2010 Tour of Lawrence
This is the second year for the bicycle race, which is expected to draw more than 400 riders.
After two days of racing and two distinctly different races, Sunday’s women’s pro event at the second annual Tour of Lawrence came down to a sprint between the Friday and Saturday winners.
Nearly an hour into the Downtown Criterium, Carrie Cash Wootten, winner of the Friday street sprints, and Megan Hottman, winner of Saturday’s KU Campus Circuit Race, went all out toward the finish, with weekend bragging rights on the line. Cash Wootten, of St. Louis, edged Hottman by less than a tire at the line, reason enough to thrust both arms into the air in celebration.
“I, of course, would have liked to have the other race,” said Cash Wootten of Saturday’s Circuit race. “But Megan ran a great race in that one and it’s a different race. It’s a climber’s race, and she’s a climber.”
Sunday’s finish nearly was a repeat of Friday’s sprint, in which Cash Wootten also edged Hottman at the wire. Of course, that race spanned just 200 meters and was run in dry conditions. That was not the case on Sunday as both the women’s and men’s pro races ran in wet conditions, which zapped some of the energy from the crowd but did nothing to slow the riders.
“It didn’t bother me any,” Cash Wootten said. “Of course you’d love to race dry and we would’ve loved for the gates to be lined with people. But the people who were here were great, and we put on the same show as we would’ve in good weather. We went just as hard.”
Hottman, who has made no secret of her quest to make the U.S. Olympic team in 2012, finished the weekend with two second-place finishes and a first. She also was the only woman to compete in the men’s pro race, though she did not finish.
Cash Wootten capped the weekend with two firsts and a fourth and seemed to enjoy every aspect of the event.
“The community is fantastic,” she said. “To see people get behind the races and support us and to know that they want to keep building this thing is great. And the courses are fantastic. It ranks among the top three-day races that I go to.”
While the women’s pro race featured several familiar faces at the top, the men’s pro race also witnessed a repeat winner.
Josh Carter, of Wichita Falls, Texas, crossed the finish line in first place to give Team Hotel San Jose the title. The win gave Carter his second victory of the weekend. He also won Friday’s street sprints.
Unlike the women’s race, which had just 10 competitors in the field, the men battled a crowded pack of nearly 70 riders for the final race of the weekend. While Team Hotel San Jose controlled much of the race, it was heavy rain at the finish that left the lasting mark. During the race’s final lap, the skies grew dark and heavy rains hammered the streets. The severe weather forced officials to call off the awards presentation and post-race interviews.
In other Criterium action on Sunday, Mike Inglis, of Lakewood, Colo., won the men’s masters race; Tyler Gaddis, of Shawnee, won the Cat 5 men’s race, Chris Hershey, of Kansas City, Mo., crossed the line first in the Cat 4 men’s race; Michael Giem, of Colorado Springs, was the champion in the Cat 3 men’s race; Gideon Bennett, of Versailles, Mo., was the top junior finisher; and Lauren Miller took first in the women’s Cat 3/4 race.
Carol Flinchbaugh and Madeline Finch, both of Lawrence, finished fourth and eighth, respectively, in the women’s Cat 3/4 race.
The men’s Cat 5 field featured the most Lawrence residents in one race, as 11 men who call Lawrence home hit the course. Brian Goodack placed fifth and was the top local finisher. Michael Garven, the winner of Saturday’s Cat 5 race, was seventh, and Corbin Soliday (16th) and Rob Hussa (18th) also cracked the top 20.