New riders pedaled to road-race glory on Day 2 of Valley of the Sun, but it wasn’t enough to shake up the top general classification standings.
National criterium champion Eric Marcotte (Team Jamis) powered to the line to take the win in the Men Pro/1 field. He jumped from seventh to fourth place in the overall standings.
Canadian Ryan Roth (Silber Pro Cycling) and junior worlds time trial bronze medalist Brandon McNulty (Lux/Stradling) still hold first and second, respectively, with a 20 second gap between the two.
Marcotte said his teammate, instinct and fitness all played a big part in his win Saturday.
“The number of riders in the race (100+) is a good thing, but with multiple solo and teams of two to four riders, it was a bit disconcerting that all was getting welded together (in regards to letting groups go up the road),” Marcotte said. “That, and there was very minimal wind today. I pushed a few efforts to get something going on laps 1 and 3, then realized it would be a smaller group to the sprint finish. I’ve won here in a breakaway and a field sprint like today and know you just have to hold back a little on the sprint. My teammate Luis kept me in the right spot until 2k to go, and then it was instinct and fitness to be in the right spot.”
On Sunday, Marcotte will be looking at a GC win, he said, but noted that the short format of 60 minutes would make it difficult.
“[It] needs to be 90+ mins at this level to wear the top riders down to expose them,” Marcotte said.
Canadian Alison Jackson (Twenty16 p/b BikeRider) took the win for the Pro Women, with two Visit Dallas DNA Pro Cycling teammates – Mandy Heintz and Mia Manganello – on her tail in first and second place, respectively. Their 11-member team has the largest number of riders of men or women at VOS.
Manganello said their team’s strategy was to be aggressive and send their riders up the road, and after several attempts, they managed to get Anna Grace Christiansen and Beth Ann Orton ahead for 30 miles with a 2 and a half minute-lead.
“Heading into the last lap, Twenty16 started to charge,” Manganello said. “Hoping they wouldn’t catch our girls, we sat back and prepared for the possibility. With 3k to go Evie Stevens attacked hard, stringing the field out and drawing us closer to the break. With 400m to go, the break was caught, changing our game plan to getting to the line first. With 150m to go, Alison Jackson jumped as did Mandy and I, resulting with a respectable second and third. Another awesome day of racing and great team work. Props to all of the other ladies in the field, it’s gonna be an amazing year for women’s racing!”
Top Arizona pros in GC:
Men: Brandon McNulty (2nd), Eric Marcotte (4th)
Women: Amy Chandos (12th), Anna Sanders (13th)
Photo by Ben Mangilit