Hall, Mannion retains leaders jersey on penultimate stage
Under stormy skies the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling team fought to keep their unique positions as GC 1-2 in both mens and women’s events alive today in Denver.
Thomas, Tvetcov still second on GC, respectively
Hall completed an hour criterium to stay in the blue jersey and Mannion finished 160km with three KOMs to start the final stage in blue.
“The plan was to protect Gavin and Serghei,” Seba Alexandre said. “My biggest concern was the first climb, 20kms in a cat 1. The EF guys who are sitting 3,4,6 overall attacked in the first KOM and we couldn’t respond. Seven guys took off. Our guys were everywhere as we tried to respond but we couldn’t.”
In the first chase, Jaramillo was with Tvetcov. AlexCataford and Mannion were in the second chase and Lachlan Norris and Travis McCabe in the third. It took 20kms for Cataford and Mannion to catch the first group, but then Jaramillo and Cataford started to chase.
The break of seven remained the same until the last 20km when the peloton started to close down their minute advantage.
“From there it was a long and hard chase, only our four guys rode in the front for 100kms,” Alexandre said. “We kept the gap to one minute. Later, we closed the gap to 45 seconds and some sprinters teams helped the chase inside the last 15kms to be able to control the race.”
With five kms to go, Tvetcov jumped across to the break but it was no use, it was destined to be a field sprint that saw Mannion finish an incredible third.