Coryn Rivera Sprints to 4th in Women’s Tour of California Finale
The Breakaway from Heart Disease Women’s Tour of California concluded on Sunday with a blazing-fast circuit race surrounding the state capitol building in downtown Sacramento. The women raced a flat, 6-corner course in front of cheering fans, covering 70 kilometers over 20 laps. Separate crashes early in the race delayed Team UnitedHealthcare riders Annie Ewart and Coryn Rivera, but with the help of their teammates, both were able to rejoin the race with more than 15 laps remaining. With intermediate sprint points available shortly after the 50 kilometer mark, the pace lifted quickly and remained high throughout the race. Small groups and solo attacks tested their strength off the front of the field at numerous points in the race, but with multiple powerful teams determined to force a bunch sprint, no significant breakaway move was able to form.
With two laps remaining, the women of the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team began to assemble at the front of the race to lend their help in setting the pace, led by World Time Trial Champion Linda Villumsen and US National Criterium Champion Lauren Tamayo. The UnitedHealthcare Blue Train worked at the front of the race for the remaining kilometers until the peloton fanned out across the wide, fast course in the final turns. Multiple teams sent their sprinters and remaining leadout riders up the road for the sprint. Up against the strongest riders in women’s cycling, Rivera launched her sprint and came across the line just off the podium in 4th place, concluding a great week for the 6-rider squad. With two top-5 finishes, Rivera ended the race 4th in the sprint category, with the UnitedHealthcare squad taking 3rd in the team classification.
The men’s 8th and final stage covered 138 kilometers beginning and ending in Sacramento after a loop southwest of the city along the Sacramento River, then returned for 3 finishing circuits on the same course as the women’s race. UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team rider Chris Jones aggressively raced into a powerful breakaway and proved to be the strongest rider in the group by winning the intermediate sprint competition in Clarksburg before returning to Sacramento for the finale. The breakaway came tremendously close to stealing the victory from the charging peloton and was only caught on the final lap, just seconds before the bunch sprint. From the field sprint, Marco Canola was just a few spots short of the top 10, landing 12th on the final stage.