MENOMONIE, Wis. (VN) — Travis McCabe (Elbowz Racing-Boneshaker Project) out-kicked Serghei Tvetcov (Jelly Belly-Kenda) for his first NRC victory in stage 5 of the Nature Valley Grand Prix on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Lauren Stephens (Tibco-To the Top) likewise notched her first NRC win, attacking the women’s field and rolling solo across the line to win the Menomonie Road Race.
McCabe had been part of a seven-man break that split from the field 10 miles into the 101-mile men’s race. The peloton retrieved the escapees shortly before entering Menomonie, but McCabe attacked again, taking several riders with him, including St. Paul time-trial winner Tvetcov.
McCabe outsprinted Tvetcov in the final stretch; Guido Palma (Jamis-Hagen Berman) rounded out the podium in third.
“Serghei is very strong,” McCabe said. “I knew I still had something left in me, so I was able to make the jump on the back side coming into that last corner. I pushed it. I know he was closing me pretty quick, but it was enough time.”
Michael Friedman (Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies) retained the leader’s yellow jersey.
In the 82.3-mile women’s race Stephens jumped the field before the race entered the final circuits. Stephens, a high school math teacher, added up a one-minute lead before crossing the line solo.
“I didn’t know if I was going to stay away, I didn’t know if I was setting the team up for something, I just knew I was supposed to be going for it and so I kept going,” said Stephens. “I just knew, go faster, go harder, if I stayed away I stayed away.”
Teammate Shelley Olds won the field sprint, followed by Kimberly Wells (Colavita-Fine Cooking.) Olds also gained precious seconds with her sprint finish, putting her within one second of overall leader Jade Wilcoxson (Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies).
The NVGP concludes Sunday with the Stillwater Criterium. The 1.4-mile course is a lumpy affair, with a trip up Chilkoot Hill every lap; men race 20 laps while women tackle 13.