Torbjørn Røed (Yoelo Test Team p/b 4Mind) won the mountaintop finish of the Mogollon Road Race presented by Grant County and took the first leader’s jersey after stage 1 of the Tour of the Gila. Heiner Parra (Canel’s-ZeroUno) followed in second and Matteo Dal-Cin (Toronto Hustle) secured third place.
Parra and Dal-Cin were the first riders to accelerate 2km from the finish and open a decisive gap from a small group of leaders that included larger US-based teams of CS Velo and Project Echelon. However, Røed timed his jump from their wheels at the right time and then charged to the front in the final 500 metres for the win.
“My tactic was just to sit in, and I was trying to save as much energy as possible. I had some good teammates that helped me get up towards the end there. I sat in, I played it cool and let everyone else have their fun,” the 25-year-old Norwegian said about his solo victory. “At about 1.3 kilometres to go, there were two guys trying to go up the road and I followed and right at the steepest part I just went a little bit harder. I dropped them, kept it going all the way to the end.”
The opening day of the five-day stage race began in Gough Park in Silver City for 151.1 kilometres (93.9 miles), culminating with the narrow ascent of 6.1 kilometres (3.8 miles) to crest the Mogollon Climb, with pitches in the double digits and up to 19 per cent.
After the second intermediate sprint, Samuel Volkers (Meiyo CCN Pro Cycling) took off and blew up a small breakaway group, taking José Reyes Aguilera Garcia (SoCalCycling.com Elite Team) and Efren Santos Moreno (Canel’s ZeroUno) with him. They gained 1:15 over the chasers with 48km to go, but were reeled in with less than 7km to the finish.
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