Katie Hall and Team Claim Overall Victory at the Tour Femenino de San Luis
The UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team claimed the
The pivotal moment of the race came on Thursday’s hilly stage 5, which was characterized by relentless attacks as riders tried to break away before the climb kicked in. Riding in protection of Hall’s polka dot jersey, the women of the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team rode at the front of the peloton all day, ensuring the pack reached the climb with Hall fresh and ready to attack. The tactics paid off well, as Katie Hall moved quickly into the small lead group. With riders quickly falling off the pace, the lead was reduced to a group of five midway through the climb. With just 5 kilometers of racing remaining, Hall put her head down and powered up the steep grade. With more than mountain classification points on the line, Hall dug deep to extend her lead on the stage and crossed the line as the new overall race leader.
Sporting Director Rachel Heal had a front row seat to Hall’s performance on the queen stage, “We knew Katie had great form with her performance in the TT, and she knows the climb well from last year’s win here.” With directions from Heal, the team rode for Hall all day, “The team did a great job of setting Katie up for the climb, and then Katie finished it off in style,” continued Heal.
Friday’s final stage, a comparatively flat 79.6-km route starting and finishing in San Luis, was all that stood between Hall and the general classification win. With the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team “All in for the win,” as Director Rachel Heal stated going into stage 6, Hall’s teammates patrolled the field with a watchful eye on any threats to the overall victory. The squad was reduced to four riders due to illness earlier in the week, but Hall had confidence in her remaining teammates, saying, “Iris, Coryn, and Diana were so strong that I was never really worried. There were lots of attacks but only a few people we really needed to worry about, so we focused on them and were willing to let others go up the road.” The stage played out as expected, with a bunch sprint to end the race and no time separations to threaten the lead that Hall gained on the previous day’s climb.
Hall offered high praise of her UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling teammates after wrapping up the overall victory, “The team was unbelievably strong all week, I was really happy to take the stage win on the climb. I only got the chance because the team covered every attack and allowed me to focus on the final climb.” In their first race of the season, the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team brought home two stage wins and the overall victory from the 6-stage Tour Femenino de San Luis. The men of the UnitedHealthcare Blue Train begin the Tour de San Luis on January 18th.