NCC: Allar assumes top women's spot; Clarke stretches his lead

  
  


The women rejoined the fray for the third week of the USA Cycling National Criterium Calendar (NCC). The riders were in Florida to contest the Delray Beach Twilight Festival on Saturday night in a race that was streamed live online.

Hilton Clarke topped the men's podium at the Delray Beach Twilight Festival. (Photo by Stuart Lamp)
Hilton Clarke topped the men's podium at the Delray Beach Twilight Festival. (Photo by Stuart Lamp)
Hilton Clarke (Santa Monica, Calif./UnitedHealthcare) won Saturday's race in Florida, adding 100 points to his total. Clarke remains atop the NCC men's standings with 255 points. Shane Kline (Bally, Pa./Team SmartStop-Mountain Khakis) finished second on Saturday, only one second behind Clarke, and now sits in second place in the standings with 125 points. Carlos Alzate Escobar (COL/UnitedHealthcare), who narrowly lost a sprint to Kline on Saturday, sits in third place with 110 points. Luke Keough (Sandwich, Mass./UnitedHealthcare) tumbled from second place in last week's standings into a tie for fourth place with Bruno Langlois (CAN/Garneau-Quebecor), with 100 points apiece.

The NCC women's standings are under new, but familiar, leadership after the Delray Beach Twilight Festival. Erica Allar (Tucson, Ariz./CARE4CYCLING p/b Solomon), who topped the standings in 2012, finished second in Saturday's race to ascend to the top spot with 150 points. Joanie Caron (CAN/Primal Pro Women p/b BH), who placed third on Saturday, moved into second place with 120 points while the previous leader, Leah Kirchmann (CAN/Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) slipped into a tie for third place with the winner of Saturday's race, Jacquelyn Crowell (Maitland, Fla./Exergy TWENTY16), with 100 points apiece. Crowell, fresh off a block of European races with the USA Cycling National Development Program (NDP), won Saturday's race by five seconds over Allar. Lenore Pipes (GUM/CARE4CYCLING p/b Solomon) rounds out the top five with 67 points.

UnitedHealthcare has added to its lead atop the NCC men's team standings. After boasting two of the top three finishers in Saturday's race, it now has 421 points and a 204-point cushion in the standings. Team SmartStop-Mountain Khakis sits in second place with 217 points while Sharecare Cycling p/b WheelandSprocket.com is 113 points behind in third place. Jamis-Hagens Berman p/b Sutter Home is 10 points out of third place with 94 points while Champion System p/b Stan's NoTubes is only six points behind in fifth place.

Due, in part, to strong performances by Allar and Pipes, CARE4CYCLING powered by Solomon has moved into the top spot of the NCC women's team standings with 226 points. Exergy TWENTY16 collected 100 points on Saturday to leapfrog the previous leader, Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies, and move into second place with 185 points. Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies dropped into third place 172 points, only 17 points ahead of Primal Pro Women p/b BH. Colavita-Fine Cooking sits in fifth place ith 93 points.

Full results from the Delray Beach Twilight Festival.

 

USA Cycling NCC Standings:

Men
1. Hilton Clarke (Santa Monica, Calif./UnitedHealthcare) — 255
2. Shane Kline (Bally, Pa./Team SmartStop-Mountain Khakis) — 125
3. Carlos Alzate Escobar (COL/UnitedHealthcare) — 110
4. Luke Keough (Sandwich, Mass./UnitedHealthcare) — 100
4. Bruno Langlois (CAN/Garneau-Quebecor) — 100

Women
1. Erica Allar (Tucson, Ariz./CARE4CYCLING p/b Solomon) — 150
2. Joanie Caron (CAN/Primal Pro Women p/b BH) — 120
3. Leah Kirchmann (CAN/Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) — 100
3. Jacquelyn Crowell (Maitland, Fla./Exergy TWENTY16) — 100
5. Lenore Pipes (GUM/CARE4CYCLING p/b Solomon) — 67

Men's Team Standings
1. UnitedHealthcare — 421
2. Team SmartStop-Mountain Khakis — 217
3. Sharecare Cycling p/b WheelandSprocket.com — 104
4. Jamis-Hagens Berman p/b Sutter Home — 94
5. Champion System p/b Stan's NoTubes — 88

Women's Team Standings
1. CARE4CYCLING powered by Solomon — 226
2. Exergy TWENTY16 — 185
3. Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies — 172
4. Primal Pro Women p/b BH — 155
5. Colavita-Fine Cooking — 93

 

For complete standings, visit the NCC's official webpage at usacycling.org/ncc.

After a brief respite, the fourth event of the NCC will be the Presbyterian Hospital Invitation Criterium in Charlotte, N.C. on April 13. The event is slated to be streamed live on www.SmartStop.com.



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