District champs decided in Minden

A pair of Sacramento area riders, Troy White and Debbie Allen, emerged as the top men's and women's winners during the Carson Valley Classic Criterium on Saturday afternoon in Minden.

White, of Sacramento, came out of a lead pack of four riders to win the featured men's pro 1/2 race - an event that also doubled as the district championships - and Allen, of Fair Oaks, won the Classic women's race for the second time in three years on a day when temperatures touched triple digits.

"It was hot today," race announcer Keith Hart said, flashing a smile. "The field was good, these are the district championships and everyone was going hard."

Steven Axt of Santa Clara put on a late charge down Esmeralda Avenue, but White held on to win by a half-wheel.

Allen, a familiar face at the Classic, outlasted defending women's champion Cynthia Momnsen, of Mill Valley, Calif., and the Olympic Club, to take the women's race.

Allen won the 1998 Minden race only a few months after giving birth to her first daughter, and she finished third last year. And to complete this family affair, husband Peter Allen, won the masters 35-and-over race.

"We like coming here. This is just a great race, a great course, the people are friendly and the organizers here do a really good job," Peter Allen said.

Allen went on to compliment not only the Minden criterium course, but the Diamond Valley road race, which will be held this morning.

"Both of these courses are national-caliber courses," Allen said. "This area would be a good possibility for a national race. I know, nationals are being held this weekend in Indianapolis, but really, I'd rather be here."

Saturday's criterium was held on a .7-mile loop on the streets of downtown Minden surrounding Minden Park. It's an ideal location, according to Hart.

"There are no bot dots (reflectors) on the road, which can hinder the riders; you have wide-open streets, about 30 feet wide; the distance is perfect, the S-curves help make things interesting, and the shade of the trees help out on a hot day like this," Hart said.

The Classic Road Race starts at 8 a.m. this morning from Diamond Valley School in Woodfords. Riders will be challenged by a hilly 13-mile loop (the pro 1/2 class race is seven laps, or 91 miles).

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