Rally Cycling dominates Sea Otter circuit race with three on the podium

Emma White leads podium sweep for Rally Cycling at Sea Otter circuit race.

Photo: Robert DeBerry

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Rally Cycling swept the podium on the opening day of the Sea Otter Classic on Thursday.

Emma White was first across the line for the orange-clad squad, with Heidi Franz and Kristabel Doebel-Hickok kicking through just seconds later.

“Sweeping the podium and celebrating with teammates is such a special feeling,” White said after the race. “The entire team did everything they could to make it fast and utilize their strengths. I’m so proud of everyone’s efforts.”

White, Franz and Doebel-Hickok all made it into the front group after a two-rider break had been reeled in on the penultimate lap.

Olympic bronze medalist White had marked a move on the final climb of the last circuit to spark the decisive selection. The 24-year-old then took the initiative in the final sprint, launching early to win ahead of her two teammates.

White has enjoyed relatively little racing with Rally Cycling this season. Much of the New Yorker’s summer was taken up with preparing with the U.S track pursuit squad for the Tokyo Olympics. She returned to the road for the late-August Joe Martin Stage Race, but had been out of competition since then.

She welcomed the return to action at Sea Otter after her long break from racing.

“I’m happy to be back with the team after some time away,” White said. “My legs were a bit shocked to feel that kind of pain again, but they quickly warmed up to it. It always feels good to be back with Rally Cycling.”

The Californian festival of all-things cycling continues through the weekend.

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