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Zirbel wins North Star Grand Prix time trial in St Paul

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(Image credit: Sam Wiebe)
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(Image credit: Sam Wiebe)
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(Image credit: Sam Wiebe)
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(Image credit: Sam Wiebe)
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(Image credit: Sam Wiebe)
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(Image credit: Sam Wiebe)
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The Saint Paul Time Trial stage podium _ Ben Hill (Donkey Label) 2nd, Tom Zirbel (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) 1st, Michael Sheenan (Elbowz Racing) 3rd

The Saint Paul Time Trial stage podium _ Ben Hill (Donkey Label) 2nd, Tom Zirbel (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) 1st, Michael Sheenan (Elbowz Racing) 3rd (Image credit: Matthew E. Moses)
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(Image credit: Sam Wiebe)
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(Image credit: Sam Wiebe)
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(Image credit: Sam Wiebe)
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(Image credit: Sam Wiebe)
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(Image credit: Sam Wiebe)
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(Image credit: Sam Wiebe)
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(Image credit: Sam Wiebe)
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(Image credit: Sam Wiebe)
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(Image credit: Sam Wiebe)
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(Image credit: Sam Wiebe)
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One of the awesome surpises at this year's race is the addition of former women's champion Carmen Small – she is racing against the men as a guest rider for the Elbowz Team

One of the awesome surpises at this year's race is the addition of former women's champion Carmen Small – she is racing against the men as a guest rider for the Elbowz Team (Image credit: Sam Wiebe)
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The city of St. Paul's local team, running out of the Grand Performance bicycle shop, is competing in the race. Alumni from the club include former USPRO road race champion Eric Marcotte

The city of St. Paul's local team, running out of the Grand Performance bicycle shop, is competing in the race. Alumni from the club include former USPRO road race champion Eric Marcotte (Image credit: Sam Wiebe)
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Defending champion Ryan Anderson isn't exactly known for his fast time trial, but he gave it his all on the short course

Defending champion Ryan Anderson isn't exactly known for his fast time trial, but he gave it his all on the short course (Image credit: Sam Wiebe)
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The most unique tan line and complexion awards certainly go to French rider Quentin Valgones, a new member of the Novo Nordisk team

The most unique tan line and complexion awards certainly go to French rider Quentin Valgones, a new member of the Novo Nordisk team (Image credit: Sam Wiebe)
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The Optum men's team took some time out from the doubleheader opening day to visit with kids at the Ronald McDonald House, just a few miles from the time trial course

The Optum men's team took some time out from the doubleheader opening day to visit with kids at the Ronald McDonald House, just a few miles from the time trial course (Image credit: Sam Wiebe)
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Carmen Small cools down alongside Tony Baca. Elbowz Racing is serving as a guest team for Carmen as she races against the men for the first time

Carmen Small cools down alongside Tony Baca. Elbowz Racing is serving as a guest team for Carmen as she races against the men for the first time (Image credit: Sam Wiebe)
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Former ProTour rider Guillaume Boivin is racing in his first North Star Grand Prix. He has a good shot at winning on the flat, criterium heavy route

Former ProTour rider Guillaume Boivin is racing in his first North Star Grand Prix. He has a good shot at winning on the flat, criterium heavy route (Image credit: Sam Wiebe)
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Tom Zirbel is one of the heaviest riders in the world at over 200 lbs (90kg), and his physique is something to behold

Tom Zirbel is one of the heaviest riders in the world at over 200 lbs (90kg), and his physique is something to behold (Image credit: Sam Wiebe)
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Your first North Star podium and jersey winners – Tom Zirbel (Optum Pro Cycling), Ben Hill (Donkey Label), and Michael Sheehan (Elbowz Racing)

Your first North Star podium and jersey winners – Tom Zirbel (Optum Pro Cycling), Ben Hill (Donkey Label), and Michael Sheehan (Elbowz Racing) (Image credit: Sam Wiebe)
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Optum mechanic Vince Gee has legendary status in the pro peloton. He was on the pro circuit as far back as the US Postal team, and continues to be one of the best wrenches around

