Faulkner at Itzulia 2022
Team USA

Team USA Recap: Podiums at the Women’s World Tour and Track Nations Cup

By: Anne Stein  May 24, 2022

We recap the latest in American bike racing from the past two weeks - and there's a lot to cover!


UCI Women’s WorldTour Itzulia: Spain

(May 13-15) - Kristen Faulkner (Team BikeExchange-Jayco) placed 3rd overall in the debut of this 225-mile, three-day stage race through the hills and mountains of the Basque region of Spain. Attracting 12 World Tour squads and 22 teams, the race was dominated by Holland’s Demi Vollering, who won all three stages and the overall title, but the U.S. women were strong, with Veronica Ewers (EF Education-TIBCO-SVB) taking 10th and Krista Doebel-Hickok (EF Education-TIBCO-SVB) placing 12th on GC. Thirteen classified mountain passes and six intermediate sprints provided plenty of action. Faulkner, age 29, nearly won the first stage but was outsprinted by Vollering and Pauliena Rooijakkers. In Stage 2, which had the race’s only Cat. 1 climb, Faulkner placed 10th, followed by Doebel-Hickock (13th) and Ewers (14th).

Ewers placed 7th in Stage 3, followed by Faulkner (11th) and Doebel-Hickock (13th). “I was trying to close the gap to Demi, the leader as much as I could to make sure I was able stay third on GC and ahead of Marta Cavalli who was fourth place just behind me,” Faulkner said afterwards. “The biggest lesson for the day was just to keep going. Sometimes you don’t think you can keep going but you never know what is going to happen.”

UCI Women’s WorldTour Vuelta a Burgos Féminas: Spain

(May 19-22) - Consistency, great climbing and teamwork brought a 4th place spot on GC for 33-year-old American Krista Doebel-Hickock (EF Education-Tibco-SVB) at the Vuelta a Burgos Féminas, the second major women’s road race this month. Spain was again the setting for this four-day, 305-mile race, filled with long climbs and tricky descents.

In a mostly flat Stage 1, Doebel-Hickock (12th), Lily Williams (Human Powered Health, 15th) and Kristen Faulkner (Team Bike Exchange-Jayco, 29th) came in with a huge group of riders. Stage 2 brought another hot day and two Cat. 3 climbs, with Doebel-Hickock taking 21st. Doebel-Hickock kept up the consistency and in Stage 3, placing 8th. A 4th place finish on the final stage, a brutal, 11 km climb to a summit finish, cemented her spot on GC. Afterwards she tweeted: “Like my DS told us before we the race: “We are doing things, as a team, that we could have only dreamed of months ago.” And, I’m starting to think, we should dream even bigger.”

MVP Healthcare Rochester Twilight Criterium: Rochester, New York

(May 21) - On the second stop of the 10-race American Criterium Cup, Mariana Valdez topped the podium among the 28 women who competed in the Saturday night crit. The men’s race was cancelled due to thunderstorms. Top results:

Women Pro/1/2: Mariana Valadez (LA Sweat), Colleen Gulick (Team Skyline), Andrea Cyr (ButcherBox Cycling p/b LOOK)


UCI Track Nations Cup: Milton, Canada

(May 12-15) - Three-time Olympic medalist Jennifer Valente led the U.S. with three podium finishes over four days of track cycling at the UCI Nations Cup in Milton, Ontario.
Valente, 27, took first in the women’s Elimination Race, second in the Omnium (she won the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics in the same event), and placed third in the women’s Team Pursuit with teammates Megan Jastrab, Shayna Powless and Lily Williams. Valente, Jastrab and Williams also won an Olympic bronze in the same event in Tokyo.

Olympian Gavin Hoover, 24, placed second in the men’s Omnium and third in the Elimination Race, while Lily Williams, 27, was third in the women’s Scratch Race.


UCI Mountain Bike World Cup: Albstadt, Germany

(May 6-8) - Kate Courtney (Scott-SRAM) led the U.S. women with a 15th place finish in Short Track, while Haley Batten (Specialized Factory Racing) took 17th in both Short Track and XCO in Albstadt, Germany, the second race on the UCI World Cup cross country calendar. Riley Amos (Trek Factory Racing) took 8th in the Men’s U23 XCO, followed by Bjorn Riley (Trek/Vaude), who placed 11th. Ruth Holcomb, the 2021 Junior Women’s National Champion, led the U.S. U23 women with a 28th place finish.

