Road

Moninger, Neben lead Gila

Scott Moninger (Health Net-Maxxis) won the 92-mile Silver City to Mogollon stage of the Tour of the Gila Thursday, leading a strung-out peloton up the final 5.5-mile Category 1 finshing climb and finishing 20 seconds ahead defending winner Drew Miller (Landis-Trek-VW). With his effort, Moninger overtook time-trial winner Ryan Blickem (Aida's Bail Bonds) for the lead on the general classification. And although Blickem’s full-minute advantage after yesterday’s time trial was enough to keep him in the GC hunt after finishing 2:24 down on Thursday, it looks like the Tour of the Gila will live

By Steve Medcroft, Special to VeloNews.com

Scott Moninger (Health Net-Maxxis) won the 92-mile Silver City to Mogollon stage of the Tour of the Gila Thursday, leading a strung-out peloton up the final 5.5-mile Category 1 finshing climb and finishing 20 seconds ahead defending winner Drew Miller (Landis-Trek-VW).

With his effort, Moninger overtook time-trial winner Ryan Blickem (Aida’s Bail Bonds) for the lead on the general classification. And although Blickem’s full-minute advantage after yesterday’s time trial was enough to keep him in the GC hunt after finishing 2:24 down on Thursday, it looks like the Tour of the Gila will live up to its billing as a climber’s race.

In the women’s race, Amber Neben (T-Mobile) found enough of a surge to win her second stage in a row and grab a 15-second bonus to pad her GC lead. Right on her heels was Victory Brewing rider Brooke Ourada, who is in excellent form; fresh off two stage wins and a second-place overall at La Vuelta de Bisbee, she moved into second place on GC.

Friday’s stage offers no rest for the weary. The Inner Loop Road Race, held on a 73-mile loop around Fort Bayard in Silver City, includes a number of nasty climbs and descents on narrow, twisty, forest-access roads. Although there’s more than 3,900 feet of climbing, the race traditionally ends in a bunch sprint between a select group of finishers. Expect GC positions to remain unchanged going into Saturday’s Downtown Silver City Criterium unless something extraordinary happens on the roads around Fort Bayard.

Tour of the Gila
Stage 2 results
Men

1. Scott Moninger (Health Net-Maxxis), 3:50:57
2. Drew Miller (Landis-Trek-VW), at 0:20
3. Mike Jones (Health Net-Maxxis), at 0:38
4. Burke Swindlehurst (Navigators), at 0:52
5. Michael Lange (Sharper Image-Mathis), at 0:59
6. Noel Mendoza (Tecos), at 1:03
7. Carl Swenson, at 1:14
8. John Hunt (Village Peddler), at 1:20
9. Carl Decker (Broadmark Capital), at 1:24
10. Chris Wherry (Health Net-Maxxis), at 1:26

Women
1. Amber Neben (T-Mobile), 3:20:04
2. Brooke Ourada (Victory Brewing), at 0:07
3. Christine Thornburn (Webcor Builders), at 0:24
4. Erinne Willock (Team Rona), at 0:56
5. Kristin Johnson, at 1:13
6. Johanna Buick (Victory Brewing), at 1:17
7. Anna Milkowski (Team Rona), at 1:19
8. Kori Seehafer (Genesis Scuba-FFCC), at 2:23
9. Felicia Greer (Webcor Builders), at 2:31
10. Mari Holden (T-Mobile), at 2:38

Overall
Men

1. Scott Moninger (Health Net-Maxxis), 4:27:44
2. Drew Miller (Landis-Trek-VW), at 1:17
3. Mike Jones (Health Net-Maxxis), at 1:36
4. Ryan Blickem (Aida’s Bail Bonds), at 1:38
5. John Hunt (Village Peddler), at 1:44
6. Davide Frattini (Team Monex), at 2:04
7. Andrew Bajadali (Ofoto-Lombardi Sports), at 2:25
8. Carl Decker (Broadmark Capital), at 2:42
9. Burke Swindlehurst (Navigators), at 3:15
10. Michael Hernandez (Reno Wheelmen), at 3:45

Women
1. Amber Neben (T-Mobile), 4:00:26
2. Christine Thorburn (Webcor Builders), at 1:01
3. Brooke Ourada (Victory Brewing), at 1:52
4. Mari Holden (T-Mobile), at 3:11
5. Erinne Wilcock (Team Rona), at 3:39
6. Kori Seehafer (Genesis-Scuba), at 3:54
7. Kristin Johnson (Team Basis), at 4:29
8. Sandy Esepeth (Victory Brewing), same time
9. Anna Milkowski (Team Rona), at 4:54
10. Johanna Buick (Victory Brewing), at 5:54