Canadian road cyclist Matteo Dal-Cin won a modified first stage at the Tour of the Gila yesterday. Del-Cin was the first of seven Rally Cycling teammates to finish in the top ten, the team taking a firm hold of the standings to kick off the five stage race.
“I felt excellent today,” said Dal-Cin. “We had four or five guys right up there so when I went, they sat up, and I got a pretty healthy gap straight away. I took a look back and could see our guys all over the front of the peloton, so I just went for it!”
@matteoadalcin wins stage one of the @tourofthegila. Behind Dal-Cin, Rally Cycling stacked the top ten with Colin Joyce finishing in third, @rob_britton fourth, @adamdevos fifth, @evan.huffman seventh and @seppkuss eighth. The win gives Dal-Cin the leader's red jersey as well as the green jersey as the leader of the Points Competition. The team also sits atop the Team Classification. Photo by @photogjono. #rallyhealth #rallycycling
Fellow Canadians and Rally Cycling teammates Rob Britton Adan de Vos finished fourth and fifth respectively.
The stage wound through the host town of Silver City before heading North into the Gila National Forest to finish 143kms later, at Whitewater Mesa. Flood damage to the road leading to the traditional Mogollon forced organizers to devise a reroute that still provided an excellent climbing challenge.
Following the intermediate sprint, Canadian Marc-Antoine Nadon, riding for H&R Block launched an attack and was joined out front by Michael Burleigh and Chad Beyer of Canyon Bicycles. The three stayed out front, building a lead to nearly six minutes. Nadon won the second intermediate sprint before dropping away from the break, and getting caught up by the peloton.
With 10km remaining, the main group had pulled in the leaders and teams jockeyed for position heading into the 13 percent grade heading into the finish. It was during all of this action that Dal-Cin found a winning opportunity, taking the stage victory and leader’s jersey to close out his day.
Strong headwinds played into the women’s stage yesterday, keeping the group together for most of the route. During the first 30kms Tibco and United Healthcare teams pushed the pace on the way to the first intermediate sprint, before regrouping in the heavy winds. Canadian Jamie Gilgen of Rise Racing pushed free for a small lead, winning the second sprint.
Regrouping again due to wind, the women’s field raced towards the finish, until Katie Hall struck out alone, building a 10 second lead over the field in the final 5kms, winning the stage. Hall’s United Healthcare teammate Ruth Winder finished second, followed by Canadian Sara Bergen of Rally Cycling.