Optum mechanic Vince Gee has legendary status in the pro peloton. He was on the pro circuit as far back as the US Postal team, and continues to be one of the best wrenches around (Image credit: Sam Wiebe)
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Alberto Covarrubias of Colorado's Elevate team and Quentin Valognes of Team Novo Nordisk battle it out over the courses final kilometers

Alberto Covarrubias of Colorado's Elevate team and Quentin Valognes of Team Novo Nordisk battle it out over the courses final kilometers (Image credit: Sam Wiebe)
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Mac Brennan of Hincapie Racing rounded out the top ten with a time of 10:18.91. The race's Merckx style time trial means there are lots of different ways riders rest their hands on the bars

Mac Brennan of Hincapie Racing rounded out the top ten with a time of 10:18.91. The race's Merckx style time trial means there are lots of different ways riders rest their hands on the bars (Image credit: Sam Wiebe)
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One of the best rides of the day came from Australian Ben Hill of the Donkey Label team. He finishes only four seconds off of Zirbel's pace in second

One of the best rides of the day came from Australian Ben Hill of the Donkey Label team. He finishes only four seconds off of Zirbel's pace in second (Image credit: Sam Wiebe)
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Minneapolis' East River Road is a hub for all sorts of outdoor activities, with a bike path running the full length of the TT course

Minneapolis' East River Road is a hub for all sorts of outdoor activities, with a bike path running the full length of the TT course (Image credit: Sam Wiebe)
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A rider catches his 30 second man on East River Road

A rider catches his 30 second man on East River Road (Image credit: Sam Wiebe)
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The short course didn't mean the race was short on suffering. A Canyon Bicycles team rider pushes through the pain on the closing stretch

The short course didn't mean the race was short on suffering. A Canyon Bicycles team rider pushes through the pain on the closing stretch (Image credit: Sam Wiebe)
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2011 Edition Champion Jesse Anthony (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) finished in 8th place 22 seconds on his teammate Tom Zirbel.

2011 Edition Champion Jesse Anthony (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) finished in 8th place 22 seconds on his teammate Tom Zirbel. (Image credit: Matthew E. Moses)
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Tom Zirbel (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) wins the stage 1 time trial with a time of 9:55.37

Tom Zirbel (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) wins the stage 1 time trial with a time of 9:55.37 (Image credit: Matthew E. Moses)
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Michael Sheehan (Elbowz Racing) finished 3rd during the morning time trial with a 10:11.100 and now leads the amateur classification.

Michael Sheehan (Elbowz Racing) finished 3rd during the morning time trial with a 10:11.100 and now leads the amateur classification. (Image credit: Matthew E. Moses)
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Ben Hill (Donkey Label) was the only other rider to go below 10 minutes with a 9:59.98

Ben Hill (Donkey Label) was the only other rider to go below 10 minutes with a 9:59.98 (Image credit: Matthew E. Moses)
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Carmen Small (Elbowz Racing) heads out on course and finished with a time of 11:23.470.

Carmen Small (Elbowz Racing) heads out on course and finished with a time of 11:23.470. (Image credit: Matthew E. Moses)
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Chris Baron (KHS_Maxxis_JLVelo) finished 6th in a time of 10:13.52.

Chris Baron (KHS_Maxxis_JLVelo) finished 6th in a time of 10:13.52. (Image credit: Matthew E. Moses)

Tom Zirbel (Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) won the opening stage of the North Star Grand Prix on Wednesday. The American rider won the time trial after covering the eight kilometre route in 9:55 minutes to beat runner-up Ben Hill (Donkey Label Racing) by four seconds and Michael Sheehan (Elbowz Racing) by 16 seconds.

The riders raced the time trial up and down East River Road on a challenging, rolling course. Carmen Small, who is guest riding with the Elbowz Racing team, finished the day in 88th place with a time of 11:23 minutes.

