In the Battle for Bananas, it’s looking as though the Traverse City feud may well decide who gets the best bunch of bananas Dole can produce. However, PriorityHealth’s Amy Stauffer put her stamp on the race and herself back in the Banana mix. 

As a 1.0 race with a quality field, the Mount Pleasant Road Race is tailor-made to cap the early season points race for Bananas. After a cold, wet ride at West Branch last week, the racers were steamed up by high temperatures and the familiar gusty winds of Isabella County. With Hagerty and Eisntein riding with numbers and the responsibility to attack and defend, Stauffer was in ideal position to take advantage of the TC in-fighting to seize the day.

After some active racing and a long slog through the heat, Stauffer stomped the pedals to sneak just inches ahead of Hagerty’s Susan Vigland, with Einstein’s Johanna Schmidt taking third.

20 1 360.40 Amy Stauffer (1 – Cat1) Lowell, MI 26:29.th 151668 219 Team Priority Health
19 2 378.52 Susan Vigland (2 – Cat1) Traverse City, MI 26:29.th 263846 210 Hagerty Racing
18 3 396.64 Johanna Schmidt (1 – Cat2) Traverse City, MI 26:32.th 236546 218 Einstein Racing
 17 4 414.76 Katheryn Everts (2 – Cat2) Hudsonville, MI 26:32.th 307335 224 REAL WOMEN TRI
16 5 432.88 Amanda Ryan (3 – Cat2) Wixom, MI 26:32.th 286220 217 Einstein Racing
 15 6 451.00 Alicia Trevino (4 – Cat2) Saginaw, MI 30:38.th 278555 220 Fusion / LIVESTRONG/Fusion Cycl
14 7 469.12 Lauri Brockmiller (5 – Cat2) Traverse City, MI 30:38.th 275925 201 Hagerty Racing
13 8 487.24 Zoe Reeves (6 – Cat2) Grand Rapids, MI 30:39.th 295290 207 Einstein Racing
12 9 505.36 Sarah Demerly (7 – Cat2) Berkley, MI 35:57.th 293788 205 Fusion / LIVESTRONG/Fusion Cycl
11 10 523.48 Kimberly Thomas (8 – Cat2) Belmont, MI 58:04.th 300926 227 Fusion / LIVESTRONG/Fusion Cycl

Stauffer nabbing top points kept her hopes alive for the Overall, and she’s neck and neck with la creme de la crop with the Banana front-runners. Race selection will be key for those still in the race. With the State Games of Cannonsburg added as a 3.0 race, there won’t be a ton of points on offer but the course is close to Kim Thomas, Zoe Reeves and Amy Stauffer, and they could nab a few points on the day. Kathy Everts could also threaten the podium there, and it’s just a hop, skip and bunny-hop away from Hudsonville. The next Banana stop at Boyne favors the riders of the north like Schmidt, Vigland and Lauri Brockmiller, as it is just a short drive north.

Here are the standings after Mount Pleasant:

Johanna Schmidt at 50 points
Amy Stauffer at 40 points
Julie Whalen at 38 points
Susan Vigland at 38 points
Kathy Everts at 35 points
Bridgett Widrig at 32 points
Amanda Ryan at 30 points
Samantha Brode at 19 points

Stephanie Swan at 17 points
Amelia Moore at 16 points
Laura Webb at 16 points
Mackenzie Woodring at 15 points
Kim Chapman at 15 points
Rachel Decker at 15 points
Alicia Trevino at 15 points
Lauri Brockmiller at 14 points
Wendy Zamzow at 14 points
Ali Bridson at 14 points
Kristen Jukowski at 14 points
Zoe Reeves at 13 points
Chelsea Clark at 13 points
Sarah Demerly at 12 points
Julie Marceau at 12 points
Molly Wolf at 12 points
Marilyn Kamp at 12 points
Melissa Ryba at 11 points
Jill Meredith at 11 points
Bridget Donovan at 11
Kim Thomas at 10 points