Tour of the Gila kicked off with a modified Mogollon stage won by UnitedHealthcare’s Katie Hall and Rally’s Matteo Dal-Cin. Due to road repairs, organizers were forced to skip the 10.8km uphill finish and instead run the route to a flat finish on Whitewater Mesa after 109.9km for the women and 143.4km for the men.
The UHC women went one-two on Wednesday, with Hall sprinting home ahead of Ruth Winder. Rally’s Sara Bergen was third.
“We had a really good game plan today,” Hall said. “We had three riders at the front making the pace hard and fast before the climb. My job was to attack and see if I could hold it to the end. I knew there were three other fast sprinters behind me, like Ruth Winder. I felt lucky I could hold it to the line.”
Dal-Cin attacked late and won alone, just six seconds ahead of UnitedHealthcare’s Daniel Jaramillo, who was second ahead of the Canadian winner’s teammate Colin Joyce.
“The team led into the bottom; it’s was great because we had four guys there at the bottom,” Dal-Cin, 26, said. “We were just marking guys that were attacking, just as we crossed the cattle guard to come into the flat section. It kind of eased off a little bit, so I took that chance to attack because it was all of my teammates up front so they let me go. They patrolled behind and I just gave it my all right to the finish.”
Both Hall and Dal-Cin head into Thursday’s stage 2 with leads in their respective overall classifications. Both the men and women will race 120.7km on the Inner Loop Road Race course.