Zirbel will wear the first leader's jersey into the second stage, a 40-lap criterium held in the Lower District of downtown St Paul later this evening.

"There’s always a little bit of pressure coming into this race," Zirbel said. "We’ve won here the last four years and the time trial is my event. It’s a straightforward course – pretty much go as hard as you can for about 10 minutes, make sure you pace yourself a little bit and I think I did that here today."

Australian Ben Hill, guest riding for locally-based team Donkey Label Racing, was just under five seconds slower than Zirbel.

"We’ve been here for a week, ridden the TT course, Stillwater and Menomonie stage. They suit me pretty well. Optum’s got the lead so we’ll try and play off the back of them and we’ll see how it goes. Normally I seek out the breakaways and try and seek opportunities there but I’m kind of in a trick position in second, I’m not going to be able to get up the road so I’m not sure what I’m going to do."

Optum will be a tough team to get over, however, since they've stacked the top 10 with four riders - Scott Zwizanski, Guilaumme Boivin and Jesse Anthony are positioned well behind Zirble, and they're motivated to win on their team's home turf.

"The strategy started today with trying to stack the time trial as well as we could, and we did that today," Zirbel said. "It’s such a dynamic race, it changes moment to moment so we just have to be attentive so we make sure we don’t get into a situation we’re not happy with."

