Leah Kirchmann (Denver Disruptors) and Evan McQuirk (ButcherBox Cycling p/b LOOK) won the overall titles at USA Speed Week, a series of seven criteriums contested in a span of nine days across the southeastern US.
Kirchmann, who raced her last three years in the pro peloton on the WorldTour level, used consistency across “a very different kind of seven-day stage race” to secure the women’s overall title, finishing sixth place or better including a victory at LaGrange Cycling Classic across the week-long parade of criteriums. Heather Fischer (DNA Pro Cycling) finished second in the series, 70 points behind Kirchmann, while Erica Zaveta (Denver Disruptors) was third, another 197 points back.
On the second day of racing, Kirchmann came from a mid-race solo attack on the tricky course in downtown LaGrange, Georgia with the third turn making a sharp 100-degree left turn. With the field not committed to the chase, she then went into time trial mode and held off Matilda Raynolds by 28 seconds.
“Most consistently speedy here at USA Speed Week. It was a great week, winning the overall series title, with Erica Zaveta also finishing on the podium in third for Denver Disruptors,” Kirchmann posted to her Instagram feed. “Lots of opportunities to learn and grow as a team over 7 days of racing as we worked on sharpening our crit skills. I’m already looking forward to our next events with the full squad.”
Disruptors teammate Zaveta was also consistent, landing on the podium twice with third-place finishes at Athens Twilight Criterium and Union City Crit. On the final weekend of races, she finished 10th at Hapeville and crashed out of the finale in College Park, so was not able to score additional points to overtake Fischer, who won races in Union City and College Park.
“I used to go to school at least Lees McRae, and then I finished at Brevard College in Brevard. So I spent a lot of time doing Speed Week, and a lot of years getting so dropped,” Zaveta told Cyclingnews about her roots with racing in the south. “It’s cool to look back and be like, ‘Oh, I was learning something’. Turns out all the sad, sad rides were worth it.”
McQuirk eked out a four-point margin of victory ahead of Danny Summerhill (American Cycling Team (opens in new tab)), 1499 to 1495 points. Alfredo Rodriquez (Miami Nights) was 35 points out of the lead for third, well ahead of Brendan Rhim (American Cycling) in fourth and Frank Travieso (Miami Nights) in fifth.
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