USA Pro Challenge: Women Put on a Show at Breckenridge Time Trial

The atmosphere and love for women's cycling in Breckenridge today radiated over social media. I wasn't there and we didn't have live video, but according to comments and pictures from Twitter - the inaugural stage was a big hit! I assumed that Tour Tracker was going to show live video of the Women's Time Trial today, but we only had commentary and twitter updates. We almost didn't have that, but at the last minute, Clara Beard with Tour Tracker jumped on stage and kept all us virtual fans updated. On one hand, it's frustrating that the women weren't in the organization's plans for coverage. On the other, I'm grateful for people like Clara stepping up to do whatever it takes. 

We appreciate you Clara! Thanks for supporting Women's Cycling!
From what I can tell, the crowds came out early to cheer on the women and even though the altitude and climb were brutal, they put on one heck of a show. I had two meetings with clients scheduled during the race but both were pushed out (without my asking) just this morning. That doesn't happen and I'm chalking it up to some groovy cycling karma.

The race lead changed hands several times as the women charged the 8.5 mile course. It was great to see several locals get a chance in the hot seat with the fastest time including Team Colavita's Whitney Schultz (Ft Collins) and United Healthcare's Abby Mickey (Boulder). Twenty 16 p/b SHO-AIR's Lauren Komanski was the leader for a brief time between the two Colorado locals. 

Then in my world, some really exciting news hit Tour Tracker and Twitter as DNA p/b K4's Breanne Nalder finished 17sec behind Abby's 21:52:80 and went into 2nd. Breanne is from Utah and a true climber, but she's been excelling everywhere on the bike this year, including criteriums. Even better, Breezy decided to race the Time Trial on her road bike! There were still plenty of riders remaining, but to have Breanne with a chance for podium was incredibly exciting.

Very quickly we got word that Abby was bumped off the hot seat by another local Amanda Miller (Colorado Springs) who rides for Visit Dallas p/b Noise4Good with a time of 21:48:55. And then right behind that news, new Utah resident and winner of the Tour of Utah Stage 1 race, Allie Dragoo finished with the best time of the day at 21:24:71. Allie also races for Twenty 16 and her teammate (and TT Olympian) Kristin Armstrong was still on course.

DNA p/b K4 guest rider Tayler Wiles was also on course and a podium contender. Tayler's primary team, Velocio-SRAM, had just finished racing the Team Time Trial in Europe and finished 2nd a few hours prior. I was hoping that Tayler could pull out a win for a million reasons, but she finished behind Abby with a time of 22:05:20.

As I mentioned in yesterday's blog, Kristin would likely be the one gunning for the top step of the podium and she got it, but barely. She beat her teammate Allie by 12 1/100ths of a second with a winning time of 21:24:59.

That put Kristin in Yellow (Overall), Allie in Green (Sprint), Abby in Blue (Young) and Red (QOM), and Breanne in Orange (Courageous). Tomorrow's Stage 2 Road Race is going to be another great display of talent. Twenty 16 will have the strategic advantage, but there are a lot of teams gunning for glory and we'll see fireworks on the climb up Rist Canyon.

Great photo of Stage 1 Leader's Jerseys by CottonSox

- The women's roster for the race is here.
- Stage 1 results are here.
- Stage 2 Loveland to Ft Collins details are here.
- Hopefully we'll have at least commentary again on Tour Tracker and fingers crossed for some video.
- Twitter #prochallenge has been 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.
- The daily Endure and Enjoy Podcast has been giving the women equal if not more airtime! Here's Thursday's edition with Hannah Barnes, Meredith Miller, Kristin Armstrong, and Lauren De Crescenzo.