The Trek-Livestrong U23 team did it again at the SRAM Tour of the Gila time trial. Last year it was Jesse Sergent, and this time it was Dale Parker, the 18-year old Australian with a time of 34:39 on the 16.15 miles (26km) out-and-back course with 1000 feet (305 m) of climbing. Coming back to the finish, with about 50 meters to go, Parker went outside the course marked with cones trying to pass two riders in front of him but after analysis, the officials let his time stand – it really didn’t change much to his line.
More photos in gallery.
Trek-Livestrong sure does have an eye for strong young TT’ers. Parker is the current U19 TT Australian champion and holds many titles in track. He was sidelines for nearly three weeks after a knee injury sustained at the Redlands Bicycle Classic.
Six seconds slower is former New Zealand TT Champion Jeremy Vennell (BISSELL) for second while GC leader Francisco Mancebo (RealCyclist.com) Mancebo caught and passed his minute-man Tyler Wren (Jamis/Sutter Home) and was closing on his 2-minute-man Joe Dombrowski (Trek-Livestrong) when he stopped the clock at 34:46 for third.
Mancebo is still in the lead but the GC re-shuffled below him. With a fifth-place finish in the TT, Ben Day (Kenda/5-Hour Energy) moved up to second at 1:15 down and Luis Amaran (Jamis/Sutter Home) who was fourth on the TT now sits in third at 1:40. Parker moved up to fourth. The GC competition will heat up once again on Sunday with the Gila Monster.
Mancebo also leads the KOM competition. Parker takes over the white jersey from his teammate Dombrowski while Frank Pipp (BISSELL) keeps the green sprint jersey for (at least) one more day.
Dale Parker (Trek-Livestrong). “Congratulations to these guys [Mancebo and Vennell] but today was my day. It’s an honor to be next to these riders. It’s great, I just want to thank Trek-Livestrong and all our sponsors for all their help. It’s only the start for me, I pulled out of Redlands after a crash, did an okay prologue there, I think I was about 6th so I was pretty determined coming into today, my training hasn’t been spot on because I had a bit of time off because of my knee but I guess that sometimes the days that you go better is when you have no pressure on you. I was pretty gee’d up for it but I thought some of these guys are going to come in and beat my time and I would have been happy with a top 10. It’s still trying to sink in a bit, it’s still a pretty big shock and I’m pretty stoked for it that’s for sure.”
About pressure to repeat a win? “A bit of pressure. I think Axel would have liked to see one of us out there but he knows we’re a young team and he’s really great with us with that perspective. Jesse Sergent won here last year and I’ve been speaking to him a little bit on the internet about gear selection and stuff.”
About going outside the cones? “It wasn’t too sure about that, the wind was pretty bad. I was catching two guys in front of me. I pulled my foot at the start so I guess in a way that made up for it. Just coming into the finish, in the last 50 meters. Two guys in front of me and I wasn’t sure, a bit of a judgment error.”
About defending the white jersey. “My teammate had it and it’s something I didn’t expect at all. Now that I’m in it I guess this is a big time for us as a team to take home as an under-23 team. It’s going to be tough, there’s a couple of real good climbers, Alex Howes, Lachlan Morton from the Garmin team, hopefully we can defend this jersey and a couple of days time I’ll still be sitting in it, we’ll see what happens.”
Jeremy Vennell (BISSELL Pro Cycling). “It was fun, well apart from the pain. The rest of it was really good, just never went too deep. I think if I went too deep I would just never recover and coming back was just as hard as going out. It’s always windy, I think I learned my lesson [last year], I went for a smaller front wheel so I could control it better in the wind and I think it helped a lot. ”
About the gusts of wind. “You’d go almost from one side of the road to the other and then a couple of times, especially coming back from the turnaround, through the little valley there, it was sort of hoping it wasn’t too strong and you didn’t go flying off the road. Just thread the needle.”
Did you know you were having a good ride? “No. I’ve never gone that well here, I just thought I’d give it everything and see what happens”
How do you meter your effort? “I think it’s just experience, there were a couple of times I had to back it off a little bit, going up those climbs. Normally, at lower altitudes, I’d probably just keep going and then get a bit of recovery but you just have to cut your losses a little bit. I think that helps.”
Top 10 Stage 3 Results
1. Dale Parker (Trek-Livestrong) 34:39
2. Jeremy Vennell (BISSELL Pro Cycling) 0:00:06
3. Francisco Mancebo (Realcyclist.com Cycling Team) 0:00:07
4. Luis Amaran (Jamis Sutter Home p/b Colavita) 0:00:32
5. Ben Day (Kenda/5-Hour Energy Pro Cycling) 0:00:35
6. Tom Zirbel (Hotel San Jose/ACME) 0:00:48
7. Chad Haga (Team Rio Grande) 0:00:59
8. Michael Vink (Trek-Livestrong) 0:01:02
9. Nathaniel English (Yahoo! Cycling Team) 0:01:05
10. Lachlan Morton (Chipotle Development Team) 0:01:16
Top 10 GC Results After Stage 3
1. Francisco Mancebo (Realcyclist.com Cycling Team) 7:45:30
2. Ben Day (Kenda/5-Hour Energy Pro Cycling) 0:01:15
3. Luis Amaran (Jamis Sutter Home p/b Colavita) 0:01:40
4. Dale Parker (Trek-Livestrong) 0:01:53
5. Lachlan Morton (Chipotle Development Team) 0:02:03
6. George Bennett (Trek-Livestrong) 0:02:08
7. Nathaniel English (Yahoo! Cycling Team) 0:02:09
8. Matt Cooke (Team Exergy) 0:02:20
9. Chris Baldwin (BISSELL Pro Cycling) 0:02:21
10. Alexander Howes (Chipotle Development Team) 0:02:22