Rally Cycling’s Evan Huffman won the Tyrone individual time trial for the second time in his career Friday with a lightning fast time of 33.07. Huffman was 25 seconds quicker than runner up T.J. Eisenhart (Holowesko|Citadel). Nigel Ellsay (Silber Pro Cycling) finished third, 33 seconds off the winning pace.
“I think this was a better performance than my win in 2012,” said Huffman who now leads the Tour of the Gila by 25 seconds. “This is my fifth time doing this. I felt really good, speed and power wise, and made it happen. I’m really happy. This time is a little different now that I’m in the leader jersey. I think I have a legitimate shot at holding it to the last day.”
Eisenhart’s performance on the 16.5 mile (26km) out and back time trial bumped him up from 22nd place to second place, while previous leader Matteo Dal-Cin (Rally Cycling) moved down to third place heading into tomorrow’s downtown criterium.
“I went out there, had a target of power that I wanted to hit and stuck to that plan,” Eisenhart said. “I didn’t panic, stayed in my limit. My plan today was to put as much time into the climbers as possible. To finish second to a guy like Huffman is an honor. I’m happy with my time, I honestly went out there and had fun.”
Eisenhart’s teammate Brendan Rhim was the first rider to spend a considerable amount of time in the hot seat, clocking an impressive 34:48 as one of the early starters. George Simpson (Gateway Harley Davidson) knocked Rhim out of the top spot with a time of 34:26, which was good enough to get the young rider into the top 10 at the end of the day.
Simpson’s result stood the test of time until Huffman and Eisenhart came across the line, and from then on, no one could top them.
Looking forward to tomorrow’s criterium, Huffman will take over the leader’s jersey and Travis McCabe (UHC) stays on top of the sprint classification. Bayron Guamá is the KOM leader and Alex Cowan (Silber) takes the lead in the best young rider competition.
Women’s Race – Thomas flies to time trial win in Tyrone
Wiles takes second, stays in leader jersey
Sho-Air Twenty20’s Leah Thomas took victory in the stage three 16.5 mile (26km) time trial Friday. The Sho-Air Twenty20 rider finished with a time of 38:27, six seconds ahead of race leader Tayler Wiles (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling). Julie Emmerman (Amy D Foundation) claimed third place, 56 seconds back.
“Right at the beginning I knew that my legs felt really good, then it became a mental game of pushing up the hills and staying as aero as possible on the descents,” said Thomas, whose win moves her up to second on GC. “It does take hard work and a little luck and everything came together today.”
As usual, the out and back Tyrone time trial was met with blustery winds and rolling terrain allowing little to no room for error for the GC contenders, separated by just seconds.
Alison Tetrick was one of the early riders to claim the hot seat with a time of 40:52, but the Cylance rider was quickly replaced by Brianna Walle (Tibco) who rode the course 1 minute and 7 seconds faster. Walle’s teammate, Kate Buss did a stellar ride to slot into second, but the results changed as quickly as the last few riders on GC came through the finish.
When Thomas completed her ride, her time was good enough to stand against 2015 winner Lauren Stephens, best young rider Ruth Winder and eventually Wiles, who nearly caught her teammate, Katie Hall, at the line.
“This is a really hard time trial,” Wiles said. “I haven’t done it in five years and that year I flatted so I wanted to redeem myself. Before the race, I talked to my coach about a pacing strategy. I think I executed it pretty well. I may have gone a little too deep because on the downhill before the finish I was just dying. I lost that top spot on the podium by 5 seconds, which hurts a little, but I’m really excited for the rest of the race, and we’re really confident.”
The jersey classifications remain the same going into the downtown Silver City criterium tomorrow. Wiles retains the lead and sprint jersey, Melinda McCutcheon (Visit Dallas DNA) leads the mountains classification and Winder sits comfortably in the lead of the best young rider competition.
Photo by Mitchell Clinton Photography