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Abbott seals fifth Tour of the Gila victory with Gila Monster Road Race win

A second stage victory for Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Mara Abbott sealed a record fifth victory in the Tour of the Gila in Pinos Altos, New Mexico. the 29-year-old Coloradan, riding for the Amy D Foundation in memory of the late Amy Dombroski, rode clear of the rest of the field on the fifth and final stage, the Gila Monster Road Race, between Silver City and Pinos Altos. Katie Hall (UnitedHealthcare) took second place on the stage, 37 seconds behind Abbott, with Breanne Nalder (DNA Cycling) in third place, three minutes back.

Having led the race since the mountaintop finish at Mogollon on stage 1, Abbott confirmed her overall victory, with Hall’s performance enough to lift her up to second place overall, two minutes and 12 seconds behind. Lauren Stephens (Tibco-SVB), who had come close to Abbott’s lead after the stage three time trial, dropped to third place at three minutes and 36 seconds.

“I’m very proud to be able to win Gila again,” Abbott said. “This race means a lot to me – not only are the courses a joy to ride, but the community has embraced me and I love to have familiar faces to return to each year.”

The 110.9km stage saw the peloton stay together until after the first climb to Hanover, but attacks began as soon as the descent that followed was over. Nalder got away with Jasmin Glaesser (Optum) and former Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling rider Linda Villumsen (UnitedHealthcare), and the trio was a minute clear before Abbott put the Amy D Foundation team to work to pull them back.

On the final climb to Meadow Creek Abbott bridged across to the lead riders, along with Hall and Flavia Oliviera (Visit Dallas). Having made contact, Abbott made her winning move, stayed clear on the descent and the final climb to the Pinos Altos finish.

“I’ve done this last stage quite a few times, so I have some experience with the dynamics,” Abbott explained. “I was confident in my ability to compete with Lauren [Stephens] on the climb – but you always have nerves going into a stage!  This stage is quite tough and it is always a big relief to cross the finish line – especially to bring home a win!”

Meanwhile, as much of Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling was racing at the GP Elsy Jacobs in Luxembourg, Great Britain Criterium Champion Eileen Roe and Anna Christian were representing the black and orange team in the inaugural Tour of Yorkshire Women’s Race in York, in the north of England. The four laps of the 20km circuit provided few opportunities for breakaways and the race came down to the expected bunch sprint.

Roe was narrowly beaten to the line by Louise Mahé (Ikon-Mazda), with Katie Curtis (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) taking third.

Result Stage 5
1. Mara Abbott (Amy D Foundation)

2. Katie Hall (UnitedHealthcare) @ 37s
3. Breanne Nalder (DNA Cycling) @ 3’00”

Final General Classification
1. Mara Abbott (Amy D Foundation)

2. Katie Hall (UnitedHealthcare) @ 2’12”
3. Lauren Stephens (Tibco-SVB) @ 3’36”

Photo Credit: Mitchell Clinton / Tour of the Gila


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