Anne Samplonius (NOW-MS Society) launched a late solo break to victory on Sunday in the Riverview Criterium in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Jennifer Purcell (Danbury Audi) was second and Erica Allar (RideClean-PatentIt.com) third in round three of the Saint Francis Tulsa Tough omnium.
The rectangular course alongside the Arkansas River featured 85-degree temperatures broiling the steep ascent of Cry Baby Hill and an equally steep descent.
The first was packed with effusive spectators — among them a pair of gents in short-shorts, suspenders and cowboy hats, brandishing six-shooters and flags (American and Gadsden), and a few others armed only with pink pompons.
The latter was stacked with bikes and bodies some 15 minutes into the hourlong race after a touch of wheels on a prime lap sent a mob of riders to the deck and a veritable herd to the pit.
With a half hour left a $200 prime had the field lined out behind Samplonius, who took the bucks and kept on going. It looked like a break might coalesce around her, but she was retrieved — all the real action was at the back, with the brisk pace spitting out riders on every go-round.
Primal-MapMyRide was vigilant on behalf of omnium leader Tiffany Pezzulo, winner of Friday’s Blue Dome Criterium and third in Saturday’s Brady Village Criterium.
A $500 crowd prime with nine laps to go saw the bunch come to life — Robin Farina (NOW- MS Society) grabbed the cash. Samplonius had a dig with seven to go but the pack pulled her back. Jennifer McRae (787 Racing) crashed and called it a day. Then the bunch seemed to declare a cease-fire for a spell until Kori Seehafer (Team Type 1) tried her luck, racing through the start-finish just ahead of Farina with four to go. She, too, was brought back on Cry Baby Hill.
Then Samplonius punched it again and this time opened a big, big gap. She raced down through the descent and hit the start-finish with seven seconds and three laps to go. Laura Van Gilder (Mellow Mushroom) and Farina were leading the chase.
A lap later, hunkered down in the hooks, the Canadian had 11 seconds over the chase, which lost a rider to a sliding crash on the downhill.
At bell lap Samplonius was still out there — she had 17 seconds over a leaderless bunch that couldn’t decide how or whether to mount a chase. That was all Samplonius needed — she had plenty of time to zip up, look over her right shoulder and point both index fingers at her sponsor’s logo before throwing both hands in the air.
When the omnium standings were tallied Christina Smith (NOW-MS Society) had clinched the top spot on the podium ahead of runner-up Van Gilder with Purcell in third overall.