Tour of the Gila: Simpson wins stage 3 TT as Dal-Cin takes over GC lead

George Simpson (Project Echelon Racing) cut through the wind and dominated the men’s Tyrone Time Trial on stage 3 of the Tour of the Gila. His time of 33:23 was seven seconds faster than Matteo Dal-Cin (Toronto Hustle), who finished second.

Project Echelon’s Tyler Stites and Stephen Vogel both finished under 34 minutes in third and fourth, respectively.

"Obviously a good day, I felt good. It’s always a question on day 3 at a stage race in altitude. I’ve done well in the past on this one, it’s my 5th time. I’ve been 3rd before so I’ve been close. It feels really good to get it, it’s exciting. We’ve been riding really good as a team, the GC riders did great. We brought a really strong team, we went 1, 3, and 4 in this time trial, we were 1-2-3 for a little. The GC is our big objective of the week," Simpson said after the race.

"This was hard, I used a 56 and 11-32 but I could have used a 60 down that hill. The last 5 or 6 minutes I was spinning too much. This was also the first time I race without super tuck, so this was new. I’ve done it a bunch and I’ve always paced it similar because I knew I could super tuck so this was a new one."

Dal-Cin was the third-to-last rider to finish the stage and gained the 10-plus seconds he needed to overtake Torbjørn Røed (Yoeleo Test Team p/b 4Mind), who finished ninth, for the GC lead. Dal-Cin now has a 47-second advantage over Stites in second overall, while Røed drops to third, 1:03 back.

Friday’s 26-kilometre (16.15-mile) race against the clock, or rather against the wind, was held on wide roads in the town of Tyrone, south of Silver City, with 304 metres (1,000 feet) of elevation gain. The out-and-back course began with an 8km climb, which provided a descent to the finish into a strong wind. Mild temperatures and sunny skies were secondary concerns to the steady breeze from the north-west of about 31 kph (15-20 mph).

With the first third of the field completing the course, the hot seat was filled by Nicholas Côté (Yoeleo Test Team p/b 4Mind) with a time of 36:50. 

Stephen Vogel (Project Echelon Racing) put in a huge effort and was the first rider to go under 34 minutes to take the lead. That lasted until his teammate George Simpson took over with the fastest time, which turned out to be the best of the day for the win. 

The Project Echelon duo held the top spots as a procession of riders crossed the finish line, with Samuel Gilletly (Landis Trek) taking over third place in 34:04 as eight riders were yet to complete their rides.

Then Stites posted 33:45 to bump Vogel to third, giving Project Echelon Racing a stronghold on the podium with six riders to go. Matteo Dal-Cin (Toronto Hustle) broke up the party when he finished 15 seconds faster than Stites to take over second place.

With his fifth-placed finish in the time trial, Gilletly moved from ninth to fourth on GC, four seconds better than Alexander White (CS Velo Racing), who takes over as the new best young rider.

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