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Claudia Haüsler and Phil Gaimon fired the first real warning shots in the Cascade Cycling Classic on Wednesday, winning the stage 1 McKenzie Pass Road Race near Sisters, Oregon.
Haüsler (Tibco-To the Top) escaped on the day’s main obstacle — the 20-mile McKenzie Pass climb — and rode toward the uphill finish at Three Creeks Snow Park with Exergy Twenty16 teammates Mara Abbott and Kristin McGrath. The two Americans couldn’t hold the pace in the end, however, and Haüsler took the stage win in the women’s portion of the six-day National Racing Calendar event. McGrath’s ride was good enough to take the overall leader’s jersey.
In the men’s race, Gaimon (Bissell) waited until the final climb on the 74-mile route to pounce, laying down a blistering attack that saw him ride to the stage win and the overall lead. Francisco Mancebo (5-hour Energy-Kenda) was second and Chris Baldwin (Bissell) was third.
The Cascade Classic continues Thursday with the stage 2 Crooked River Time Trial. The new, 16-mile out-and-back TT near Redmond, Oregon, features four short climbs.