By VeloNews Interactive
Mercury drove a shaft that the other guys will have a tough time digging their way out of in the old mining town of Bisbee, Arizona, placing five riders in the top 10 as the 24th La Vuelta de Bisbee got under way Friday afternoon.
Scott Moninger (Mercury) posted the fastest time in the 2.7-mile Mule Pass Time Trial, which gained 831 feet of vertical in just 2.7 miles, crossing the line in 9:50, just one second ahead of teammate Phil Zajicek. Third went to Scott Price (Landis-Trek), at 9:57.“The afternoon had a red-flag wind alert, but the times were still good,” said race director Albert Hopper.
In the women’s opener, meanwhile, Dara Marks (Mountain Velo-Supergo) finished in 12:03 to outpace Team T-Mobile’s Katrina Berger and the legendary Jeannie Longo (Vitalli); the top three women were separated by just two seconds.
Action in the four-stage race continues on Saturday with the Hereford Circuit Race and the Warren Time Trial. The wind is expected to throttle back a notch, with highs in the upper 60s.
La Vuelta de Bisbee
Bisbee, AZ. April 26
Mule Pass Time Trial
1. Scott Moninger, Mercury, 9:50
2. Phil Zajicek, Mercury, 9:51
3. Scott Price, Landis-Trek, 9:57
4. Chris Wherry, Mercury, 10:02
5. Andrew Miller, Landis-Trek, 10:04
6. Adham Sbeih, Mercury, 10:14
7. Jesus Estrada, Mercury, 10:37
8. Brad Saul, 10:40
9. Eric Abrams, Rhino, 10:46
10. Todd Wells, Mongoose-Hyundai
1. Dara Marks, Mountain Velo-Supergo, 12:03
2. Katrina Berger, Team T-Mobile, 12:04
3. Jeannie Longo, Vitalli, 12:05
4. Kelli Emmett, Luna, 12:22
5. Anne Samplonius, 12:41
6. Carolyn Donnelly, 12:48
7. Rebecca Cooke, Landis-Trek, 13:18
8. Christy Kopasz, Telluride Velo, 13:20
9. Kirstin Fisher, ICO, 13:40
10. Martha Meyer, Colorado Velo, 13:43