Elk Lake and Mount Bachelor provide backdrop for the action
Fast, aggressive racing, attacks and a bad crash broke up the field in today's 70 mile road race around Mt Bachelor Ski Resort.
Attacks started early on with Optum and NOW on the offensive and Exergy covering to protect their GC lead. Olivia Dillion (NOW) broke away from the lead pack and managed to extend her gap to up to a minute but she was caught shortly after the second feed zone. Multiple attacks followed and when duo Kathryn Donovan (NOW) and Lauren Stephens (TIBCO) broke away, it stuck.
The crash filled the med tent and sent multiple riders to the hospital. Meanwhile on the road, the field was scattered into small groups and Stephens outrode Donovan and Alison Powers was the first of the chase to cross the finish.
"It was a good race today. It was aggressive, it was fast, and my team raced well. We're happy," commented Powers.
Powers said tomorrow's crit will be tough for her team.
"It's not conducive for a breakaway," she said. "But, we'll do our best and hope for a win."
Haeusler and McGrath finished in the same lead pack, resulting in little change in the GC standing.
Häussler and McGrath participated it the attacks and counters
"The race today felt very short and the climb wasn't hard enough to break the bunch more," said Haeusler. "We are so happy for Lauren's win today! Since she joined our team she is working so hard for the leaders and today she took her chance and won. That's how it should work in balanced teams."
It was a good day for TIBCO with a second stage win and four riders in the top 10, putting them in the team GC lead.
Young rider Jasmin Glaesser not far behind. Glaesser came in 13th today and continues to build on her lead in the young rider GC.
Haeusler will again wear the polka dots tomorrow, McGrath the yellow jersey and Abbott will still be in the green.
Vanderkitten and DNA were the most affected by the crash with Keri Gibson (DNA), Amy Thornquist (DNA) and Sophie Williamson (Vanderkitten) all being sent to the hospital.
Vanderkitten's Jessica Cutler also hit the deck but was able to continue the race after getting a bike change and a lot of help from teammate Liza Rachetto.
"A rider apparently hooked bars with Sophie on a descent. Sophie and the rider she was hooked with went down first, followed by me and Liza and then a ton of other girls," reported Cutler. "Our little Sophie got the worst of it but is doing well and is back up and asking how the race went."
Tomorrow’s stage is a 50-minute evening criterium in downtown Bend.
Optum is due for a stage win though others will surely be aiming for the time bonuses.
More photos from today's stage:
Olivia Dillon went for a solo break that grew to 1 minute.
The peloton rolls through tall timber
Optum was active on Cascade Lakes Jessica Cutler (Vanderkitten) takes a turn