Minneapolis – Amber Neben and her HTC-Highroad team sit atop the Women's Prestige Cycling Series standings after the first event, the Redlands Bicycle Classic.
Neben's overall victory at the four-day USA Cycling National Racing Calendar event in California puts her ahead of Erinne Willock (Team TIBCO/To The Top) and fellow HTC-Highroad teammate Evelyn Stevens in the individual standings of the only national bicycle racing series exclusively showcasing the country’s top female cycling talent.
"It is always a positive thing to be wearing a leader's jersey, and I am excited to have it," Neben said. "It is even better that the team is in the first position, since they were instrumental in helping me get into it."
On the strength of Neben's overall victory and Stevens' strong performance at Redlands, HTC-Highroad leads the Women's Prestige Cycling Series team standings ahead of Team TIBCO/To The Top and Colavita Forno D'Asolo. Last year's team winner, Peanut Butter & Co. TWENTY12, is fifth.
In the Best Sprinter competition, Rouse Bicycles riders Christina Smith and Robin Farina hold down the top two spots, respectively. Theresa Cliff-Ryan (Colavita Forno D'Asolo) is third. Like the Individual and Best Young Rider leaders, Smith will wear a special Women's Prestige Cycling Series jersey (produced by Champion System) at the next WPCS event.
Leading the Best Young Rider competition is former Canadian junior national road champion Denise Ramsden (Juvederm-Specialized-Mazda). Her team is a merger of the long-running Specialized-Mazda-Samson Groupe Conseil women’s team from Montreal and last year’s Team Nanoblur-Gears formation out of Toronto. The squad is Canada’s only UCI women’s road team.
The Redlands Classic was the first stop on the 2011 edition of the Women's Prestige Cycling Series. The other three races are the SRAM Tour of the Gila (April 27-May 1), Nature Valley Grand Prix in Minnesota (June 15-19) and the Bend Memorial Clinic Cascade Cycling Classic (July 19-24) in Oregon.
1. Amber Neben, HTC-Highroad, 220.
2. Erinne Willock, Team TIBCO/To The Top, 165.
3. Evelyn Stevens, HTC-Highroad, 132.
4. Carmen Small, Team TIBCO/To The Top, 121.
5. Andrea Dvorak, Colavita Forno D'Asolo, 110.
1. Christina Smith, Rouse Bicycles, 220
2. Robin Farina, Rouse Bicycles, 165.
3. Theresa Cliff-Ryan, Colavita Forno D'Asolo, 132.
4. Chloe Hosking, HTC-Highroad, 121.
5. Catherine Cheatley, Colavita Forno D'Asolo, 110.
BEST YOUNG RIDER CLASSIFICATION
1. Denise Ramsden, Team Juvederm-Specialized-Mazda, 220.
2. Amanda Miller, HTC-Highroad, 165.
3. Mara Abbott, SC Velo-Empower Coaching, 132.
4. Lindsay Myers, Danbury Audi, 121.
5. Lex Albrecht, Team Juvederm-Specialized-Mazda, 110.
BEST TEAM CLASSIFICATION
1. HTC-Highroad, 504.
2. Team TIBCO/To The Top, 324.
3. Colavita Forno D'Asolo, 296.
4. Team Juvederm-Specialized-Mazda, 227.
5. Peanut Butter & Co. TWENTY12, 128.
About the Women's Prestige Cycling Series
The only only national-level competition produced by women for women features four races in its eighth year. Its origin can be traced back to a discussion at the 2003 Women's Cycling Summit Conference, held at the Nature Valley Grand Prix. Since then, more than 30 teams have participated in some of the United States' top races from coast to coast. The four events on the 2011 schedule are: Redlands Bicycle Classic in California (March 31-April 3), SRAM Tour of the Gila (April 27-May 1), Nature Valley Grand Prix in Minnesota (June 15-19) and the Bend Memorial Clinic Cascade Cycling Classic (July 19-24) in Oregon.