04 Jun 15 riders to watch at Philadelphia International Cycling Classic (1.WWT)
US national champion, bronze medal at the World Championships in Richmond, third at the Giro Rosa and winner of the 2015 Strade Bianche, Megan Guarnier is one of the top favourites. After a successful April month in Spain, where she won Durango-Durango Emakumeen Saria and one stage of Emakumeen Bira as well as finishing second overall, and in Belgium, where she finished third at La Fleche Wallonne, Megan forwarded momentum during May. Guarnier won both a stage and the overall classification at Amgen Tour of California before reediting her victory at US Pro National Championships. Megan currently leads the UCI WWT ranking, thus she will try to defend her supremacy at the newborn series.
Elisa Longo Borghini
The outstanding Italian rider heads to Philadelphia after missing the previous two UCI WWT rounds. Despite being persistently on the top-5 at most of the races she has competed in, Elisa has not been able to claim a victory this season. After very solid performances during April (second at Emakumeen Saria, fourth at Emakumeen Bira and fifth at both UCI WWT rounds Ronde van Vlaanderen and La Fleche Wallonne), a competition rest period and a training camp nearby Passo San Pellegrino, Elisa heads to the race with the clear aim of improving her second position in 2015.
Current World HR holder Evelyn Stevens is one of top riders to watch in Philadelphia. Stevens has had a slow start of the road racing year, mainly due to her HR attempt in February, but has shown recently that she is on a good form. Stevens finished eighth at Emakumeen Bira before heading to Belgium for La Fleche Wallonne, where she narrowly missed the victory, finishing second behind Dutch rider Anna van der Breggen. Stevens finished again on a UCI WWT podium (finishing third at Amgen Tour of California) before heading to the US Pro National Championships where she finished sixth at the ITT. Evelyn will try to reedit her 2013 and 2014 victories in Philadelphia.
American rider Coryn Rivera has four victories in this season, overall classification at Joe Martin Stage Race and three stage victories (two at the latter stage race and one at Tour de San Luis). During the previous two months Rivera has shown a good form, at the multiple races she has taken part in, finishing always on the top 10. At the US Pro National Championship Rivera finished second behind Megan Guarnier reediting her past year podium spot. Rivera heads to Philadelphia, after winning Winston-Salem criterium and finishing third at the road race, in order to improve her fifth position in 2015.
Twice and current ITT Olympic gold winner, former multiple World ITT winner Kristin Armstrong is one of the top riders to watch in Philadelphia. After a superb performance in California (where she finished second overall and third at the first stage), Kristin Armstrong could not reedit her ITT national tittle last week in Winston-Salem, North Carolina (she finished third). With Olympics selections still due, Armstrong heads to Philadelphia to keep forward momentum.
Ane heads to Philadelphia after having persistently performed well during the previous months at both Durango-Durango Emakumeen Saria, Emakumeen Bira, La Fleche Wallonne, NEA, Gracia Orlova, Morbihan and GP Plumelec. Santesteban has narrowly missed the victory at these races and has been generally on the top-10. Once the Olympic qualification period is over, she may ride without the pressure of scoring UCI points. Ane Santesteban is one of the top riders to watch in Philadelphia.
Italian rider has had a very irregular start to the season. During the previous months Ratto has been delivering good performances at Ronde van Vlaanderen, Emakumeen Saria, Emakumeen Bira and Amgen Tour of California but still lacking of persistence. Rosella finally claimed her first victory of the season (the first one as well for her team Cylance Pro Cycling) at Winston Salem Cycling Classic the previous weekend.
In 2015 she won the last stage and the overall classification at Premondialle Giro della Toscana as well as finishing fifth at Giro dell’Emilia. The current Polish Champion started strongly the 2016 season winning the “Gran Prix San Luis Femenino”, finishing on the podium at three stages of “Tour Femenino de San Luis” as well as finishing second overall. Despite her great performances at Emakumeen Saria (4th), Emakumeen Bira (9th) and Fleche Wallone (13th), Jasińska’s current form is unknown as she took a six-weeks gap from racing.
Twice winner of the Giro d’Italia overall and six stage victories on her palmares. In 2015 she won the last stage of the Giro Rosa and finished second overall. Mara is one the best and most experienced climbers in the peloton. She heads to Philadelphia on a good form after reediting her 2015 victory at Tour of the Gila, winning the QOM classification at Amgen Tour of California two weeks ago. Previously she rode at Redlands Bicycle Classic where she amazingly finished in second place after crashing and sustaining serious injuries on her shoulder. Mara is part of the Wiggle High5 four-riders roster, thus she may be playing a supportive role on behalf of Elisa Longo Borghini.
American rider Lauren Stephens finished in thirteenth position last year in Philadelphia. Stephens had a good start of the season reediting her ITT victory at Tour de San Luis and finishing fourth overall. After racing at some European races, Stephens delivered great performances back in the US, at both Joe Martin Stage Race (stage win and 3rd overall) and Tour de Gila (7th overall). Stephens heads to the race in good form after her tenth place at Amgen Tour of California, her fifth position at US Pro ITT Championship and her fourth place at Crono de Gatineau.
American rider Brianna Walle has shown a good form during the previous months, finishing fourth overall at both Joe Martin Stage Race and Tour de Gila, and thirteenth at Amgen Tour of California. At the US Pro National Championships she narrowly missed the podium at both ITT and road race. Walle is one the riders to watch for Philadelphia.