The HTC-High Road team executed perfectly in the third and final stage of the San Dimas Stage Race. The first order of business was defending the slim 8-second lead of yellow jersey of Amber Neben. What better to do it than to win the stage and grab the bonus seconds? That’s exactly what they did.
“It worked out perfect for us. It does two things, it gets a stage win for Chloe and the team, and takes the time bonus away. We compliment each other in that sense.” Neben said after the race.
Neben and her teammates successfully defended the lead, making it her second overall win at San Dimas. The first one came in 2000.
With no attack sticking in the 55-minute Incycle/Cannondale Old Town Grand Prix, the field came roaring down the finishing straight. Two riders emerged on the right with Chloe Hosking taking the win – and those pesky 10 seconds – with Teresa Cliff-Ryan (Colavita Forno d’Asolo) in second. Tiffany Pezzulo (Primal/MapMyRide) was third.
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“It was pretty chaotic just because Peanut Butter, TIBCO, and all those girls were still trying, they really didn’t give up until we crossed the finish line. So they were sending girls left, right and center as missiles.” explained Hosking. “I tried to keep my cool and relax because you only have so many accelerations in your legs. Amanda [Miller], Katie [Colclough] and Ally [Stacher] are well looking after me really well and then on the last lap, the Colavita train was getting going and I was lucky to get in on Cath Cheatley’s wheel. So I had an armchair ride for the whole last lap, she just took me around. Kicked out of that last corner, no one could come around me.”
The attacks kept on going until the end, no one was giving up. Kudos for aggressive racing which makes it so much fun to watch.
It didn’t take long for the first attack to fly with TIBCO/To The Top and Colavita Forno d’Asolo launching time and time again. But HTC-HighRoad was having none of it, covering every move.
“We wanted Amber to stay in the yellow so it was a matter of trying to take the sprint bonuses away so if they did get in a break, they didn’t have those extra seconds and yeah not letting anyone go. Amber was watching Armstrong like a hawk and we were really just covering anything that went.” Hosking said. “We didn’t want to be in a position that the other teams were last year when Ina lapped them all.”
The Ina factor. Everybody was remembering what Hosking’s teammate Ina Teutenberg had done last year when she single-handedly overcame a one-minute deficit to win the stage and the overall. “It’s possible Ina did it,” Hosking then added with a laugh “only Ina can do it.”
But fourth on GC at 12-seconds down, Kristin Armstrong (Peanut Butter Co) is strong enough to ‘do an Ina’, so Neben stayed at the front as her shadow. “I wasn’t concerned about the time bonuses. I knew she was going to have to win the race, she obviously has a really good chance to do that but I knew Chloe was really motivated, my teammates were really motivated. I was trying not to let her go during the race and I let my teammates take care of the final sprint.”
HTC-HighRoad won two of the three stages, two jerseys and the overall classification. Hosking also won the Points classification while Neben took home the final polka-dot QOM jersey. Lex Albrecht (Team Juvederm-Specialized) won the U24 classification.
Top 10 Stage 3 Results
1.Chloe Hosking (HTC-Highroad) 0:56:39
2.Theresa Cliff-Ryan (Colavita/Forno d’Asolo) st
3.Tiffany Pezzulo (Primal/MapMyRide)
4.Carmen Small (TIBCO/ To The Top)
5.Christi Gokey-Smith (Rouse Bicycles)
6.Coryn Rivera (Peanut Butter & Co.TWENTY12)
7.Erika Graves (NOW-MS Society)
8.Robin Farina (Rouse Bicycles)
9.Amanda Miller (HTC-Highroad)
10.Beatrice Rodriguez (SC Velo/Empower Coaching)
Top 5 Final GC
1.Amber Neben (HTC-Highroad)
2.Amanda Miller (HTC-Highroad)
3.Heather Logan-Sprenger (Colavita Forno D’Asolo)
4.Kristin Armstrong (Peanut Butter Co TWENTY12)
5.Erinne Willock (TIBCO/To The Top)