Haeusler and Mancebo lead NRC series after Nature Valley Grand Prix

The USA Cycling National Racing Calendar (NRC) traveled to the region of Minnesota last week for the five-stage Nature Valley Grand Prix. The combination of time trial, criteriums and stage races, between June 12-16, produced new leaders in both the women’s individual NRC standings and the men’s team standings.Mellow J's

Claudia Haeusler (GER/-To the Top) took over the top spot in the NRC women’s standings after finishing fourth in the overall classification and winning the SportBeans Queen of the Hills competition. Haeusler moves past  (Pinecliffe, Colo./NOW and Novartis for MS) into the standings lead with 822 points to Powers’ 730. Shelley Olds(Gilroy, Calif./-To the Top) captured the overall victory on the final stage in Minnesota, the Stillwater criterium, and moves up to third in the season standings with 688 points. Rounding out the women’s top five are (CAN/Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) and  (Boulder, Colo./Exergy TWENTY16), who both slipped a notch in the standings. Numainville finished sixth at the Nature Valley Grand Prix and sits in fourth place with 648 points, while Abbott holds the fifth-place spot with 490 points.

(ESP/5-Hour Energy p/b Kenda) maintains his sizeable advantage in the NRC men’s standings with 674 points. Chad Haga (Colorado Springs, Colo./Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) sits in second place, 254 points behind Mancebo. J.J. Haedo (ARG/Jamis Hagens Berman p/b Sutter Home) completed a sweep of the three criterium stages at the Nature Valley Grand Prix to finish 18th in the general classification and enter the top five of the men’s standings in third place with 336 points. Joseph Rosskopf(Athens, Ga./) and  (Boulder, Colo./Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) round out the top five in a fourth-place tie with 328 points apiece.

The Nature Valley Grand Prix provided a shakeup at the top of the NRC men’s team standings as well with Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies taking over the top spot from 5-Hour Energy p/b Kenda. Team Optum placed three riders in the top five of the general classification last week and has opened up a 538-point lead with just two men’s races remaining on the calendar. Jamis Hagens Berman trails 5-Hour Energy by just two points in third place with 966 points. Pro Cycling and hold down the final two spots in the top five of the standings with 628 and 598 points, respectively.

Placing three riders in the top 10 at the Nature Valley Grand Prix allowed -To the Top to extend its lead in the the NRC women’s team standings to 352 points. Moving up to second place with 1,566 points is Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies, who accounted for half of the riders in the top 10 at the Nature Valley Grand Prix. NOW and Novartis for MS, with 1,182 points, dropped to third place, while Exergy TWENTY16 (778 points) and (738 points) hold their fourth- and fifth-place positions.

Check out a photo gallery from the race.

Full results from the Nature Valley Grand Prix.

PHOTO: Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies is the new leader of the men’s team standings (photo by Matthew Moses).

USA Cycling Pro NRC Standings:

Men’s Individual Standings
1. (ESP/5-Hour Energy p/b Kenda) — 674
2. Chad Haga (Colorado Springs, Colo./Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) — 420
3. J.J. Haedo (ARG/Jamis Hagens Berman p/b Sutter Home) — 336
4. Joseph Rosskopf (Athens, Ga./) — 328
4. (Boulder, Colo./Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) — 328

Women’s Individual Standings
1. Claudia Haeusler (GER/-To the Top) — 822
2. (Pinecliffe, Colo./NOW and Novartis for MS) — 730
3. Shelley Olds (Gilroy, Calif./-To the Top) — 688
4. (CAN/Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) — 648
5. (Boulder, Colo./Exergy TWENTY16) — 490

Men’s Team Standings
1. Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies — 1,506
2. 5-Hour Energy p/b Kenda — 968
3. Jamis Hagens Berman — 966
4. Pro Cycling — 628
5. — 598

Women’s Team Standings
1. / To the Top — 1,918
2. Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies — 1,566
2. NOW and Novartis for MS — 1,182
4. Exergy TWENTY16 — 778
5. — 738

For complete standings, visit the NRC’s official webpage at usacycling.org/nrc.

Three events remain on the 2013 NRC with the next stop being the Bend Memorial Clinic Cascade Cycling Classic in Bend, Ore., from July 16-21.

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