Video & Report: Mannion and Hall Clinch Time Trial Wins Colorado Classic


Mannion Lands First Major Win in Stage 2
 
UnitedHealthcare goes 1-2 again in Colorado Classic Vail time trial

Following a 1-2 finish in the women’s race, team UnitedHealthcare continued to clean up in Stage 2 of the 2018 Colorado Classic on Friday as Gavin Mannion flew up Vail Pass in a lightning fast 25 minutes, 41.28 seconds to the first big victory of his cycling career while his teammate Serghei Tvetcov followed in second, 11 seconds back. Hugh Carthy (EF Education-Drapac p/b Cannondale) rounded out the Stage 2 podium, 20 seconds off of the pace.

A Fort Collins, Colo., resident and Massachusetts native, Mannion was runner-up in this year’s Tour of the Gila and said he’s been waiting a long time for this result.

“For me personally, this is huge,” Mannion said. “I’ve never won a race at this level before. To continue that trend and finish the season strong is awesome for me. It goes to show I’m continuing to develop. I go into every time trial thinking I can win and giving myself a fair shot. Normally it doesn’t pan out. Today it did.”

Stage 2 harkened back to the legendary Coors Classic cycling race of the 1970s with an individual time trial from Vail Village up Vail Pass. Cranking off of a start ramp in Vail Village’s Mountain Plaza, cyclists shot through Vail Village in reverse direction of Stage 1’s circuit. They blazed downhill through a tunnel, through the center of town and out to the Frontage Road along relatively flat terrain to East Vail before hauling up the steep climb of Vail Pass, in total gaining 1,574 feet in 10.1 miles and finishing at a soaring elevation of nearly 10,000 feet.

With the victory, Mannion takes the blue Gates General Classification leader’s jersey from 20-year-old Colorado native Gage Hecht (Aevolo), who notched the race of his life in Thursday’s Stage 1 circuit and followed up with another outstanding performance in Stage 2, hanging on to the Frontier Airlines Sprint jersey and the Colorado Tourism Office King of the Mountain jersey (worn by Pascal Eenkhoorn – Team Lotto NL-Jumbo).

“I wanted to make sure I didn’t do what I did before on this course, wasting half of my tank on the flats,” Hecht said. “I wanted to save my bullets for going up the climb. I gave it all I had.”

Tvetcov, who was the runner-up in the 2017 Colorado Classic, earned the FirstBank Most Aggressive Rider in Stage 2 as 22-year-old Colombian phenom Daniel Martinez Podeva (EF Education-Drapac p/b Cannondale) earned the IKON Pass Best Young Rider jersey.

Fifteen of the world’s top men’s teams – a total of 81 racers from more than 20 countries – are competing in this year’s Colorado Classic, which moves to Denver Saturday for Stage 3 presented by UnitedHealthcare and Stage 4 presented by Gates Industrial Corporation on Sunday.

The Colorado Classic men’s race is sanctioned by Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) and is designated as a 2.HC race, which is the highest category outside of World Tour races. Both the men’s and women’s races are part of USA Cycling’s Pro Road Tour, which showcases the premier domestic road events in the United States.  

Results

Katie Hall takes lead in women’s Stage 2

UnitedHealthcare rider dominates Colorado Classic Vail Pass time trial

Katie Hall rationed her lungs and legs, sparing enough juice to hammer to victory in day two of the 2018 Colorado Classic women’s race made possible by Antero Resources.

“It was a really hard time trial for us just because of the altitude,” said Hall, who has been on a major stage race rampage this year, winning Tour of California, Tour of the Gila and Redlands Bicycle Classic. “I felt like it was really important to pace it really really well, because if you go too hard here it just takes a long time to recover because there’s just no oxygen up here.”

The 31-year-old tackled the 10.1-mile course in 30 minutes, 8.07 seconds, claiming the Stage 2 victory and jumping to the lead in the overall standings with the Gates General Classification leader’s jersey. Her teammate, Leah Thomas, was second to cross the finish line Friday, 26 seconds behind Hall, and landed the Colorado Tourism Office Queen of the Mountain jersey for the second day straight. Rally Cycling’s Gillian Ellsay, 21, rounded out the Stage 2 women’s podium, finishing 48 seconds back and winning the IKON Pass Best Young Rider jersey. Stage 1 winner Rebecca Wiasak sped to her second straight Frontier Airlines Sprint Jersey on Friday while World Champion Jennifer Valente (Twenty20 p/b Sho-Air) earned the FirstBank Most Aggressive Rider Jersey.

Stage 2 harkened back to the legendary Coors Classic cycling race of the 1970s with a time trial from Vail Village up Vail Pass. Cranking off of a start ramp in Vail Village’s Mountain Plaza, cyclists shot through Vail Village in reverse direction of Stage 1’s circuit. They blazed downhill through a tunnel, through the center of town and out to the Frontage Road along relatively flat terrain to East Vail before hauling up the steep climb of Vail Pass, in total gaining 1,574 feet in 10.1 miles and finishing at an altitude just under 10,000 feet above sea level.

“This one is difficult because you’re pedaling the whole time. There’s no real downhills, no place to recover and it just gets harder and harder,” Hall, who in addition to ranking among the world’s top cyclists, holds a Masters Degree in Molecular Toxicology from UC Berkeley. “I went out really conservatively on the flat part because I knew I needed to save a lot for the hills … I still didn’t save enough. I was really dying at the end, but everybody feels that way up here. I’m happy how it worked out.”

Fifteen of the world’s top women’s teams are competing in this year’s Colorado Classic, which moves to Denver Saturday for Stage 3 presented by UnitedHealthcare and Stage 4 presented by Gates Industrial Corporation on Sunday.

The 2018 Colorado Classic women’s race is made possible by Antero Resources and is part of USA Cycling’s Pro Road Tour, which showcases the premier domestic road events in the United States.

Results