Amber Neben (Team Velo Concept) made it two for two at the 2017 Pro Road & Time Trial National Championships in Knoxville by winning the road race on Sunday. Larry Warbasse (Aqua Blue Sport) won his first Stars-and-Stripes jersey in the men’s road race.
The women covered eight laps of the 7.9-mile course for a total of 63 miles, punctuated by a steep climb on Sherrod Road reaching a maximum gradient of 14 percent. Neben won with a solo attack on the eighth and final lap by doing what she does best, time trialing to the finish. The newly-crowned women’s time trial national champion won by 30 seconds ahead of the chasing pack of 64 riders. She finished in a time of 2 hours, 49 minutes, 34 seconds.
Coryn Rivera (Tustin, Calif./Sunweb) won the reduced bunch sprint in Old City Knoxville to secure second place, 11 seconds behind Neben in a time of 2:49:45. It was the third year in a row that Rivera has finished as the runnerup in this event. Ruth Winder (Lafayette, Calif./UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling) finished with the same time as Rivera in third.
“Today was beyond my expectations. So, I’m excited for my team, Team Velo CONCEPT, to be able to represent those guys. I just came out to ride hard and play hard. I felt really good about being out there. So, it’s a special day,” said Neben, the reigning UCI ITT World Champion. The only other woman who has won multiple national titles in road cycling championships in one year was Allison Powers of UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling in 2014, when she captured all three U.S. pro championships in road cycling – road race, individual time trial and criterium.
“We were all looking at each other at 400 meters to go. At that point, we were trying to figure out when to go,” added Powless, who finished third the day before in the individual time trial. “The first person to go had the big or best advantage in a downhill finish. I thought Alexey would jump on (Larry’s) wheel, but he hesitated and that’s all Larry needed and he took it to the line.”
In the women’s Under-23 category, 19-year-old Emma White (Delanson, N.Y./Rally Cycling) repeated as the women’s champion for a second day, adding the road race championship to the individual time trial award she captured Saturday. White finished in the bunch sprint with Rivera and Winder in fifth position.Janelle Cole (Rockford, Mich./UnitedHelathcare Pro Cycling) was second in the U23 standings, finishing 15th overall.
1. Amber Neben (Lake Forest, Calif.) Team Velo CONCEPT – 2:49:34
2. Coryn Rivera (Tustin, Calif.) Sunweb – 2:49:45
3. Ruth Winder (Lafayette, Calif.) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling – 2:49:45
1. Emma White (Delanson, N.Y.) Rally Cycling – 2:49:45
2. Janel Cole (Rockford, Mich.) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling – 2:52:01
3. Skylar Schneider (West Allis, Wisc.) ISCorp powered by Progress – 2:52:01
1. Larry Warbasse (Traverse City, Mich.) Aqua Blue Sport – 4:20:45
2. Neilson Powless (Roseville, Calif.) Axeon Hagens Berman – 4:20:45
3. Alexey Vermeulen (Pinkney, Mich.) Team LottoNL – Jumbo – 4:20:45