Carpenter and Dragoo win Cascade Classic despite final-stage snafu

Robin Carpenter defends his overall title at the Cascade Classic. Allie Dragoo win the women's race in Bend, Oregon.

Robin Carpenter defended his overall title at the Cascade Classic Sunday, and Allie Dragoo won the women’s race in Bend, Oregon.

“The last day is hard, it’s a good day to take it,” Carpenter said after stage 5. “It’s definitely stressful, I’ve got to say I was really relieved after the race. I’m a head case when I come to a race I know I can win, so I was happy I could keep it together.”

Dragoo echoed the 25-year-old’s comments, having felt the pressure of leading the race into the final stage.

“My team really put it all out there for me,” Dragoo said. “I’m so thankful to them. I was stressed and anxious before the stage. I owe it to all of them.”

Allie Dragoo
Allie Dragoo shared the Cascade Classic podium with her Sho-Air-Twenty20 teammates. Cascade Cycling Classic

Unfortunately, the riders’ concerns about a stressful race were realized in stage 5. The men’s field caught the women’s race with 500 meters to go. Silber’s Stephen Bassett was on the attack and crashed into Colavita-Bianchi’s Whitney Alison.

“It just happened that it was in the final corner that we merged,” Carpenter added. “It’s really unfortunate for Bassett, just looking down and he plowed into her. I was a little bit behind it and managed to get around. He was definitely going to podium, and probably going to win so it’s too bad for him.”

Alex Howes, winner of stage 1, went on to finish first in the 139km stage 5. The Cannondale-Drapac rider was on a composite team with fellow WorldTour pros Kiel Reijnen, and Pete Stetina, who won stage 3.

Sarah Poidevin avoided the chaos at the end of the 80-kilometer race to win a third stage for her Rally Team. Her fellow Canadians and teammates Kirsti Lay and Sarah Bergen won stages 1 and 3, respectively. Poidevin took home the race’s queen of the mountains title, while Bergen won the points classification.

Although Poidevin, 21, put Dragoo under pressure in the final stage, the Sho-Air-Twenty20 rider won the overall title with a third-place finish Sunday behind Emma Grant (Colavita-Bianchi). Dragoo had held the leader’s jersey since the stage 2 time trial, which Claire Rose (Visit Dallas-DNA) won.

The men’s race was also very close at the end of five stages. Holowesko-Citadel’s defending champion Carpenter was second behind Howes in stage 5. UnitedHealthcare’s Gavin Mannion went into the stage with a one-second lead in the overall, so Carpenter won the 27th edition of Cascade Classic with a six-second time bonus earned in the final stage. Evan Huffman, winner of the stage 2 time trial, rounded out the overall podium in third.

Men’s overall, top 10

  • 3. Evan Huffman (RALLY CYCLING), 12:28:48
  • 5. Serghei Tvetcov (JELLY BELLY P/B MAXXIS), 12:29:19
  • 6. Peter Stetina (UNITED STATES OF AMERICA), 12:29:31
  • 7. Nigel Ellsay (SILBER PRO CYCLING), 12:29:36
  • 8. Cameron Piper (UNITED STATES OF AMERICA), 12:29:41
  • 9. Travis Samuel (H&R BLOCK PRO CYCLING TEAM), 12:29:53
  • 10. Luis Ricardo Villalobos Hernandez (AEVOLO), 12:29:55

Women’s overall, top 10

  • 1. Allie Dragoo (SHO – AIR TWENTY20), 11:40:57
  • 2. Sara Poidevin (RALLY CYCLING), 11:41:04
  • 3. Jasmin Duehring (SHO – AIR TWENTY20), 11:41:57
  • 4. Jennifer Luebke (VISIT DALLAS DNA PRO CYCLING), 11:43:10
  • 5. Jennifer Valente (SHO – AIR TWENTY20), 11:43:15
  • 6. Sara Bergen (RALLY CYCLING), 11:43:24
  • 7. Whitney Allison (COLAVITA/BIANCHI USA), 11:43:41
  • 8. Emma Grant (COLAVITA/BIANCHI USA), 11:43:41
  • 9. Kaitlin Antonneau (CYLANCE PRO CYCLING), 11:45:02
  • 10. Stephanie Roorda (SHO – AIR TWENTY20), 11:45:36