Stetina Earns First Victory at Cascade, Mannion Keeps GC Lead

Bergen wins Cascade Lakes Road Race, Draggo Holds onto Yellow Jersey

Sara Bergen (Rally Cycling) took the win at Cascade Lakes Road Race by a convincing margin ahead of Kate Buss (Tibco) and Emma Grant (Colavita Bianchi) after 85 miles of racing.

The race was a war of attrition that ended up with a decimated field.

“We raced hard and kept the yellow,” Dragoo said. “I’m really proud of my teammates for working at the front for most of the day and for Steph (Rooda) for staying in the break the whole day. All I can say is that they are so reliable, so that’s nice. We’re going to keep doing what we’re doing.”

Allie Dragoo remains in yellow heading into tomorrow’s criterium stage by 16 seconds ahead of Sara Poidevin (Rally). Jasmin Duehring is third, 44 seconds back.

The jersey standings remain the same with Dragoo in yellow, now 16 seconds ahead of best young rider Poidevin. Bergen is still in the green jersey while Margo Clyne (JLvelo) took over the QOM.

Tomorrow is a downtown criterium starting at 5:30 pm PDT for the women, racing for 50 minutes.

Team USA Peter Stetina wins his first stage at Cascade

Peter Stetina (Team USA) took his first stage win of his career on the 107.3-mile stage 3 race for the men.  Stetina had put in numerous attacks in the final kilometers, while Movistar Team Ecuador were the only ones who could follow. The home field advantage helped Stetina win ahead of second place Santiago Montenegro (Movistar) and Jefferson Sepeda (Movistar).

“We had the boys each take their turn lining it (peloton) out and keeping it fast,” Stetina said. “I need a climbers climb to win, I can’t just attack on punch, so we had to make sure everyone was in a bit in the red. Then, I was about to hit it with the Ecuadorians on the way up. I knew the corners and the finish; I made sure to shut them down there, went early and held on. This is my first individual win since my U23 wins. Usually on the WorldTour I’m racing for (Bauke) Mollema or Alberto (Contador). It’s fun to rekindle that flame, no matter where you are in the world.”

Movistar Team Ecuador fought hard for the stage win, but was happy with two on the podium. “We had a very powerful rival that races in the WorldTour,” Montenegro said about Stetina. “We had several teammates with us but missed having that extra power for the sprint at the finish. In the end, the results are good. We continue to look for opportunities, and will fight for the KOM.”

The teams riding for GC were placed on high alert when Holowesko | Citadel sent three riders in a 10-man break that was established shortly after the first KOM. The lead group included second place on GC, Robin Carpenter with TJ Eisenhart and Oscar Clark.  Alex Cataford (UHC) was able to make the move along with others that included Taylor Shelden (Jelly Belly), Paco Mancebo (Hangar 15), and Emerson Oronte (Rally) to name a few.

Eisenhart and Clarke drove the break most of the day, putting every bit of energy left in their reserves for Carpenter before dropping off shortly before the final climb. Headwinds on the climb into the finish sealed their fate as the break was caught less than 2k to the line.

“Our plan was to try to put the defending team under pressure,” Carpenter said after the stage. “It half worked, but Cataford was in the group so I think UHC was somewhat happy letting it go. Other teams chipped in a lot to bring us back.

“In the end, I didn’t get much help from anyone in that group, and it was always going to be tough to stay away on that headwind climb. I’m disappointed I couldn’t do more but proud of how my team rode. In the end, we still have two more days to take a single second.”

Gavin Mannion finished in the front group, holding onto yellow heading into the final stages. There were no changes on GC.

Luis Villalobos gained a few seconds on the stage, keeping the BYR jersey for Saturday. Tayler Sheldon (Jelly Belly) moved into the lead for the sprint/points competition classification; a result from pulling through in the break during the day. It’s the first of his career, and his first race back after a collarbone break at the Tour of California.

The KOM jersey competition also heated up today, with Efren Santos (Canel’s) picking up top points for the first KOM. Jefferson Sepeda (Movistar) earned 4 points for finishing second, moving ahead of Santos by 2 points. Both teams have high objectives for the jersey and expect a battle on Sunday.

Stage 4 Downtown Crit presented by Desert Orthopedics & Rebound Physical Therapy, will begin at 7:00 pm PDT for the men, racing for a total of 75 minutes.

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