Hall, Mannion rule Colorado Classic
DENVER – So many things marked an unforgettable week for UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling, it’s difficult to lead with one. From Gavin Mannion and Katie Hall winning the Colorado Classic overall, to Serghei Tvetcov and Leah Thomas coming in second. A historic moment for the team, and the race.
UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling go 1-2 in historic win at both men and women’s race, plus win team classifications
Clearly the icing on a fantastic week of racing was the stage victory by Travis McCabe, who posted up for another win to add to his list of first places this season.
Katie Hall has taken the overall win at every American stage race she lined up for in the 2018 season. In taking the overall classification, Katie Hall has won five stage races in America. Prior to that, the climber had never won a stage race before this year.
“This week was really special for us to be able to go out and to win,” Thomas said. “We were undefeated in stage racing in the US this year, and with so much uncertainty for the upcoming season and with it being Lauren Hall’s last professional race, we really wanted to put on a good show and showcase some aggressive racing in the women’s peloton.”
Thomas came away with the queen of the mountain jersey and second overall, a huge achievement in her own right. She spent the majority of the week watching over her leader, Hall.
“This is our last race together, some of us are retiring, some of us are moving on,” Hall said. “We’re just really celebrating being together and winning some bike races and each other. It’s really a celebratory week for us.”
“For me personally, this is one kind of racing and I feel I am ready to make the next step. I feel consistent in America, but the new year will be a whole other challenge for me. I’m ready for that challenge. For our team, I think we have a lot of consistency because Rachel Heal is such a good director, so good at picking out riders, and getting us all unified towards one goal.” Hall added.
The Colorado Classic also marked Lauren Hall’s final race as she heads into the next chapter of her life. Her retirement from professional cycling marks an end to an era, as she has been a staple in the women’s peloton for years.
“Be proud of this moment,” Sporting Director Seba Alexandre said, “it’s been a long time in the making and we deserve this accomplishment.” The combination of both men and women’s teams taking first and second on the overall GC is a historic moment for both the race and the team.
“This is the most important win of my career,” Mannion said, “I couldn’t have done it without my teammates. There were moments on stage 3 where I wasn’t sure we’d be able to hold on, but somehow they brought it all back.” Those tense moments were relieved as the peloton rolled into Denver on the final lap of stage 4 Sunday, with Mannion safely tucked in the front of the peloton. He finished a strong 11th place on the final day right with the top sprinters.
Putting his stamp on the final day, and showing his world-class sprinting talent once again was Travis McCabe. The fastest man in the American Peloton, McCabe added another win to his palmares following on the heels of his two wins at the Tour of Utah the previous week.
This race wraps up the domestic season for the UnitedHealthcare squad, and is the season finale for the women’s team. The season will round out for the men with the Tour of Qinghai Lake in October, be sure to tune in for coverage!