As expected, stage 2 of the SRAM Tour of the Gila came down to a bunch sprint but what was slightly more unexpected was to see Chad Beyer (Competitive Cyclist) take third behind stage winner Eric Young (Bissell) and his teammate Francisco Mancebo in second.
“I have a quick finish if it’s a small group. I was just on Paco and we were going to see what we could do in the sprint. The whole team was great getting us here and Taylor Shelden did a great pull getting us into the last corner to set Paco and I perfectly.” Beyer told podiuminsight.
Bissell got the jump on us but we went second and third which is not bad for a couple of climbers.” he laughed.
The four-second time bonus moved Beyer up to second place, 10 seconds down from GC leader Rory Sutherland (UnitedHealthcare).
The Competitive Cyclist team’s plan for the Inner Loop Road Race was to put two riders in a break of a decent size of around 10 riders.
“We wanted one of our guys higher on GC and one of our guys that could help work.” Beyer explained. “The first move was really good with Cesar (Grajales) up in there to put some pressure on UHC and that got reeled back. We put Thomas Rabou in the next move which was great too so we were pretty happy with that, it was a good day.”
Before that final sprint to the finish, Mancebo put in an attack on the final climb, shutting the door on the crumbling break a minute up the road.
“I think he was just testing his legs.” Beyer said with a laugh about his teammate’s move. The field reacted swiftly and it all came back together.
On his second time at Gila, the first was in 2009, Beyer is showing good form finishing third on the first stage, a mountain-top finish. A good sign for the final day of monster climbing on the Gila Monster stage. But before that, he knows that the time trial will be a huge factor in his race.
“We’ll see how that goes, that is my weakest area.” he said of the TT. “Hopefully I can have the ride of my life but we’ll see. It’s been great so far, the whole team is riding well, it’s awesome.”
He is “definitely” happy with his racing so far at Gila. He concluded with a smile, “It would be nice to get a win. Two top three is good but the win is always nice.”
Racing continues on Friday with the 16.15 miles (26km) Dan Potts Memorial Tyrone Individual Time Trial where riders face two climbs in an out and back course and 1,188 feet (362 m) of climbing. Simply said, the course consists of all ascent or descent with very little flat ground.