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Joyce makes history in Norway

Joyce wins stage two at Arctic Tour, Ellsay third in Colorado

In the second day of Rally Cycling’s international triple-header, Colin Joyce made history at the Arctic Race of Norway by winning stage two and becoming the first American to finish on the podium at the UCI 2.HC ranked race. Canadian Gillian Ellsay flew up Vail Pass at the Colorado Classic to finish third and move into the Best Young Rider jersey. Aspen native Abby Mickey’s fourth-place moved her into third overall and Rob Britton crossed the line for eighth.

Go behind the scenes with Sam Wiebe for a candid photo essay from the Colorado Classic’s Vail Pass time trial.

Joyce bests WorldTour from breakaway

The queen stage of this year’s Arctic Race of Norway to Kjøllefjord featured three Category 1 climbs on the 195 km windswept course. After placing Ryan Anderson in an early breakaway, the peloton shattered in the crosswinds mid-stage. Matteo Dal-Cin then ushered Colin Joyce to the front of the splintered peloton where he made the decisive split over the day’s final climb. With Robin Carpenter joining him off the front, the Rally Cycling duo drove the group to the line with Joyce taking the biggest win of his young career.

“Man, this one is really special,” said Joyce. “The biggest win of my career by far. It’s also the first big one in Europe. The team was amazing and it wouldn’t have been possible if it weren’t for them after such a hard, hectic day. They helped out a ton with it being so windy and the field exploding.”

After an opening stage that left the team on the back foot, Rally Cycling was keen to stay ahead of the trouble. They were represented in nearly every move and made sure to react to anything dangerous going up the road.

“I was going cross-eyed bridging to Robin’s group over the last KOM,” said Joyce. “Robin was rolling super hard to help bring the break back and make sure we stayed away. Randy did a great job making the break and Matteo did some superman pulls for me when I got caught too far back in crosswind sections. It was a big team effort today and I’m stoked to get this one for the guys!”

Stage two results
1 Colin Joyce (USA) Rally Cycling 4:20:24  
2 Dennis van Winden (Ned) Israel Cycling Academy
3 Markus Hoelgaard (Nor) Joker Icopal
4 Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team
5 Sergei Chernetski (Rus) Astana Pro Team

General Classification after stage two
1 Sergei Chernetski (Rus) Astana Pro Team 8:10:34
2 Colin Joyce (USA) Rally Cycling 0:00:04  
3 Markus Hoelgaard (Nor) Joker Icopal 0:00:05
4 Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team 0:00:19
5 Alberto Bettiol (Ita) BMC Racing Team 0:00:23

Ellsay third and BYR, Mickey fourth in Vail time trial

Stage two of the Colorado Classic took the riders up Vail Pass on a 16 km time trial. Starting in Vail Village, the riders climbed 1,500 ft in pursuit of the stage victory and with it, the yellow jersey. Gillian Ellsay set an early best time and would eventually finish in third, moving her into the lead of the Best Young Rider competition. Abby Mickey’s fourth-place finish placed her in third overall while yesterday’s Most Aggressive rider and last year’s Colorado Classic champion, Sara Poidevin, came in seventh. Rob Britton was eighth on the stage.

“I’m so excited about my third place and a little bit surprised as well,” said Ellsay. “I wasn’t focused on any particular result today. Just being well prepared beforehand and focusing on the race ahead. It was one of those days where my mind was blank and things just clicked. I was focusing on my breathing and the yellow line.”

On Saturday, the men head out on a 162 km stage that features over 8,000 ft of climbing and three KOM’s. It will be a difficult stage to control and the yellow jersey could change hands. The Velorama festival will host the women for a 60-minute criterium in downtown Denver where time bonuses will play an important role in this year’s race.