The Cascade Classic Kicked off Tuesday with a 2 mile Prolog in the Old Mill District of Bend Oregon. Stage 1 sent the men on a 70 mile suffer fest over McKensie Pass. Not to be out done the women followed the men 10 minutes later. Marc De Maar United Healthcare/Maxxis) finished first, with Rory Sutherland (UHC/Maxxis) sitting in second over all. Darren Lill (Fly V Australia) claimed third place. More on Thursday. Full Gallery will grow here.
Here's what UnitedHealthcare Presented by Maxxis had to say about the day:
When the front group was about to get caught, de Maar and Sutherland launched their winning attack, with Lill in tow, finishing the job of fracturing the peloton and creating a serious sorting at the top of the general classification.
"Today was one of the hardest stages so far in the U.S. this year," de Maar said. "It always hurts a bit more coming back after a break. You have to get used to the higher heart rate again. But the prologue helped open things up a bit and today was good."
Sutherland agreed with de Maar’s assessment of the difficulty of today’s stage. "The bunch really raced the Mackenzie Pass climb in the middle of the stage which was a bit of a surprise, but also good for us because it softened up some legs a bit," he said. "When it came down to the final climb, the boys did a good job of getting us to where we needed to be."
The UnitedHealthcare Presented by Maxxis duo now goes into the Stage 2 Skyliners Time Trial with at least a small cushion on most of the field.