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup: Nové Město, Czech Republic

(May 13-15) - Last season, Christopher Blevins (Specialized Factory Racing) won the final 2021 UCI MTB World Cup XCO – becoming the first American man to win a mountain bike World Cup in 27 years. At Nové Město, he was back in the fight taking 17th in the XCO and 5th in Short Track. Riley Amos (Trek Factory Racing) placed 6th in the men’s U23 XCO, while Madigan Munro (Trek Factory Racing) led the U.S. U23 women in 11th place. In the Women’s Elite XCO, Kate Courtney (Scott-SRAM) placed 11th, followed 2 seconds later by Haley Batten (Specialized Factory Racing), who placed 12th. Gwendalyn Gibson (Norco Factory Team) has had an excellent start to her first year in the Elites taking her first top-10 in the women’s Short Track.

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup: Fort William, UK

(May 20-22) - Wind, rain and mud were the order of the day for the second Downhill World Cup of the season. The French men took four of the top 10 spots, with the Americans Dakotah Norton (Intense Factory Racing) and Luca Shaw (Canyon Factory) on pace, but having some bad luck. Austin Dooley (Commencal North America) took 21st and led the U.S. men. Anna Newkirk (Beyond Racing) was the sole American woman in the Elite Women’s finals placing 12th. In the women’s junior race, Americans Emma Artz (NW Gravity Collective), Riley Miller (Commencal North America) and Meghan McDonough placed 9th, 11th, and 12th.

Soldier Hollow Bike Fest: Midway, Utah

(May 7-8) - Top three:

Day 1:

Elite Men Short Track: Daxton Mock (Bear National Team), Cody Cupp (Fezzari Bicycles-Kenda Tires), Brannan Fix (Fix Racing)

Elite Women Short Track: Sofia Forney (WE Development), Tai Lee Smith (Bear National Team), Erin Osborne (Flagstaff Bike Revolution)

UCI Junior Men XCO: Ian Brown (Bear National Team), Magnus White (Boulder Junior Cycling), Marcis Shelton

UCI Junior Women XCO: Lauren Aggeler (Segment 28), Ellie Krafft (Bear National Team), Adeline Jonas (Spry Cycles)

Day 2:

Elite Men XCO: Logan Sadesky (Rundle Mountain Cycling Club), Samuel Elson (HART Cycling), Cobe Freeburn (Bear National Team)

Elite Women XCO: Sofia Forney (WE Development), Tai Lee Smith (Bear National Team), Erin Osborne (Flagstaff Bike Revolution)

UCI Junior Men XCO: Noah Sanders (Dryve Racing), Johnny Stanzione (WE Development), Magnus White (Boulder Junior Cycling)

UCI Junior Women XCO: Lauren Aggeler (Segment 28), Chloe Fraser (Boulder Junior Cycling), Ellie Krafft (Bear National Team)

Englewood Open: Fall River, Wisconsin

(May 20-22) - Top three:

Day 1:

Elite Men Short Track: Brian Matter (Linear Sport Racing), Cole Punchard (CHC Armada), Tyler Clark (CHC Armada)

Elite Women Short Track: Hannah Otto (Pivot Cycles/DT Swiss), Sofia Forney (WE Development), Lauren Lackman (Rib Mountain Cycles)

Day 2:

Elite Men XCO: Luke Vrouwenvelder (Giant Factory), Carson Beckett (Dirt Camp Racing), Tyler Clark (CHC Armada)

Elite Women XCO: Hannah Otto (Pivot Cycles/DT Swiss), Emily Batty (Canyon MTB Racing), Sofia Forney (WE Development)

UCI Junior Men XCO: Benjamin Crismon (Texas Roadhouse), Brady White (WE Development), Dan English (Bear National)

UCI Junior Women XCO: Lauren Aggeler (Team Segment 28), Mia Aseltine (Bear National), Natasha Visnack (WE Race)

Photo: Getty Images