Zirbel and Powers Fastest at Dan Potts Memorial Tyrone Time Trial
Battle for overall victory heating up with two stages to go
Silver City, NM (May 3, 2013) – Cooler temperatures and wind gusts greeted the racers today for the Dan Potts Memorial Tyrone Time Trial, stage 3 of the 27th annual Silver City’s Tour of the Gila powered by SRAM. Tom Zirbel and Alison Powers put in the fastest time on the 16-mile course, renowned for being one of the toughest time trials in the United States.
With two stages to go in the Tour of the Gila, the battle for the overall win went up another level today for both the NRC Women’s and UCI Men’s leader who saw their lead decrease before the Queen Stage, the Gila Monster on Sunday. Mara Abbott of Exergy TWENTY16 and Janier Acevedo of Jamis-Hagens Berman retain their respective red Town of Silver City’s Leader’s jersey.
Spoils for Tom Zirbel (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies), winner of Dan Potts Memorial Tyrone Time Trial, stage 3 of the Silver City’s Tour of the Gila powered by SRAM
Averaging a speed of 27.8 mph, Tom Zirbel, of the Optum presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies team clocked a time of 24 minutes and 45 seconds, claiming his second win at the Gila time trial, his first was in 2008. Australian Ben Day, of the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling team, was second only four seconds down, while Sylvan Diller of the BMC Development Team was third, at nine seconds down.
Finishing ninth on the stage, Acevedo saw his lead decrease to only four seconds to Chris Baldwin, of the BISSELL Pro Cycling team. Philip Deignan, of the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team, moved up to third place in the general classification, 21 seconds down from Acevedo.
Acevedo retained the Freeport McMoRan Copper and Gold King of the Mountain jersey and Arnaud Grand of the BMC Development Team remains in the green Grant Country sprint jersey. On the strength of his fourth-place finish on the stage, Lawson Craddock of the Bontrager Cycling Team takes over the white Champion System Best Young Rider jersey.
Alison Powers (NOW and Novartis for MS) wins Dan Potts Memorial Tyrone Time Trial, stage 3 of the Silver City’s Tour of the Gila powered by SRAM. Janel Holcomb (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies), second and Kristin McGrath (Exergy TWENTY16) was third.
Alison Powers of the NOW and Novartis for MS team battled the crosswinds and rode into first place on Stage 3 Dan Potts Memorial Tyrone Time Trial. Almost as important as her win today, Powers was able to take back significant time in the general classification. She started the stage two minutes and five seconds behind current race leader Mara Abbott. She starts tomorrow’s stage one minute and nine seconds behind Abbott, taking back 56 seconds.
Yesterday’s stage winner Janel Holcomb of the OPTUM p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies finished in second and Kristin McGrath of the Exergy TWENTY16 squad came in third.
The stage brought no changes to the classification jerseys. Abbott retained the Freeport McMoRan Copper and Gold Polka Dot Queen of the Mountain Jersey, Holcomb stays in the green Grant County sprint jersey and Rushlee Buchanan retained the white Champion System Best Young Rider jersey.
Spectators will congregate in Silver City on Saturday May 4 for a day of fast and furious Downtown Silver City Criterium. All day festivities will include live music, a beer garden, vendors, children’s bicycle rodeo, citizen races, a kids’ zone, food vendors. That evening, the feature length documentary “Rising from Ashes” will make its New Mexico premiere in Silver City, NM as part of Silver City’s Tour of the Gila powered by SRAM.
Complete results are available on tourofthegila.com/results.
For complete race schedule and more information about 2013 Silver City’s Tour of the Gila powered by SRAM, please visit www.tourofthegila.com.
Tom Zirbel, (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)
“It was definitely breezy out there and chilly too, I don’t think we expected that we’re used to the 70s and 80s and even 90s here in the race like we saw on the Mogollon stage so that was kind of a shocker. It’s the earliest the pros have ever gone off on this stage. Conditions were great. I stuck with the deep 90mil (deep dish) wheel in the front just because I’m stubborn, ‘I’m almost 200 hundred pounds, I can do it!’ It worked out but I was definitely sketched out a couple of times catching those crosswinds but that’s great for me just being a bigger rider; just imagining those little 130 pound-climber types on the course kind of motivated me to keep going.”
