Rally UHC Cycling arrived in Devil’s Den State Park on Saturday with nothing to lose and everything to gain. What stood before them was a 5 km, uphill time trial averaging 5% in gradient and featuring eight switchbacks. Following two straight stages where the podium eluded them, the team rose to the occasion and finished 2nd, 3rd, and 4th with the trio of Emma White, Sara Bergen, and Krista Doebel-Hickok.
The result put Bergen within 12 seconds of the overall leader’s pink jersey and Doebel-Hickok within 18 seconds ahead of Sunday’s final stage in downtown Fayetteville.
After racing the UCI Track World Championships with Team USA in February, Emma White arrived in Arkansas with a question mark on her form. The track requires short, explosive power over flat terrain and the uphill time trial out of Devil’s Den State Park was anything but.
“I didn’t know what to expect coming off the track,” said White. “After taking some time off and revamping for longer events, I didn’t think I would be quite where I am already. I spent some time in Tucson last week training on Mt. Lemmon and I think it was super helpful.”
Normally, riding in a day-long breakaway and suffering a crash in previous stages would take its toll, but with Emma White, not the case.
“I am really happy with this result,” said White. “After crashing in stage one and spending most of the day in the break during stage two, a podium in the uphill TT was unexpected and very exciting. We still have big aspirations in the general classification that we will continue to pursue in the criterium.”
Last year, Sara Bergen was in a similar position headed into the final stage. She needed to make up a handful of seconds in the final criterium and fell 18 seconds short of her target.
“Taking the pink jersey will take the awesome powers of the whole team,” said Bergen. “It’s time to get gritty and mess stuff up.”
With one second separating the top two riders on GC, Rally UHC Cycling hopes that will play to their advantage.
“They will certainly have to watch each other with Shannon going off the front on stage two and Twenty20 unable to bring her back,” said Bergen. “I doubt they will be inclined to give me much leash either but we won’t give them a choice.”
The stage 4 criterium starts at 2:30 pm CDT on Sunday, April 6th. Follow the #JMSR19 on Twitter for LIVE updates. Rally UHC Cycling will look to maintain their lead in the Team Classification while targeting the individual standings.
Stage 3 results
1 RAMIREZ FREGOSO, And SWAPIT AGOLICO 10:55(57) 0:00
2 WHITE, Emma Rally UHC Cycling 11:02(31) @ 0:07
3 BERGEN, Sara Rally UHC Cycling 11:04(39) @ 0:09
4 DOEBEL-HICKOK, Krist Rally UHC Cycling 11:10(67) @ 0:15
5 LANGLEY, Emma Amy D Foundation 11:11(35) @ 0:16
6 DYGERT, Chloe Sho-Air TWENTY20 11:14(01) @ 0:19
7 MALSEED, Shannon MIX TEAM – TIBCO 11:16(39) @ 0:21
8 SANTOYO PEREZ, Brend SWAPIT AGOLICO 11:19(49) @ 0:24
9 WILLIAMS, Lily Hagens Berman|Supermint 11:22(76) @ 0:27
10 PRIETO CASTANEDA, Ma SWAPIT AGOLICO 11:22(85) @ 0:27
General Classification after stage 3
1 DYGERT, Chloe * USA Sho-Air TWENTY20 5:48:17 00:00
2 MALSEED, Shannon AUS MIX TEAM – TIBCO 5:48:18 @ 00:01
3 BERGEN, Sara CAN Rally UHC Cycling 5:48:29 @ 00:12
4 RAMIREZ FREGOSO, Andrea * MEX SWAPIT AGOLICO 5:48:30 @ 00:13
5 DOEBEL-HICKOK, Krista USA Rally UHC Cycling 5:48:35 @ 00:18
6 LANGLEY, Emma USA Amy D Foundation 5:48:36 @ 00:19
7 PRIETO CASTANEDA, Marce MEX SWAPIT AGOLICO 5:48:52 @ 00:35
8 GANZAR, Leigh Ann USA Hagens Berman|Supermint 5:48:55 @ 00:38
9 DUEHRING, Jasmin CAN Sho-Air TWENTY20 5:49:00 @ 00:43
10 SANTOYO PEREZ, Brenda A MEX SWAPIT AGOLICO 5:49:08 @ 00:51
Team GC after stage 3
1 Rally UHC Cycling 17:26:12
2 SWAPIT AGOLICO 17:26:30 @ :18
3 Sho-Air TWENTY20 17:26:55 @ :43