6 years ago by Sam Wiebe

Team Wins North Star Grand Prix

Rally Cycling Dominates Hometown Race With Overall Men’s and Women’s Victories, White Jerseys and Four Stage Wins

Rally Cycling dominated the North Star Grand Prix, taking the overall men’s and women’s titles, both Best Young Rider Competitions, four stage wins, seven podiums, the team classifications and two most Aggressive Rider jerseys. Young Emma White surpassed all expectations with a stage win and overall victory, while Colin Joyce’s overall win highlighted the team’s resilience. Joyce’s victory is the seventh consecutive North Star Grand Prix title for the men’s team. The result continued Joyce’s remarkable first season with Rally Cycling and is one of his biggest wins to date.

Colin Joyce and Brandon McNulty in yellow and white on the final podium

“Wins in this sport don’t come easy, and they don’t come often, so to get one shows all the hard work myself and the team have put in,” said Joyce. “In the final stage, the team made it easy for me. Tom (Soladay), Danny (Pate) and Evan (Huffman) just smashed the front all day. I was able just to sit in and save it until the finish. The team has been incredible all week, and to get the win in the team’s hometown is special.”

The team started the week on solid ground when Brandon McNulty first claimed the leader’s yellow jersey in the stage one time trial with defending champion Huffman taking second. McNulty smashed the course in a stunning 9:16. The team then defended his lead in the evening’s St. Paul Criterium and the following day’s Cannon Falls Road Race. Cannon Falls also saw the men take their second stage of the race, with Brad Huff powering to the line ahead of Tyler Magner (Holowesko | Citadel) and Jose Alfredo Rodriguez Victoria (Elevate-KHS). In the men’s Uptown Criterium Friday evening, Ty Magner (Holowesko | Citadel) grabbed up time bonuses and finished second on the stage to take the yellow jersey off the shoulders of Brandon McNulty.

Danny Pate rode selflessly all week guiding Joyce and McNulty onto the podium

In Saturday’s Mankato Road Race, the team went on the offensive to reclaim the yellow jersey, and the result was an emphatic win by Joyce. The race was aggressive from the start with different groups going up the road, but on the closing circuits Rally Cycling had five riders in the front group and went about applying the pressure to the peloton. After several accelerations from Huffman and McNulty, Joyce exploded from the group at the base of the penultimate climb and rode clear. Ty Magner chased over the top of the hill but was unable to close the gap. Alone out front, Joyce powered around the final lap, extending his lead to 37 seconds, taking the win and the leader’s yellow jersey. Brandon McNulty completed the podium by crossing the line in third.

The final stage was an impressive show of strength. The Stillwater Criterium features the dreaded Chilkoot Hill, and it wasn’t long before the peloton shattered under the pressure being applied by Rally Cycling. Halfway through the race, Dylan Sutherland (NSW Institute of Sport) rode clear of a three-man break and held on to take the stage victory. Behind Sutherland, the team controlled the peloton with Soladay, Huffman, Huff and Pate setting tempo throughout the lap. On the final climb, Evan Huffman led out Joyce for a well deserved second place and the overall title. Stage one winner Brandon McNulty finished fourth to secure second overall.

Emma White is the 2017 North Star Grand Prix Champion

In the women’s race, Rally Cycling showed they are one of the most aggressive and exciting teams in the peloton. Their teamwork and aggression resulted in Emma White claiming her first overall stage race title in the professional ranks. In addition to the yellow jersey, White won stage two, landed on the podium in three stages and won the Best Young Rider Competition. It was quite a showing for the 19-year-old, full-time college student.

“Going into the final stage, I only had a four-second lead, so we couldn't let anyone go up the road,” said White. “The team did a great job keeping everything close and me near the front of the group. They spent the entire day on the front, and I am fortunate to have had the team supporting me. It was pretty clear we were the dominant team and were in control the entire race. With a lap to go, Ruth (Winder) took a flyer, and I was having trouble covering it, so Kirsti drilled it and brought her back on the final climb. The overall win is the team’s first stage race title under Rally, so we are proud of this one.”

The women of Rally Cycling showed incredible teamwork throughout the week to defend the yellow jersey

White started the week with a solid fifth place in the time trial before taking her second win of the year at the Grand Ave Criterium in St. Paul. White’s victory moved her into the overall lead, and the next day at the Cannon Falls Road Race, she again landed on the podium in third. In a photo finish, Ruth Winder (UnitedHealthcare) and Marlies Mejias Garcia (Weber Shimano Ladies Power) snuck by White for the top two spots on the podium. White’s third-place kept her in the overall lead and atop the standings in the Best Young Rider competition. In the Uptown Minneapolis Criterium, the team again landed on the podium with Allison Beveridge taking second. White finished strong in fourth, and Lay took home her first Most Aggressive Rider jersey of the race.

