All Cannondale All the time and Sawicki Stomps Her Foot On The Breck Epic
Today's 41-mile stage incorporated much of the same trails as the Marathon National Championships with the addition of 3 bonus climbs in and around Pennsylvania Creek.
At 8:10AM riders started off with a neutral start of the first mile. No sooner did the lead vehicle turn off but Cannondale rider Ben Sonntag attacked on the Boreas Pass road climb.
Josh Tostado (Bach Builders) closed the gap and managed to put some breathing space between himself and the lead group which still included Sonntag's teammates Alex Grant and Jeremiah Bishop.
At this point the chase group contained heavy-hitters Matt Shriver (Fort Lewis), Max Taam (Honey Stinger/Trek), Colin Cares (Kenda/Felt), Macky Franklin (Yeti/Sunflower), and the Gibson brothers Greg and Chucky (Truckerco.com).
Tostado managed to stay out front as the course transitioned from road to dirt. The Cannondale duo of Alex Grant and Jeremiah Bishop surged ahead of Sonntag. Soon the duo would over take Tostado as well on the Little French climb.
Once ahead they never looked back. The Cannondale riders worked together throughout rest of the race eventually building a lead of over 4 1/2 minutes.
Sonntag stayed strong eventually making it a Cannondale 1-2-3. Tostado took 4th over 5 minutes ahead of 5th place Macky Franklin.
In the women's race Pua Sawicki crushed the competition getting an early lead before Baker's Tank and then running away with the race on the Little French Gulch climb taking the manhood of all but the top-9 Pro Men with her.
Behind the leader Tammy Jacques (Eriksen) and German Ivonne Kraft (Squirt Lube) battled throughout the day. Kraft is one of the most successful endurance racers in Europe. Ivonne and her sister have won just about every stage race on the Eurpoean continent.
Today she showed her fitness by riding a smart and controlled race from start to finish.
Jacques did her best to stay close to the German rider but was hampered again by a crash. At the top of Little French climb Jacques got stopped in the creek crossing a simply tipped over landing on her face. With a deep gash on the left cheek the Eriksen rider soldiered on actually closing the gap to Kraft on the final climb.
Nobody came close to Sawicki today as she cruised to a huge victory. At the finish she said, "I'm just enjoying myself on the bike. With everything that's happened this fall I just wanted to come out and have a good time."
1, Pua Sawicki (OkoleStuff.com) 3:21:40
2, Ivonne Kraft (Squirt)
3, Tammy Jacques
1, Jeremiah Bishop (Cannondale) 3:05:14
2, Alex Grant (Cannondale) 3:05:15
3, Ben Sonntag (Cannondale) 3:09.15
4, Josh Tostado (Bach Builders) 3:10:37
5, Macky Franklin (Yeti-Sunflower) 3:16:00
6, Matt Shriver (Ft. Lewis College) 3:16:20
7, Max Taam (Honey Stinger/Trek) 3:17:39
8, Colby Pearce (Panache) 3:19:59
9, Chuck Gibson 3:21:15
10, Shannon Boffeli (iRide Adventures/MTBRacenews.com) 3:25:31
11, Blake Harlan (Team Jamis) 3:27:42
12, Jorge Espinoza (Prerace.com) 3:30:56
13, Gregy Gibson (TruckerCo.com) 3:31:06
14, Ross Schnell (Crank Bros/SRAM) 3:35:34
15, Peter Butt
16, Dain Zaffke
1, Evan Plews (Evanplews.com) 3:33:30
2, Charlie Hayes
3, Jake Kirkpatrick