Attacks flew in today’s Queen Stage especially on the finale, the tough climb up Mt Bachelor but no one was able to unseat the leaders on stage 3 of the BMC Cascade Cycling Classic. Stage 1 winner Cesar Grajales (RealCyclist.com) claimed the stage win while his teammate Francisco Mancebo remains in yellow. Best Young Rider Rushlee Buchanan (Colavita/Forno d’Asolo) attacked her breakmates in the final kilometers to solo to the win and Clara Hughes (CyclingBC) keeps the GC lead.
Women. Andrea Dvorak (Colavita/Forno d’Asolo) started the hostilities early in the stage as the field made it way up from the start at Wanoga Snow Park. Though she was caught on the descent with a chase led by Megan Guarnier (TIBCO), the scenario was set with Colavita/Forno d’Asolo and TIBCO launching attack after attack to try to get riders up the road. USA National Road Champion Robin Farina (NOW and Novartis for MS) and Anna McLoon (Missing Link/Specialized) tried their hands after the first feedzone but the field was still together halfway through the stage.
Finally, twelve riders managed to get away. In the move were Buchanan and her teammates Lauren Hall and Leah Kirchmann, TIBCO trio of Tara Whitten, Joëlle Numainville and Guarnier, Alison Shanks (BikeNZ), Jade Wilcoxson (NOW and Novartis for MS), Liza Rachetto (Primal/MapMyRide), Anna Barensfeld (Missing Link/Specialized), Emily Collins (Vanderkitten-Focus) and Alison Starnes (Peanut Butter & Co Twenty12).
With 13 miles to go, the group had 45 seconds on the field when Numainville took the intermediate sprint ahead of Kirchmann and Shanks. Behind, the field was chasing with Hughes and Peanut Butter & Co Twenty12 at the front. Twenty12 was protecting Kristin Armstrong’s third place on GC. Starnes dropped back to help with the chase as the road was going up in the final climb to the finish.
Buchanan was able to power away from the splintered lead group with less than 4 kilometers to go. She was able to hold it for the win. Shanks came in eight seconds later for second followed by Whitten, two seconds later.
Hughes crossed the line with the field 1:09 after the winner. No changes to top 3 on GC with Hughes, Willock and Armstrong finishing together. Whitten moved up to fourth at 28 seconds down.
Buchanan remains Best Young rider. Dvorak keeps her QOM polka dots and Numainville takes over the sprint competition.
Men. It was game on from the start in the men’s 84-mile stage which started with a 15-mile climb to the KOM. Seven riders – Ben Day (Kenda/5Hr Energy), Ben Jacques-Maynes (Bissell), Jason Donald (Kelly Benefit Strategies-Optumhealth), Liam Holoham (Pureblack Racing), George Bennett (Trek-Livestrong) and Jacob Rathe and Alex Howes (both of Chipotle Development Racing)m were off the front with a gap of 30 seconds nine miles into the stage. Behind the field was already strung out with riders being shelled as they went up and up. The break swelled up to 12 riders before being reeled in.
The group was back together for the KOM taken by Ricky Escuela (Full Circle) ahead of Howes and Danny Sumerhill (Chipotle Development). Attacks and counter-attacks continued with teams trying to put RealCyclist.com under pressure but Mancebo’s team controlled all for the 50 miles.
Finally Max Durtschi (Chipotle Development) was able to escape and was quickly joined by Andres Diaz (Exergy). The duo build up a gap of 55 seconds with 13 miles to go as they crossed the intermediate sprint line. The pair persevered but were caught at the bottom of the final climb by a large chase group that included the yellow jersey.
Mancebo set a fast pace that no one could come around as they went up Mt Bachelor until the final kilometer. In the end, Grajales crossed the line first for his second win followed by Chris Baldwin (Bissell), one second back. Mancebo was third, two seconds later shadowed by Jeremy Vennell (Bissell).
Mancebo remains in the lead with 40 seconds on Grajales and 54 seconds on Vennell. With two more stages. Like other NRC races this year, Mancebo’s lead seems unassailable but the other teams are not giving up. Once again, it seems to be a battle between RealCyclist.com and Bissell with Chipotle Development adding an extra spice.
