For the sixth time this season, Powers finished in the top three to retain her lead in the NRC individual standings. With only five races remaining in the series and a more than 200-point lead over her nearest competitor, Powers all but has the title locked up.
“This is really great,” Powers said after finishing third at the Bend Memorial Clinic Cascade Cycling Classic behind Evelyn Stevens (Webcor Builders) and runner-up Amber Rais (Team TIBCO). “Every stage race is different. So it’s great that the best overall GC (general classification) rider wins it because you have to be good at every one. I am lucky I have had a good team to help me.”
Powers placed fifth on Sunday’s final stage, the Deschutes Brewery Awbrey Butte Circuit Race. Kristin McGrath (ValueAct Capital Cycling Team) won the 52-mile (83 km) race ahead of Joanne Kiesanowski (Team TIBCO) and Catherine Cheatley (Colavita-Sutter Home presented by Cooking Light).
But the third-place result overall was made all the more special because it crowned Powers the winner of the season-long Women’s Professional Cycling Series. The WPCS is a four-race event that also includes the Redlands Bicycle Classic, Joe Martin Stage Race and the Nature Valley Grand Prix.
Team Director Jack Seehafer said Powers’ accomplishment does not come as a surprise, despite Team Type 1 being a first-year women’s program.
“We knew the abilities of all of our riders and what they were capable of achieving,” he said. “So it was a matter of holding up to those expectations. We also knew Alison wanted to learn and grow as a stage racer. So we worked to fuel that passion and work with her to succeed in putting her on the podium in every stage race this year.”
Powers finished third at the Redlands Bicycle Classic, second at the SRAM Tour of the Gila, first at the Joe Martin Stage Race, third at the Nature Valley Grand Prix and second at the Fitchburg Longsjo Classic. Later this week, she will defend her national time trial title at the USA Cycling Elite Road National Championships, which also take place in Bend.
In the men’s race Sunday, Team Type 1’s Moises Aldape finished fourth in 83-mile (133 km) race as Matt Wilson wound up as the team’s best-placed overall finisher in eighth place. Rock Racing’s Oscar Sevilla won the race overall title.
Stage 6 Results
1. Kristin Mcgrath (USA) ValueAct Capital Cycling Team
2. Joanne Kiesanowski (USA) Team TIBCO
3. Cath Cheatley (USA) Colavita Sutter Home presented by Cooking Light
Final General Classification
1. Evelyn Stevens (USA) Webcor Builders
2. Amber Rais (USA) Team TIBCO
3. Alison Powers (USA) Team Type 1
4. Julie Beveridge (USA) Team TIBCO
5. Cath Cheatley (USA) Colavita Sutter Home presented by Cooking Light
6. Chrissy Ruiter (USA) ValueAct Capital Cycling Team
7. Katharine Carroll (USA) Team TIBCO
8. Jessica Phillips (USA) Team Lip Smacker
9. Robin Farina (USA) ValueAct Capital Cycling Team
10. Joanne Kiesanowski (USA) Team TIBCO
Photos: Courtesy Brian Hodes, VeloImages