The plan came together for the Colavita Forno d’Asolo team at stage 2 of the San Dimas Stage Race. Lap after lap, the squad attacked but were reeled in until finally, Heather Logan-Sprenger was able to get away to solo to victory. Putting the cherry on top, the team led out Teresa Cliff-Ryan for second ahead of Christina Gokey-Smith (Rouse Bicycles).
“We were pretty aggressive today, it was actually fun.” smiled Andrea Dvorak of Colavita Forno d’Asolo. “The plan was to attack in pairs, sort of an endurance-type GC rider and a sprinter. So Leah [Kirchmann], and I took a little digger, Janel [Holcomb] was off the front by herself and Heather held it, the last one, the one that stuck. And we executed a pretty good leadout to get Teresa get the field sprint.”
HTC-HighRoad closed down the gap to Logan-Sprenger in the final lap to keep Amber Neben in the yellow jersey with one stage to go.
Every lap brought another attack in the 90 km (56 mi) race with Colavita Forno d’Asolo and Peanut Butter & Co TWENTY12 launching rider after rider. Third on GC, Kristin Armstrong (Peanut Butter & Co TWENTY12) was quite aggressive on the hunt for those precious time bonus seconds.
One of the prime spots for attacks was the climb up to the QOM. It led to a quick descent to a long straightaway – with a headwind – across the finish line, into a right hand turn with, yep, crosswinds. But as Dvorak pointed many of those attacks didn’t make it.
“Most of the attacks that go don’t really stick It’s usually hard enough and then coming through this stretch, it’s pretty windy there, you’re tired after the KOM, specially after a sprint point.” But the windy sections however could be a good spot. “And then if someone still has some gas in the tank, they lay it down and gap everyone who is suffering.”
As she said, the moves were reeled in time and time again.
Dvorak did follow one early move on that climb and found herself collecting QOM points, and thought why not go for more? “That wasn’t the plan going in, I always like hitting the climb because it has that chicane in the front and so the first one, I think Robin Farina went for it and I just followed wheels because I didn’t want to dig in too deep then. Next time around, I find myself again in the top 2, 3 so I went for that one.”
She had not realized that TT winner, Neben, had accumulated a lot of points. Now Dvorak is hoping to be second in that classification. “She’s still in yellow so maybe I get to wear tomorrow.” she said while crossing her fingers.
Then, with two laps a solo attack finally stuck.
“I attacked on the climb and just kept going.” Logan-Sprenger said after the race. The gap grew quickly and then the HTC-HighRoad squad put it into high gear on the final lap. “I couldn’t believe it, we did such a good job. If there was another lap, I don’t know if I could have hold it. The team was just awesome today.”
In a press release from Peanut Butter & Co TWENTY12, team manager Nicola Cranmer reports that the field was unaware that she was up the road as the attack occurred soon after the field was neutralized to let the Men’s 35+ field go through.
One stage remains, a 55-minute criterium, which in theory shouldn’t change the GC outcome. But that theory was proven wrong last year when Ina Teutenberg (HTC-HighRoad) attacked out of a break to recoup over a minute and won the stage and the overall.
Who knows what will happen on Sunday. The women start at 2pm – follow @podium_live for updates.
Stage 2 Results (complete results)
1. Heather Logan-Sprenger (Colavita Forno d’Asolo) 2:30:50
2. Teresa Cliff-Ryan (Colavita Forno d’Asolo) +00:44
3. Chritina Gokey-Smith (Rouse Bicycles) st
4. Tiffany Pezzulo (Primal/MapMyRide)
5. Carmen Small (TIBCO/ To The Top)
6. Amber Neben (HTC-Highroad)
7. Joanie Caron (Team Juvederm-Specialized)
8. Erinne Willock (TIBCO/ To The Top)
9. Emily Collins (Vanderkitten-Focus)
10. Kristen LaSasso (Rouse Bicycles)
GC After Stage 2
1. Amber Neben (HTC-HighRoad) 2:46:43
2. Heather Logan-Sprenger (Colavita/Forno d’Asolo) +00:08
3. Amanda Miller (HTC-Highroad) +00:09
4. Kristin Armstrong (Peanut Butter & Co.TWENTY12) +00:12
5. Erinne Willock (TIBCO/ To The Top) +00:19
6. Catherine Cheatley (Colavita/Forno d’Asolo) +00:21
7. Carmen Small (TIBCO/ To The Top) +00:31
8. Kristin McGrath (Peanut Butter & Co.TWENTY12) +00:46
9. Andrea Dvorak (Colavita/Forno d’Asolo) +00:59
10. Alisha Welsh (Peanut Butter & Co.TWENTY12)