In Mankato, the squad again rode in defense of White’s yellow jersey. Halfway into the 61-mile stage, a dangerous move went up the road with Beveridge and Katherine Maine making the selection. The presence of Beveridge and Maine forced the peloton to chase and with less than three miles remaining, the breakaway was brought back. In the sprint for the line, Ruth Winder (UnitedHealthcare) edged White for the victory.

Kirsti Lay put in a heroic effort in the closing meters of stage six to assure overall victory

Heading into the final stage, the Stillwater Criterium, the team stayed focused on defending White’s yellow jersey. On the last lap, Ruth Winder escaped the grasp of Rally Cycling and in the final stretch had the four seconds she needed to win overall. It wasn’t to be as Lay produced a tremendous turn of speed to close the gap and launch White up the final climb. Stage four winner Garcia would slip by them both for her second win of the week, but White secured the overall title by crossing the line third. For Lay’s last lap heroics, she received the day’s most Aggressive Rider jersey.

North Star Grand Prix Stage 6 | Men
1. Dylan Sunderland (NSW Institute of Sport)
2. Colin Joyce (Rally Cycling)
3. Samuel Bassetti (Herbalife p/b Marc Pro - Nature's Bakery)
4. Brandon McNulty (Rally Cycling)
5. Ayden Toovey (NSW Institute of Sport)
6. Bryan Gomez (Gateway Harley-Davidson-Trek U25)
7. Tony Baca (ELBOWZ Racing)
8. Sam Fritz (Above and Beyond Cancer p/b Scheels)
9. Maxx Chance (303 Project)
10. Morgan Schmitt (Arapahoe Resources / Garneau)

North Star Grand Prix Final General Classification | Men
1. Colin Joyce (Rally Cycling)
2. Brandon McNulty (Rally Cycling)
3. Bryan Gomez (Gateway Harley-Davidson-Trek)
4. Kevin Girkins (ELBOWZ Racing)
5. Cory Lockwood (Elevate-KHS Pro Cycling)
6. Justin Mauch (Herbalife p/b Marc Pro - Nature's Bakery)
7. Morgan Schmitt (Arapahoe Resources / Garneau)
8. Dylan Sunderland (NSW Institute of Sport)
9. Connor Brown (Elevate-KHS Pro Cycling)
10. Evan Huffman (Rally Cycling)

North Star Grand Prix Stage 6 | Women
1. Marlies Mejias Garcia (Weber Shimano Ladies Power)
2. Ruth Winder (UnitedHealthcare)
3. Emma White (Rally Cycling)
4. Kirsti Lay (Rally Cycling)
5. Ashlee Ankudinoff (North Memorial Healthcare)
6. Emma Grant (Colavita/Bianchi)
7. Brianna Walle (Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank)
8. Lily Williams (Chicago Womens Elite Cycling)
9. Katherine Maine (Rally Cycling)
10. Sara Bergen (Rally Cycling)

North Star Grand Prix Final General Classification | Women
1. Emma White (Rally Cycling)
2. Marlies MejiasGarcia (Weber Shimano Ladies Power)
3. Ruth Winder (UnitedHealthcare)
4. Brianna Walle (Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank)
5. Tayler Wiles (UnitedHealthcare)
6. Lily Williams (Chicago Womens Elite Cycling)
7. Kirsti Lay (Rally Cycling)
8. Ashlee Ankudinoff (North Memorial Healthcare)
9. Emma Grant (CTW: Colavita/Bianchi)
10. Sara Bergen (Rally Cycling)

Stage Wins
Stage 1: Brandon McNulty
Stage 2: Emma White
Stage 3: Brad Huff
Stage 4: Colin Joyce

Stage Podiums
Stage 1: Evan Huffman - 2nd
Stage 3: Emma White - 3rd
Stage 4: Allison Beveridge - 2nd
Stage 5: Emma White - 3rd
Stage 5: Brandon McNulty - 3rd
Stage 6: Emma White - 3rd
Stage 6: Colin Joyce - 2nd

Best Young Rider Competition
1. Brandon McNulty
1. Emma White

Most Aggressive Rider Jerseys
Stage 4: Kirsti Lay
Stage 6: Kirsti Lay