As expected, for the men’s race at least, the 18.5-mile time trial with 2 categorized climbs shuffled the GC once again.
Rory Sutherland (Health Net-Maxxis) won Mt Hood time trial in a decisive manner, stopping the clock with the fastest time of 37:29, with an average speed of 29.61 mph (47.64 kmph). Slotting into second place, Ben Jacques-Maynes (Bissell) was 25 seconds slower, and GC leader into the stage, Darren Lill (BMC) finished in third place, at 32 seconds back.
Not only did Sutherland take over the overall lead going into the queen stage, he gave himself a small cushion of 30 seconds over Jacques-Maynes and a second more over Lill.
The riders set a very fast pace from the get go with idyllic conditions including a tailwind, very different circumstances than last year where they faced tough headwinds
“But with the tailwinds as opposed to brutal headwinds, it’s a total different race, the climbs are the same, all the pieces in between were radically different, you could sit there and really conserve your energy, hit it when the going is good and save the energy when there’s no point. You can pedal hard in the eleven tooth or coast along in the eleven tooth for 1k an hour slower so you lose 5 seconds in the downhill but you gain a minute from saved energy.” said Jacques-Maynes cooling down.
As in previous years, Leah Goldstein (ValueAct) put in the best time, stopping the clock at 43:01 with an average speed of 24.83 mph (39.95 kmph). Best Young Rider Julie Beveridge (Aaron’s) crossed the line seven seconds off and Jeannie Longo (composite team River City Racing) was eighteen seconds back.
Longo missed by her start by over one minute as her bike, specifically her handle bars did not pass the UCI measurements, and she was forced to change the position.At the finish line, she told me that she had missed her start by 1:20 which would have given her the fastest time and the lead in the overall classification. But the judges did not rule in her favor.
In a new twist in the pro women’s race, the winner of the Mt Hood Time Trial did not take over the general classification at the Mt Hood Cycling Classic. Beveridge took over the general classification, with Goldstein moving into second place at seven seconds back, and Longo at fifteen. GC leader Joanne Kiesanowski (Tibco) crossed the line with a time of 45:04 which pushed her down to sixth place.