Coryn Rivera earned UnitedHealthcare’s second win of the week, sprinting to victory at the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah Women’s Edition circuit race.
On Monday, her teammate, Alison Powers took the honors at the Cedar City Grand Prix, and today, the national champion returned the favor, controlling the pace and delivering Rivera to a win in the bunch sprint.
Behind Rivera, Mandy Heintz (Guru Cycles) was second, and Meredith Miller (Pepper Palace) was third.
The inaugural women’s edition of the Tour of Utah race took place Wednesday at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah, where stage 3 of the day’s men’s race finishes. An elite field of more than 60 riders contested 15 laps of racing on a 2.2-mile circuit.
Reigning national champion Alison Powers (UnitedHealthcare) was one of the early aggressors, going off the front on the race’s first prime lap.
Riders from Pepper Palace and Vanderkitten also made attempts to get away on the wide-open, windy circuit, but the front of the peloton was firmly controlled by Powers and Robin Farina (DNA Cycling).
Laura Van Gilder (Mellow Mushroom) also staged an ill-fated attack midway through the race.
With four laps remaining, Breanne Nalder (DNA Racing) was one of the few riders to make a move stick, gaining a 17-second advantage over the peloton.
However, UnitedHealthcare’s plans for a field sprint would not be foiled by late-race attacks. Alongside Colavita, they brought the field back together to set up a lead-out for the finale.
In the end, Rivera’s turn of speed delivered her across the line with a bike-length to spare over second place.
“It was a little up in the air today, with all the wind along the course. We were going to feel it out, and if there was an opportunity to go off the front, we would take it,” Rivera said. “There were a few riders off the front late in the race, but at that point, we knew we wanted to keep it together for a field sprint. We had to ride the front a little to keep the speed up in the last 2km, so we kind of blew up our riders pretty quickly, but Alison [Powers] pulled through, per usual, with a super long lead-out, delivering me to the line. Luckily I didn’t run into any bad luck today, so it went perfectly to plan.”
Heintz said that her three-woman Guru team knew it had to let the bigger sprint teams, such as UnitedHealthcare and Tibco, dictate the race.
“My team only had three riders, so we had to be really conservative, and put the big teams out front,” Heintz said. “We had to sit in, because the wind was a big factor. With 2km to go, you had to start fighting your way to the front, and position yourself. We knew UnitedHealthcare and Tibco would start leading it out early. I had to work to the inside coming into the final corner. I found myself in a really good position, right behind Coryn, after Powers did her long lead-out. I took advantage of their team lead-out.”