By Alan Fischer
Darren Lill lost the yellow leader’s jersey at last year’s La Vuelta de Bisbee Warren Time Trial.
Saturday afternoon, without the strong high desert winds that last year so buffeted the Fly V Australia rider that he was unable to use his aero bars, Lill posted a fourth-place finish time to extend the GC lead at La Vuelta he secured during Saturday morning’s Sulphur Springs Road Race.
“It was much better than last year,” Lill said of the time trial. “I wasn’t getting blown off the bike.”
Rory Sutherland (UnitedHealthcare-Maxxis), won the 7.2-mile event with a time of 13:32. Phil Zajicek (Fly V), placed second at 16 seconds. Lill placed fourth at 50 seconds.
La Vuelta concludes Sunday with the queen stage, the 84-mile Tombstone Road Race that includes climbing both sides of Mule Pass, a steep grade that tops out at 5,930 feet.
Lill, who regained the GC lead at last year’s La Vuelta during the Sunday race, expressed confidence in his chances. He stands 23 seconds ahead of second place Roman Kilun (UnitedHealthcare), and 1:32 ahead of Christian Helmig (Metro VW).
“I’m pretty confident to drop (Kilun) on the final climb Sunday unless I have a real shocker of a day,” Lill said. “I’ve got a strong team looking after me.”
1. Rory Sutherland UnitedHealthcare-Maxxis in 13:32
2. Philip Zajicek Fly V Australia at 0:16
3. Darren Rolfe Fly V Australia at 0:41
4. Darren Lill Fly V Australia at 0:51
5. Roman Kilun UnitedHealthcare-Maxxis at 0:53
6. Jai Crawford Fly V Australia at 0:54
7. Stevie Cullinan Wm/hammer Nutri at 0:55
8. Jonathan Garcia Team Rio Grande at 0:56
9. Michael Mathis Axa Equitable at 0:56
10. Morgan Schmitt UnitedHealthcare-Maxxis at 0:59
GC after stage 2
1. Darren Lill Fly V Australia in 03:56:13
2. Roman Kilun UnitedHealthcare-Maxxis at 00:00:23
3. Christian Helmig Metro Vw at 00:01:32
4. Ian Holt Team Rio Grande at 00:02:07
5. Jared Gilyard Rideclean at 00:02:20
6. Corey Carlson Trekbicyclestore at 00:03:33
7. Chris Aten Bicycle Haus at 00:06:31
8. Rory Sutherland UnitedHealthcare-Maxxis at 00:08:45
9. Philip Zajicek Fly V Australia at 00:09:25
10. Morgan Schmitt UnitedHealthcare-Maxxis at 00:10:00