Gardner overhauls Dal-Cin to win overall title at Tour of the Gila

Canel's ZeroUno went 1-2 on stage 5 at Tour of the Gila with Eduardo Corte and Heiner Parra coming over the line together on the challenging stage 5 finale at Piños Altos.

Sean Gardner (CS Velo Racing) finished in third ahead of Torbjørn Røed (Yoeleo Test Team p/b 4Mind). Gardner's performance led to overall victory at the Tour of the Gila, as he overhauled overnight leader Matteo Dal-Cin (Toronto Hustle) on the final day of racing.

“At the base of the Gila Monster, three of the Canel’s guys – I just followed their wheels – they lit it up at the bottom, and then we got a gap and we just tried to hold on until there,” Gardner said in a media release. “They were flinging some attacks on this last little rise, and I did my best to hold on.”

Holding on for third was enough to shift Gardner into the race lead, but it was tight enough that he didn't actually know he would end the tour in red when he crossed the line with the final margin to Dal-Cin being just four seconds.

"I was nursing some pretty good cramps," said Dal-Cin. "I gave it everything in the chase and I was so spent in the end. No complaints, left it all on the road and the stronger man won today.”

Sunday's 162km Gila Monster stage from Silver City to the summit of the 11km climb to Piños Altos included 9,131 feet of climbing and the steepest climb topped out at an elevation of 7,493 feet. There were also two intermediate sprints and five categorised climbs that culminated at Piños Altos.

A breakaway of eight emerged in the opening kilometres of the race that included Ethan Sittlington (Toronto Hustle), Cyrus Monk (MEIYO CCN Pro Cycling Team), Nicolas Côté (Yoeleo Test Team p/b 4Mind), Brooks Wienke and Tobias Klein (Aevolo), Andrew Frank (California), Richard Arnopol and William Hardin (Project Echelon) and Peter Behm (Rio Grande).

The breakaway pushed their lead out to 1:30 ahead of the first intermediate sprint that was located at just 14km into the race with Monk taking the full points.

The first ascent came at 22.4km into the race and Arnopol led the breakaway over the top as they increased their lead to nearly five minutes on the main field. Klein was the highest place on GC at eight minutes back, and so the move was not a direct threat to the overall classification contenders.

The second intermediate sprint was at Camp Thunderbird at 53km mark and Hardin took the points.

The men's route then turned on to the second ascent, and 11km climb to Copperas Vista of the Gila Cliff Dwellings, that crested at the 88km mark where Arnopol again crested the ascent first to take the mountain points.

Three riders from the breakaway Klein, Hardin and Monk, separated themselves from the others on the third ascent that crested at the 121km mark before descending toward Sapillo Creek.

The trio only had 1:20 on the reduced field and they were caught inside the final 30km of the race.

The race then climbed to the fourth ascent at Wild Horse Mesa at the 138km mark where Parra took the mountain points ahead of Røed, and his Canel's ZeroUno teammates Efren Santos and Corte, along with SC Velo's Gardner.

Garner was the highest placed in the overall classification at 2:07 behind Dal-Cin at the start of the day.

Canel's ZeroUno led the select group onto the final climb, attacking until two teammates cleared the breakaway. Corte came across the line just ahead of his teammate Parra to take the stage win, with Gardner in third and Røed in fourth.

Results powered by FirstCycling 

Thank you for reading 5 articles in the past 30 days*

Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read any 5 articles for free in each 30-day period, this automatically resets

After your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59

Join now for unlimited access

Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Cyclingnews is the world's leader in English-language coverage of professional cycling. Started in 1995 by University of Newcastle professor Bill Mitchell, the site was one of the first to provide breaking news and results over the internet in English. The site was purchased by Knapp Communications in 1999, and owner Gerard Knapp built it into the definitive voice of pro cycling. Since then, major publishing house Future PLC has owned the site and expanded it to include top features, news, results, photos and tech reporting. The site continues to be the most comprehensive and authoritative English voice in professional cycling.

Latest on Cyclingnews