Alison Powers Wins the 2014 Tour Femenino de San Luis and Team Captures Team Classification Title, Alexis Ryan Finishes 3rd in Stage 5
San Luis, Argentina – Alison Powers won the 2014 Tour Femenino de San Luis and the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team grabbed the overall team classification win on Saturday, January 18, 2014, after an outstanding performance in Argentina which saw the Ladies’ Blue Train capture two individual stage wins along with multiple podiums during the five-day race, including Alexis Ryan’s 3rd place finish in Stage 5.
Grinning from ear to ear during the final presentation podium, Powers zipped up the overall leader’s jersey one final time and raised her arms in victory. After a crowd-spraying champagne celebration, the victorious Powers was joined on stage by an elated group of teammates. Shortly afterward, she talked about the day and the victory.
“The team defended the pink jersey really well today,” Powers said. “I was able to sit back and watch Alexis, Sharon and Mara do all of the work. And to top it off, Alexis finished third today! This was such a great week. I didn’t expect to be on the podium in January. Our success as a team here at the Tour Femenino de San Luis is really special and this is a great way to start our season.”
Powers secured the leader’s jersey after a powerful performance in Stage 3 where she soloed to victory and topped the field by more than three minutes. From that point, the world-class rider never looked back.
Team Director, Rachel Heal, talked about her charges overall performance and the final stage of the Tour which saw the peloton cover 78.8km through San Luis.
“Today was an aggressive race with plenty of attacks,” Heal said. “That kept our team working all day, and Sharon (Laws), Alexis (Ryan) and Mara (Abbott) did a great job covering any and every attack.”
As a result of the team’s effort, no one was able to escape the bunch, keeping the field together heading into the final few kilometers. With a great lead out from Powers, Alexis Ryan was able to sprint to another podium finish, this time nabbing 3rd place in Stage 5. In addition, the week’s haul for the women of Team UnitedHealthcare included the overall general classification win, two stage wins, a second and third place, and the team classification win.
“The team rode a perfect race today and I could not be happier!” an exuberant Heal exclaimed. “To start the year off with a victory like this is fantastic, especially with a new team. We faced some adversity after we lost Hannah (Barnes, who crashed out in Stage 2), but to watch how the ladies stuck together as a unit and fought for one other was incredible. It is what you want to see as a director.”
UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team Roster for Tour Femenino de San Luis
Mara Abbott (USA)
Alison Powers (USA)
Hannah Barnes (GBR)
Alexis Ryan (USA)
Sharon Laws (GBR)
Team Director: Rachel Heal