Exergy Tour: Tara Whitten takes prologue as Kristin Armstrong crashes out
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Friday, May 25, 2012

Exergy Tour: Tara Whitten takes prologue as Kristin Armstrong crashes out

by Ben Atkins at 6:43 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
 
Canada sweeps the podium of 3.2km opening test

tara whittenTara Whitten (Tibco-To The Top) led an all-Canadian podium in the opening prologue of the inaugural Exergy Tour, in Boise, Idaho. The former two-time World Omnium champion completed the 3.2km out and back course, between Julia Davis Park and the Boise Train Depot, in a time of 4’09”, just a fraction of a second quicker than Pursuit teammate Gillian Carleton, riding for the Canadian National Team.

Just one second slower was a third Canadian, in the shape of national champion Clara Hughes (Specialized-lululemon).

“It was such a strong field today. I am very proud to wear the first ever yellow jersey at the Exergy Tour,” said Whitten after the podium ceremony. “The Canadian cycling program made huge improvements over past several years. Gillian is a strong member of the Women’s Team Pursuit on the track, and I am very excited for the Olympic Games coming up this summer. I am thrilled that we’re both in top form. We are only getting stronger.”
 
“It’s pretty unusual for us to have great crowds; it’s exciting,” she added. “The first comment I got from one of my teammates coming back was that the crowds were amazing, and it pushes you to give everything you have in there. We have a really strong team here and we are excited for the days to come.”

The first rider to roll down the ramp was Jamie Bookwalter (Colavita-ESPNW) - the wife of BMC Racing’s Brent - who stopped the clock in a time of 4’30”. The first competitive time was set just four riders later however, when Swedish champion Emilia Fahlin (Specialized-lululemon) went eight seconds quicker with 4’22”. Fahlin herself was not at the top of the standings for long however, as Lex Albrecht (Optum Pro Cycling) went one second faster, but Evie Stevens put the German-registered team back into the lead, as she cut the best time to 4’12”.

Stevens was knocked out of first place by yet another Specialized-lululemon rider, in Ina Teutenberg but,little more than twenty minutes later, Carleton completed her ride in 4’09” to put Canada on top.

The 22-year-old track specialist was to be in the hot seat for more than half an hour, until Whitten came round and went a fraction of a second quicker. Shortly afterwards, Hughes - who was tipped by many to take the stage after he Chrono Gatineau victory the week before - went an agonising second slower.

The big headline of the prologue however, was the crash for local rider, the day’s favourite, and last rider to start, Kristin Armstrong (Exergy-TWENTY12). The Olympic time trial champion suffered a fractured collarbone, but still managed to complete the course in a time of 4’17”, just eight seconds slower than Whitten in 13th place.

Result prologue
1. Tara Whitten (Can) Team Tibco-To The Top, 3.2km in 4’09”
2. Gillian Carleton (Can) Canadian National Team
3. Clara Hughes (Can) Specialized-lululemon @ 1s
4. Ina Teutenberg (Ger) Specialized-lululemon @ 3s
5. Evelyn Stevens (USA) Specialized-lululemon
6. Alison Powers (USA) NOW and Novartis for MS
7. Shara Gillow (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge @ 4s
8. Jade Wilcoxson (USA) Optum Pro Cycling Women @ 6s
9. Trixi Worrack (Ger) Specialized-lululemon
10. Amber Neben (USA) Specialized-lululemon @ 7s

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