• 2012/04/09 Tom Zirbel Second Overall, Hanson Wins Final Stage of Vuelta Ciclista del Uruguay
    • Tom Zirbel Second Overall, Hanson Wins Final Stage of Vuelta Ciclista del Uruguay Tom Zirbel Second Overall, Hanson Wins Final Stage of Vuelta Ciclista del Uruguay

      Optum Pro Cycling presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies capped off a successful run for the men’s team in South America yesterday, placing Tom Zirbel second overall in the general classifictation at the Vuelta Ciclista del Uruguay. Ken Hanson handily dispatched his competitors on the final finish line in downtown Montevideo, winning the 198 kilometer tenth stage of the UCI 2.2 ranked event and solidifying his status as the race’s top field sprinter. Scott Zwizanski, the race winner in 2009, finished in the front group with Zirbel on the final day of racing, and continued to climb the standings, finishing fourth overall on GC, six seconds shy of the podium.

      “It was a full team effort today to deliver Tom and Ken to the final podiums today,” said Performance Manager Eric Wohlberg. “I was impressed how everyone battled this week through what turned out to be a pretty grueling race. We came up a bit shy on GC, but with Ken’s four stage wins, several days in the yellow and blue jerseys, and finishing second overall on team GC, I think we can call our time in South America productive.”

      Across the pond in Europe, Joelle Numainville, Leah Kirchmann, Denise Ramsden, and Carmen Small of the Optum p/b KBS women’s team raced in a series of events for Team Canada and Team USA as part of the run-up to Olympic selection. This particular overseas excursion included the penultimate Belgian classic, the Tour of Flanders. Joelle Numainville once again found herself head-to-head against the world’s best in the punishing one-day race, and once again the young Canadian proved up the challenge, finishing third after a powerful display in the group sprint. Numainville joined former world champions Judith Arndt (Green Edge-AIS) and Kristin Armstrong (U.S. National Team) on the Flanders podium, adding one of the world’s toughest one-day races to her growing list of palmares.

      Continuing on the womens’ success abroad, Kirchmann claimed the sprinter’s jersey after six days of racing at Holland’s Energiewacht Tour (UCI 2.2).