Fans were treated to fast and furious finishes in both the NRC Women’s and UCI Men’s Downtown Silver City Criterium finished in full-on bunch sprints won by Lauren Hall and Kiel Reijnen on stage 4 of the Silver City’s Tour of the Gila powered by SRAM.
However before the pros took to the course, all day festivities brought together kids of all ages in a celebration of cycling. Events included live music, a beer garden, vendors, children’s bicycle rodeo, citizen races, a kids’ zone and food vendors.
Lauren Hall (Optum p/b Kelly Benefits Strategies) came into the finish strong with team mate Joëlle Numainville to take the Stage 4 Downtown Silver City Criterium. Numainville finished second ahead of Hall. Shelley Olds (Team TIBCO) rounded out the podium in third.
Though various groups of riders tried to break from the main group, NOW and Novartis for MS, Team TIBCO, and Exergy TWENTY16 squads kept things tight. No breaks survived.
Optum p/b Kelly Benefits Strategies Team Director, Rachel Heal, shared that the team strategy was to send Jade Wilcoxson with Olds on the bonus sprints to make her work for the Grant County Green Sprinters Jersey. The hope was that all of the work Olds was doing for the Sprint Jersey would give her OPTUM team the advantage at the finish. With two Optum riders ahead of Olds on the podium, the strategy was successful.
Mara Abbott of the Exergy TWENTY16 team keeps her Town of Silver City Red Leader’s jersey with a lead of one minute and four seconds on Alison Powers of NOW and Novartis for MS.
Abbott also retains her polka dot Freeport McMoRan Cooper and Gold QOM Jersey. By winning two intermediate bonus sprints, Shelley Olds of Team TIBCO takes over the green Grant County sprint jersey. Rushlee Buchanan of Team TIBCO remains in the white Best Young Rider jersey.
After a perfect leadout for his team, Kiel Reijnen of the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team easily took the win in Stage 4 Downtown Silver City Criterium ahead of his team mate Luke Keough. Eric Young of the Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies finished third.
Early in the 40-lap race, two riders, Julian Kyer of the BISSELL Pro Cycling and Ricardo Van der Velde of the Jelly Belly Cycling Team escaped the field to try their luck in a breakaway. The pair maintained a gap of nearly one minute but their faith was sealed when the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling team massed at the front of the field with 15 laps to go. Reijnen and his team controlled the pace to perfection, catching the duo with three laps.
Colombian Janier Acevedo of the Jamis-Hagens Berman squad remains in Town of Silver City Red Leader’s jersey with a lead of four seconds on Chris Baldwin of the BISSELL Pro Cycling, and 21 seconds on Philip Deignan of UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling.
No changes to the special jersey classification. Acevedo also retains his polka dot Freeport McMoRan Cooper and Gold KOM Jersey, Arnaud Grand of the BMC Development Team keeps the green Grant County sprint jersey and Lawson Craddock of the Bontrager Cycling Team remains in the white Best Young Rider jersey.
Racing concludes on Sunday with the Gila Monster, the Queen Stage of the Silver City’s Tour of the Gila with 5,610 feet of climbing and 4,714 feet of descending over 71.8 miles for the NRC women and 9,131 feet of climbing over 105 miles of racing for the UCI Men.
Complete results are available on tourofthegila.com/results.
For complete race schedule and more information about 2013 Silver City’s Tour of the Gila powered by SRAM, please visit tourofthegila.com.