Rebecca Wiazak captures first women’s stage at Colorado Classic
VAIL — Australia’s Rebecca Wiazak will ride into the Colorado Classic’s second stage with the maillot bleu after edging out a packed field during 32.5 miles of riding through Vail on Thursday.
Wiazak, representing Fearless Femme, finished just ahead of TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank teammates Lex Albrecht (Barrie, Ontario) and Kendall Ryan (Ventura, California).
“That was a fast, really exciting finish,” Wiazak said. “I looked back and I still had a gap and got to enjoy the celebration.”
Wiazak made her move early, preferring to avoid the elbows of the peloton.
“It suited my strengths,” she said.
Wiazak credited her Fearless Femme (Lambertville, New Jersey) teammates Flavia Oliveira and Katie Compton.
“It’s sort of a relief to get a stage win,” Wiazak said. “It’s amazing for our team. … It’s nice to reward my team and teammates. We rallied. We had three different options and I was it.”
However, with the entire women’s pack within seconds, it’s quite possible that Friday’s second stage of the Colorado Classic, the Vail Time Trial, could be decisive.
Onto Vail pass
With 9.87 miles up 1,574 feet for the time trial, there’s an opportunity for separation. While Wiazak has the general classification lead, the climbers figure to surge on Friday. That brings Leah Thomas (United Healthcare), of Boulder Creek, California, as well as Sara Poidevin, the defending Colorado Classic champion, of Rally Racing and Canmore, Alberta, into play.
Thomas earned the Queen of the Mountain jersey on Thursday, earning points on designated climbs, and Stage 2 seems right up her alley.
“I think tomorrow the time trial is going to be all about pacing,” Thomas said. “I think it’s going to be a big determinant of the outcome of this race. But we are at 8,000 feet. Knowing how to pace the flatter part of the race to be able to go hard on the climbs is going to be key to tomorrow.”
“This year, the race is very different, just in that we have more stages and a time trial,” Poidevin said. “It’s very different from a circuit race. It’s a totally different race. We come in with just as aggressive tactics as any other team here. We’re excited for the rest of week.”
Also look for Lauren Hall (United Healthcare) and Abby Mickey (Rally Cycling).
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