Amongst the sandstone formations within iconic Garden of the Gods Park, the men and women of Rally Cycling laid the foundation for overall victories in stage one of the Colorado Classic. Sara Poidevin put rival climbers on notice by claiming the Queen of the Mountains jersey, and Emma White sprinted to a stellar third place finish. In torrential rain, Colin Joyce finished eighth in the sprint as Rob Britton and Sepp Kuss finished safely in the peloton.
Poidevin kicked off the day by grabbing maximum points in the Queen of the Mountains competition. She won both categorized climbs on the 61.7-kilometer route, taking the red climber’s jersey at the end of the day. In the sprint for the line, U.S. U-23 Road Race Champion White debuted her new stars and stripes kit spectacularly, powering down the finishing straight to cross the line third, just behind Jennifer Valente (Sho-Air Twenty20) and Skylar Schneider (Iscorp Powered By Progress). Sara Bergen crossed the line ninth to give Rally Cycling two riders in the top ten.
Emma White debuted the stars and stripes jersey in Colorado
“The plan for the day was to get to the finish and lead me out for the sprint,” said White. “The leadout was perfect, and I just got swarmed by other teams. I ended up in third. I am happy with it, but it would have been nice to get the win. It’s great that Sara (Poidevin) got the Queen of the Mountain’s jersey. The QOM was not our primary objective as Sara is focused on the general classification. However, she was feeling great today and went for it. She is our girl for tomorrow.”
With the objective of delivering White to the line, the women of Rally Cycling controlled the race and prevented any rider from gaining a meaningful advantage. The peloton was all together as the first Queen of the Mountains approached, and Poidevin launched off the front to take maximum points. A lap later, the entirety of Rally Cycling was called on to deliver Poidevin to the top of the mountain. With rivals looking to steal Poidevin's QOM lead, Bergen, Amy Benner, Allison Beveridge, and Kelly Catlin led the charge up the ascent with Poidevin in tow, helping her grab maximum points again. The quartet would again take to the front in the race’s closing kilometers, giving White a near-perfect leadout and the team another podium.
Evan Huffman drove the day's breakaway in hopes of taking the stage win
In the men’s race, Evan Huffman infiltrated the day’s five-man breakaway and built a 3:15 gap on the peloton. As storms rolled in and the rain started to fall, the peloton began to close in on the breakaway. As torrential rain and wind pounded the riders, the gap plummeted and with 35 kilometers remaining the break was reabsorbed. As the peloton charged through the wet, slick streets of downtown Colorado Springs, the team moved Joyce and Shane Kline to the front for the sprint finale.
"We sent Huffman up the road and thought if the field gave them a sizeable lead then Evan could take a stab at the stage win," said Performance Manager Jonas Carney. "Unfortunately the break was too small, and the peloton kept it close. The rain didn't play much of a factor, other than making it a little sketchy coming into town. In the finale, we had Shane and Colin together but we didn't nail the lead out. We ended up top-ten when we were shooting for the win. Our general classification guys are in good position and tomorrow is going to be decisive for the overall."
Colorado Classic Stage 1 | Women
1. Jennifer Valente (Sho-Air Twenty20)
2. Skylar Schneider (Iscorp Powered By Progress)
3. Emma White (Rally Cycling)
4. Heather Fischer (Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank)
5. Rebecca Wiasak (Fearless Femme)
6. Lauren Hall (Unitedhealthcare)
7. Samantha Schneider (Iscorp Powered By Progress)
8. Kendelle Hodges (Colavita/Bianchi)
9. Sara Bergen (Rally Cycling)
10. Jessica Mundy (Colavita-Bianchi)
Mountains Classification After Stage 1 | Women
1. Sara Poidevin (Rally Cycling)
Colorado Classic Stage 1 | Men
1. John Murphy (Holowesko-Citadel)
2. Travis McCabe (UnitedHealthcare)
3. Logan Owen (Axeon Hagens Berman)
4. Marco Canola (Nippo-Vini Fantini)
5. Kiel Reijnen (Trek-Segafredo)
6. Dennis Van Winden (Israel Cycling Academy)
7. Alex Howes (Cannondale-Drapac)
8. Colin Joyce (Rally Cycling)
9. Christopher Blevins (Axeon Hagens Berman)
10. Brent Bookwalter (BMC Racing Team)