Tour of the Gila: Katie Hall wins opening stage on Whitewater Mesa

Pro Road Tour leader Ruth Winder finishes second for UnitedHealthcare 1-2

UnitedHealthcare’s Katie Hall claimed her first win of 2017 Wednesday during stage 1 at the Tour of the Gila, soloing away from the peloton on the sharp rise to the altered Mogollon Road Race finish at Whitewater Mesa.

Current USA Cycling Pro Road Tour leader Ruth Winder came in second for a UHC one-two finish, followed by Rally Cycling’s Sara Bergen.

"I'm happy to take the win today for the team," Hall said. "We had a great tactical plan today. Lauren, Lauretta, and Diana made it hard going into the final hill. I attacked with 5km to go, knowing that if I got caught early Tayler was ready to attack and if came down to sprint, Ruth would win. We're in a great place now for GC with three of us in the top 10."

The traditional Tour of the Gila stage 1 finish at the top of the Mogollon climb was scrapped this year due to poor road conditions, and although organisers anticipated a bunch finish when they added time bonuses and sprint points to the stage top three, the short, steep climb leading to the finish at Whitewater Mesa proved enough of a challenge to give the climbers their day.

The stage started with the peloton riding into a fierce headwind, keeping the bunch together until Tibco and UHC started winding it up for the first intermediate sprint 30km into the day. Tibco’s Lauren Stephens took the three-second time bonus for the winner there, followed by Hagens Berman Supermint’s Lizzie Williams and Stephens’ teammate Brianna Walle.

The group came back together to fight the winds after the sprint, with Rise Racing’s Jamie Gilgen slipping off the front ahead of the second sprint. The Canadian rider was able to hold her advantage across the sprint line, taking the top bonus ahead of Winder and Stephens.

From there, the headwind and the anticipation of a tough finish stifled multiple breakaway attempts until Hall was able to slip away and stick her effort all the way to the line, holding a 10 second gap from 5km to go into the finale.

Bergen was pleased with her performance to gain the final podium spot.

“I am incredibly proud of the result today and so very proud of the teamwork that put me on the podium,” Bergen said. “Personally I am really pleased with how I am feeling at altitude, especially that I had some sprint power after that finishing climb. I am feeling strong and excited for tomorrow's stage.”

Hall was second last year on the opening Mogollon stage, coming in behind six-time champion Mara Abbott (Amy D Foundation) after they battled up the traditional 4.8km climb to the top. Hall went on to finish sixth overall. Abbott retired after following last season.

After putting three riders in the top five, UHC director Rachel Heal praised her team and looked forward to the rest of the week.

"With a strong headwind all day, it was a fairly quiet stage," Heal said. "The wind deterred many teams from being too aggressive. We made sure to cover any threatening moves and saved our bullets for the last 10km. Lauren, Lauretta and Diana ratcheted up the pace as we made the final turn into the climb setting up the climbers to do their thing.

"Katie was the first to attack and opened up a 10 second gap," Heal continued. "A chase group was closing in, but Katie held strong to take the win. Ruth made it a 1,2 and Tayler was just off the podium in fourth to finish off a great day for the team. It was another great display of teamwork with everyone playing their part and Katie finishing it off in style. It's fun to play with such a stacked deck."

