Rivera Takes Silver in Hard-fought USA Cycling Pro Road Championship
Coryn Rivera took second place on Saturday at the USA Cycling Pro Road Race Championships, just a bike length behind race winner Megan Gaurnier. After nine hot and humid laps of a challenging and hilly 9.6-mile course, Gaurnier crossed the line first at the end of 86 miles of racing, with Rivera narrowly missing her first elite road race jersey. Despite the close loss, the result validates the effort Rivera has put into making herself a true challenger on any course.
Reflecting on her second place, Rivera was disappointed to not take the victory but proud of how her teammates pulled the race together so she could contest the sprint finish, “Katie [Hall] was an absolute legend for pulling back the last big break on her own in the final lap. The race wouldn’t have come together as a sprint if it wasn’t for her. Patience was the name of the game for me– staying relaxed and always eating and drinking for the long race. Everything went to plan and I opened up my sprint when I wanted to. In any kind of championship, it is an opportunity for the best to shine and I was just short of being the best of the best.”
Rachel Heal, Sporting Director, was proud of the work the team put in to get Rivera to the line, “The race was longer than most US races at 140 km, and our early season preparation in Europe definitely paid off. We put riders in every move, and our strength at the end was noticeable. Credit to Megan Gaurnier for another great win, but I’m proud of our team and how we rode, earning another podium at the US Pro Road Race.”
Lauren Tamayo was tasked with riding in the 10-person strong move that went away early in the race, and after that Abby Mickey ensured no other dangerous breaks could go away. Coming into the final lap, Katie Hall took up the duty of domestique, and single-handedly brought the peloton back together. This move was key in getting Rivera to the line in a bunch. Rivera capitalized, sitting at the back of the pack and recovering while other riders jockeyed for position. Rivera was perfectly placed in the sprint, and the race came down to a drag race between her and 2015 champion Guarnier. Rivera took second place, proving that she is a capable and versatile rider that can compete on nearly any terrain.
Men’s Team Fought Valiantly over a Long Race in North Carolina
The UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team fought all day over a lumpy parcours in Winston-Salem, coming away just short of a big result at the end of the day. The squad rode to protect sprinter John Murphy for the finale, but an unexpected and well-timed solo move from Greg Daniels put paid to the hopes of the fast men at the finish. General Manager and Sporting Director Mike Tamayo was full of praise for the young Daniels from the Axeon Hagens Berman Team, “Axeon is the future of the sport, and credit to them for the way they raced today. Our team battled hard all day, and I can’t fault the way they rode.”
The stand out ride on the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team came from Daniel Eaton, who rode in the breakaway all day, with power left to attack and drive the pace in the final moves. Accompanied early on by teammate Chris Jones, this move was a key decider in the outcome of the race as the chase group dwindled. Matthew Busche, on the hunt to defend his jersey, bridged to this move but the peloton found this move too dangerous and worked hard to pull the reigning champion back in. From here, Eaton once again rode the front of the race into the final lap, giving Murphy room to make a move behind. As Murphy fought to bridge to the lead group in the final 3 km, it was Daniels’ winning move at the crest of the last hill that splintered the remaining rider and ended Murphy’s chance to contest the sprint. Just seconds behind the solo winner, Eaton finished 6th on the day in a small group, with Murphy and the other sprinters 30 seconds behind him.
Tamayo was happy with his team’s form, “Sometimes the results don’t reflect the effort put forth in a race like this. My boys had the legs to race all day, but championship races are hard to predict and that’s why they’re so exciting for the fans. We animated the racing and were well-represented. Daniel Eaton proved he is a great talent, and we all look forward to seeing what he can do in the future.” The racing continues today with the Winston Salem Classic Criterium.