Aaron’s Kristin Sanders got her first ever NRC win by flying away from the break crossing the line 30 seconds ahead of Gina Grain (Webcor). Tibco’s Brooke Miller was third, at 1 minute and 34 seconds back.
Yellow jersey Kristin Armstrong (Cervelo-Lifeforce) was fourth and kept the overall lead going into stage 3, the time trial.
A flurry of attacks mostly initiated by the Tibco team at the start of the women’s race with high temperatures making it even more difficult.
With 5 riders overall, and 4 in the top 10, Janel Holcomb, Amy Dombroski and Grain were covering every move. Finally after about 10 miles into the race, a break of 7 made it up the road and sprinter was the lucky (or unlucky) Webcor rider representing her team.
“But as the dice were thrown, it was me, Gina, that got in the break when that elastic band broke and people were tired of chasing.” said Grain in her report.
Joining Sanders, Grain and Miller in the break were Alison Testroete (Aaron’s) , Jane Robertson (Metromint), Martina Patella (ValueAct), and Tricia Bailey (SHO-AIR). Early on, the break was cohesive and the gap grew to more than 5 minutes and that point Grain was instructed to sit on and Miller followed suit.
With the gap still increasing the Webcor team starting chasing in earnest to protect their GC contender Christine Thorburn who was in third place going into the stage.
Touchstone’s Kelly McDonald tried to bridge solo from the field but was directed off course by officials on motorcycles who then brought her back on course ahead of the break, so she crossed the finish line first.
As per Communique 3: “Rider 221, Kelly McDonald of Touchstone was led off of the course at Sisters and covered 1 mile less than the proscribed distance. Her time was prorated to 3:47:51″
On the final 16km climb up Three Creeks, Testroete set a high pace in the break to set up her teammate Sanders, and she managed to reduce the numbers to four riders. Miller followed up with an attack to reduce the numbers to three, and Sanders dug deep, and flew away to cross the line solo. Sanders also picked up the lead in the QOM competition.
Meanwhile, as expected Armstrong launched her own flyer on the first steep part of the climb. Thorburn and second place on GC Julie Beveridge (Aaron’s) covered the move but Armstrong set a fast pace, passed 4 break riders and crossed the line 40 seconds ahead of Beveridge and therefore increasing her lead in the overall classification.
Armstrong keeps the yellow jersey, and is now 47 seconds ahead of Beveridge. Thorburn is still in third, 1 minute and 3 seconds behind her future teammate at the Olympic Games.
Today is a double-stage day. Stage 3 in the morning is the 15-mile out and back Skyliners Time Trial. The women set off at 12:00pm (pro women startlist)
The sprinters come out and play in the late afternoon for stage 4, the popular six corners, flat and fast Criterium in the heart of downtown Bend.
Watch KOHD for stage recap and interviews.
Stage 2 Photo Galleries by Cascade Event Photography
Reports and Photos from cyclingnews and velonews
Full results here.