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Tom Zirbel (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)0:09:55
2Ben Hill (Donkey Label Racing)0:00:05
3Michael Sheehan (Elbowz Racing)0:00:16
4Scott Zwizanski (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)0:00:16
5Guillaume Boivin (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)0:00:16
6Chris Barton (KHS-Maxxis-JLVelo)0:00:18
7Kevin Girkins (Elbowz Racing)0:00:20
8Jesse Anthony (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)0:00:22
9Colin Strickland (Elbowz Racing)0:00:22
10Mac Brennan (Hincapie Racing Team)0:00:24
11Eric Thompson (Donkey Label Racing)0:00:24
12Andrew Clemence (The Colorado Collective)0:00:25
13Tobin Ortenblad (California Giant / Specialized)0:00:26
14George Simpson (GS Ciao)0:00:28
15Stefano Barberi (California Giant / Specialized)0:00:28
16Nicolae Tanovitchii (Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis)0:00:28
17Zeke Mostov (California Giant / Specialized)0:00:28
18Steven Perezluha (Isagenix / SeaSucker / Guttenplan Coaching)0:00:29
19Joe Schmalz (Hincapie Racing Team)0:00:29
20Morgan Schmitt (Canyon Bicycles - Shimano)0:00:30
21Stefan Rothe (Elbowz Racing)0:00:32
22Dillon Caldwell (Canyon Bicycles - Shimano)0:00:33
23Andres Diaz (Incycle-Cannondale Pro Cycling Team)0:00:34
24Efren Flores (KHS-Maxxis-JLVelo)0:00:36
25Ryan Anderson (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)0:00:36
26Bryan Gomez (Champion System-Stan's NoTubes)0:00:36
27Heath Blackgrove (Elevate Elite Cycling Team)0:00:37
28Matt McLoone (Battley H-D /Spokes Etc p/b District Taco)0:00:41
29Michael Burleigh (GS Ciao)0:00:45
30Zack Allison (Elevate Elite Cycling Team)0:00:46
31Jean-Michel Lachance (Grand Performance)0:00:48
32Kaler Marshall (Canyon Bicycles - Shimano)0:00:48
33Gregory Wittwer (Battley H-D /Spokes Etc p/b District Taco)0:00:48
34Josh Yeaton (GS Ciao)0:00:49
35Chris Winn (GS Ciao)0:00:50
36Jon Hornbeck (Hincapie Racing Team)0:00:51
37Andrew Hemesath (The Colorado Collective)0:00:52
38Zachary Felpel (Battley H-D /Spokes Etc p/b District Taco)0:00:53
39Neal Shepherd (The Colorado Collective)0:00:54
40Corey Davis (Isagenix / SeaSucker / Guttenplan Coaching)0:00:55
41Andrew Dahlheim (Canyon Bicycles - Shimano)0:00:55
42Jack McCann (Netherland Rubber p/b MVP)0:00:55
43Timothy Rugg (GS Ciao)0:00:55
44William Routley (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)0:00:56
45Drew Christopher (Champion System-Stan's NoTubes)0:00:56
46Greg Capelle (Isagenix / SeaSucker / Guttenplan Coaching)0:00:57
47Julian Rodas (Incycle-Cannondale Pro Cycling Team)0:00:57
48Fabrizio Von Nacher (KHS-Maxxis-JLVelo)0:00:57
49Jake Magee (Donkey Label Racing)0:00:57
