Rory Sutherland stays in the red jersey.
Photo: Jon Devicc
The UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team’s Rory Sutherland (AUS) continued his commanding performance at the 26th Annual SRAM Tour of the Gila, holding onto the overall leader’s jersey by taking 2nd place earlier today in the Stage 3 Dan Potts Memorial Tyrone Individual Time Trial. Evan Huffman (USA) of California Giant Cycling Team had the fastest time of the day, winning the stage in 34 minutes 23 seconds, topping Sutherland by just three seconds. Joe Dombrowski (USA) of the Bontrager-Livestrong Team continued to impress in New Mexico, taking 3rd place on the day, 17 seconds off of Huffman’s winning time.
Sutherland’s finish today combined with his Stage 1 victory and top 10 finish in Stage 2, secured the veteran rider his second podium appearance of the race and third top 10 finish. Teammates Ben Day (AUS) and Marc de Maar (CUR) finished 9th and 10th respectively, giving the squad three top 10 finishers in Silver City.
General Manager and Team Director, Mike Tamayo, stated, “Today was a great ride for Rory in the Time Trial. It’s great to see him both climbing and time trialing well. It really shows how the hard work put in this spring is paying off.”
The ever calm and collected Sutherland said of his podium effort, “Today’s time trial was good and we’re happy with how we performed. This was also a good test for the upcoming Amgen Tour of California. We got some great information from the guys who raced earlier. It’s always tough to gauge this time trial here in Silver City, especially given the high altitude and how windy and dry it can be.”
Sutherland continued, “We now have some good gaps in the General Classification (GC) on some strong riders which always helps when looking toward our overall GC ambitions. We are looking forward to racing the criterium tomorrow night in downtown Silver City. The SRAM Tour of the Gila is such a great race and the criterium is always a well-attended and exciting event for the fans and people of Silver City.”
MEANWHILE, OVER AT SPEEDWEEK...
The UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team scored a pair of podium results in South Carolina earlier tonight, with sprinting sensations Jake Keough (USA) taking 1st place and Robert Förster (GER) securing 3rd place in the 8th Annual Spartanburg Regional Classic. Carlos Alzate (COL) of Team Exergy took 2nd place in the evening’s criterium, part of the USA CRITS SpeedWeek series.
Having just returned from a rigorous European racing schedule where the Team fought through injury, illness and weather, the sprinting duo of Keough and Förster delivered the podium results for the five-man squad that included Brad White (USA), Adrian Hegyvary (USA) and Jay Thomson (RSA).
Following the race, Keough stated, “Tonight was a really fast and hard race. All of the teams stepped up and raced well, so it’s really nice to get the win for this Team.”
Keough continued, “It’s good to be racing again in the US. We just got back on Sunday from a big European campaign. Racing in Europe is hard. It’s a different style of racing but it prepares you for anything. This Team just continues to work together and never quits. Tonight was a good result for us and we’re looking forward to the rest of SpeedWeek.”
Tonight’s Spartanburg Criterium was a fast and furious race that experienced two neutralizations due to large crashes involving more than half the field. After the second restart, the teams with larger contingencies made their move to the front to increase the pace in an effort to string out the field. With eight laps remaining, Team UnitedHealthcare’s Blue Train moved into formation to gain control of the lead out. One lap later, Team Kenda/5Hour Energy leapfrogged the boys in blue and held fast until five circuits were left. The shuffling of the deck created hesitation amongst the multiple teams jockeying for position with their lead out trains. Then, the relentless Hegyvary along with Teammates White and Thomson took initiative and lead an organized Blue Train through the final three laps to deliver Keough and Förster to the podium.
General Manager and Team Director, Mike Tamayo, said, “We are happy to see the boys take a win in the Southeast Crits. Jake and Robert did a fantastic job, as well as Jay, Brad and Adrian. The Gila Team was watching from New Mexico and cheering the boys on while the race was streamed live. It’s great motivation for the entire Team while we defend the SRAM Tour of the Gila lead.”
The UnitedHealthcare Team members racing in the Southeast will continue racing in the USA CRITS SpeedWeek series throughout the weekend. The squad squares off against the field once again in Anderson, South Carolina tomorrow at the Electric City Circuit, followed the Global Imports Sandy Springs Cycling Cycling Challenge on Sunday, May 6, in Sandy Springs, Georgia.
The UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team Roster for the USA CRITS SpeedWeek:
Jake Keough (USA)
Robert Förster (GER)
Brad White (USA)
Adrian Hegyvary (USA)
Jay Thomson (RSA)