Tulsa, OK – The Colavita|Bianchi Women’s Pro Team displayed some of the most impressive racing of the season this past weekend in Tulsa, OK at the Saint Francis Tulsa Tough. The first race of the three-day weekend started on Friday night with the McNellie’s Group Blue Dome Criterium. From the gun the Colavita|Bianchi ladies displayed a strong desire to race their bikes, looking to control the race. The team monitored the front of the race to ensure a sprint finish for team sprinter Erica Allar. The high tempo of the race thinned the field and with two – late race crashes in the last few laps the field quickly was whittled to a dozen or so riders. With one lap to go lead out specialist Morgan Brown drove the pace for a picture perfect delivery of Allar for the team’s first victory on the weekend.
On day two, at the George Kaiser Family Foundation- Brady Arts District Criterium, the team added an additional focus of not only winning each race, but also winning the overall Omnium. Whitney Schultz, Jessica Cutler, and Mary Zider continued to control the race and show representation in potentially threatening moves to the race outcome. In the final laps of the race the winds picked up as the thunderstorms continued to splinter the field. The peloton was able to beat the thunderstorm and Allar sprinted for a hard fought second place.
On the last day of Tulsa Tough, The River Parks Criterium, more famously knowns as “Cry Baby Hill”, the fans lined the streets with excitement for what proves every year to be the biggest criterium party of the season. Colavita|Bianchi was in great position to win the Omnium with the team’s stellar performances the two previous days. Several teams were looking to animate the race to disrupt the dominance displayed by the team on days one and two. But the Colavita|Bianchi work-horses…Zider, Schultz, and Cutler would have nothing of it and continued to control the race. Once again late in the race the top competition became the weather. This time the peloton lost as a severe thunderstorm forced the race to stop for a 30 minute delay with 10 laps remaining. Riders, now wet and tired, anxiously awaited the re-start to finish the last 10 laps of the race. With 6 laps to go a crash took out several riders including Mary Zider. Zider quickly scrambled to the pit for her free lap return to the race and quickly found her groove. In the final 3 laps of the race Zider covered a very dangerous move putting herself into a break with Visit Dallas rider, Olivia Dillon. Dillon’s move, with Zider covering, was so aggressive it stayed clear over two laps and was barely caught 200 meters from the finish. This allowed Allar to position herself perfectly in the chasing group and once Zider was caught, Allar pounced and took the photo finish win by half a wheel length! With two victories in three days, the team was able to lock in the Omnium title as well.
Up next the team will head to ride in the Colavita|Fine Cooking Farm to Fork Fondo in Orange County, NY on June 28th.