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Colorado Classic Stage 2: Poidevin climbs to victory in Breckenridge

BRECKENRIDGE, Colorado (VN) – Sara Poidevin (Rally) won stage 2 and secured the overall victory at the women’s Colorado Classic Friday. The 21-year-old Canadian climber attacked up Breckenridge’s Moonstone Climb to finish more than a minute ahead of UnitedHealthcare’s Tayler Wiles and Colavita-Bianchi’s Abby Mickey.

“I had good confidence going into today after being able to get the QOM points yesterday,” Poidevin said after the race. “I definitely knew I had some strong competition so I was ready for a good fight.”

Stage 2, top 10

1. Sara Poidevin (Rally)
2. Tayler Wiles (UnitedHeathcare)
3. Abby Mickey (Colavita-Bianchi)
4. Ruth Winder (UnitedHealthcare)
5. Kaitie Antonneau (Cylance)
6. Flavia Oliveira (Fearless Femme)
7. Whitney Allison (Colavita-Bianchi)
8. Leah Thomas (Sho-Air Twenty20)
9. Allie Dragoo (Sho-Air Twenty20)
10. Katie Hall (UnitedHealthcare)

UnitedHealthcare led the charge throughout the women’s short 51.5-kilometer stage. The race included five circuits around the mountain town of Breckenridge, Colorado, including a short but steep ascent up Moonstone Climb. Averaging 8.3 percent and kicking up to over 10 percent at the top, Moonstone was the deciding feature in both the stage and the Colorado Classic’s overall competition.

“I’ve done [the climb] one other time when we had the time trial here and it was the most painful time trial I’ve ever done,” Wiles said. “I like it a little better in a road race style.”

The pace was fast from the start despite the extreme altitude, which hovered between 9,000 and 10,000 feet in elevation. The group stayed together over the top of Moonstone for the first time before a blazing descent down Illinois Gulch Road strung things out.

Speeds increased over the next few laps with two rounds of QOM points up for grabs. Poidevin secured her lead in the QOM competition, taking the first round of points followed by Wiles and Kaitie Antonneau (Cylance).

A group of 11 riders escaped off the front with four UHC teammates driving the pace for Wiles. Another aggressive ascent of Moonshine whittled the field to eight while Mickey escaped off the front. Mickey held a 10-second advantage with two laps to go but the group looked content to allow the Aspen-native to hang out front for a lap.

Poidevin attacked with two ascents of Moonstone left. She bridged to Mickey, hoping the duo would work together to fend off a chasing UHC train. “Once I was in the front group of 10 I knew I was outnumbered especially by UHC,” Poidevin said. “So going into the second to last lap I really wanted to make sure I didn’t get worked over by the UHC girls because they had so many teammates left in the front group. I knew that my only shot was to try and get up the road with Abby Mickey.”

Poidevin caught and passed Mickey, stretching her lead to nearly a minute with one lap to go. Wiles also charged out of the chase group, pulling Mickey back on the final climb but wasn’t able to close the gap to Poidevin.

“It was really hard,” Wiles said. “We had the numbers but Sara is probably one of the best climbers in the world. She could follow all of our attacks and then she countered us so she’s definitely a worthy winner.”

Poidevin claimed the second stage of the women’s Colorado Classic along with the overall GC victory in the two-day stage race. She nearly swept the jerseys, also winning the Best Young Rider’s jersey, Sprint jersey, and the QOM jersey. Mickey was the only other rider to win a jersey, taking the Best Colorado Rider.

GC Overall Winner: Sara Poidevin (Rally)
Best Young Rider: Sara Poidevin (Rally)
Sprint Winner: Sara Poidevin (Rally)
QOM Winner: Sara Poidevin (Rally)
Best Colorado Rider: Abby Mickey (Colavita-Bianchi)

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