Columbia-High Road’s Mara Abbott blitzed the twisty, uphill 3.8-mile (6.1 km) Glendora Chevrolet Mountain Time Trial, stopping the clock at 15:01. Winner of last year’s time trial, she beat her previous time by 20 seconds to claim the first stage of the San Dimas Stage Race. Second-placed Kristen LaSasso (Kahala-LaGrange) was 46 seconds back and Robin Farina (ValueAct Capital) was third a further 6 seconds back.
“It feels really good to be in this position, especially since so many on our team finished in the top ten,” said the 23-year old Abbott. “It was a steady climb but never really too steep. It’s so great that the whole team did so well. That’s pretty remarkable.”
The Columbia-Highroad team put four riders in the top ten. Canadian National Road Champion Alex Wrubleski finished fifth, while Ina-Yoko Teutenberg and Kim Anderson took sixth and eighth respectively. Abbott also claimed the best young rider jersey. There are only 4 riders spearted by one minute as Cath Cheatly (Colavita/Sutter Home) finished fourth at 56 seconds from the winner.
The ValueAct team had set its sights on a podium spot and they nabbed it. “I felt like I had a good ride,” commented Farina. “But I wasn’t sure whether it would be a podium finish. I’m really happy!”
In the men’s race, Australian Ben Day (Fly/V Australia) set the fastest time of 12:44, also beating his time from last year by 38 seconds when he finished third. Rock Racing’s Chris Baldwin was second at 9 seconds back and Peter Stetina (Felt-Holowesko Partners-Garmin) was third at 14 seconds from the leader. Stetina is the leader is the best young rider competition.
On tap tomorrow is the San Dimas Hospital Road Race, a circuit race on a rolling to hilly 7-mile (11 km) loop that includes a climb with a 13-percent kicker and a flat 1-kilometer straight to the finish line. The women do 8 laps for a total of 56 miles (90 km) and the men do 12 laps for 84 miles (135 km).
Last year, the aggressive men’s race finished in a bunch sprint won by Alejandro Borrajo (Colavita/Sutter Home) after all attacks were neutralized. In between the 4 hotspot sprints and the finish, there is a total of 60 seconds available in time bonuses tomorrow which in combination with the fact that there are 28 riders separated by less than 1 minute, the men’s race should be very aggressive.
The Columbia-High Road completely dominated the women’s race last year as two riders escaped from the peloton and stayed away to cross the finish line with the field coming in at almost 3 minutes later.
“It was a great start,” said Abbott about today’s results. “Since we placed so high, tomorrow should bring us a lot of opportunities.”
Other teams are hoping that the 3 hotpsot sprints and times bonuses on the finish line change the pattern.
“Mara won by a good margin, but the rest of the field is very close,” said ValueAct Capital’s Leah Goldstein. “With so many time bonus sprints on the line tomorrow, a lot of things could change. It’s going to be a hard race, and we’re ready!”
The women’s race starts at 10:10am and the men at 1:15pm local time.
Top 5 Women’s Results after stage 1
- Mara Abbott (Columbia-High Road) 15:01.59
- Kristen LaSasso (Kahala-LaGrange) +45.68
- Robina Farina (ValueAct Capital) + 51.54
- Cath Cheatley (Colavita/Sutter Home) +56.54
- Alex Wrubleski (Columbia-High Road) +1:01.33
Top 5 Men’s Results after stage 1
- Ben Day (Fly V/Australia) 12:44.18
- Chris Baldwin (Rock Racing) +9.25
- Peter Stetina (Felt-Holowesko Partners-Garmin) +13.59
- Will Routley (Jelly Belly) +16.29
- Carter Jones (Waste Management) +16.51
Complete results here