Carlos Hernandez (P&S-Specialized) and Leda Cox (America’s Dairyland) won stage 2 of the 22nd Tucson Bicycle Classic on Saturday, a windswept affair run on a rolling, 20-mile circuit.
Hernandez and teammate David Salomon finished one-two in the Sahuarita Loop Road race (80 miles for men, 60 for women). The duo crossed in 3:12:25, 13 seconds ahead of a chase group containing race leader Joshua Liberles (Colavita New Mexico-JNF), led in by Alex Bhogal (Mazurcoaching.com).
Salomon moved into the leader’s jersey as a consequence, with Liberles slipping to second overall at 13 seconds back and Drew Miller (Landis-Trek) third at 16 seconds.
In the women’s race, Cox soloed to victory in 2:49:42, nearly four minutes ahead of teammate Clare Vlahopoulos. Race leader Melissa McWhirter (Colavita Arizona) crossed third at 4:02, surrendering the top spot on GC to Cox.
P&S–Specialized makes its move
The P&S–Specialized squad made its move on the beginning of the second lap, just past the start-finish. A break of four was established, three of them P&S riders — Hernandez, Salomon and Rodolfo Avila — with Kyle Colavito (RideClean) the odd man out.
The break worked well together, but never took more than 2:20 over the bunch. Then, on the last lap, Avila cracked, falling back on a series of climbs. Next to drop off was Colavito as Hernandez and Salomon pushed the pace.
With about 10 miles to go the peloton was within 90 seconds and closing fast, with Gaimon Phillip (Fiordifruitta) pushing hard to close the gap.
But the two P&S–Specialized riders put their heads down in the stiff winds and kept cranking, with Hernandez doing the lion’s share of the work. And at the end, it was Hernandez crossing the line first, just 13 seconds ahead of the pursuit.
America’s Dairyland winds it up
In the 60-mile women’s race, the pace was aggressive from the start. America’s Dairyland took the Queen of the Mountains sprint at four miles in, but race leader Melissa McWhirter (Colavita Arizona) was patrolling the front and the race soon came back together.
As the field crested the long climb along Duval Mine Road, heading into the rolling hills of Mission Road, a decisive attack shattered the pack. Four riders went clear — America’s Dairyland teammates Cox and Clare Vlahopoulos, McWhirter and Melanie Meyers (Specialized) — and they stayed away to finish in that order, leaving the field to battle for fourth.
Cox now leads McWhirter by 3:43 on GC with Vlahopoulos third at 4:16.
Sunday’s final stage is the Artisan Prosthetics Circuit Race, run on a rolling, 5.6-mile loop with 300 feet of climbing per lap. —Neil Stewart and Chlöe Black contributed to this report.
Tucson Bicycle Classic
Stage 2, Sahuarita Loop Road Race
1. Carlos Hernandez, P&S-Specialized, 80mi in 3:12:25
2. David Salomon, P&S-Specialized, same time
3. Alex Bhogal, Mazurcoaching.com, at 0:13
4. Antonio Aldape, P&S-Specialized, s.t.
5. Nick Friesen, The Bike Shop, s.t.
6. Brian Forbes, Ride Clean, s.t.
7. Jacob Rubel,t Ride Clean, s.t.
8. Joshua Liberles, Colavita New Mexico-JNF, s.t.
9. Martin Adamczyk, Lot-Polish Airlines, s.t.
10. Ryan Knapp, Alderfer Bergen, s.t.
1. Leda Cox, America’s Dairyland, 60mi in 2:49:42
2. Clare Vlahopoulos, America’s Dairyland, at 3:52
3. Melissa McWhirter, Colavita Arizona, at 4:02
4. Melanie Meyers, Specialized, at 4:17
5. Cari Higgins, America’s Dairyland, at 8:10
6. Chloë Black, Trek-Landis, s.t.
7. Kristen Hetzel, Summit Velo, at 8:17
8. Daniela Gandara, Colavita New Mexico, at 8:19
9. Neva Day, at 8:20
10. Heidi Clayton, HLHAP, s.t.
Overall (after 2 stages)
1. David Salomon, P&S-Specialized, 3:20:00
2. Joshua Liberles, Colavita New Mexico-JNF, at 0:13
3. Drew Miller, Landis Trek, at 0:16
4. Phillip Gaimon, Fiordifrutta, at 0:21
5. Ryan Baumann, CRCA-Sakonnet Technology U25, at 0:27
6. David Glick, OrganicAthlete’s Team Vegan, at 0:28
7. Ryan Blickem, Landis Trek, at 0:31
8. Bryson Perry, American R.A.D.D., at 0:34
9. Carlos Hernandez, P&S-Specialized, at 0:36
10. Joshua Bartlett, Team Rubicon, at 0:37
1. Leda Cox, America’s Dairyland, 2:58:12
2. Melissa McWhirter, Colavita Arizona, at 3:43
3. Clare Vlahopoulos, America’s Dairyland, at 4:16
4. Melanie Meyers, Specialized, at 4:25
5. Cari Higgins, America’s Dairyland, at 8:14
6. Neva Day, at 8:36
7. Kate Ross, America’s Dairyland, at 9:02
8. Kristen Hetzel, Summit Velo, at 9:07
9. Chloë Black, Trek-Landis, at 9:11
10. Heidi Clayton, HLHAP, at 9:13