50Fabio Calabria (Champion System-Stan's NoTubes)0:00:58
51Dustin Morici (Ego p/b Sammy's Bikes)0:00:58
52Kevin Mullervy (Champion System-Stan's NoTubes)0:00:59
53Gabriel Baca (Elbowz Racing)0:00:59
54Eric Hill (Grand Performance)0:01:00
55Orlando Garibay (Incycle-Cannondale Pro Cycling Team)0:01:01
56David Goodman (Credite Velo)0:01:02
57Jake Buescher (Ego p/b Sammy's Bikes)0:01:04
58Ulises Castillo (KHS-Maxxis-JLVelo)0:01:05
59Rudyard Peterson (Ego p/b Sammy's Bikes)0:01:05
60Gavriel Epstein (Champion System-Stan's NoTubes)0:01:05
61Martin Vecchio (Netherland Rubber p/b MVP)0:01:06
62Isaac Howew (Champion System-Stan's NoTubes)0:01:06
63Freddie Rodriguez (Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis)0:01:06
64Quentin Valognes (Team Novo Nordisk Development)0:01:07
65Robin Eckmann (GS Ciao)0:01:08
66Diego Sandoval (Incycle-Cannondale Pro Cycling Team)0:01:08
67Marcos Lazzarotto (Battley H-D /Spokes Etc p/b District Taco)0:01:08
68Jake King (California Giant / Specialized)0:01:11
69Pat Casey (Canyon Bicycles - Shimano)0:01:13
70Shawn Wayland (KHS-Maxxis-JLVelo)0:01:13
71Evan Hartig (Credite Velo)0:01:13
72Alberto Covarrubias (Elevate Elite Cycling Team)0:01:15
73Jonathan Toftoy (Donkey Label Racing)0:01:16
74Alexander Braico (Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis)0:01:16
75Taylor Warren (The Colorado Collective)0:01:17
76Sergio Hernandez (Incycle-Cannondale Pro Cycling Team)0:01:17
77Jamie Anderson (Netherland Rubber p/b MVP)0:01:17
78Cole House (Isagenix / SeaSucker / Guttenplan Coaching)0:01:17
79Tim Savre (Credite Velo)0:01:19
80Andrew Buntz (Credite Velo)0:01:20
81Levon Kalemkiarian (Donkey Label Racing)0:01:22
82Nathaniel Beams (Elevate Elite Cycling Team)0:01:22
83Ryan O'Boyle (Credite Velo)0:01:22
84Sven Gartner (Ego p/b Sammy's Bikes)0:01:23
85Alex Meyer (Grand Performance)0:01:24
86Kit Recca (The Colorado Collective)0:01:26
87David Guttenplan (Isagenix / SeaSucker / Guttenplan Coaching)0:01:28
88Carmen Small (Elbowz Racing)0:01:28
89Efren Ortega (Incycle-Cannondale Pro Cycling Team)0:01:28
90Robert Sroka (Netherland Rubber p/b MVP)0:01:30
91Kyle Anderson (Battley H-D /Spokes Etc p/b District Taco)0:01:32
92Kyle Selph (Ego p/b Sammy's Bikes)0:01:32
93Ross White (Credite Velo)0:01:32
94Michael Woell (Grand Performance)0:01:37
95Colton Jarisch (Elevate Elite Cycling Team)0:01:38
96Adam Mills (Elevate Elite Cycling Team)0:01:38
97Brian McCulloch (KHS-Maxxis-JLVelo)0:01:39
98Tony Olson (Grand Performance)0:01:45
99Brais Dacal (Team Novo Nordisk Development)0:01:45
100Trevor Rolette (Ego p/b Sammy's Bikes)0:01:46
101Mehdi Benhamouda (Team Novo Nordisk Development)0:01:59
102Christopher McGovern (Team Novo Nordisk Development)0:02:12

