Tina Pic: The unlikely queen of the criterium
April 25, 2018
Tina Mayolo-Pic‘s name is one that is synonymous with criterium racing, sprinting, and stars-and-stripes jerseys. With a career that spans nearly 25 years, she is one of the most successful cyclists to come out of the US and has an illustrious resume that includes a record six US professional criterium titles.
In an interview with Cycingnews, Pic discussed her decision to continue racing at the elite level into her 50s, despite a brief retirement in 2009, and the support of her husband, Chris Pic. She also highlighted a hard-to-pick list of five of the most memorable criteriums of her career.
Tour of Somerville (Mildred Kugler Women’s Open) – Victories in 2000, 2006, 2008 and 2009
Somerville has been around for so long. It is such a tricky race, though. The course is so wide open that almost anything can happen. A lot of other courses are easier to gauge because there are sections that standout, whether there is a hill or a section that is technical, but Somerville is different. The final is so long that you have to be able to time your sprint perfectly for the finish. I don’t remember how many times I won it, maybe once or twice [Pic won Mildred Kugler Women’s Open four times – ed.]
It’s kind of a crash-fest, a very odd criterium, and I still have a tire burn on the back of my leg from that race.
Laura van Gilder is from Pennsylvania, and so Tour of Somerville was kinda her race, the one that she always targeted. It was hard because sometimes we were on the same team and sometimes we were racing against each other, over the years. With criterium racing, and if you race long enough, you are going to end up racing with everyone at some point in your career.
Tour of Somerville [Van Gilder also won the race four times – ed.] was just one of those summertime races that everyone does. The best races are the ones where to crowds come out, and there are so many people around.