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Jade Wilcoxson wins Blue Ribbon Alpine Challenge in Aspen

  • By Matthew Beaudin
  • Published Aug. 22, 2012
  • Updated Aug. 23, 2012 at 8:17 PM EDT

ASPEN, Colorado (VN) — Jade Wilcoxson (Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies) took the Blue Ribbon Alpine Challenge on Wednesday afternoon, using her team smartly and employing a remarkable finishing kick to overcome rival Alison Powers (NOW-Novartis for MS) in a criterium held in downtown Aspen.

“It was going from the gun. It was really, really hard. It was just attack, attack, attack,” Wilcoxson said. “We wanted to put on a good show for everybody, and I think we did that.”

Wilcoxson used her four Optum teammates to perfection over the Aspen parcours in a light drizzle, and had to overcome a fierce Powers in the final 200 meters. Leah Kirchmann (Optum) rounded out the podium in third.

“We started to get together our lead-out train coming into the last lap, and then Alison attacked really hard. I was towards the front, so I was able to jump on her wheel. She and I did the last lap together. I was sitting on her wheel. At about 200 meters to go, I attacked off her wheel and just held it to the finish,” Wilcoxson said.

The one-day race marks a shift from last year’s three-day event. This race was initially planned for three, but two days were canceled due to sponsorship issues. That was no matter for the field.

“This is a great race. Hopefully next year we can go back to three days. But, having one day, we’re really stoked to be out here in Aspen. But the crowds help a ton,” Wilcoxson said.

The race started fast, and the eventual winner wasn’t sure she’d be able to hang onto an eager peloton.

“When we hit 30 minutes, I thought I was in trouble. I had to give myself a little pep talk, just tell myself to chill out a little bit,” she said. “We wanted to put on a good show. … Thankfully, my teammates and I had it for the finish.”

She’s out of Talent, Oregon, and heads next to the TD Mayor’s Cup in Boston on September 22.

 

FILED UNDER: News / Race Report / Road / USA Pro Cycling Challenge TAGS: /

Matthew Beaudin

Matthew Beaudin

Matthew Beaudin graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder's journalism school in 2005 and immediately moved to Telluride, Colorado, to write and ski, though the order is fuzzy. Beaudin was the editor of the Telluride Daily Planet for five years. He now lives in Boulder, where he joined VeloNews in the spring of 2012. Music. Coffee. Bikes. That about sums it up.

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