SRAM Athletes Shine as Women Take Center Stage in Philly World Cup
Lizzie Armitstead’s sprint victory in Sunday’s Philadelphia International Cycling Classic punctuated one clear message from this road-racing season – women’s cycling is climbing to new heights.
A boisterous crowd jammed atop the famed Manayunk Wall cheered loudly as Armitstead, a British rider for the Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team, sprinted clear for the win after a tactical and hard-fought race against the best women racers from around the world. Alena Amialiusik of Velocio-SRAM was third. The stakes were high – the 115km (73.8 mile) race was Round 6 of the UCI Women Road World Cup. This year at Philly the women also took center stage racing in the afternoon with the pro men racing in the morning.
“We get to race in the afternoon this year! That’s a huge step in the right direction for our sport,” said Boels-Dolman’s Megan Guarnier, the U.S. pro road champ. “With it becoming a World Cup, the U.S. is just becoming more of a platform of women’s cycling. We used to have to always go to Europe to race with the best, now that’s a little bit coming here. That’s really cool because we have Richmond (UCI World Road Championships) this year. I always love racing in the U.S.”
Taylor Wiles of Velocio-SRAM. ©Darrell Parks Photography
The victory lifted Armistead into the lead of the UCI Women’s World Cup Rankings. It also reaffirmed that Boels-Dolmans – an international squad based in the Netherlands – is a powerhouse. Teammates Evelyn Stevens finished sixth and Guarnier 14th.
The day before the race Guarnier, the U.S. pro road champ, made it clear Boels-Dolmans had many potential strategies to follow. “The team has favorites with Evie winning the past two years. Then we have Lizzie who’s a proven winner on courses like this,” Guarnier said. “Christine Majerus is having an amazing year, so you can’t rule her out. And, of course, I have a card to play as well.”
SRAM-supported teams Boels-Dolmans, Velocio-SRAM, Twenty16 p/b SHO AIR and Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies animated and controlled the race throughout the day.
Optum’s Jasmin Glaesser's impressive solo effort landed her on the podium with Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and his wife, Lisa Nutter. ©Darrell Parks Photography
Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies also had a memorable day with two in the top 10. Canadians Leah Kirchmann was seventh and Lex Albrecht eighth. Optum’s Jasmin Glaesser, also of Canada, put in an impressive solo effort to collect the Queen of the Mountain prize.
The intensity of the racing and demands of the course took their tool. ©Darrell Parks Photography
The SRAM-supported women pros selected much of the same equipment as the men for the Philly course with its steep climbs and fast “Fall from the Wall” descent – SRAM RED 22 with an 11-28 cassette. Most of those on Zipp wheels selected the 45mm deep 303 Firecrest Tubulars. Quarq power measurement also proved crucial for brutal efforts on the Wall.
The Philly race builds on the momentum of other top events including last month’s Amgen Tour of California Women’s Race - Empowered with SRAM.
“It’s pretty important for U.S. racing and for the Europeans to come over and get the experience of being here in the U.S.,” Lauren Hall of Twenty16 said. “I think we’re kind of leading the way.”
Two-time Philly defending champ Evie Stevens of Boels-Dolmans celebrates teammate Lizzie Armistead's victory. ©Darrell Parks Photography
US Pro Road Champ Megan Guarnier of Boels-Dolmans shows off her new jersey at the start. ©Darrell Parks Photography
Photos ©Darrell Parks Photography