As expected, stage 2 at the Joe Martin Stage Race came down to a bunch sprint won by Argentinean Sebastian Haedo (Colavita-Sutter Home). Sitting only one second donw on GC from Ben Jacques-Maynes (BISSELL), Rory Sutherland (OUCH) finished second and grabbed the very important 10-second time bonus to hoist himself into the overall lead. Shawn Milne (Team Type 1) was third on the stage.
“We wanted a sprint at the end of the stage,” Sutherland said. “We knew we had some seconds to make up and we wanted to make them up sooner rather than later.”
“It got a little dicey specifically a police car parked in the middle of the road coming into a critical corner with one and a half kilometer to go so that derailed our plans a bit, we had to fight back on through the group and I ended up out positioned for the sprint.” said Jacques-Maynes.
Jacques-Maynes finished safely in the group and drops down the second spot, 9 seconds back while teammate Jeremy Vennell remains in third spot at 22 seconds.
The 112 miles (180 km) stage started off aggressively with attacks in the first one and a half hours before a group of 3 riders escaped. Alejandro Borrajo (Colavita-Sutter Home), Andrew Talansky (Amore e Vita-McDonalds) and a Land Rover-ORBEA rider went off and the gap grew to 8 minutes.
“We gave them 8 minutes, we put Peter Latham on the front and he personally handled the whole thing, Pete rode awesome today” said Jacques-Maynes.
First one rider than another dropped from the break and soon it was just Borrajo in front, pushing away before being finally caught up the main climb. A few riders tried to bridge up to the lone escapee but they were always in view of the field.
“It was a good position for us to be in to feather the gap, let us ride up front with no drama.” said Jacques-Maynes.
BISSELL sat in the front of the field for the final 25 miles (40 km) with OUCH joining the party with 5 miles (8 km) to go.
“The boys did some good work the last 8km,” Sutherland added. “When you have (Andrew) Pinfold, (Karl) Menzies and (John) Murphy looking after you, I was more worried about getting ridden off their wheel. But they did a great job.”
The run in to the finish made it even trickier as every rider was trying to be at the front as the road narrowed and twisted.
“Those guys with exploding wheels, sliding off the road, it was absolute chaos. We went basically from a major highway with five or six lanes onto a little lane and a half side street, a quick block, slam right, a quick block, slam left into a couple of steep kickers.” explained Jacques-Maynes.
Saturday’s 92 miles (148 km) stage again has the same time bonuses of 15, 10 and 5 seconds on the line. The main portion of the course – which starts and finishes in Fayetteville, is a 23-mile loop that features over 1,500 feet of climbing per lap, with the men doing 3 loops. The stage has often finished in a bunch kick but last year Teddy King, then riding for BISSELL, jumped away from the field in the final 600 meters to take the win.
“We have experience on this course when leading this race,” said Sutherland, who’s won the last two editions. “It changes every year, with different teams throwing different things at us. But we know what we have to do. Anything can happen, but we definitely want to win this tour.”
“They’re going to have to ride the front on severely undulating course tomorrow.” concluded Jacques-Maynes. “We have a really strong team for really throwing it down on that kind of terrain so we’ll make them work for it if they want to keep it.” said Jacques-Maynes.
The battle is on.
Men’s Stage 2 Top 5 Results
- Lucas Sebastian Haedo (Colavita-Sutter Home) 5:20:24
- Rory Sutherland (OUCH) st
- Shawn Milne (Team Type 1)
- Darren Lill (Team Type 1)
- Nic Sanderson (Rock Racing)
Men’s Top 5 General Classification after Stage 2
- Rory Sutherland (OUCH) 5:28:18
- Ben Jacques-Maynes (BISSELL) +0:09
- Jeremy Vennell (BISSELL) +0:22
- Phil Zajicek (Fly V Australia) +0:23
- Corey Collier (Rio Grande) +0:26
TIBCO’s Jo Kiesanowski found a second burst of energy in the final uphill drag to the finish to win stage 2 at the Joe Martin Stage Race. Laura Van Gilder (Mellow Mushroom) was second and Kiesanowski’s teammate Kat Carroll was third across the line.
“Meredith [Miller] and Lauren [Tamayo] did an awesome leadout for us. I found a second burst of energy and ended up coming around everyone. It was like a slow motion sprint where I thought I was done and then I had a second sprint. It was cool, we’re really happy to have two of us on the podium of course and getting the time bonuses for the overall.” said Kiesanowski
With time bonuses of 15, 10 and 5 seconds at the finish line, Carroll moved up in GC to fifth spot. Team Type 1’s Alison Powers, finished safely in the lead group and retained the leader’s jersey.
Disappointed by their time trial results on the first stage, the TIBCO team hit it immediately as the gun went off in the 69 miles (111 km) stage in muggy conditions with humidity reaching the mid 90s even though the morning’s downpour had stopped.
“We decided to be aggressive right from the start, we basically started attacking mile one to let everyone know that we were here to race.” explained Kiesanowski.
Time and time again, riders attacked the field, TIBCO, ValueAct, Jazz Apples, Team Type 1, Webcor, Veloforma all gave it a go but nothing stuck.
Finally, on the 10-mile climb, Webcor attacked again and a group of three riders, Kristen Lasasso (Mellow Mushroom), Erinne Willock (Webcor) and Sharon Allpress (ValueAct) escaped and established a gap of 40 seconds to the field. A dangerous break for both Team Type 1 and TIBCO as Willock was sitting in third overall and Lasasso in fourth, so the chase was swift and hard which dwindled down the lead group.
“We put a couple of girls in the rotation to help bring it back, so then there was a group of 30 of us.” said Kiesanowski.
The lead group came back together, a few more attacks were tried and then the teams prepared for the difficult dash to the finish.
“It’s a really hard finish coming into the last mile, a couple of really good little kickers and then you turn the last right-hand corner and then it’s 350 meters uphill to the finish, it’s a decently hard sprint and people with tired legs.” said Kiesanowski.
With two more stages remaining, Powers continues to lead the general classification ahead of the Webcor duo of Katheryn Curi-Mattis at 4 seconds back and Willock at 18 seconds. Lasasso and Carroll sit in fourth and fifth spot, tied at 19 seconds behind the leader.
Saturday brings the third stage and second road race, 69 miles (111 km) course with climbs, beautiful scenery and a slight downhill finish. The main portion of the course – which starts and finishes in Fayetteville, is a 23-mile loop that features over 1,500 feet of climbing per lap which the women do twice.
With Carroll as the winner in 2007, team TIBCO is still gunning for the overall win
“It was always our win when we came in to win the overall and it’s certainly nice to get a stage win along the way.” said Kiesanowski. “We need to be aggressive if we want to win the whole race, it worked for us today. We know that we are strong and that we have the endurance to attack and still be up there at the finish.”
Last year, Robin Farina now riding for ValueAct soloed away to the win with a 9 minute gap and won the overall. Expect the ValueAct, TIBCO and Webcor teams to throw everything at Team Type 1 on Saturday.
Women’s Stage 2 Top 5 Results
- Jo Kiesanowski (TIBCO) 3:37:43
- Laura Van Gilder (Mellow Mushroom) st
- Kat Carroll (TIBCO)
- Gina Grain (Webcor)
- Nikki Butterfield (Webcor)
Women’s Top 5 General Classification after Stage 2
- Alison Powers (Team Type 1) 3:47:20
- Katheryn Curi-Mattis (Webcor) +0:04
- Erinne Willock (Webcor) +0:18
- Kristen Lasasso (Mellow Mushroom) +0:19
- Kat Carroll (TIBCO) st
Complete results here