On Thursday evening, the 70 (or so) riders lined up in front of an enthusiastic crowd in historic Downtown Truckee, for the fast 75-minute Truckee Criterium. Ian McKissick and his 3 BMC teammates had their hands full trying to control the attacks. BMC’s Taylor Tolleson crashed out in Wednesday’s Reno Criterium, and broke his collarbone. In the end, a trio got away from the field, and Roman Kilun (Health Net-Maxxis) won the stage for his first NRC win. Amateur Jon Baker (Vitamin Cottage) took second and Justin England (Toyota-United) was third. McKissick kept the leader’s jersey, and England moved himself up to the second spot at 6 seconds back. Health Net-Maxxis duo of Corey Collier and Matt Cooke are at 17 seconds back.
Roman Kilun (Health Net-Maxxis), stage winner
About his first NRC win. It’s amazing. This is my favorite race, it’s close to home , all my friends are here, people I grew up racing with so it’s really special. Tim Healion puts on a good show.
About the cooperation in the breakaway. Actually, I had to be careful about working too much because I’ve got my teammates in second and third place overall so I didn’t want to drag those guys too far. The ideal situation was for us to stay away just ahead of the field so yeah we were definitely working well together. Those guys had a lot to gain so they were definitely driving it pretty good.
About the final sprint. I figured that the strongest guy would win, it was a sprint into a headwind so we all came out of the corner, stood up and went.
Jon Baker (Vitamin Cottage), second place
About his second place. I’m really happy, we’re a small amateur team and second place on an NRC stage is a big deal for us. I was giving it everything to stay away and I knew that Roman was probably going to take me in the sprint but I wanted to stay away from the field and I definitely put my heart in the move.
About the breakaway. I knew that the two guys I was with were really strong but honestly I did not have faith in it until three to go because I know how fast these things can come back. From what I hear the chase was on but they were not catching us, so I guess that we were going fast.
Justin England (Toyota-United), third place
About contending for the overall, with no teammates. Well, I hope so, tomorrow is going to be the hardest stage for sure. I just wanted to get out here tonight, put on a good show for the fans and have a good time.
About being the virtual leader of the road. I knew that it was getting close there, and I just trying to drive it as hard as I could, and Jon [Baker] and Roman [Kilun] were incredible out there. We all worked together strong and it was any man’s sprint at the end and Roman was the strongest. We all threw caution to the win and rode hard.
About the chase. Honestly, they [BMC] did a lot of work in the beginning and they’ve only got three guys with Taylor [Tolleson] crashing out in the first stage and Sayers and Nydam are incredible riders but it was pretty much three on three I think. Three of their guys versus us three, we had a little bit of a gap and were able to hang on.
Ian McKissick (BMC), leader of the overall classification after stage 3
About having only 3 teammates to help defend the jersey. It’s a tall order, but they rode phenomenally well together, [Scott] Nydam and [Mike] Sayers covered everything. I couldn’t believe how hard they were riding for me so it’s great. Jackson is riding, everybody rode amazingly well for me so it made my job easier. It’s great to hang on to the jersey, tomorrow will be the GC day but it’s nice to be wearing the jersey too.
About the plan for tomorrow. It’s going to be hard to control, I think the strongest guys are just going to end up riding away from everybody. It’s going to be so hard and I think the strongest guys will end up winning so hopefully that’s me.
Next up, stage 4, on June 20th, is a 65-mile (100 km) Northstar-at-Tahoe Mountain Circuit Race, where the competitors do 10 laps on a 6.5 mile course that is either ‘all the way up or all the way down’ and very difficult. The course tops out with a 15% grade and will challenge even the toughest climbers. It begins and ends in the Village at Northstar.
More photos in the Tour de Nez, Stage 3 – Truckee Crit gallery