7 months agoby Tom Soladay

Franz lands first pro win

24-year-old grabs stage two victory at Tour of the Gila

Following the opening stage of the Tour of the Gila, where Krista Doebel-Hickok climbed her way onto the podium, Rally UHC Cycling entered the Inner Loop Road Race on stage two with a clear plan – get Heidi Franz and Abby Mickey into the breakaway and win the stage. The team executed to perfection on all fronts, and Franz captured the first professional win of her young career.

“It feels unbelievable,” said Franz. “To win my first professional race on this stage is an incredible feeling.”

Mickey held off the peloton for fourth place and was the first to congratulate Franz after the finish.

Franz joined Rally UHC Cycling in 2018 after guest riding for the team at the Cascade Cycling Classic and has been steadily developing since. Coming off the team’s intense pre-Gila minicamp in Santa Fe and the news of her first selection for the Amgen Tour of California, Franz was more prepared and motivated than ever to claim her first pro win.

With the field strung out while cresting the Thursday’s second QOM, Franz and Mickey went on the attack, eventually pulling a group of five riders clear for the remainder of the 120 km stage.

“The plan was to have Abby and I get into the breakaway and race for the stage win,” said Franz. “Sho-Air TWENTY20 was racing for the leader’s jersey so they did a lot of work in the breakaway while we focused on the stage win.”

With 15 km remaining in the stage, former Rally UHC Cycling rider and virtual race leader Jasmin Duehring attacked the breakaway. Franz was quick to respond.

Franz and Duehring inside 10 km remaining on stage two.

“Jasmin attacked our group on the rollers outside of town,” said Franz. “I immediately followed her and we worked well together once we got over the final QOM. She led onto the finishing straight, I waited for the right moment to jump and took it to the line.”

Friday’s stage three sends the peloton to Tyrone, NM for a 26 km individual time trial. With three riders sitting in the top ten overall, Rally UHC Cycling will chase every last second in the battle for the overall.

Stage two podium.

Stage 2 results
1 FRANZ, Heidi Rally UHC Cycling 3:27:33 0:11 0:00
2 DUEHRING, Jasmin Sho-Air TWENTY20 ” 0:06 ”
3 GANZAR, Leigh Ann Hagens Berman / Supermint 3:28:39 0:06 @ 1:06
4 MICKEY, Abigail Rally UHC Cycling 3:28:40 @ 1:07
5 DYGERT, Chloe Sho-Air TWENTY20 3:29:25 0:03 @ 1:52
6 CHAPMAN, Brodie Team TIBCO – Silicon Valley ” ”
7 DOEBEL-HICKOK, Krist Rally UHC Cycling ” 0:01 “
8 TEDDERGREEN, Starla Hagens Berman / Supermint ” ”
9 HERNANDEZ DELGADO, A DURANGO-Specialized-IED ” 0:02 ”
10 CERRA, Jessica Hagens Berman / Supermint ” ”

General Classification after stage 2
1 DUEHRING, Jasmin CAN Sho-Air TWENTY20 7:02:12 00:00
2 CHAPMAN, Brodie AUS Team TIBCO – Silicon Valley Ba 7:02:24 @ 00:12
3 PITEL, Edwige FRA Femme Equipe p/b Swisse Wellne 7:02:39 @ 00:27
4 DOEBEL-HICKOK, Krista USA Rally UHC Cycling 7:02:51 @ 00:39
5 DYGERT, Chloe * USA Sho-Air TWENTY20 7:03:14 @ 01:02
6 GRANT, Emma GBR Sho-Air TWENTY20 7:03:39 @ 01:27
7 FRANZ, Heidi * USA Rally UHC Cycling ” “
8 CERRA, Jessica USA Hagens Berman / Supermint 7:03:59 @ 01:47
9 BARROW, Justine AUS HMS 7:04:05 @ 01:53
10 BERGEN, Sara CAN Rally UHC Cycling 7:04:18 @ 02:06