Jaramillo fifth overall at Joe Martin Stage Race
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling men’s team topped off four days of hard racing at the UCI 2.2 Joe Martin Stage Race yesterday with Sebastian Haedo and Janier Acevedo claiming two stage wins and Daniel Jaramillo displaying solid consistency to finish fifth place overall.
Haedo second on final stage, Acevedo third in time trial
Stage by stage
The opening stage of Joe Martin was 113 blustery miles of fairly rolling road until the last 25 miles when the route. Then, the peloton encountered two 4 kilometer climbs with an average of seven percent, topped off with a three-kilometer uphill finish with some steep sections of more than 10 percent.
UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team Director Sebastian Alexandre said the place was to get representation in the break as it was likely it would stick until the finish.
“We had four general classification guys and two sprinters, so it was important for us to have our GC guys there,” Alexandre said. “After 40kms of racing, we got Acevedo and Norris in a group of 17.
Each team had two riders represented, except Elevate who had three. The field was happy with that break and immediately they enjoyed a four-minute gap. However, the situation changed with 90 kilometers to go as the break began to attack each other.
“Most of guys didn’t want to get to the climb with Acevedo, Norris and the two Elevate riders, so it was a hard race in a strong headwind,” Alexandre said. “Lot of attacks and eventually three riders took off. There was a lot of responsibility for our guys and not much cooperation. So those guys took off with 40 kilometers to go approximately and everyone started to look at us.”
In the field, Silber started to chase but couldn’t close the gap. Once the race was inside the last 25kms the team put Eric Marcotte and Haedo at the front, but they couldn’t close the gap. Jonny Clarke and Jaramillo sprinted in the field and finished inside of the top ten.
Another road race met the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling team the next day. This time, the length was slightly shorter at 110 miles with just one major climb 30 miles away from the finish.
Again, storms threatened throughout the day and the blustery winds created challenging conditions for the riders. The goal for the stage was to race aggressively, move up on the overall standings and look for that elusive stage win.
Just like the day before, Norris went into a move with ten riders, but they never gained more than three minutes as one of the breakaway riders was close to the GC leader on time.
With 50 kilometers to go and on the only climb, Norris attacked and escaped with another rider, but was eventually caught with just two kilometers to go.
Haedo was in position to have a good sprint to the line, but went a bit too early and finished fourth on in the stage.
A three-mile uphill time trial was next for the pro men’s field. Janier Acevedo had an excellent ride, finishing third on the stage. Both Norris and Jaramillo finished within the top 10.
“It was a pretty straight forward TT,” Alexandre said. “A very steep hill the first part and then gradual. Jaramillo did a mistake of going full gas from the start house and lost a bit of time in the last km. Other than that, guys rode how I expected based on what I saw on the first two days.”
The Joe Martin Stage Race finale was a technical, hilly downtown criterium in Fayetteville. With 30 laps of a 1.2 mile course, Norris once again found himself in the break of the day, along with seven other riders. Despite gaining about 30 seconds in the later stages of the race, the leaders were caught with four laps to go. The race came down to a sprint, that saw Sebastian Haedo claim second place and Jaramillo fifth.
The next race for the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling men’s team is the UCI 2.2 Tour of the Gila, April 18-22.