Winder narrowly misses podium at Tour of California opening stage
Hall finishes top 10 after late attack on final climb
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling mixed it up with the best teams in the world today on the opening stage of the Amgen Breakaway from Heart Disease. Ruth Winder finished in fourth place and Katie Hall was ninth behind race winner Megan Guarnier (Boels Dolmans).
The team sent Rushlee Buchanan up the road with Tibco’s Ingrid Drexel around halfway though the 118-kilometer stage around Lake Tahoe, but the race was destined to come down to an uphill battle in the last 2 kilometers.
“We tried a move against the very best in the world today and unluckily today it didn’t work out,” Hall said. “I feel proud to be in the mix and attacking the world’s best and excited to give it another try tomorrow. We’ve got a strong team here and I think we can get some results.”
In the closing kilometers, the team came to the front and charged into the last 1.7 km climb with Hall leading the way.
“It all came back together going into the last 5km”, Winder said after the stage. “Lauretta Hanson, Rushlee and Lauren Hall gave Tayler Wiles, Katie and I a great lead out into the climb. A few attacks started going. Katie put in a great attack, but was brought back quickly. I put my head down suffering to the line to get fourth place.”
Winder sits second in the Tag Heuer best young rider competition, 9 seconds behind Arlenis Sierra (Astana). The UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling team is also second in the team competition, following Cylance by 11 seconds.
Tomorrow’s stage starts in South Lake Tahoe at 10:25am PDT. The 67.1-mile (108km) route features three categorized climbs and one intermediate sprint before finishing at Heavenly Ski Resort again.
Photo Credit: Jonathan Devich