World Track Champion Tara Whitten of Team TIBCO/To the Top won her second consecutive opening prologue, this time powering to the win to open the Bend Memorial Clinic Cascade Cycling Classic on Tuesday evening.Her first prologue win came at Tour de Toona a few weeks earlier.
With an average speed of 31.03 mph (49.93 kmph), Whitten clocked 3:52 on the 2-mile course. The out-and-back course, which made its way through windy neighborhood streets up to the turn-around in a parking lot, included 14 turns.
Both Canadian Time Trial Champion Clara Hughes (Cycling BC) and former World Time Trial Champion Kristin Armstrong (Peanut Butter & Co Twenty12) were three seconds slower. Swiss Time Trial and Road Champion Pascale Maria Schneider, guest-riding for Vanderkitten-Focus, also at three seconds down took fourth.
Finishing in 18th place, at 13 seconds down, Leah Kirchmann (Colavita/Forno d’Asolo) was the Best Young Rider.
With such a short course, the time gaps are minuscule and the GC should be re-shuffled in the first road stage.
A huge men’s field of over 200 riders started off at 30-second intervals with Fernando Antogna (Jamis/Sutter Home) setting the fastest time of 3:35. He set an average speed of 33.49 mph (53.89 kmph) on the same course as the women.
Roman Van Uden (PureBlack Racing) was a few hundreds of a second slower and had to settle for second. His teammate Tim Gudsell, who set the early fast time, was third at two seconds down.
Finishing seventh, at four seconds down, Josh Berry (RealCyclist.com) was the Best Young Rider jersey. With the best U23 riders at the race, from Trek-Livestrong, Chipotle Development, CalGiant and other teams, the battle for this classification is expected to be heated.
The racing continues on Wednesday with the 74-mile (119-km) McKenzie Pass Road Race which includes the 20-mile climb up the Pass and concludes with the second and final climb to the finish at Three Creeks Snow Park.
Top 10 Women Wells Fargo Prologue Results
1. Tara Whitten (Team TIBCO/To the Top) 0:03:52.811
2. Clara Hughes (Cycling BC) 0:03:55.710
3. Kristin Armstrong (Peanut Butter & Co.Twenty12) 0:03:55.735
4. Pascale Schneider (VanderKitten Focus) 0:03:58.387
5. Jade Wilcoxson (NOW and Novartis For MS) 0:03:59.071
6. Alison Shanks (BikeNZ) 0:03:59.295
7. Kaytee Boyd (BikeNZ) 0:04:00.380
8. Jaime Nielsen (BikeNZ) 0:04:01.307
9. Alison Starnes (Peanut Butter & Co.Twenty12) 0:04:01.846
10. Lauren Hall (Colavita/Forno d’Asolo) 0:04:03.695
Top 10 Men Wells Fargo Prologue Results
1. Fernando Antogna (Jamis Sutter Home) 0:03:35.624
2. Roman Van Uden (Pureblack Racing) 0:00:00
3. Timothy Gudsell (Pureblack Racing) 0:00:02
4. Frank Pipp (Bissell Pro Cycling) 0:00:03
5. Tom Zirbel (Jamis Sutter Home) 0:00:03
6. Francisco Mancebo (Realcyclist.Com Pro Cycling) 0:00:04
7. Josh Berry* (Realcyclist.Com Pro Cycling) 0:00:04
8. Carlos Alzate (Team Exergy) 0:00:04
9. Chad Haga* (Team Rio Grande) 0:00:04
10. Luis Romero Amaran (Jamis Sutter Home) 0:00:05