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Greenville Spring Training Series: Fork Shoals

Saturday was the third race in the Greenville Spring Training Series and was held on a rolling 14 mile loop in Fork Shoals, South Carolina. While the mercury didn’t climb into the low 70s like last Saturday’s race it was still a clear day that only required arm and knee warmers.

The women were racing for 45 miles. In the field was Team Headstrong which had made a strong showing last weekend by sweeping the podium at the BMW Performance Center criterium. It was that performance that put Headstrong rider Chistina Lindsey into the overall omnium lead after Sunday’s race.

The women’s race was active but no strong move got away – it was attack, catch and settle back into riding. Unfortunately there was a crash that brought down two ladies which required medical attention and a trip to the hospital. This incident took some of the punch out of the race and it looked like the winner would be decided in a bunch sprint on the narrow road to the finish line.

The women were curb to curb in the final meters. Sprinting a little bit faster was the lone Team Type 1 woman, Jacquelyn Crowell taking the victory.

“The race wasn’t too hard – but I was impressed by the amount of girls that were at this race,” said Crowell.

“I knew it was a long uphill drag to the line and I like waiting until late anyways. I knew it was beneficial to this type of course.”

While it is only two months into the year Crowell has already claimed a win in Florida and prior to that completed the Tour of Qatar (finishing 53rd on the final general classification).

She also has another training secret.

“I’ve been doing a lot of core this year which has helped me a lot.”

In April, Crowell is heading to Europe for some stage races in the Czech Republic and a couple of one-day events in Belgium and Holland.

“I think what makes a good bike racer is they can get past the pain, mentally, and win even when you’re feeling bad.” Words of wisdom from this young racer.

Once again the Greenville Spring Training Series brought out the heavy hitters in the men’s field. Looking to continue their winning streak was the orange kits of RealCyclist.com. Their rider Frank Travieso won back to back last week and was sure to have a target on his back. Another rider who must be familiar with that situation is BMC’s George Hincapie. He had ridden from his home in Greenville and was on the start line for the 75 mile road race.

Last week at the Donaldson Center road race, the pack was blown apart on the first lap with the winning break rolling away. With this in mind the attacks were constant with both RealCyclist.com and Hincapie applying some stick to the front of the group. However no one could get a substantial gap as everything was chased down.

In the closing miles RealCyclist.com rider Tommy Nankervis attacked. As soon as he was caught teammate Oscar Clark went off the front and with him went three other riders.

Nankervis followed a rider across the gap. Another RealCyclist.com rider Ian Burnett, bridged across. Clarke took a strong pull to solidify the gap and pulled the ripcord – his job was done.

Burnett was the next RealCyclist.com rider to jump away forcing the other riders to react – a text book example of teamwork. Burnett was caught but Nankervis counter attacked in the final kilometer. With his head down the Australian powered to the win. The rest of field came thundering in right on his heels. Italian Davide Frattini (United HealthCare) crossed the line in second and Ty Magner (Team Type 1 Development) in third.

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