Team Scoops Team General Classification Victories in Men’s and Women’s Tour of the Gila
The UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team capped off a hugely successful Tour of the Gila with double victories in the Team General Classification. Both the men’s and women’s squads pulled easily clear of their nearest rivals to prove that they are the strongest team at one of America’s most prestigious stage races.
The 30th anniversary edition of the Tour of the Gila finished with the famous “Gila Monster” stage featured 100.6 miles of rolling terrain, capped with the ferocious climb to the small village of Pinos Altos providing the fireworks at the end of the stage. Gutsy performances by the riders of the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling team lead to the squad taking home the Team General Classification victories in both the Men’s and Women’s races. Fighting for every second, the women placed three riders in the top 10 on the final stage, ensuring the team went over 5 minutes clear of their nearest rivals.
In the Men’s event, the team GC came down to the last stage, with Jaramillo’s win on Stage 5 solidifying the result. The Team General Classification is a measure of every rider in the squad, and weighs both outright performance, but also teamwork towards the final goal. As the squads now move on to the Tour of California starting in just over a week, the Team GC wins will be a boost of confidence for all the riders and staff.
Daniel Jaramillo wins The Gila Monster
Daniel Jaramillo, the Colombian climber on The UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling team, outwitted his breakaway companion to win the 100 mile Gila Monster stage on the final day of the Tour of the Gila, ensuring he took home the Polka Dot jersey of the King of the Mountains competition.
The UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team set out with the intention of protecting Jaramillo during the early climbs, and ensuring he could protect his strong lead in the King of the Mountains competition. The 9,131 feet of climbing caused many splits in the pack, and it was left down to Matthew Busche to ride as lieutenant for the Columbian Jaramillo.
The wind caused further chaos on the long stage, and by the penultimate climb on Wild Horse Mesa, Jaramillo had pulled ahead with Janier Acevedo. The chase behind struggled in the wind, and Jaramillo used this to his advantage. Racing tactically into the home straight, Jaramillo outwitted his breakaway companion to take a narrow victory on the line.
For General Manager Mike Tamayo, the win was a great finish to a race the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team is so familiar with, “We love coming to race here in New Mexico, and to finish off with a stage win and the KOM jersey is what we hoped for.”
Looking forward to the upcoming Amgen Tour of California, Tamayo is very optimistic, “I feel good about our California team. We are strong and have depth. The harder the race the better we are.”
Linda Villumsen second on Stage 4, Katie Hall maintains second in QOM competition.
Saturday’s downtown Criterium in Silver City was a chance for the women of the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling team to mix up the script on their usual race strategy. Missing the normally designated sprinter Coryn Rivera, the team maintained their position at the front of the race, and regrouped around Linda Villumsen in the finale. Villumsen proved she has more than time trialling in her legs, and took a close second place just inches behind winner Heather Fischer.
Coming into Sunday’s Gila Monster stage, the women were racing in pursuit of the stage win by Katie Hall. Sitting second in the Queen of the Mountain climbing competition, Hall was set up well by her teammates on each of the categorised climbs during the race. After a breakaway went clear early in the race, the real showdown did not start until the final climb. The field shattered, with eventual winner Mara Abbott going clear. Katie Hall chased hard, putting everything into the final kilometers of racing. Despite her best efforts, Hall was caught by the chase group just before the line. Hall’s efforts weren’t wasted, however, as she maintained her second place overall in the QOM competition.