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Swart speeds to first win
- Updated: May 4, 2009
South African cycling talent Carla Swart (Lip Smackers) sprinted to her first National Racing Calendar win at the Tour of the Gila’s downtown criterium in Silver City, New Mexico, US on Sunday.
She was the first rider to round the final corner and held off Canadian sprinter Gina Grain (Webcor Builders) who placed second with Catherine Cheatley (Colavita-Sutter Home) finishing third. Swart clocked 67min 20sec.
With no changes on the overall classification Kristin Armstrong (Cervelo Test team) leads from Alison Powers (Team Type 1) and Katheryn Mattis (Webcor-Builders).
Armstrong attempted to split the race apart from the gun using her strong time trialing power on the front of the field for the opening five laps.
The women behind her struggled to hang on during the lengthy start-finish straightaway and gaps opened thanks to the strong cross winds.
The second blow to the field came from United States Time Trial Champion Powers, who put in a second push at the front. Her efforts kept the field safe from crashes and in single file through the moderately technical turns.
Grain and Anne Samplonius (Lip Smackers) swapped prime victories several time throughout the race picking up lucrative prizes in the first half of the race.
Value Act Capital, Touchstone Climbing, Webcor Builders and Colavita-Sutter Home initiated a flurry of attacks mid-race, but no break gained more than 10 seconds on the field. Toni Bradshaw (Lip Smackers) took the pressure off her winning team-mate by launching a solo move with two laps to go.
Behind Bradshaw, teams with strong sprinters prepared for a bunch sprint. Bradshaw was swallowed up by the field sprint on last lap.