The duel between the Cheerwine and the Colavita/Sutter Home teams continued in the third stage, the Fitchburg State College Circuit Race. The battle was on for each of the 11 laps around the 3.1-mile (5 km) loop with approximately 100 ft. of climbing per lap, with each team covering the other’s attacks in the first half of the race.
Finally a move went, and it was immediately covered by Robin Farina (Cheerwine) and Anna McLoon, a guest-rider with Colavita/Sutter Home. Farina and McLoon pushed the pace and dropped the third rider to stay away until the end with Farina taking the sprint. Over one minute later, Tina Pic (Colavita/Sutter Home) won the field sprint to take the third spot on the podium.
No changed to the overall GC as the contenders were all together in the field. Cheerwine’s Catherine Cheatley is still in the lead, 19 seconds ahead of Colavita/Sutter Home’s Kristin McGrath and 1:27 ahead of Kathleen Billington (Connecticut Coast Cycling).
In the men’s race, the 75 miles (121 km) third stage came down to a bunch sprint won by Kyle Wamsley (Colavita/Sutter Home) ahead of Kleber Ramos (Garneau-Crocs) and Shawn Milne (Team Type 1).
Team Type 1 put in attacks after attacks to try and break Wamsley, but even though they managed to isolate him, his Colavita/Sutter Home team recovered, regrouped and kept him safe. In the final laps, Bissell’s Richard England managed to pull away but the Colavita squad would have none of it and reeled in him.
The final lap brought a 40-man group into the final turn and again Team Type 1 put in the first attack as sprinter Emile Abraham led out Milne but Wamsley and Ramos overtook him before the finish line.
With a small gap at the finishing line and the important time bonuses on the line, Wamsley increased his lead in the overall classification. With one stage to go, Wamsley holds a lead of 17 seconds ahead of Justin Spinelli (Kelly Benefit/Medifast) and 19 seconds ahead of Teddy King (Bissell).
The final stage on Sunday July 6 is the Workers Credit union Downtown Criterium in Fitchburg. The course has remained unchaged for decades, a flat 3-corner crit with a hairpin turn over 0.9 mile (1.4 km) city streets. Starting at 2:05pm, the pro women will race over 28 laps and at 3:30pm, the pro men will do 55 laps.
As a reminder, in 2005, Jonathan Page and his then team Colavita/Sutter Home pulled an upset in the final stage, taking the 3 steps on the stage podium and moving Page from 3rd on GC to the top in the overall. Nothing is decided yet.
Full results here.