SRAM Tour of the Gila: Sutherland and Armstrong winners on day one
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Thursday, May 03, 2012

SRAM Tour of the Gila: Sutherland and Armstrong winners on day one

by Shane Stokes at 5:51 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
 
Final climb opens GC gaps

Rory SutherlandShowing strong form in the buildup to the Amgen Tour of California, UnitedHealthcare’s Rory Sutherland soloed to victory on yesterday’s opening stage of the SRAM Tour of the Gila in Mogollon. The Australian rider was one of six who formed the lead group on the final 11 kilometre, first category ascent to the line, then attacked the others with three kilometres to go.

He reached the line twelve seconds clear of Bontrager-Livestrong rider Joe Dombrowski, and was a further two seconds ahead of Chad Beyer (Competitive Cyclist Racing Team) and Optum Pro Cycling/Kelly Benefits Strategies’ Sebasian Salas.

Defending champion Francisco Mancebo (Competitive Cyclists Racing Team) had been part of the final selection but weakened and finished 52 seconds back in seventh.

“This was a good win for us and we are very happy about the team’s performance,” said Sutherland. “As a team, we went into today not knowing exactly where we were having just come back from Europe. This team has battled sickness, bad weather, injuries and a lot of hard racing in Europe, so getting the win today was nice, especially after all of the ups and downs we’ve experienced.

“We’ve done a lot of events together throughout the past few months and as a team we have endured a lot. I believe that has brought us closer together.”

Soon after the start of the 151.3 kilometre race from Silver City, Paul Mach (Kenda 5 Hour Energy) and Adam Carr (Ekoi.com) went clear and built a maximum advantage of almost eight minutes.

However despite that buffer, they were reeled in 46 kilometres from the end. Once that happened, those in the peloton readied themselves for the final climb, where the big battle for stage honours and the first leader’s jersey took place.

Mancebo’s Competitive Cyclist team tried to control the climb, and put Mancebo and Chad Beyer into the six man lead group which pushed ahead. Also present were Sutherland, Salas, Dombrowski and Chris Baldwin (Bissell Cycling).

Sutherland then made his move with three kilometre to go and quickly showed that he was strongest.

“Marc de Maar and the UnitedHealthcare boys really did a great job, keeping us in a good position throughout the day,” he said. “The confidence was there and the boys put us in the right place at the bottom of the climb. The legs came around for me and I felt great so I went with my own tempo up the climb, which was good enough to get the victory.”

The five day stage race continues with a 128.7 kilometre second stage from Silver City to Fort Bayard.

Armstrong dominates to open strong early lead:


One year after being taken out of the race by a stomach virus, Kristin Armstrong (Exergy Twenty12) returned to the SRAM Tour of the Gila and completely dominated day one of the women’s race.

Armstrong attacked from the lead group on the final climb and reached the line a full two minutes eighteen seconds ahead of Carmen Small (Optum/Kelly Benefit Strategies). Small’s team-mate Jade Wilcoxson was third, two minutes 42 seconds back, with Alison Powers (Now and Novartis for MS) the only other rider within three minutes of the first race leader.

However the stage was anything but straightforward for the break. Armstrong and Crowell established the move after the first bonus sprint, 56 kilometres into the race, and pushed ahead with five others.

However these were sent the wrong way, prompting officials to stop the race, get the septet back on course and to give them back their one minute 15 second time gap when things were restarted.

Armstrong and Crowell drove the group along, with the latter burning up so much energy before the climb that she would lose over nine minutes.

"Having Kristin with me in the break made my job crystal clear,” she said afterwards. “The two of us worked well together while the others sat on. It was a hard effort, but it was calculated. Hearing ‘awesome job’ from Kristin let me know we were in a good spot tactically.”

Armstrong was feeling good and was able to build a strong advantage on the final ascent. “I am very happy to take the win for my team today, they rode very well,” she said. “Jackie Crowell was exceptional in the break and set me up nicely for the Mogollon ascent. I settled into a steady rhythm on the climb, taking the altitude into consideration.”

Crowell recognizes that Armstrong is in a very good position. “Now we are going into stage two with over a two-minute lead on second place,” she said. “We have a strong team here, and I have a lot of faith in our ability to defend."

SRAM Tour of the Gila (2.1)

May 1, Stage 1: Silver City - Mogollon 151.3 km:


1, Rory Sutherland (Aus) UnitedHealthcare 3:45:43
2, Joe Dombrowski (USA) Bontrager-Livestrong Team, at 12
3, Chad Beyer (USA) Competitive Cyclist Racing Team, at 14
4, Sebastian Salas (Can) Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefits Strategies
5, Chris Baldwin (USA) Bissell Cycling, at 33
6, Marc De Maar (AHo) UnitedHealthcare, at 39
7, Francisco Mancebo (Spa) Competitive Cyclist Racing Team, at 52
8, Luis Enrique Lemus (Mex) Mexican National Team, at 1:02
9, Cesar Grajales (Col) Competitive Cyclist Racing Team
10, Carlos Lopez (Mex) Mexican National Team, at 1:14
11, Phil Gaimon (USA) Kenda 5 Hour Energy
12, Chris Butler (USA) Champion System, at 1:22
13, Rubens Bertogliati (Swi) Team Type 1 - Sanofi
14, Nate Wilson (USA) California Giant Cycling Team, at 1:27
15, Max Jenkins (USA) Competitive Cyclist Racing Team
16, Tyler Wren (USA) Jamis-Sutter Home, at 1:33
17, Mathew Cooke (USA) Team Exergy, at 1:44
18, Nathan English (USA) Kenda 5 Hour Energy, at 1:50
19, Chris Winn (Aus) Juwi Solar, at 2:02
20, Andrew Bajadali (USA) Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefits Strategies

