On his third day chasing the top step of the podium, Alejandro Borrajo (Jamis Sutter Home) finally gets his stage win at the Menomonie Road Race, Stage 6 of the Nature Valley Grand Prix, while the break made it to the line forcing another GC shuffle.
Anxious for the win, Borrajo had to resist the temptation to jump early from the break of eight riders who had a lead of 1’ 45“ heading into the races finishing circuits.
“I had to keep telling him, ’Patient patient patient patient!’” said Sebastian Alexandre, Team Director of Jamis Sutter Home. “He was afraid someone was going to go early, and I had to keep reminding him to focus on the stage win – the GC (contenders) will take care of their own business.”
Alexandre refers to the fight for the yellow jersey. Tom Zirbel (Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) was the virtual yellow on the road as the break hovered steadily at one minute, but Andres Diaz (Team Exergy) was just 18 seconds behind Zirbel. As the break closed in on the final circuits, Diaz tested his legs a few times to see if he could break away from the eight-man group to gain additional time and take the 12-second time bonus awarded to first place.
“Take up those time bonuses!” laughed ZIrbel. “I told (Borrajo) with two laps to go that I wanted him to win. There was no need for him to worry – he was the fastest guy there.”
Christiaan Kriek (Jelly Belly p/c Kenda Pro Cycling Team) and Tommy Nankervis (Competitive Cyclist Racing Team) finished second and third on the day, taking the remaining eight and six-second time bonuses. Coulton Hartrich (Athletix Cycling Team Benefiting Globalbike), Heath Blackgrove (Elbowz Racing), and Ben Jacques-Maynes (Bissell Pro Cycling) completed the eight-man breakaway group.
“There’s a lot of gambling involved with the sport,” said Zirbel. “I attacked on the hill, and they covered it. Then I just kind of rolled away – I acted like I was going to sit up but just kept going.”
“Some people thought it was going to be like every other move, and everyone thought it was going to be glued back together by someone else. The yellow jersey team was in tatters at that point, and we were all tired after two hours of attacking. We weren’t even rolling that hard at the end of the race, we were just very organized, and that’s probably more than you can say for the peloton. They were as tired as we were.”
The yellow jersey was not the only jersey to change shoulders after today’s 100.1 mile race. Hartrich now leads the Nature Valley Top Amateur comptetition and claims the day’s Freewheel Bike Most Aggressive jersey. Frank Pipp (Bissell Pro Cycling) leads the Jelly Belly Sport Beans King of the Hill Competition. Devan Dunn (CashCall Mortgage) will wear the TRIA Orthopedic Best Young Rider jersey into Stage 6, and Carlos Alzate (Team Exergy) remains in the Exergy Sprinters Blue jersey.
Zirbel has a 17-second lead on Jacques-Maynes and 18 seconds on Diaz. The show is not over – tomorrow’s Stillwater Criterium is no parade race. It features 20 laps of a very technical course including the infamous Chilkoot Hill with an average grade of 18%. With no time bonuses awarded during the race, the racing will be furious. Join in on the action online, as the men start at 1:30pm MDT.
Top 10 Stage 5 Results
1. Alejandro Borrajo (Jamis Sutter Home) 3.40’02″
2. Christiaan Kriek (Jelly Belly P/B Kenda Cycling Team)
3. Tommy Nankervis (Competitive Cyclist Racing Team)
4. Heath Blackgrove (Elbowz Racing)
5. Tom Zirbel (Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)
6. #Coulton Hartrich (Athletix Cycling Team Benefiting Globalbike)
7. Andres Diaz (Team Exergy)
8. Ben Jacques-Maynes (Bissell Pro Cycling)
9. Daniel Holt (Team Type 1 Development) 1’08″
10. Tyler Wren (Jamis Sutter Home) 1’08″
Top 10 GC After Stage 5
1. Tom Zirbel (Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) 6.20’36″
2. Ben Jacques-Maynes (Bissell Pro Cycling) 17″
3. Andres Diaz (Team Exergy) 18″
4. #Coulton Hartrich (Athletix Cycling Team Benefiting Globalbike) 36″
5. Christiaan Kriek (Jelly Belly P/B Kenda Cycling Team) 42″
6. Heath Blackgrove (Elbowz Racing) 44″
7. Tommy Nankervis (Competitive Cyclist Racing Team) 48″
8. John Murphy (Kenda/5hr Energy p/b Geargrinder) 1’09″
9. Frank Pipp (Bissell Pro Cycling) 1’11″
10. Scott Zwizanski (Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) 1’19