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Tour of the Gila: Doebel-Hickok wins stage 3 time trial

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Krista Doebel-Hickok (EF-TIBCO-SVB) came out on top in the Tour of the Gila time trial

Krista Doebel-Hickok (EF Education-TIBCO-SVB) came out on top in the Tour of the Gila time trial (Image credit: Snowy Mountain Photography)
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Krista Doebel-Hickok (EF-TIBCO-SVB) came out on top in the Tour of the Gila time trial

Krista Doebel-Hickok (EF Education-TIBCO-SVB) during her winning ride on stage 3 at Tour of the Gila time trial (Image credit: Snowy Mountain Photography)
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Krista Doebel-Hickok (EF Education-TIBCO-SVB) won the women’s individual time trial on stage 3

Krista Doebel-Hickok (EF Education-TIBCO-SVB) won the women’s individual time trial on stage 3 (Image credit: Snowy Mountain Photography)
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Tour of the Gila women's time trial

Maddie Ward (Instafund Racing) second in the Tour of the Gila time trial (Image credit: Snowy Mountain Photography)
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Tour of the Gila women's time trial

Krista Doebel-Hickok (EF Education-TIBCO-SVB) won the women’s individual time trial on stage 3 of the Tour of the Gila (Image credit: Snowy Mountain Photography)
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Tour of the Gila women's time trial

Race leader Lauren De Crescenzo (Cinch Rise) in the time trial at Tour of the Gila (Image credit: Snowy Mountain Photography)
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Tour of the Gila women's time trial

Race leader Lauren De Crescenzo (Cinch Rise) (Image credit: Snowy Mountain Photography)

Taking her third podium in as many days, Krista Doebel-Hickok (EF Education-TIBCO-SVB) won the women’s individual time trial on stage 3 of the Tour of the Gila. Her time of 39:34 gave her a two-second margin over runner-up Maddie Ward (Instafund Racing). 

They were the only two riders to break the 40-minute barrier, as Emily Marcolini (3T/Q+M Cycling) took third with a time of 40:09.

"I was getting blown around a little bit but I never felt like I couldn’t control my bike. There was a few times where I was nervous and I wanted to push harder on the pedals but I was out of gears so I was like, “you’re fine, you’re just fine”. When I would get panicky, I would say, look, if you really lose control you can go out, but don’t out assuming you’re gonna lose control. I was pretty happy I stayed in the aero bars because in this time trial in the past I have gotten nervous and gone out and in. I came out of it on the climb but that wasn’t because it was scary, but because I wanted to get more power," said Doebel-Hickok, who maintained her second place overall, in a post-race interview.

"I had succumbed to the fact that I was going to give up a minute and drop to 3rd on GC but I’ve never been on a UCI GC podium so I thought if I just drop to 3rd on GC  it’s a good day. Probably I won’t give up 2 minutes to other people so I wasn’t expecting it. It’s my dad’s birthday and we’re able to talk about it. He told me to have a carefree time trial and that was right, just be carefree!"

Race leader Lauren De Crescenzo (Cinch Rise) finished with enough time to hold on to the GC, but her giant advantage of 2:32 over Doebel-Hickok was severely reduced to just 14 seconds. The final rider on the course, De Crescenzo had a flat tyre at the turn-around spot on the course which cost her valuable time, and she finished in 12th place in 41:52. 

"At least I salvaged the GC. It was tough to bounce back from that, having to come to a complete stop. My legs felt yesterday for sure. Yesterday was kind of like a 3-hour time trial. So I’m going from not having the greatest legs ever, and then having to pull over and change a disc – that was tough but I knew I had a lead on GC so I was trying to hold on to the lead. I just salvaged as much as I could from this situation. It’s hard having to come to a complete stop and then having to get on again and go straight up hill from the turn around. It was like, ‘not now, not now!’," De Crescenzo said after the time trial.

All 47 starters in the faced a stiff wind that blew across the foothills of the Pinos Altos mountain range near Tyrone, New Mexico. The women took the same 26-kilometre (16.15-mile) race against the clock that was used earlier for the pro men. Wide roads on the out-and-back course provided 304 metres (1,000 feet) of elevation gain which began with an 8km climb.

At the mid-point of the race, Yareli Acevedo (Pato Bike) set a new best time of 41:47. Then Emily Newsom (EF Education-TIBCO-SVB) bolted across the line 1:24 quicker to take the lead at 40:23. Marcolini took the hot seat next with 40:09.

Ward was the first woman to break the 40-minute mark until three riders later Doebel-Hickok eclipsed her mark by two seconds to take the win. The fast ride moved Ward from fifth to third overall, 2:15 back.

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