Colorado: Ryan wins stage 4 as Hall walks away with overall title
Following an incredibly aggressive final day of racing, Kendall Ryan ( Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank) won the sprint finish on stage 4 ahead of Emma White (Rally Cycling) and Allison Beveridge (Rally Cycling). UnitedHealthcare’s Katie Hall came away with the 2018 Colorado Classic overall race victory, adding to her remarkable streak of U.S. stage race wins.
“It’s great to come back and finally get a stage win,” Ryan said. “It was super sketchy. Everyone was fighting, going for the stage win. I went through a lot of holes that weren’t even there … lots of people yelling at me. I was really happy my teammates fought for me all day.”
“This has been a really special race,” said overall winner Katie Hall. “I’ve won five stages in America this year and I’d never won a stage race in America before this year. It feels pretty good. Last year we had a teammate – Ruth Winder – that was really good. I raced for her and she won almost all the stage races. This year it was my turn.”
Hall’s teammate Leah Thomas finished second in the overall race, clinching the queen of the mountain victory, making for a banner finale for UHC, whose cyclists have won every stage race they’ve entered this year, but which will be disbanding after 2018.
“Today may be the end of our team,” Hall said, adding that she’ll be moving to Europe, having signed with Dutch powerhouse team Boels-Dolmans, but not without a final party with UHC first. “It’s going to be a big change. We’re going to celebrate Lauren and this wonderful group of people I’ve been a part of for all these years.”
The final stage of the 2018 Colorado Classic women’s race featured a circuit around downtown Denver on a 9.1-mile course that started and finished at the Velorama Festival. It sent racers around Coors Field, through North Capitol Hill and Uptown to City Park and back. The women completed four laps for 34.8 miles. The stage saw plenty of attacks as well as its fair share of handlebar scraping and high-speed jostling. A number of women, including stage 3 winner Jennifer Valente, fought for the stage win, but Ryan proved the fastest and was able to cross the finish line first.