General classification after prologue
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Tom Zirbel (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)0:09:55
2Ben Hill (Donkey Label Racing)0:00:05
3Michael Sheehan (Elbowz Racing)0:00:16
4Scott Zwizanski (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)0:00:16
5Guillaume Boivin (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)0:00:16
6Chris Barton (KHS-Maxxis-JLVelo)0:00:18
7Kevin Girkins (Elbowz Racing)0:00:20
8Jesse Anthony (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)0:00:22
9Colin Strickland (Elbowz Racing)0:00:22
10Mac Brennan (Hincapie Racing Team)0:00:23
11Eric Thompson (Donkey Label Racing)0:00:24
12Andrew Clemence (The Colorado Collective)0:00:25
13Tobin Ortenblad (California Giant / Specialized)0:00:26
14George Simpson (GS Ciao)0:00:28
15Stefano Barberi (California Giant / Specialized)0:00:28
16Nicolae Tanovitchii (Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis)0:00:28
17Zeke Mostov (California Giant / Specialized)0:00:28
18Steven Perezluha (Isagenix / SeaSucker / Guttenplan Coaching)0:00:29
19Joe Schmalz (Hincapie Racing Team)0:00:29
20Morgan Schmitt (Canyon Bicycles - Shimano)0:00:30
21Stefan Rothe (Elbowz Racing)0:00:32
22Dillon Caldwell (Canyon Bicycles - Shimano)0:00:32
23Andres Diaz (Incycle-Cannondale Pro Cycling Team)0:00:34
24Efren Flores (KHS-Maxxis-JLVelo)0:00:36
25Ryan Anderson (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)0:00:36
26Bryan Gomez (Champion System-Stan's NoTubes)0:00:36
27Heath Blackgrove (Elevate Elite Cycling Team)0:00:37
28Matt McLoone (Battley H-D /Spokes Etc p/b District Taco)0:00:41
29Michael Burleigh (GS Ciao)0:00:45
30Zack Allison (Elevate Elite Cycling Team)0:00:46
31Jean-Michel Lachance (Grand Performance)0:00:48
32Kaler Marshall (Canyon Bicycles - Shimano)0:00:48
33Gregory Wittwer (Battley H-D /Spokes Etc p/b District Taco)
34Josh Yeaton (GS Ciao)0:00:49
35Chris Winn (GS Ciao)0:00:50
36Jon Hornbeck (Hincapie Racing Team)0:00:51
37Andrew Hemesath (The Colorado Collective)0:00:52
38Zachary Felpel (Battley H-D /Spokes Etc p/b District Taco)0:00:53
39Neal Shepherd (The Colorado Collective)0:00:54
40Corey Davis (Isagenix / SeaSucker / Guttenplan Coaching)0:00:55
41Andrew Dahlheim (Canyon Bicycles - Shimano)0:00:55
42Jack McCann (Netherland Rubber p/b MVP)0:00:55
43Timothy Rugg (GS Ciao)0:00:55
44William Routley (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)0:00:56
45Drew Christopher (Champion System-Stan's NoTubes)0:00:56
46Greg Capelle (Isagenix / SeaSucker / Guttenplan Coaching)0:00:57
47Julian Rodas (Incycle-Cannondale Pro Cycling Team)0:00:57
48Fabrizio Von Nacher (KHS-Maxxis-JLVelo)0:00:57
49Jake Magee (Donkey Label Racing)0:00:57
50Fabio Calabria (Champion System-Stan's NoTubes)0:00:58
51Dustin Morici (Ego p/b Sammy's Bikes)0:00:58
52Kevin Mullervy (Champion System-Stan's NoTubes)0:00:58
53Gabriel Baca (Elbowz Racing)0:00:59
54Eric Hill (Grand Performance)0:01:00
55Orlando Garibay (Incycle-Cannondale Pro Cycling Team)0:01:01
56David Goodman (Credite Velo)0:01:02
57Jake Buescher (Ego p/b Sammy's Bikes)0:01:04
58Ulises Castillo (KHS-Maxxis-JLVelo)0:01:05
59Rudyard Peterson (Ego p/b Sammy's Bikes)0:01:05
60Gavriel Epstein (Champion System-Stan's NoTubes)0:01:05
61Martin Vecchio (Netherland Rubber p/b MVP)0:01:06
62Isaac Howew (Champion System-Stan's NoTubes)0:01:06
63Freddie Rodriguez (Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis)0:01:06
64Quentin Valognes (Team Novo Nordisk Development)0:01:07
65Robin Eckmann (GS Ciao)0:01:08
66Diego Sandoval (Incycle-Cannondale Pro Cycling Team)
67Marcos Lazzarotto (Battley H-D /Spokes Etc p/b District Taco)0:01:08
68Jake King (California Giant / Specialized)0:01:11
69Pat Casey (Canyon Bicycles - Shimano)0:01:12
70Shawn Wayland (KHS-Maxxis-JLVelo)0:01:13
71Evan Hartig (Credite Velo)
72Alberto Covarrubias (Elevate Elite Cycling Team)0:01:15
73Jonathan Toftoy (Donkey Label Racing)0:01:16
74Alexander Braico (Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis)0:01:16
75Taylor Warren (The Colorado Collective)0:01:17
76Sergio Hernandez (Incycle-Cannondale Pro Cycling Team)
77Jamie Anderson (Netherland Rubber p/b MVP)0:01:17
78Cole House (Isagenix / SeaSucker / Guttenplan Coaching)0:01:17
79Tim Savre (Credite Velo)0:01:19
80Andrew Buntz (Credite Velo)0:01:20
81Levon Kalemkiarian (Donkey Label Racing)0:01:22
82Nathaniel Beams (Elevate Elite Cycling Team)0:01:22
83Ryan O'Boyle (Credite Velo)0:01:22
84Sven Gartner (Ego p/b Sammy's Bikes)0:01:23
85Alex Meyer (Grand Performance)0:01:24
86Kit Recca (The Colorado Collective)0:01:26
87David Guttenplan (Isagenix / SeaSucker / Guttenplan Coaching)0:01:28
88Carmen Small (Elbowz Racing)0:01:28
89Efren Ortega (Incycle-Cannondale Pro Cycling Team)0:01:28
90Robert Sroka (Netherland Rubber p/b MVP)0:01:30
91Kyle Anderson (Battley H-D /Spokes Etc p/b District Taco)0:01:31
92Kyle Selph (Ego p/b Sammy's Bikes)0:01:32
93Ross White (Credite Velo)0:01:32
94Michael Woell (Grand Performance)0:01:37
95Colton Jarisch (Elevate Elite Cycling Team)0:01:38
96Adam Mills (Elevate Elite Cycling Team)0:01:38
97Brian McCulloch (KHS-Maxxis-JLVelo)0:01:38
98Tony Olson (Grand Performance)0:01:45
99Brais Dacal (Team Novo Nordisk Development)0:01:45
100Trevor Rolette (Ego p/b Sammy's Bikes)0:01:46
101Mehdi Benhamouda (Team Novo Nordisk Development)0:01:59
102Christopher McGovern (Team Novo Nordisk Development)0:02:12

 

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