Full results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Katharine Hall (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling3:16:08 
2Ruth Winder (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling  
3Sara Bergen (Can) Rally Cycling  
4Tayler Wiles (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling  
5Lauren Stephens (USA) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank  
6Krista Doebel-Hickok (USA) Cylance Pro Cycling  
7Leah Thomas (USA) Sho-Air Twenty20  
8Lindsay Bayer (USA) Hagens Berman / Supermint  
9Julie Emmerman (USA) Amy D Foundation  
10Scotti Lechuga (USA) Hagens Berman / Supermint  
11Emma Grant (GBr) Colavita/Bianchi  
12Megan Alderete (USA) Hagens Berman / Supermint  
13Kathryn Buss (USA) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank  
14Stefanie Sydlik (USA) Amy D Foundation  
15Erica Clevenger (USA) Visit Dallas DNA Cycling  
16Alison Tetrick (USA) Cylance Pro Cycling  
17Kathryn Donovan (USA) Visit Dallas DNA Pro Cycling  
18Joelle Numainville (Can) Cylance Pro Cycling  
19Melinda McCutcheon (USA) Visit Dallas DNA Pro Cycling0:00:07 
20Elizabeth Williams (Aus) Hagens Berman / Supermint0:00:30 
21Brianna Walle (USA) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank  
22Abigail Mickey (USA) Colavita/Bianchi  
23Lex Albrecht (Can) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank  
24Lindsay Myers (USA) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank  
25Claudia Vernica Leal Balderas (Mex) Conade-Visit Mexico-Specialized  
26Marcela Elizabeth Prieto Moreno (Mex) Conade-Visit Mexico-Specialized  
27Marie Soliel Blais (USA) Landis - Trek  
28Gillian Ellsay (Can) Colavita/Bianchi0:00:44 
29Breanne Nalder (USA) Visit Dallas DNA Pro Cycling  
30Miriam Brouwer (Can) Rise Racing  
31Emma White (USA) Rally Cycling  
32Kaitlin Antonneau (USA) Cylance Pro Cycling0:00:48 
33Margot Clyne (USA) Amy D Foundation0:00:51 
34Diana Carolina Peñuela (Col) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling0:00:54 
35Tarah Cole (USA) Landis - Trek  
36Emily Jordan (USA) Landis - Trek  
37Karlee Gendron (Can) Rise Racing0:01:02 
38Andrea Thomas (USA) Amy D Foundation0:01:57 
39Caitlin Laroche (USA) Rally Cycling  
40Lori Nedescu (Can) Rise Racing  
41Beth Ann Orton (USA) Hagens Berman / Supermint  
42Shayna Powless (USA) Sho-Air Twenty20  
43Kat Salthouse (USA) Landis - Trek  
44Nicolle Bruderer (Gua) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank  
45Jamie Gilgen (Can) Rise Racing  
46Sofia Arreola (Mex) Sho-Air Twenty200:02:21 
47Julyn Renee Aguila Hernandez (Mex) Conade-Visit Mexico-Specialized  
48Ariadna Gutierrez Arzaluz (Mex) Conade-Visit Mexico-Specialized  
49Liza Rachetto (USA) Hagens Berman / Supermint  
50Sally Aston (USA) Landis - Trek0:03:10 
51Maureen Mcauliffe (USA) Landis - Trek  
52Holly Breck (USA) Sho-Air Twenty200:03:12 
53Erica Zaveta (USA) Cylance Pro Cycling0:03:19 
54Illi Gardner (USA) Amy D Foundation0:04:09 
55Lauretta Hanson (Aus) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling0:04:58 
56Lauren Hall (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling  
57Amber Pierce (USA) Colavita/Bianchi  
58Amy Benner (USA) Rally Cycling0:05:31 
59Allison Beveridge (Can) Rally Cycling  
60Aliya Traficante (USA) Amy D Foundation  
61Kendelle Hodges (Aus) Colavita/Bianchi0:06:39 
62Maria Antonieta Gaxiola Gonzalez (Mex) Conade-Visit Mexico-Specialized0:07:27 
63Astrid Gassner (Aut) Colavita/Bianchi0:08:52 
Sprint 1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Lauren Stephens (USA) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank5 pts
2Elizabeth Williams (Aus) Hagens Berman / Supermint3 
3Brianna Walle (USA) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank1 
Sprint 2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jamie Gilgen (Can) Rise Racing5 pts
2Ruth Winder (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling3 
3Lauren Stephens (USA) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank1 
Points
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Katharine Hall (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling15 pts
2Ruth Winder (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling12 
3Sara Bergen (Can) Rally Cycling10 
4Tayler Wiles (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling8 
5Lauren Stephens (USA) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank6 
6Krista Doebel-Hickok (USA) Cylance Pro Cycling5 
7Leah Thomas (USA) Sho-Air Twenty204 
8Lindsay Bayer (USA) Hagens Berman / Supermint3 
9Julie Emmerman (USA) Amy D Foundation2 
10Scotti Lechuga (USA) Hagens Berman / Supermint1 
General classification after stage 1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Katharine Hall (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling3:15:58 
