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Second Women’s Prestige Cycling Series Race Begins Wednesday

April 27, 2010

Minneapolis – The Women’s Prestige Cycling Series resumes this week when the 24th annual SRAM Tour of the Gila begins Wednesday in Silver City, N.M.

Ina-Yoko Teutenberg (HTC-Columbia) leads the individual and sprint competition but is not among the 75 women registered for the five-day National Racing Calendar event.

However, second-placed individual Katharine Carroll and her Peanut Butter & Co. TWENTY 12 teammate, Mara Abbott – who leads the best young rider competition – are part of the field. Abbott won the Tour of the Gila in 2007 and Peanut Butter & Co. TWENTY 12 currently leads the Women’s Prestige Cycling Series team competition.

”The SRAM Tour of the Gila is a great addition to the Series,” Women’s Prestige Cycling Series co-founder David LaPorte said. “Kristin Armstrong’s team, Peanut Butter & Co. TWENTY 12, is fielding a very impressive squad, but they’ll face tough competition. The event will also get a lot of attention because Lance Armstrong (no relation), known to women’s racing fans as ‘the other Armstrong’, is participating again this year.”

Four events in four different states comprise the Women’s Prestige Cycling Series. It began at the Redlands Bicycle Classic in March. Still to come are the Nature Valley Grand Prix, June 16-20 (Minnesota) and the Bend Memorial Clinic Cascade Cycling Classic, July 20-25 (Oregon).

The Series awards the top overall individual, best young rider, best sprinter and top team. Clothing manufacturer Champion System provides special jerseys to identify the leaders in the individual classifications.

For more information about the Women’s Prestige Cycling Series, visit the official website,, or send an e-mail to:

About the Women’s Prestige Cycling Series

The Women’s Prestige Cycling Series was created following input at the 2003 Women’s Cycling Summit Conference, hosted at the Nature Valley Grand Prix. The inaugural edition of the Series was held the following year. The goal of the Series is to promote women’s racing by giving them a spotlight that they do not have to share with men. The Women’s Prestige Cycling Series is considered the heir apparent to the HP International Women’s Challenge, a fabled women’s stage race that ended its 19-year run in 2003.


Stage 6: Women’s Race Report and GC

June 15, 2009

Kristin Armstrong Wins Fourth Nature Valley Grand Prix Title With A Teary Goodbye At Her Last American Race

By Cynthia Lou

Kristin Armstrong (Cervélo Test Team) may have fiercely defended her yellow jersey at the Stillwater Criterium, leaping off the start line with determination in her eyes, but she left the Nature Valley Grand Prix well decorated and with a teary goodbye at the last American race of her career. A triumphant end to a win-filled career, Armstrong won the overall general classification, the Jelly Belly Sports Beans Best Climber Jersey and the Freewheel Most Aggressive Rider Jersey. Shelley Olds (Proman Hit Squad) and Andrea Dvorak (Colavita/Sutter Home presented by Cooking Light) followed Armstrong’s attack in the second lap to take second and third for the stage, respectively.

Kristin Armstrong (Cervelo Test Team) raises a pumped fist as she crossed the finish line to win Stage 6 of the Nature Valley Grand Prix. Armstrong also won the general classification in her final pro race in America. Photo by: Matt Moses Images

A quickly shattered field saw mix ups in the final general classification, with Olds moving to second overall and Allison Powers of Team Type 1 moving up to take third overall.

“I had a lot of nerves today, thinking that it was my last race in America and knowing I had only 12, 11 seconds – there’s just no room for mishaps, mechanical or anything,” said Armstrong. “I rode up that first hill at 85% to string it out. I wasn’t worried about who would work with me or who wouldn’t. I looked at it as an hour race, and knew that I didn’t want to leave it up to the last climb.”

“Those girls were there, and they really worked to stay on. I didn’t want to leave them so the peloton would catch them,” said Armstrong, ever the mentor, who waited patiently until the last few laps. “I thought that if I waited until the last lap they would be able to hold off the peloton that was about 45 seconds back. I really respect Andrea Dvorak from Colavita and Shelley Olds from Proman, they are both up and coming talent in America. I was happy to have them up on the podium with me.”

It seems that Armstrong’s determination and climbing abilities are widely known by everyone.

“Kristin was keeping a good tempo up the hills – she was just practicing for Worlds or something!” Olds said with a laugh. “I would have loved to have helped, but it took us the whole downhill to recover.”

