Cannondale and Pua Continue to Dominate
Race Director Mike McCormack warned everyone that today’s stage 3 would be a tough one. I don’t think he even realized how right he was.
Today’s stage crossed the Continental Divide twice and climbed above the tree line. While that seems hard enough throw in a little cold weather and about 90 minutes of rain and you have a truly epic stage.
Truckerco.com rider Chucky Gibson said hiking the steep goat trail to the pass over Mount Guyot felt like "…climbing Everest. You looked up and just saw clouds sweeping across the top.”
As rain and clouds soaked the riders they descended Mt. Guyot. As it was sunny and warm at the start many riders decided to forgo a jacket, a decision that left many riders literally out in the cold.
Duo team races leaders Team Hammer were close to frozen. Both riders stopped while one fixed a bike problem the other huddled with both hands down the front of his pants.
Once again team Cannondale members Alex Grant and Jeremiah Bishop took over at the front, this time joined by Josh Tostado (Bach Builders) and Macky Franklin (Yeti/Sunflower).
Early members of the lead group Ben Sonntag and Matt Shriver both struggled in the later part of the stage, specifically Shriver who lost 7 minutes to the top-5.
As in previous stages Grant and Bishop gapped their compatriots on the final steep climb up American Gulch and teamed up to put maximum time into their competition.
Pua Sawicki once again rode an impressive race. As if she needed to prove herself to anyone else after 3 days of endurance racing Sawicki shocked everyone by actually riding up all but 15 feet of the impossibly steep Guyot climb, a feat not accomplished by even the fastest men.
Behind the leader, German rider Ivonne Kraft (Squirt Lube) pushed through the difficult conditions and finished second once again. Wendy Lyall took third and third in the GC after Tammy Jacques withdrew from the race after her stage one crash.
Fitzgerald’s rider Jill Damman had her best day in this year’s race finally breaking into the top-5 finishing 4th. Mirielle Montminy finished 5th.
Stage 3 Results
1, Jeremiah Bishop (Cannondale) 3:26:15.5
2, Alex Grant (Cannondale) 3:26:16.0
3, Josh Tostado (Bach Builders) 3:29:15
4, Macky Franklin (Yeti/Sunflower) 3.30.48
5, Ben Sonntag (Cannondale) 3.31.31
6, Matt Shriver (Ft. Lewis College) 3:38:12
7, Chuck Gibson (Truckerco.com) 3.44.01
8, Gregy Gibson (Truckerco.com) 3.44.02
9, Colby Pearce (Panache) 3.46.24
10, Ross Schnell (Trek) 3.50.47
11, Blake Harlan (Jamis)
12, Shannon Boffeli (iRideAdventures/MTBracenews.com)
13, Jorge Espinosa (Prerace.com)
14, Peter Butt
1, Pua Sawicki (Okolestuff.com) 3.49.40
2, Ivonne Kraft (Squirt Lube)
3, Wendy Lyall
4, Jill Damman
5, Mirielle Montminy
1, Evan Plews (EvanPlews.com) 3.55.46
Pro Men Solo
1, Jeremiah Bishop (Cannondale) 9:43:07.8
2, Alex Grant (Cannondale) 9:43:08.3
3, Josh Tostado (Bach Builders) 9:53:45
4, Ben Sonntag (Cannondale) 9.57.33
5, Matt Shriver (Ft. Lewis College) 10:06:53
6, Macky Franklin (Yeti/Sunflower) 10.09.53
7, Chuck Gibson (Truckerco.com) 10.33.13
8, Ross Schnell (Trek) 10.48.03
9, Jorge Espinosa (Prerace.com) 10.48.45
10, Shannon Boffeli (iRideAdventures/MTBracenews.com) 10.51.38
11, Gregy Gibson (Truckerco.com) 10.54.37
12, Blake Harlan (Jamis) 10.55.01
13, Colby Pearce (Panache) 11.00.11
More to come