The Cuban Marlies Mejías, who runs for the Virginia’s Blue Ridge – TWENTY24 club, won the second stage of the Gila Tour in the United States, which in its men’s version had as news the withdrawal of the leader of the first segment, the Colombian Miguel Ángel “Supermán” López, after suffering a hard fall that prevented him from continuing to pedal.
Mejías dominated in 3:29:02 hours the women’s 120-kilometer race that started and finished in Fort Bayard, in an undulating course with two third-category climbs, the last one 17 kilometers from the finish line. Behind were the Americans Maeghan Easler (ROXO Racing) and Shayna Powless (DNA Pro Cycling), second and third, respectively.
Despite the attacks and attempts, the peloton managed to maintain control through the first hilly section, but on the way to the flying finish line Emily Newsom attacked and alone managed almost a minute of rent, while behind 18 riders began the chase, which was consummated 25 kilometers from the end.
The peloton soon caught up with the breakaways and rolled compactly in the last port of the day. In the final descent there were no attacks and the winner of the day was defined in the packing; when the Cuban Marlies Mejías showed her skills as a sprinter to finish off. The Mexican Marcela Prieto maintained the overall lead.
For its part, in the men’s section, the stage ended with victory for the Mexican Ignacio de Jesús Prado (Canel’s Zerouno) with a time of 3:02:58 hours, while the Colombian Brayan Sánchez (Team Medellín – EPM) finished second with the At the same time, while host Alex Hoehn (Above & Beyond Cancer Cycling p/b Bike World) finished in third position.
The second stage of the men’s race was held over 120 kilometers with start and end in the town of Fort Bayard. The day had three third-category ports, the last one 15 kilometers from the end.
Before reaching the first port of the day, the breakaway was formed, with six members, which already became a group of three on the ascent. On the way to the top, a group of 10 riders emerged from the peloton, including Oscar Sevilla.
On the way down there was a strong fall, which included Miguel Ángel “Supermán” López. The overall leader went to the ground along with at least three other riders and all four had to retire. In the case of the South American, he suffered injuries to his right side. The crash produced a cut in the peloton and neutralization by the race direction, who guided the group through the second port of the day, to give them a free hand in the descent.
The leading trio resumed the competition with 40 seconds over the 10 pursuers and almost 2 minutes over the pack, but the rhythm of the large group was enough to catch the pursuers and the escapees; the race was rearranged to 35 kilometers to go.
With a port before the end, the attacks were constant and there were several breakaway attempts, but the peloton was stronger, did not allow another breakaway to form and everything was defined by packing. The Mexican Ignacio de Jesús Prado ended up winning by a narrow margin.
In general, the new leader is the Norwegian Torbjorn Andre Roed and the Colombian Heiner Parra rose to third place.
Classification Stage 2 (female)
1. Marlies Mejias (Virginia’s Blue Ridge) – 3h:29m:02s
2. Maeghan Easler (ROXO) to m.t.
3. Shayna Powless (DNA Pro Cycling) to m.t.
General Classification (female)
1. Marcela Prieto (Duck Bike BMC) – 7h:19m:04s
2. Austin Killips (Amy D Foundation) at 8s
3. Nadia Gontova (ROXO) at 33s
Classification Stage 2 (male)
1, Ignacio Prado (Canel’s Zerouno) – 3h:02m:58s
2. Brayan Sánchez (Team Medellín) to m.t.
3. Alex Hoehn (Above & Beyond Cancer) to m.t.
General Classification (male)
1. Torbjorn Andre Roed (Above & Beyond Cancer) – 6h:53m:56s
2. Richard Arnopol (Project Echelon) at 11s
3. Heiner Parra (Canel’s Zerouno) at 15s