Intermediate sprint 1:

1, Paul Mach (USA) Kenda 5 Hour Energy 5 pts
2, Adam Carr (USA) Ekoi.com - Gaspesien 3
3, Colin Gibson (USA) Hagens Berman Cycling Team 1

Intermediate sprint 2:

1, Paul Mach (USA) Kenda 5 Hour Energy 5 pts
2, Adam Carr (USA) Ekoi.com - Gaspesien 3
3, Logan Loader (USA) Team Exergy 1

General classification:

1, Rory Sutherland (Aus) UnitedHealthcare, 3:45:43
2, Joe Dombrowski (USA) Bontrager-Livestrong Team, at 12
3, Chad Beyer (USA) Competitive Cyclist Racing Team, at 14
4, Sebastian Salas (Can) Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefits Strategies
5, Chris Baldwin (USA) Bissell Cycling, at 33
6, Marc De Maar (AHo) UnitedHealthcare, at 39
7, Francisco Mancebo (Spa) Competitive Cyclist Racing Team, at 52
8, Luis Enrique Lemus (Mex) Mexican National Team, at 1:02
9, Cesar Grajales (Col) Competitive Cyclist Racing Team
10, Carlos Lopez (Mex) Mexican National Team, at 1:14
11, Phil Gaimon (USA) Kenda 5 Hour Energy
12, Chris Butler (USA) Champion System, at 1:22
13, Rubens Bertogliati (Swi) Team Type 1 - Sanofi
14, Nate Wilson (USA) California Giant Cycling Team, at 1:27
15, Max Jenkins (USA) Competitive Cyclist Racing Team
16, Tyler Wren (USA) Jamis-Sutter Home, at 1:33
17, Mathew Cooke (USA) Team Exergy, at 1:44
18, Nathan English (USA) Kenda 5 Hour Energy, at 1:50
19, Chris Winn (Aus) Juwi Solar, at 2:02
20, Andrew Bajadali (USA) Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefits Strategies

Sprint classification:

1, Paul Mach (USA) Kenda 5 Hour Energy, 10 pts
2, Adam Carr (USA) Ekoi.com – Gaspesien, 6
3, Logan Loader (USA) Team Exergy, 1
4, Colin Gibson (USA) Hagens Berman Cycling Team, 1

Teams classification:

1, Competitive Cyclist, 11:19:17
2, Unitedhealthcare Pro Cycling Team, at 1:27
3, Mexican National Team, at 2:36
4, Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
5, Kenda 5 Hour Energy Cycling Team, at 3:05
6, California Giant Cycling Team, at 4:23
7, Team Exergy, at 5:00
8, Bontrager-Livestrong Team, at 5:01
9, Champion System Pro Cycling Team
10, Jamis-Sutter Home, at 5:16

Elite Women:

1, Kristin Armstrong (USA) Exergy TWENTY12, 3:15:39
2, Carmen Small (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies, at 2:18
3, Jade Wilcoxson (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies, at 2:42
4, Alison Powers (USA) NOW and Novartis for MS, at 2:48
5, Janel Holcomb (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies, at 3:35
6, Robin Farina (USA) NOW and Novartis for MS, at 3:39
7, Emily Kachorek (USA) Primal/MapMyRide Women's racing, at 3:43
8, Tayler Wiles (USA) Exergy TWENTY12, at 3:54
9, Catherine Johnson (USA) Panache, at 4:00
10, Olivia Dillon (Irl) NOW and Novartis for MS, at 4:16 ,
11, Jessica Cutler (USA) Primal/MapMyRide Women's racing, at 4:18
12, Maria Louisa Calle Williams (Col) Colombian National Team, at 4:19
13, Andrea Dvorak (USA) Exergy TWENTY12, at 4:29
14, Kathryn Donovan (USA) FCS|ROUSE p/b Mr. Restore, at 4:36
15, Anna Sanders (USA) FCS|ROUSE p/b Mr. Restore, at 4:51
16, Lindsay Myers (USA) Team TIBCO, at 5:06
17, Jasmin Glaesser (Can) Colavita-espnW Pro Cycling, at 5:14
18, Leah Guloien (Can) Colavita-espnW Pro Cycling, at 5:19
19, Jen Weinbrecht (USA) Primal/MapMyRide Women's racing, at 5:37
20, Kathryn Hunter (USA) Landis/Trek, at 6:04

Mountains classification:

1, Kristin Armstrong (USA) Exergy TWENTY12, 15 pts
2, Carmen Small (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies, 12
3, Jade Wilcoxson (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies, 9
4, Alison Powers (USA) NOW and Novartis for MS, 7
5, Janel Holcomb (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies, 5

Sprint classification:

1, Jade Wilcoxson (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies, 10 pts
2, Joanie Caron (Can) Colavita-espnW Pro Cycling, 6
3, Jacquelyn Crowell (USA) Exergy TWENTY12, 1
4, Loren Rowney (Aus) FCS|ROUSE p/b Mr. Restore, 1

Teams classification:

1, Exergy TWENTY12, 9:55:20
2, Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies, at 12
3, NOW and Novartis for MS, at 2:20
4, Primal/MapMyRide Women's, at 5:15
5, Colavita-espnW Pro Cycling, at 8:41
6, FCS|ROUSE p/b Mr. Restore, at 9:25
7, Landis/Trek, at 11:18
8, Team TIBCO, at 15:49

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