Olds went home with the Wheaties Sprint Jersey and a second overall on the general classification. “I knew that if I could stay on Kristin’s wheel – which was inevitable – that I could settle in to a good pace. This is the kind of race that you have to settle in to, and everyone else is going through the same thing, so if you can settle into it with a gap, then you just have to keep reminding yourself to keep going…I had my director in my ear reminding me to chill, keep my own tempo, stick with them on the climb.”

On the famous 700 meter long Chilkoot Hill that averages a 22% grade, the role of directors play a huge role in inspiring and motivating their riders in addition to relaying messages and tactics.

“I knew to line up near Kristin,” said third place finisher and breakaway companion Dvorak. “When [Armstrong] started to go up the road with Shelley and get a little gap, my director said into my ear, ‘Close that gap, close that gap! It’ll be worth your while.’ So I put in an effort, caught them, and off we went.”

Often times it’s necessary for riders to generate their own internal inspiration, which has been the case for a teammate-free Armstrong throughout the race.

“Originally I was going to go out from the gun, but I ended up going the 85% to calm my nerves. When I saw it was strung out I felt that I had some control back and took it as hard as I could on the second lap.”

Sometimes the mental game of a race like this is to simply go for it and do your best, as was the case for APC’s Best Young Rider Jersey winner Amanda Miller (Lip Smacker).

“Today was a race of attrition. I was just riding, and I didn’t even know where the leader was,” said Miller, who wasn’t aware she had won when she crossed the finish line. “I didn’t find out until I got back down here [to the announcers stage].”

Team Tibco put in stellar performances throughout the week, winning the Team Competition by taking a stage victory and racing consistently and aggressively every day. The Nature Valley Top Amateur Jersey went to Sydney Brown (Nature Valley Cycling Team).

The Nature Valley Grand Prix is also the third stop of the Women’s Prestige Cycling Series. Allison Powers (Team Type 1) was the new Overall Leader as well as the Sprint Jersey Leader, while the Women’s Prestige Series Best Young Rider Jersey went to Rebecca Much (Webcor Builders).


Nature Valley Grand Prix Champion Launches Female Cycling Academy

May 13, 2009

Olympic Gold Medalist Kristen Armstrong is a three-time and defending champion of the Nature Valley Grand Prix. She currently rides for the Cervélo Lifeforce Pro Cycling Team, and will be appearing at this year’s NVGP. Kristin is also launching her cycling academy for young women this July.

Gold Medalist Invests in Girl-Power with Launch of Kristin Armstrong Cycling Academy for Junior Racers

BOISE, IDAHO: 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist Kristin Armstrong and USA Cycling announced today the launch of the Kristin Armstrong Cycling Academy, a junior development camp this summer for women of racing age 15-18. Sponsored by USA Cycling, the innovative camp will be held in Boise, Idaho from July 14–19, 2009, and will provide licensed riders with the additional opportunity to race alongside Armstrong before a crowd of thousands at the 23rd Annual Twilight Criterium in downtown Boise.

The new camp was developed for women who have some race experience and are looking to improve their skills, and offers an opportunity to discover what it means to be a professional cyclist. All riders must hold a valid 2009 USA Cycling annual license to participate.

“In the United States, during the year you turn 19, you go from racing with your 15-18 year-old peers to racing with 19-35 year-old pros. It can be a shock, and if not prepared, young riders feel like they’ve been thrown to the wolves—U.S. Cycling loses a lot of promising female riders in this process,” said Armstrong. “My coaches and I want to have a hand in helping young women really advance through a more focused training program, like the one that helped me realize my Olympic dream. My goal, and I think it’s realistic, is to see a graduate of the Kristin Armstrong Cycling Academy bring home the Gold for U.S. Cycling.”

The Kristin Armstrong Academy is an ideal program that will guide aspiring young women as they attempt to make the transition from a successful junior career to the elite ranks,” commented USA Cycling director of athletics and Armstrong’s coach Jim Miller.” As an Olympic champion, Kristin will inspire, educate and support dozens of future world-class athletes with these efforts as part of a tremendously valuable initiative designed to ensure the future success of American women.”

Armstrong has worked with youth since she was in her mid-20’s, and says she’s uniquely qualified to help girls bridge the gap from Junior to Senior racing. The camp offers a mix of classroom sessions, racing clinics, and off-the-bike lifestyle tips tailored to young women ages 15-18. A registration fee of $1,250 includes lodging, meals, daily instruction and social opportunities. Riders who wish to enter the Twilight Criterium will register separately for the race.

Riders and parents should visit, call 208.286.4859 or email to learn more. Participants are encouraged to register early, as space is limited. Please visit for online registration.