2Ruth Winder (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling0:00:02 
3Sara Bergen (Can) Rally Cycling0:00:06 
4Lauren Stephens (USA) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank  
5Tayler Wiles (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling0:00:10 
6Krista Doebel-Hickok (USA) Cylance Pro Cycling  
7Leah Thomas (USA) Sho-Air Twenty20  
8Lindsay Bayer (USA) Hagens Berman / Supermint  
9Julie Emmerman (USA) Amy D Foundation  
10Scotti Lechuga (USA) Hagens Berman / Supermint  
11Emma Grant (GBr) Colavita/Bianchi  
12Megan Alderete (USA) Hagens Berman / Supermint  
13Kathryn Buss (USA) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank  
14Stefanie Sydlik (USA) Amy D Foundation  
15Erica Clevenger (USA) Visit Dallas DNA Cycling  
16Alison Tetrick (USA) Cylance Pro Cycling  
17Kathryn Donovan (USA) Visit Dallas DNA Pro Cycling  
18Melinda McCutcheon (USA) Visit Dallas DNA Pro Cycling0:00:17 
19Joelle Numainville (Can) Cylance Pro Cycling0:00:30 
20Elizabeth Williams (Aus) Hagens Berman / Supermint0:00:38 
21Brianna Walle (USA) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank0:00:39 
22Abigail Mickey (USA) Colavita/Bianchi0:00:40 
23Lex Albrecht (Can) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank  
24Lindsay Myers (USA) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank  
25Claudia Vernica Leal Balderas (Mex) Conade-Visit Mexico-Specialized  
26Marcela Elizabeth Prieto Moreno (Mex) Conade-Visit Mexico-Specialized  
27Marie Soliel Blais (USA) Landis - Trek  
28Gillian Ellsay (Can) Colavita/Bianchi0:00:54 
29Breanne Nalder (USA) Visit Dallas DNA Pro Cycling  
30Miriam Brouwer (Can) Rise Racing  
31Emma White (USA) Rally Cycling  
32Kaitlin Antonneau (USA) Cylance Pro Cycling0:00:58 
33Margot Clyne (USA) Amy D Foundation0:01:01 
34Diana Carolina Peñuela (Col) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling0:01:04 
35Tarah Cole (USA) Landis - Trek  
36Emily Jordan (USA) Landis - Trek  
37Karlee Gendron (Can) Rise Racing0:01:12 
38Jamie Gilgen (Can) Rise Racing0:02:04 
39Andrea Thomas (USA) Amy D Foundation0:02:07 
40Caitlin Laroche (USA) Rally Cycling  
41Lori Nedescu (Can) Rise Racing  
42Beth Ann Orton (USA) Hagens Berman / Supermint  
43Shayna Powless (USA) Sho-Air Twenty20  
44Kat Salthouse (USA) Landis - Trek  
45Nicolle Bruderer (Gua) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank  
46Sofia Arreola (Mex) Sho-Air Twenty200:02:31 
47Julyn Renee Aguila Hernandez (Mex) Conade-Visit Mexico-Specialized  
48Ariadna Gutierrez Arzaluz (Mex) Conade-Visit Mexico-Specialized  
49Liza Rachetto (USA) Hagens Berman / Supermint  
50Sally Aston (USA) Landis - Trek0:03:20 
51Maureen Mcauliffe (USA) Landis - Trek  
52Holly Breck (USA) Sho-Air Twenty200:03:22 
53Erica Zaveta (USA) Cylance Pro Cycling0:03:29 
54Illi Gardner (USA) Amy D Foundation0:04:19 
55Lauretta Hanson (Aus) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling0:05:08 
56Lauren Hall (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling  
57Amber Pierce (USA) Colavita/Bianchi  
58Amy Benner (USA) Rally Cycling0:05:41 
59Allison Beveridge (Can) Rally Cycling  
60Aliya Traficante (USA) Amy D Foundation  
61Kendelle Hodges (Aus) Colavita/Bianchi0:06:49 
62Maria Antonieta Gaxiola Gonzalez (Mex) Conade-Visit Mexico-Specialized0:07:37 
63Astrid Gassner (Aut) Colavita/Bianchi0:09:02 
Young riders classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ruth Winder (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling3:16:00 
2Kathryn Buss (USA) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank  
3Erica Clevenger (USA) Visit Dallas DNA Cycling  
4Gillian Ellsay (Can) Colavita/Bianchi  
5Emma White (USA) Rally Cycling0:00:08 
6Margot Clyne (USA) Amy D Foundation  
7Shayna Powless (USA) Sho-Air Twenty200:00:52 
8Nicolle Bruderer (Gua) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank  
9Julyn Renee Aguila Hernandez (Mex) Conade-Visit Mexico-Specialized0:00:59 
10Illi Gardner (USA) Amy D Foundation0:02:05 
11Lauretta Hanson (Aus) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling  
12Allison Beveridge (Can) Rally Cycling0:02:29 
13Aliya Traficante (USA) Amy D Foundation0:04:17 
14Maria Antonieta Gaxiola Gonzalez (Mex) Conade-Visit Mexico-Specialized0:05:06 
15Astrid Gassner (Aut) Colavita/Bianchi0:05:39 
Team classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Unitedhealthcare Pro Cycl9:48:24 
2Hagens Berman / Supermint  
3Cylance Pro Cycling  
4Visit Dallas Dna0:00:07 
5Team Tibco - Silcon Valle0:00:30 
6Amy D Foundation0:00:51 
7Colavita/Bianchi Usa0:01:14 
8Landis/Trek Team0:02:18 
9Rally Cycling0:02:41 
10Conade-Visit Mexico-Speci0:03:21 
11Rise Racing0:03:43 
12Sho - Air Twenty200:04:18 
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