Do two solo wins make a pattern? Heather Logan-Sprenger (Colavita Forno d’Asolo) powered away from her late race breakmate to solo to victory at the Inner Loop Road Race, stage 2 of the Tour of the Gila. Not sure if that makes a pattern but Logan-Sprenger took another victory with a solo move earlier at San Dimas.
Seeing that the pack was not going to catch Logan-Spenger before the finish line, two chasers jumped out of and headed for the line. Experience won in this case with Kristen LaSasso (Primal/MapMyRide) coming around Tayler Wiles (Peanut Butter & Co Twenty12) to take second.
Mara Abbott (Diadora Pasta Zara) finished safely in the pack and remains in the red leader’s jersey for another day. Abbott also leads the QOM competition which takes a breather until the final day. Logan-Sprenger takes over the green sprint jersey from her teammate while Kasey Clark (Primal/MapMyRide) retains the U26 lead.
The race started off with a slow pace as the group stayed together. Green jersey Modesta Vzesniauskaite (Colavita Forno d’Asolo) won the first two sprint for points to try and increase her lead in the point competition. Finally, after the second sprint point, at 42 miles into the 77-mile stage, attacks flew with most if not all coming from the Missing Link/Specialized team.
One move stuck and Anna Barensfeld (Missing Link/Specialized) was off the front. She was joined by Logan-Sprenger and the two worked together to quickly build up a gap. Behind no major reaction from the field who seemed happy to let them go. On the final climb, Barensfeld just could not keep Logan-Sprenger who continued head down, pushing it solo to the line.
Abbott’s team did come to the front and the gap stayed steady around the 2-minute mark until Logan-Sprenger flatted but a quick wheel change and she was off.
The race continues with the 16.15 miles (26km) Individual Time Trial on Friday. Strong wind with gusts of 50 mph are called for, conditions that certainly favor Clara Hughes (Pactimo) who is 44 seconds down from Abbott. Hughes had another strong ride today and won the bunch sprint for 5th.
Heather Logan-Sprenger (Colavita Forno d’Asolo). “Our plan was to keep the green jersey and after the second sprint to launch some attacks and get it going a little bit. I just saw the Specialized girl go and I just bridged up to her. ”
About the move. “We just went, we just worked together, she did a really great job. We just kept it steady, kept going and before we knew it we had a two minute gap or 2:30 and we just kept it rolling. On the last climb, she got blown a little bit so I just kept going, it was so hard. I was scared half to death, I thought the bunch was coming up right behind me. It was really hard.”
About her thoughts when pushing for the line. “I just put head my head down and just pushed as hard as I could. I didn’t know how close the girls were behind me, I had heard that there were two girls chasing, no idea what the time was and I figured that they were just coming up behind me and I just put my head down and went for it.”
Kristen LaSasso (Primal/MapMyRide). “There were the two girls of the front, Heather and the Missing Link girl. We were on the rollers, at first I thought at first that Diadora was going to bring it back but they weren’t doing anything, nobody was doing anything. I saw the time gap was going down, it was 2:20 and Nicole Evans is our GC rider and she was in 5th and I knew that Heather was sitting about a minute and a half, I was like ‘oh crap we need to close that gap so she doesn’t lose her spot’ so I was trying to attack a couple of times. It didn’t work, I wasn’t getting any gaps. I was telling one of my teammates we need to go to the front and start setting a little tempo and as I was going up, it was on the last long climb, probably 6 or 7 miles [to go] and I saw Tayler from Peanut Butter was off and ‘oh oh I’m just going to attack’. I attacked and I was lucky I was in my big ring, I didn’t realize until the top so I got a good gap and I just went as hard as I could. I caught Tayler towards the top and the Missing Link girl was coming back.”
“Tayler and I, we were rotating but she was really strong, on the downhill I’d go to the front and then she’d pull through but she was super strong. We were starting to close the gap on Heather but we couldn’t get her. And then Tayler sort of lead me out and I sprinted by her. I knew to sit on because she was going full on, she wanted to catch Heather but when we turned in to Ft Bayard I could tell we weren’t going to catch her but she just kept on going full gas and I was like ‘okay I’m going to sit on her wheel and wait until about 150, 200 meters’ and then I sprinted.”
Anna Barensfeld (Missing Link/Specialized). “I had originally wanted to be super aggressive on the descent because I do like descending and I thought that might be an opportunity to get some kind of a gap but I wasn’t able to get up there. The teams are so good at protecting their riders, being right up there at the front in the descent so actually I was gapped on the descent. Even at the bottom, I was catching back on so that was no place to get a gap and then everybody was feeding, I was just taking care of my team, getting some bottles up. I still had in the back of my mind that I wanted to get away at some point but the sprint was coming up so I wanted to wait after that. Everybody was sitting up and it got a bit rolly so I just thought ‘okay well as soon as it tips up a little bit’. It was shaded, there were trees so I thought around a bend, I might be able to get away without people seeing. I just got a little gap but I wasn’t feeling super strong. Then luckily Heather Logan-Sprenger came across and it was looking good from there on out.”
About the break. “Right from the bat, I told her ‘I’ll work my ass off but I need you to tell me what to do, I’m not super experienced’. She was great. We were both sharing pulls, maybe there were a few times that she had to give me a little push (laughs). It was just at the end when her hard pull started to become longer, at the QOM, I couldn’t keep keep up, she just had to keep going.”
“The goal was definitely to be aggressive and animate the race but by the time we got to within 12, 20 miles to the finish, she was clearly motivated to get the win, I knew that, she looked strong enough to get the win. So I was very motivated to stay with her but I was coming apart at the seems. I did as well as I could, I left it all out there.”
Top 3 Stage 2 Results
1. Heather Logan-Sprenger (Colavita Forno d’Asolo) 3:47:22
2. Kristen LaSasso (Primal/MapMyRide) 0:00:19
3. Tayler Wiles (Peanut Butter & Co Twenty12) st
4. Rachel Warner (Missing Link Coaching Systems) 0:01:16
5. Clara Hughes (Pactimo Cycling Team) 0:01:26
6. Andrea Dvorak(Colavita Forno d’Asolo) 0:01:27
7. Janel Holcomb (Colavita Forno d’Asolo) st
8. Patuzzo Eleonora (Diadora Pasta Zara)
9. Flavian Oliveira (Pactimo Cycling Team)
10. Nicole Evans (Primal/MapMyRide)
Top 10 GC Results After Stage 2
1. Mara Abbott (Diadora Pasta Zara) 8:00:34
2. Flavia Oliveira (Pactimo Cycling Team) 0:00:14
3. Clara Hughes (Pactimo Cycling Team) 0:00:44
4. Andrea Dvorak (Colavita Forno d’Asolo) 0:01:16
5. Heather Logan-Sprenger (Colavita Forno d’Asolo) 0:01:25
6. Nicole Evans (Primal/MapMyRide) 0:01:32
7. Janel Holcomb (Colavita Forno d’Asolo) 0:01:34
8. Rhae Shaw (CycleU) 0:01:52
9. Kristen Lasasso (Primal/MapMyRide) 0:02:04
10. Anna Sanders (USA) TriSports Cycling/Eclipse Racing 0:02:15