today! In Golden on course, at podium, in press conference, and then in Denver at finish!

The women have been active on social media all afternoon. I'm seeing lots of praise for the race, crowds, and competition. I hope the success of this inaugural event convinces the USA Pro Challenge organization to include at least a 3 stage women's race in 2016, but I challenge them to add more. On the same hand, I'll do what I can to help increase the women's stages and crowds at Tour of Utah. The two races are so close to each other, physical and calendar, that we need to work together and make them successful together.






Links:
- The women's roster for the race is here and Overall Results are here.
- Stage 1 results are here.
- Stage 2 results are here.
- Stage 3 results are here.
- Check the More tab on Tour Tracker for more results and stage summary.

- Twitter #prochallenge was a reliable source of content thanks to the teams, racers, and media in Colorado.
- My twitter list of women's teams, athletes, staff, and media. Follow to see how the athletes cool down and make their way home or next race.
- The daily Endure and Enjoy Podcast has been giving the women equal if not more airtime! 

- The media did a good job covering the women as well, give them your support to show your thanks.
Peloton Magazine - Stage 2 race report with great photos
Manual for Speed - Stage 6 race report with plenty of women's Stage 2 pictures
CyclingNews - Stage 3 race report
ProV√©loPassion - Mary Topping wrote and was very active on twitter @butterflywriter 
Gazette - Nathan Van Dyke also wrote and tweeted @nathanvandyne
VeloNews - piece on Allie Dragoo by James Raia
USA Pro Challenge Media Page - piece on Coryn Rivera by Fred Dreier

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