Yellow jersey Kristin Armstrong (Cervelo-Lifeforce) set the fastest time in third stage of the Cascade Cycling Classic earlier today. She set a time of 31:55.3 with an average speed of 26.32 mph (42.35 kmph) for 15-mile (24 km) out and back Skyliners Time Trial. She beat Webcor’s Christine Thorburn by 52 seconds and another Webcor rider Katheryn Mattis by 1:47. Aaron’s Julie Beveridge who was second on GC at the start of the day finished in the fourth spot at 2:03 behind Armstrong.
Armstrong increased her lead in the overall classification. Thorburn moved up to the second spot, 1:55 behind Armstrong and Best Young Rider Beveridge is now in third place 2:50 behind the leader.
Of note, it was announced today that Thorburn would be joining Armstrong at the Olympic Games to race in both the road and time trial (the third team member is Amben Neben who is currently racing in Italy).
In the men’s race, Levi Leipheimer (Astana) stopped the clock 28:07.9 averaging a speed of 29.88 mph (48.08 kmph) over the same distance and took over the leadership in the GC. The BMC duo of Jeff Louder and Darren Lill set the next 2 fastest times, at 1:15 and 1:20 respectively behind the winner. Tom Zirbel (Bissell) and Ben Day (Toyota-United) were fourth and fifth both at 1:35 back. Yellow jersey Matt Wilson (Team Type 1) was 3:04 slower and had to relinquish the leader’s jersey.
Zirbel moves up to second place in the general classification 1:58 behind Leipheimer, and Louder takes over the third sport, a further 4 seconds back. Only one minute and 11 seconds separate the second and seventh spots in the GC with 2 BMC riders, 2 riders from Toyota-United: Chris Baldwin and Chris Wherry, Zirbel and Wilson. And then, we have 5 Garmen in the classification at 1:34 from Louder.
What does this mean? It means that attacks will be flying to try and dislodge Leipheimer from the top especially as he has only one teammate, Chris Horner to help defend. But that’s a difficult task. BMC, Toyota-United, Team Type 1, Bissell and Garmin-Chipotle will be fighting to get and jeep at least one rider in the top 3.
After a few hours of rest, the riders were challenged with stage 4, the popular six corners, flat and fast Criterium in the heart of downtown Bend. The GC boys & girls will take a back seat to the sprinters on this one.
Full results here.