Women Power onto TTT Podium in Women’s Tour of California Stage 2
The women of the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team showed their combined strength with a podium result in the stage 2 team time trial at the 2016 Breakaway from Heart Disease Women’s Tour of California. The women and men shared the same 20.3-kilometer course starting and finishing in downtown Folsom. Heading north from the city center to Folsom Lake then tracing the shoreline east, the course took in just 484 meters of climbing, allowing the women to cruise along in tight formation at top speed, posting the third-fastest time of the day in a field stacked with Women’s World Tour squads. Director Rachel Heal commented, “We have a tight-knit group of powerful riders here in California, and that showed in their ability to ride with precision and power. We’re happy to lock in a podium performance before the road stage in Santa Rosa.” The men raced the course individually shortly after the women, with Daniel Eaton and Jonny Clarke both clocking finishing times within three minutes of the stage winner.
The result for the women came after a challenging opening road stage which took the women through 117 windy kilometers circumnavigating Lake Tahoe. The field spent the majority of the race keeping tabs on solo breakaway rider Sarah Storey before the race headed up towards the Heavenly Mountain Resort in South Lake Tahoe. The peloton exploded on the final 2-kilometer climb, as riders tried to jump from the group before the final finishing straight. Coryn Rivera and Katie Hall both surged towards the line, with Coryn locking down 7th place and Hall taking 10th. The men of the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team took an equally scenic 212 kilometer route from the central valley town of Lodi high up into the the Sierra Nevada mountains to join the women on the same finish line in South Lake Tahoe. All-rounder Chris Jones spent nearly the entire race in a breakaway move of 18 riders that escaped just 20 kilometers into the race. As the race neared its end, Jones returned to the field to prepare for a possible sprint finish, but a 3-rider move was able to hold their lead to the line for the stage win.
The women and men head to Santa Rosa on Saturday for stage 7 of the men’s race and stage 3 of the women’s race. The men’s race covers 175.5 hilly kilometers through Sonoma Wine Country, totaling 3065 meters of climbing with six king of the mountains opportunities and two intermediate sprint competitions. The women will race a similar course over 111 kilometers with two queen of the mountain competitions and one intermediate sprint before returning to the streets of Santa Rosa.