Rally Cycling’s Rob Britton took the lead in the Tour of the Gila on Friday, finishing fourth in the stage three time trial. Last year’s champion, Evan Huffman finished in third while Kyle Murphy took fifth on the stage and lept to third on the general classification.
Sara Poidevin once again proved her time trial strength by finishing second on the stage and now trails the overall leader by a slim seven-second margin. Poidevin extended her lead in the Best Young Rider competition while Emma White maintained her advantage in the Points classification by finishing fifth on the stage.
Starting in the city of Tyrone, the riders faced an extremely windy 26 km out-and-back course. With not one meter of flat road, the riders climbing pedigree and descending skills were put to the test. The team’s exceptional performance on the stage allowed them to tighten their grip on this year’s Tour of the Gila.
Saturday’s stage four criterium in downtown Silver City is expected to be a battle for sprint points and time bonuses. Both Eric Young and Emma White are defending champions but their stage aspirations may be put on hold in order to look after their general classification leaders. All eyes are on Sunday’s Gila Monster stage where this year’s overall champions will be crowned.
“I’m really happy with how I rode and I was able to put major time into most of the competitors that I will look at on Sunday’s finale.
“The team is solid and I feel great. Sunday is a really hard day but I’m confident in both them and myself. I’m hoping to seal the deal and repay the guys for all the work they’ve done and continue to do for me.”
Performance Director Jonas Carney on Britton
“The team’s performance on stage one set Rob up perfectly to take the jersey on Friday.
“The strategy going forward is simple… defend the jersey for two days. The biggest obstacle to Rob and winning the overall will be the Gila monster stage on Sunday. It’s a brutal stage that is very difficult to defend.”
“I didn’t know what to expect for an overall result going into the stage. I just knew at the very least, I needed to not lose more seconds to Katie and ideally, make up some time on her. She started behind me so I had good motivation the whole time to try to ride away from her.
“I think winning the overall will be a matter of racing smart and just trying to ride to my strengths. At the end of the day, Katie is riding really strong but the Gila monster climb is long and anything can happen.”
Team Director Zach Bell on Poidevin
“We know Poidevin can time trial really well and Friday was confirmation of that.
“I always tell the riders that passive racing might get you good results but it will never get you the win. So if we are going to win this race, they need to have that confidence to execute the plan with no hesitation and no second-guessing.
“The biggest challenge will be the fact that it’s really down to a two-horse race. If she is going to win the race, she will have to straight up beat Katie one-on-one.”
Men’s Stage 3 Results
1 Serghei Tvetcov (Rom) 0:33:30
2 Gavin Mannion (USA) 0:00:25
3 Evan Huffman (USA) 0:00:31
4 Robert Britton (Can) 0:00:38
5 Kyle Murphy (USA) 0:00:56
Men’s General Classification after Stage 3
1 Robert Britton (Can) 8:15:34
2 Gavin Mannion (USA) 0:00:57
3 Kyle Murphy (USA) 0:01:43
Women’s Stage 3 Results
1 Chloe Dygert (USA) 0:39:39
2 Sara Poidevin (Can) 0:00:13
3 Katharine Hall (USA) 0:00:18
4 Leah Thomas (USA) 0:00:40
5 Emma White (USA) 0:00:52
Women’s General Classification after Stage 3
1 Katharine Hall (USA) 8:00:59
2 Sara Poidevin (Can) 0:00:07
3 Leah Thomas (USA) 0:02:07
Women’s Best Young Rider Competition
1 Sara Poidevin (Can) 8:01:06
2 Chloe Dygert (USA) 0:03:04
3 Emma White (USA) 0:04:31
Women’s Points Classification
1 Emma White (USA) 27 pts
2 Chloe Dygert (USA) 15
3 Diana Peñuela (Col) 14