Wilson, Shaw take Mt. Hood overall
HOOD RIVER – Stage 1 winner Coulton Hartrich (Athletix Cycling/Globalbike) grabbed his second win of the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic Sunday as Nate Wilson joined Hartrich in a two-man breakaway that propelled the 21-year-old California Giant Berry/Specialized rider to the overall win.
In the women’s race, ExergyTWENTY12′s Rhae Shaw took her third stage win in four tries to seal her overall victory, while mountain bike pro Kelli Emmett (Giant) climbed her way from third overall into the second spot, knocking Shaw’s teammate Alison Tetrick into third.
The fourth and final stage of the stage race lived up to its “queen stage” billing by shaking up the overall after challenging the men with 91 miles and more than 10,000 feet of climbing through the Mt. Hood National Forest. The women covered 70 miles and more than 8,000 feet of climbing for their final stage.
Cal Giant Berry Farms used its superior numbers and multiple threats for the overall to put English and his lone teammate, Roman Kilun, on the defensive all day long, eventually isolating English and launching Wilson, who started the day second overall, into the winning move.
Wilson started the day just 13 seconds down on English, and the two escapees topped the final summit with a 50-second gap over a small chase group led by the race leader. The pair added another 10 seconds to the gap on the climb up to the finish at the Cooper Spur Ski Area, where Wilson came in 47 seconds ahead of English to snatch the overall win and hang onto the mountains classification jersey.
“Nate (English) is really strong,” Wilson said. “Honestly, probably the only way for us to beat him is to have the tactical advantage. Luckily our team is really deep at this race and it put us in a good position to do that.”
Wilson’s teammate, Stephen Leece, who started the stage 41 seconds down, also jumped ahead of English on the climb to Cooper Spur, coming in exactly 41 seconds ahead of the 2011 overall winner and grabbing the four-second time bonus for third on the stage. It was enough to knock English down to third overall, while Hartich’s winning ride bumped him from 8th overall to fourth. English said he was not surprised the Cal Giant squad was able to wear down he and Kilun’s defenses.
“I knew from before the race that they were going to try and stack the breaks and try to isolate me,” English said. “I knew they had enough good climbers that there would be a small selection over the last climb, I thought that was inevitable. I just did what I could to try and eliminate as many of them as possible. But Nate Wilson and Stephen Leece are great climbers.”
Emmett almost descends to stage win
Shaw and Emmett formed their breakaway in the women’s race by getting away from a severely fractured field on the final summit of the day, after which Emmett used her descending skills to distance herself from the race leader in attempt for a solo win. But Shaw reeled Emmett back on the ascent to Cooper Spur and then refused to work in hopes that Tetrick, who was behind chasing furiously, could save her second spot overall.
“I was hoping that Alison could maintain her GC position,” Shaw said. “I thought the peloton could keep the gap down to five or six minutes.”
Emmett towed Shaw the last 15 km and then watched as the race leader left her behind 500 meters from the finish to solo in for the victory. Emmett’s frustration was eased a bit when Tetrick came in more than 10 minutes behind, lifting the Giant rider into second overall and earning her the mountains classification jersey. Tetrick held on for third overall, however, and stage 3 winner Jennifer Lehmann (Trek/Red Truck) grabbed fourth.
“I’m really happy with how the stage played out,” said shaw, who is hoping to represent Canada at the Olympics in July. “I’m thrilled to win the stage and thrilled to win the overall. I was climbing really well and I felt great. I knew I didn’t need to go on the defensive today and do anything big on any of those climbs. It maybe would have been nice to, but I didn’t have to, and I felt it was important to ride smart to make sure that ExergyTWENTY12 had the win today.”
Check out the PHOTO GALLERY for this stage.
STAGE 4 RESULTS
1. Coulton Hartrich (Athletix Cycling/Globalbike) @4:13:39
2. Nate Wilson (Cal Giant Berry/Specialized) @ :13
3. Stephen Leece (Cal Giant Berry/Specialized) @ :19
4. Nate English (Kenda/5-Hour Energy) @1:00
5. Jeff Perin (Juwi Solar) s.t.
6. Kirk Carlson (Full Circle Cycling) @1:07
7. Evan Huffman (Cal Giant Berry/Specialized) @ 1:35
8. Sam Johnson (Team Exergy) @3:01
9. Stephen Mull (Audi) @3:06
10. Phillip Torey (Cal Giant Berry/Specialized) @3:20
1. Rhae Shaw (ExergyTWENTY12) 3:58:44
2. Kelli Emmett (Giant Factory Team) @ 1:5
3. Alison Tetrick (ExergyTWENTY12) @ 10:21
4. Nicole Justice (Stevens Bikes/Pactimo) @10:37
5. Jenny Lehmann (Trek/Red Truck) @10:59
6. Kristine Brynjolfson (Trek/Red Truck) @11:34
7. Hilary Billington (Veloce/Smith & Nephew) 11:56
8. Rebecca Rusch (Specialized) @12:24
9. Lindsay Fox (Athletes Lounge) @12:57
10. Zayda Maguire (Kenda/Geargrinder) @17:73
1. Nate Wilson (Cal Giant Berry/Specialized) @ 9:27:45
2. Stephen Leece (Cal Giant Berry/Specialized) @ :36
3. Nate English (Kenda/5-Hour Energy) @:40
4. Coulton Hartrich (Athletix Cycling/Globalbike) @:45
5. Evan Huffman (Cal Giant Berry/Specialized) @1:49
6. Jeff Perin (Juwi Solar) @3:01
7. Kirk Carlson (Full Circle Cycling) @3:05
8. Sam Johnson (Team Exergy) @3:10
9. Stephen Mull (Audi) @5:18
10. Phillip Torey (Cal Giant Berry/Specialized) @5:32
1. Rhae Shaw (ExergyTWENTY12) 8:08:05
2. Kelli Emmett (Giant Factory Team) @8:08
3. Alison Tetrick (ExergyTWENTY12) @12:02
4. Jenny Lehmann (Trek/Red Truck) @25:05
5. Nicole Justice (Stevens Bikes/Pactimo) @25:18
6. Rebecca Rusch (Specialized) @29:04
7. Hilary Billington (Veloce/Smith & Nephew) @29:07
8. Lindsay Fox (Athletes Lounge) @29:35
9. Kristina Lackner (Hutch’s) @32:54
10. Erin Playman (Gentle Lovers) @37:15