“I certainly felt good. The last three days I felt really good. I felt good going up the first climb but I had no feedback, no computer on the bike today so it was just go as hard as you could, kept it simple. I was catching people so I felt like I was having a good ride but I had no idea if I was going to win or not.”
“I’m just changing some things around on the bike and I didn’t really care to have a computer on there. It’s kind of nice to just go by feel and I feel that I know my body really well, just keep it simple and just try to get the most out of my body. That usually works pretty well for me.”
Ben Day (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling)
“It’s a strange TT because straight out of the gate we go uphill and quite a significant part of the race is that first five or six kilometers that go straight up. It was really a matter of starting hard and I think out of the whole course that was the part where you won or lost the race so I went pretty hard there, tried to hold it for the second half of the course. It’s a strange wind this year, I’ve never felt the wind coming out of the east I believe it is. It’s different than every other year that I’ve done this race at Gila. It was significant but at the same time it didn’t really make the way out any harder than the way back. I felt that we had a little bit of assistance on the way back, so fast coming back so that any time that you didn’t make back was holding as opposed to really catching up to people on the second half. It was an interesting course and I’m glad that I went into it pretty much full gas and tried to make the most out of it in the first climb.”
“I haven’t really looked at where everything stands at the moment. We’ll have a look at all that tonight, we’re here with a really strong team, UnitedHealthcare is looking good. We have some good climbers and for us, it’s a matter of having cards to play We’re here to win this race, we have the crit tomorrow as well. Sunday morning is one of the biggest stages that we have here in the US, it’s a very significant race with lots of tough climbing. It will be interesting, I think it’s going to be a real interesting race that’s actually raced and not controlled, we’ll see how it goes.”
Sylvan Diller (BMC Development Team)
“I tried to keep just the speed until the top of the first climb, not to blow up. the first downhill was a little recovery for me. I tried to keep the speed until the turnaround and then just to finish on top of the second climb at my maximum. The last downhill was just give everything that you can and look at what time you get.”
“The really windy (section) was just the downhill, the last downhill, there I felt really that it was heavy but otherwise it okay.”
“I’m on the track on the Swiss Track team so we do a lot of individual and team time pursuit and so I’m used to be on the time trial bike. I think that we have some different riders on the team, some are more climbers than time trialists. For sure, we do every training some exercise at the time trial.”
Sebastian Alexandre, Directeur Sportif of the Jamis-Hagens Berman team
“The team is good. It’s a big motivation to have a rider like Janier (Acevedo) on the team, the guys are super motivated to defend the jersey in the next two stages. “
Alison Powers (NOW and Novartis for MS)
“I have raced the course in the wind, but this crosswind made it so there wasn’t as much recovery in places where I could get recovery. I was fighting the wind and trying to keep pedaling. It was pretty hard out there. My personal goal today was to go under 39 minutes because I never have before. I didn’t get that today but, given the conditions, it doesn’t really matter what your time is as long as you get first place.”
“I was hoping to get more time from Mara (Abbott). I want the red jersey so badly…for the team. I have never worn the leaders jersey at this race. We have two more races and we like crits and we like the stage. We will do our best.”
Janel Holcomb (OPTUM p/b Kelly Benefits Strategies)
“Conditions were fine and it wasn’t as cold as I thought it would be. The course felt really safe. I was able to keep my head down and keep going. After yesterday I had no expectations for the time trial. I was feeling pretty goofy warming up, listening to good music and having fun with the team. I thought that even if I don’t feel good and even if I am totally tired from yesterday, it’s still a good practice for a time trial. I thought I would still go through the same motions and routine as if I am going to have a good one. I guess I wasn’t taking myself to seriously, but I still followed my plan. I think on this course it’s easy to go out too hard. I went out much easier than I thought I should have. I tried to keep it going.”
“It was windy but not too gusty. After doing this course a few times, you kind of know where to expect it to be the worse. That first downhill always the worst. After the U-turn it sometimes gets gusty, but it wasn’t bad today.”
“When I hit the U-turn, the team car yelled that I was killing it. I thought I need to keep trying then. It was good motivation.”
Mara Abbott (ExergyTWENTY16)
“Going into the next couple of days I think we have a lot of opportunities with different riders. I am really excited about how the team has been riding. I am excited about keeping our momentum going.”