The climbers will take a backseat tomorrow with stage 4, the Downtown Twilight Criterum. The women race for 50 minutes and the men, 75 minutes around a 4-corner course in Bend.
But there will be a few less sprinters in the field with 11 riders not finishing the stage and 8 more time cut, including the 2010 Elite Criterium Champion Steve Reaney (CalGiant) who won his title on the same course in Bend.
Note. As announced in the technical guide, the men’s field was reduced to the first 150 riders in the General Classification. Quite an unusual decision. If the crit course is too dangerous for over 150 riders, why allow so many to start the race?
That means that nine riders that finished stage 3 under the time cut will be able to start the criterium on Saturday. Teams with riders removed include RealCyclist.com, Kenda/5-Hour Energy, Team Rio Grande, Team H&H Block, Hagens Berman Cycling Team, Hagens Berman Cycling Team and Team Juwi Solar / First Solar.
Stage 3 – Top 10 Women Cascade Lakes Road Race (Complete Results)
1. Rushlee Buchanan* (Colavita/Forno d’Asolo) 2:59:43
2. Alison Shanks (BikeNZ) +00:08
3. Tara Whitten (Team TIBCO/To The Top) +00:10
4. Jade Wilcoxson (NOW and Novartis for MS) +00:29
5. Kristin McGrath (Peanut Butter & Co Twenty12) +00:45
6. Lauren Hall (Colavita/Forno d’Asolo) +00:45
7. Anna Barensfeld (Missing Link Coaching/Specialized) +00:45
8. Erinne Willock (Team TIBCO/To The Top) +01:09
9. Janel Holcomb (Colavita/Forno d’Asolo) +01:09
10. Kasey Clark (Primal/MapMyRide) +01:09
Stage 3 – Top 10 Men Cascade Lakes Road Race
1. Cesar Grajales (RealCyclist.com Pro Cycling Team) 3:04:21
2. Chris Baldwin (Bissell Pro Cycling) +00:01
3. Francisco Mancebo (Realcyclist.com Pro Cycling Team) +00:03
4. Jeremy Vennell (Bissell Pro Cycling) +00:03
5. Lachlan Morton * (Chipotle Development Team) +00:03
6. Dan Fleeman (Team Raleigh) +00:03
7. Phil Gaimon (Kenda/5hr Energy p/b GearGrinder) +00:06
8. Chase Pinkham * (Bissell Pro Cycling) +00:19
9. Michael Olheiser (Team Juwi Solar/First Solar) +00:19
10. Glen Chadwick (Pureblack Racing) +00:19
Top 10 Women GC after Stage 3
1. Clara Hughes (CyclingBC) 7:02:48
2. Erinne Willock (Team TIBCO/To The Top) +00:13
3. Kristin McGrath (Peanut Butter & Co Twenty12) +00:19
4. Kristin Armstrong (Peanut Butter & Co Twenty12) +00:20
5. Tara Whitten (Team TIBCO/To The Top) +00:28
6. Rushlee Buchanan * (Colavita/Forno d’Asolo) +01:07
7. Janel Holcomb (Colavita/Forno d’Asolo) +01:14
8. Alison Shanks (BikeNZ) +01:29
9. Jade Wilcoxson (NOW and Novartis for MS) +01:34
10. Carmen Small (Team TIBCO/To The Top) +01:34
Top 10 Men GC after Stage 3
1. Francisco Mancebo (Realcyclist.com Pro Cycling Team) 6:22:59
2. Cesar Grajales (RealCyclist.com Pro Cycling Team) +00:40
3. Jeremy Vennell (Bissell Pro Cycling) +00:54
4. Tom Zirbel (Jamis/Sutter Home) +01:14
5. Lachlan Morton * (Chipotle Development Team) +01:22
6. Chris Baldwin (Bissell Pro Cycling) +01:24
7. Phil Gaimon (Kenda/5hr Energy p/b GearGrinder) +01:40
8. Carter Jones * (Trek-Livestrong) +01:44
9. Glen Chadwick (Pureblack Racing) +01:47
10. Alex Howes (Chipotle Development Team) +02:06