Gila: Blevins, Dygert raid Ft. Bayard in sprint finishes

Chris Blevins (Axeon Hagens Berman) out sprinted his breakaway companions to win his first-ever stage at the Tour of the Gila and move into the lead of the sprint classification.
Blevins crossed the line ahead of Daniel Jaramillo (UnitedHealthcare) in second and Jelly Belly Pro Cycling’s Cormac McGeough in third. The trio had been in a break most of the day that included Janier Acevedo (UHC), and Cullen Easter (303 Project).
“About 5k to go, Jeff [Louder] came up to me in the car and told me to wait, which was a great call because Acevedo was obviously going for the overall,” Blevins said. “When Jaramillo went, I was little unsure I was going to be able to jump with him, but I was able to do it. It was a long drag to the finish and I came around.”
Full results
TOTG 2018 Stage Two-2
The break made it to the end of the 75-mile day in 3:17:12, after working together to build a sizeable lead. Canel’s Specialized worked hard with little help from Rally Cycling, to reduce the lead down to just under a minute at the finish in Ft. Bayard.
Acevedo had hoped to earn time on GC, and sits less than a minute now behind Oscar Sanchez (Canel’s Specialized).
“I think it’s a good position for the rest of the race,” Acevedo said at the finish. “It’s better to attack in the final day from behind because it’s a very hard day with a lot of mountains. Last year I was sick before I came to race, which was pretty hard.”
Sanchez remains in the lead, eight seconds ahead of Rob Britton (Rally Cycling), and 55 seconds ahead of Acevedo.
In the women’s race, Chloe Dygert (Twenty20) notched her second win of the season, sprinting across the line ahead of Rally’s Emma White, and Diana Penuela (UHC) in third.
“I knew Emma was probably going to be the one to beat, and so I made sure I was on her wheel,” Dygert said. “Probably 10k to go, I just stayed there the entire time. Allie’s (Dragoo) lead-out was just perfect. It outsmarted Emma in that last little bit and really worked out well.”
Dygert Gila 2
The finish was a chaotic one that saw several riders go down on a mild descent. Edwige Patel crashed after riders in front of her touched wheels and went down.
“I don’t know what exactly she did but she just crashed in front of me,” Patel explained. “I was behind her and couldn’t avoid her so I fell over her. I fell from the front so the knees are pretty bad. I have so much pain, and I can’t bend my knee right now, so we will see tomorrow morning. Honestly, I don’t know if I’ll be able to continue.”
Besides sitting in third on GC, Patel also earned enough points moving her ahead of Katie Hall (UHC) in the QOM Classification.
Hall remains in the lead, with White earning the green sprinter’s jersey.
Racing resumes today at the Tyrone Individual Time Trial at 9 a.m. with the UCI men followed soon after by the UCI women.
Time Trial Start Lists
Content and photos provided by Tour of the Gila.