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Gerlach claims another win, Nash pips Tibco

The Tour de Nez returned to its rightful spot in downtown Reno for stage two, as the revered Truckee river course challenged the peloton with 10 technical turns on an up-and-down race course. Overnight race leader Chad Gerlach was marked throughout the race, but the Lifetime Fitness/Velo Vie rider once again bested the field, taking top honors in a bunch sprint in the 60-minute timed twilight event.

Gerlach launched probing attacks throughout the course of the race, but he was heavily marked by the California Giant Berry Farms team riders Steven Reaney and Justin England, as well as OUCH-Maxxis duo Roman Kilun and Bobby Lea.

Fly V/Australia’s Ben King went on a solo flyer with five laps remaining and was able to stay away until the final lap of the race. Behind him California Giant and OUCH-Maxxis led the chase, with England doing the most work to bring the young up-and-comer King back to the group.

Gerlach was able to gap the group heading into the final straightaway and the Sacramento resident maintained his lead ahead of a hard-charging Steven Reaney and Lea. Gerlach was humble when asked to describe what winning for the second time in a row felt like. “I’m just really happy to be riding as good as I am," he said. "I’m looking forward to continuing to improve, and I’m just soaking this all in right now. It’s a great feeling.”

Gerlach solidified his overall classification lead, while Natural Grocer’s rider Jonathan Baker took top points on all the sprint laps to wrap up the sprint jersey classification. In the best young rider competition, Andrew Talansky rode valiantly to defend his best young rider lead ahead of a revived Ben King, and Talansky will have his hands full on the final day in defending his best young rider lead on the hilly Village course at Northstar.

It was Katherine Nash who was able to resist the firepower of Amber Rais and the Tibco team in the women's race, as the elite mountain biker out-sprinted home town hero Rais. Early on it was Irish time trial champion Olivia Dillon and Martina Patella who tried their hand at early escapes, but hard work in the chase group by Stacy Marple, Starla Teddergreen and Helene Drumm ensured that the group went to the line in a bunch sprint.

Rais managed second place to maintain her hold on the race leader’s jersey, and she’ll hope to defend the jersey on the final day tomorrow in the Village circuit race at Northstar-at-Tahoe. A tough, hilly course at 6000 feet elevation awaits the field, where Nash will again be one of the favorites for the win.

In the US hand cycle criterium national championships, it was heavy pre-race favorite Alejandro Albor who rolled away with an easy win, powering across the line with a comfortable 20 second gap to his nearest competitor. Next up for Arbol will be the world hand cycle championships, where he’ll hope to earn a rainbow jersey for the United States.

Tomorrow’s racing will feature the Village circuit race at the Northstar-at-Tahoe resort, a tough climber’s course in and around the new Northstar Village. With a combination of punchy climbs and twisting descents, bike handling skills and nerves of steel will be the order of the day for all athletes on hand, as the three day race and festival concludes.

Elite men
1Chad Gerlach (USA) Amore & Vita Pro Racing Team
2Steven Reaney (USA) California Giant Berry Farms
3Bobby Lea (USA) OUCH-Maxxis

Elite women
1Katherine Nash (USA) Luna MTB
2Amber Rais (USA) Team Tibco

Elite men
1Chad Gerlach (USA) Amore & Vita Pro Racing Team

Elite women
1Amber Rais (USA) Team Tibco

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