16th Mariposa Women’s Stage Race
15 May 2013
In 2012, Molly Van Houweling, racing for Metromint Cycling, took the challenging Mariposa Women’s Stage Race win for Pro/1/2 Women. She and the team are readying themselves for a stab at this year’s stage race, one of the very few nationally for women only.
Another top amateur Women’s teams in Northern California is Pinnacle presented by Argon 18. Metromint and Pinnacle have put on a stellar rivalry this season. This began with last year’s Steven’s Bikes presented Pactimo team that reformulated itself as Pinnacle.
“Yes! The friendly rivalry just keeps getting better and better,” remarked Van Houweling. “I think it was at Mariposa last year that we really started to push each other to develop more advanced team tactics. Lately we’ve taken it up a notch – especially in stage races like Madera, Topsport, and Chico.”
“Both teams are big, strong, and multifaceted with lots of different riders who can animate a race and shake up the GC,” continued Van Houweling. “For Metromint, Lisa Mueller and Joanna Dahl are emerging as consistent GC threats this season, which has been very exciting to watch.
“Amy [Thornquist] is having a very impressive season as we all expected she would, based on her lightening rise through the ranks last year.
“[Metromint] are approaching the challenge with a lot of trepidation! On the other hand, we managed to make up a huge GC deficit, after the hill climb last year, to win by racing super aggressively and with no fear of failure. We’ve been racing that way all this season too and – win or lose – that will make for an exciting race.”
Teams will have an unflinching opponent in Metromint Cycling at Mariposa.
“Pinnacle has a very respectful perspective of our competitors,” chimed in Bill Nicely. “Joanna Dahl and Lisa Mueller have had break-out seasons this year as has Tanja Meyer on Pinnacle. It is so heartening to see new talent come to the forefront.
“[Mueller's] riding at Topsport was beautiful. It might be surprising to say but her performance was HUGE. It was almost foregone that she would win the GC at Chico SR. How wonderful to see new NorCal talent. What a great rivalry between our team and Metromint. How can you not be giddy about how women’s racing is advancing?”
One hopes to see other racers bring more to the fray. Folsom Bikes/Cervelo, with Fiona Strouts or Amy Chandos, could become better than an outside threat. And it would be a serious omission to discount Marissa Axell, Heather Nielson, and the hungry Fremont Bank Cycling Team.
This is the third and final post in a series announcing this year’s Mariposa Women’s Stage Race. Racing begins this coming Friday. NorCal Cycling News will be on hand to provide daily coverage.
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