Well the 6th and final stage of the Nature Valley Grand Prix came to a close. The women’s race saw Carmen Small’s Optum team deliver her to the finish as the Nature Valley Grand Prix Champion. Carmen and her team managed to keep in her yellow throughout the entire event and it came as no surprise that Optum also took the team title as well as, the Sport Beans Queen of the Hill competition won by teammate Jade Wilcoxson. On the men’s side Mother Nature again brought rain to the event with a light rain turned to a steady downpour as the race came to an end. Tom Zirbel keep all his competitors close and is now able to call himself the Nature Valley Grand Prix Champion. His team did a lot of work at the front of the race and it showed with Optum earning the overall team title. You couldn’t really ask for more from the Optum team after taking home the race win and team win for both the women and men.
One additional award was given out before the start of the women’s event. It is the Carla Swart Sportsmanship Award. The recipient of the award is voted on by the women’s peloton and in Stillwater that rider receives the award in honor of the teamwork Carla Swart displayed during her tragically short career. The 2012 winner chosen by her peers was Anna Barensfeld of the Optum team.