Health Net-Maxxis won the overall general classification of the Joe Martin Stage Race for the 4th year in a row, with Rory Sutherland successfully defending his title.
The final stage, a criterium held in downtown Fayetteville, Arkansas, held on a technical 1.3-mile, 8-corner course concluded, as expected, with a bunch sprint to the line. Lucas Sebastian Haedo (Colavita/Sutter Home) won his second stage ahead of Karl Menzies (Health Net-Maxxis) and Anibal Borrajo (Colavita/Sutter Home).
The Health Net-Maxxis squad controlled the race from the beginning when Sutherland won the initial Time Trial prologue with a small lead 10 seconds, and then finished second on the next stage and grabbed those important bonus seconds to increase his lead to 20 seconds. His team protected the lead and chased down all breaks in the remaining stages.
“The guys are well-drilled in defending leads,” noted directeur sportif Jeff Corbett (in the team press release), who has guided the team to all four of those wins. “Everyone on the team was there to defend Rory’s lead last year, and Kyle (Gritters) and Tim (Johnson) were here in ’06 as well. There was never any concern that our guys wouldn’t be able to defend the lead.”
Rory Sutherland won the general classification with Anthony Colby (Colavita/Sutter Home) and Bernard Van Ulden (Jelly Belly) rounding off the podium.
Colavita/Sutter Home took the overall team classification ahead of Health Net-Maxxis and Team Type 1.
With her nine minute cushion going into the final stage, Robin Farina concentrated on finishing safely to win the overall GC, which she did protected by Cheerwine squad. But the squad also wanted to win the stage and move their other riders up onto the podium and so they raced aggressively. Their tactics worked almost perfectly.
Nichole Wangsgard (Colavita/Sutter Home) outsprinted the Cheerwine duo Laura Van Gilder and Catherine Cheatley to win the stage.
Cheerwine swept the overall general classification, Robin Farina on the top step, Catherine Cheatley in second place and Laura Van Gilder in third place.
With their two stage wins, and lead in the overall GC, Cheerwine also won the overall team classification ahead of Team Revolution and Team Kenda Tire.
Full results here.