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Stage 3 | Sacramento Sunshine | Amgen Women’s Tour

Stage three raced from Elk Grove to Sacramento and provided some sunny relief after a frigid day in the mountains. It was the first flat course of the race – really flat, only about 40 total feet of vertical gain – which meant a change of strategy for the Rally Cycling women.

The team's roster was geared for the flat stages, partially due to some bad luck – broken bones suffered in the months before the race by the team's pure climber, Sara Poidevin, and streaking all-arounder Sara Bergen. That meant the team would be all-in for a forceful leadout over the races closing kilometers, an L-shaped circuit around the capitol that has been a part of every Sacramento finish in the history of the race. The circuit looks simple, but isn't, mostly due to wide roads with uneven crowning that makes properly judging speed for the sharp corners difficult. The Rally leadout assembled well, and dodged the inevitable crash on the Sacramento "L", which downed the world-class Dutch sprinter Kirsten Wild. The team placed well in the surge to the line, with Erica Allar setting up Emma White and Kirsti Lay for a double top-ten finish.

Smiles were easier to find in sunny Sacramento after the winter-like Lake Tahoe conditions.
Mechanics Zane Freebairn and Tim Sparks buff the team's Acura RDX until spotless.
Seems to be a little bit of bike envy from one of Elk Grove's two-wheeled policemen.
Casey Gibson captures the team's hand painted frames beautifully. Don't forget to bid on these amazing bikes!
An honor guard was roaming the grounds pre-race, and seemed to gravitate towards Rally's vibrant orange setup.
Emma White would be a key to today's stage, with a sprint stage win in Gila and the ability to work together with fast flatlander teammates like Erica Allar and Kelly Catlin to have a go at the finish line.
There is a much lesser-known challenge behind the scenes at a bike race – descending RV steps in cycling cleats. Sounds pretty easy, right? It's not.
Kirsti Lay stuffs a plehtora of CLIF product into her speedsuits pockets. I Spy: Organic Energy Food, Energy Gels, and Shot Blox.