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New Zealand's Northey Shoots to 3rd in USA NRC Rankings
17 May, 2011

At the Tour de Grove in St. Louis, Mike Northey (PureBlack Racing) surmounted inclement low temperatures, rain and gusty wind to earn a sprint victory in the men's race on Saturday. The young New Zealander broke ahead of runner-up Jacobe Keough (Sandwich, Mass./UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team p/b Maxxis) and Christian Helmig (Highland Village, Texas/ELBOWZ Racing), who would finish third, with three turns remaining in the race.

The race featured several crashes and flat tires through the first 30 minutes of the race. Several attacks were thwarted until 10 riders broke away to open an advantage on the field with 40 minutes remaining. That group of riders worked together and did not allow any breakaways for the majority of the balance of the race. Northey, who tried a solo breakaway, but was quickly returned to the lead group, handled the remainder of the race with precision to secure the win.

The top 20 men's finishers split the $15,000 prize purse. The men's race consisted of 152 riders on a 75-minute race plus three laps on a two-kilometer, six-cornered, L-shaped criterium course.

As a result of his win of the Tour de Grove, Northey moves into third place on the 2011 Men's NRC Standings. Francisco Mancebo (Realcyclist.com) maintains his top spot over Benjamin Jacques-Maynes (Watsonville, Calif./Bissell Pro Cycling Team). Northey sits in third ahead of Keough and Christopher Baldwin (Boulder, Colo./Bissell Pro Cycling Team).

After the weekend's result, Bissell Pro Cycling Team has narrowed Realcyclist.com's lead in the 2011 NRC Men's Team Standings to just seven points. Chipotle Development remains in third place ahead of PureBlack Racing and Trek Livestrong U23 Team.

Lithuanian rider, Edita Janeliunaite (Colavita-Forno d'Asolo) overcame wet conditions to win her first race in America after capturing the women's contest in St. Louis on Saturday. Janeliunaite emerged from a bunch sprint ahead of second-place finsher Joelle Numainville (Pescadero, Calif./TIBCO-To the Top) and Leah Kirchmann (Colavita-Forno d'Asolo), who placed third in a field of 52 women.

The 60-minute, plus three laps, women's race, saw the race dominated by riders from Colavita-Forno d'Asolo and Team TIBCO-To the Top. Several attacks were unable to stick due to rain-slicked roads and wind gusts contributing to a series of crashes. The field entered the last corner complete. A late crash separated the field, allowing Janeliunaite and Kirchmann to work together and finish first and third. The purse for the top women's riders amounted to $7,500.

Complete results for the Tour de Grove can be found here.

The top five of the 2011 NRC Women's NRC Standings remain unchanged after the weekend. Janel Holcomb (San Diego, Calif./Colavita-Forno d'Asolo) leads Clara Hughes (Pactimo Cycling) by 124 points. Amber Neben (Lake Forest, Calif./HTC-Highroad Women) is in third place ahead of Mara Abbott (Boulder, Colo./Diadora Pasta Zara) and Kathryn Donovan (Los Angeles, Calif./Southern California Velo).

The top five spots of the 2011 NRC Women's Team Standings are also unchanged as Colavita-Forno d'Asolo opened its lead over Team TIBCO-To the Top to 509 points. HTC-Highroad Women remains the third-place team ahead of Primal/MapMyRider Women's Racing and Diadora Pasta Zara.

NRC standings

 

Men
1. Francisco Mancebo (Realcyclist.com) — 575
2. Benjamin Jacques-Maynes (Watsonville, Calif./Bissell Pro Cycling Team) — 222
3. Michael Northey (PureBlack Racing) — 194
4. Jacobe Keough (Sandwich, Mass./UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team p/b Maxxis) — 189
5. Christopher Baldwin (Boulder, Colo./Bissell Pro Cycling) — 170

Men's Team
1. Realcyclist.com — 802
2. Bissell Pro Cycling Team — 783
3. Chipotle Development Team — 479
4. PureBlack Racing — 420
5. Trek Livestrong — 380

Women
1. Janel Holcomb (San Diego, Calif./Colavita-Forno d’Asolo) — 368
2. Clara Hughes (Pactimo Cycling) — 244
3. Amber Neben (Lake Forest, Calif./HTC-Highroad Women) — 217
4. Mara Abbott (Boulder, Colo./Diadora Pasta Zara) — 201
5. Kathryn Donovan (Oxnard, Calif./Southern California Velo) — 184

Women's Team
1. Colavita-Forno d'Asolo — 1,260
2. Team TIBCO-To the Top — 751
3. HTC-Highroad — 381
4. Primal-MapMyRider Women's Racing — 346
5. Diadora Pasta Zara — 176

Click to enlarge...

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