Hannah Barnes Wins Stage 4 of Tour of the Gila
Barnes wins hotly contested sprint in Silver City
Hannah Barnes emerged the winner in a heated finale in the 4th stage of the 2015 Tour of the Gila on Saturday, May 2nd. The downtown criterium consisted of 25 laps around a compact circuit in Silver City, New Mexico, enticing a huge number of spectators to come out and watch the action. With three intermediate sprints to keep the race aggressive throughout, the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team entered the day with one goal in mind: capture the stage win.
After 20 laps of racing, the pack was all together and Scotti Wilborne took the opportunity to launch a strong attack, forcing the other teams to chase. As the pace ramped up, Linda Villumsen counterattacked, once again pressuring the UnitedHealthcare Blue Train’s competitors. The tactic succeeded, and with one lap of racing left, the peloton was splintered. Hannah Barnes found a wheel to take her around the final 90 degree corner and onto Bullard Street, where she launched an unmatched sprint for the win.
Director Sportif Rachel Heal was pleased the plan came together, commenting, “We went all in for a stage win today and it’s great to pull off the victory in such an exciting finale in front of the crowds in downtown Silver City.”
The Tour of Gila wraps up on Sunday with The Gila Monster.
Stage 5 of the Tour of the Gila marks the final day of racing in New Mexico’s premier road race. The stage, known as the Gila Monster for it’s ferocious amount of climbing, will be a test for the climbers in the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team ranks. Abby Mickey, who secured a strong second place finish in the first stage of racing, will look to build on that result in the tour’s finale. With the women leading the Team General Classification by a close five seconds, there is much to fight for on the roads of the Gila Wilderness.