Cycling: Old Pueblo Grand Prix: Kirchmann repeats as women's winner

2013-03-10T00:00:00Z Cycling: Old Pueblo Grand Prix: Kirchmann repeats as women's winnerJason Harris Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
March 10, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Early cloud cover and scattered showers gave way to a great night of professional cycling at the third annual Old Pueblo Grand Prix.

Spectators lined the streets of downtown Tucson to watch Leah Kirchmann defend her title in dominating fashion.

The race is the first stop on the USA Cycling National Criterium Calendar and the USA Criterium Championship Series.

"It played out perfectly for us," said Kirchmann. "You could see riders tip-toeing out to the front, my move just happened to be the one that stuck."

Nearly lapping the field by the end of the women's race, the Canadian proved last year's narrow win over eventual 2012 CCS champion and Tucsonan Erica Allar was no accident.

"It was definitely a lot of pressure being from Tucson and being the NCC and CCS defending champion," Allar said.

Kirchmann, 22, made her move around the 20th minute of the 50-minute race. She won $11,500.

Five minutes later, the third-year pro had a 27-second lead as the race switched from time to laps.

Fifteen laps into the 25-lap sprint to the finish, Kirchmann extended her lead to 40 seconds, a lead she would maintain for the final 10 laps.

"It was the first time I've won a crit solo," Kirchmann said after edging out Allar on the last lap last year. "I was treating it like a time trial."

After an hour break to allow for traffic to clear, it was the men's turn.

Luke Keouth capped a full day of cycling-related activities with his win in the men's race.

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