Leah Kirchmann (Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefits Strategies) earned top points in all three jersey competitions at the North Star Grand Prix, the second of four events of the Women’s Prestige Cycling Series. Kirchmann continues her lead in the Individual, Sprinter, and Best Young Rider (U26) Classifications.
Lizzie Williams (Vanderkitten) bounded into the leaderboard and now sits second in the Individual Competition and third in the Sprint competition after her first performance at a Women’s Prestige Series event. Williams won the Stillwater Criterium on a solo break which moved her into fourth in the general classification at the North Star Grand Prix. Earlier in the week Williams finished third at both the Downtown St. Paul Criterium and the Menomonie Road Race.
While Williams is a newcomer to the Series, and to North American racing, she is not a newcomer to the sport of cycling. Williams raced in her native Australia as a junior from the age of 16 to 20 before retiring from the sport for 10 years. Before her departure and early retirement, she won the Australian National Criterium Championships at 19 years of age.
She has been back in the sport for just eight months, purchasing a bike last October after deciding to try her hand again at bike racing.
“I didn’t know that I would come back to this level so quickly,” said Williams. “I just wanted to start racing. Deep down I probably knew that I couldn’t do it half-heartedly, and that’s why it took me so long to come back. When I was ready I made sure that I had things together in my life. It was timing for me. I’m just settled in myself and ready to go for it.”
Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefits Strategies still leads the Team Competition, while Team To the Top currently sits second. Vanderkitten moved up from sixth to third place after their performance at the North Star Grand Prix, with Gillian Carlton also clocking in a stage win for the team at the Menomonie Road Race.
Standings for the Women’s Prestige Cycling Series are as follows following the North Star Grand Prix:
1. 248 – Leah Kirchmann (Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)
2. 114 – Lizzie Williams (Vanderkitten)
3. 110 – Denise Ramsden (Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)
1. 314 – Leah Kirchmann (Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)
2. 190 – Joanne Kiesanowski (Team TIBCO To the Top)
3. 150 – Lizzie Williams (Vanderkitten)
Best Young Rider Competition (U26)
1. 400 – Leah Kirchmann (Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)
2. 300 – Denise Ramsden (Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)
3. 170 – Erica Zaveta (FCS|Zngine p/b Mr. Restore
1. 840 – Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
2. 320 – Team TIBCO To the Top – 320 pts
3. 140 – Vanderkitten – 140 pts