Ali Starnes Emerges Victorious at the 2011 MERCO Credit Union Cycling Classic
Oakley cyclists showed their strength at the 2011 MERCO Credit Union Cycling Classic, which consisted of the Lake McClure Road Race, an Individual Time Trial, the Downtown Grand Prix and the Almond Blossom Road Race for a total of 182 miles in sometimes less than perfect weather.
Alison “Ali” Starnes (Peanut Butter & Co. TWENTY12), in Oakley RADAR® PATH™, lit the road on fire during the time trial after finishing third in the opening stage of the race. She crossed the finish line a full minute and 16 seconds ahead of second place finisher, Molly Van Houweling (Metromint Cycling), for her first victory of the 2011 season.
Oakley teammate, Ina-Yoko Teutenberg (HTC-Highroad) – regarded as one of the most prolific sprinters in women’s racing today – arrived in Merced flying high off a team victory at the Tour of New Zealand to make a play for another podium finish. With two stage wins, one over Oakley teammate Coryn Rivera, and a victory in the Sprint/QOM competition she and her HTC teammates made it a difficult race for Ali and team Peanut Butter & Co. “We just wanted to race aggressively,” said Ina-Yoko. “We won three of the four stages. I can’t really complain.”
But there was just too much ground to make up with Ali taking a minute and 38 second lead into the final stage. While the GC was not won without contention, Ali Starnes, with the help of her team, was ultimately able to hold off the attacks and came out victorious. “This is my first GC win in my professional career,” said Ali after the final stage. “I don’t really feel that it’s only mine. I really feel that it’s an overall team win. I have been a domestique and have ridden for many riders. I needed to be there for my team and it was definitely a team win.”
Congratulations to Ali, Ina-Yoko and Coryn on great race!