It was a near perfect day weather-wise for Day 1 of Valley of the Sun; riders took to the time trial course in the West Valley and dumped watts to set them up for a good general classification position.
Canadian Ryan Roth (Silber Pro Cycling) gained first place and a gap of 20 seconds for the Pro Men ahead of Brandon McNulty (Lux/Stradling), last year’s junior world time trial bronze medalist. National criterium champion Eric Marcotte (Team Jamis) finished seventh with a minute and five-second deficit.
“Ryan Roth crushed us,” said Joshua Berry (Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis). “Nobody should be surprised by the top two, nobody.”
Ulises Alfredo Castillo Soto (KHS-Maxxis-JLVelo) from Mexico, recently finished competing in the Tour de San Luis in Argentina. He finished eighth Friday in the time trial and said he is still getting used to his time trial bike, which he has only ridden three times before.
“Today I had a good feeling,” Castillo Soto said. “I have to fine tune the details a little more to get used to my time trial bike. I think it was pretty good. I’m just a minute behind and that’s a difficult time to get back. Tomorrow we’ll be looking for a stage win with the team.” (Translated from: “Hoy tuve buenas sensaciones, hay que afinar un poco mas los detalles como acostumbrarme mas ala bici de contra reloj para mi es nueva y solo la pude tres veces antes de esta carrera entoces creo que estuvo bastante bien, estoy un minuto por detrás asi que es algo de tiempo dificil de recuperar lo mañana, saldremos en busca de la etapa con el equipo.”)
Allie Dragoo (Twenty16 p/b BikeRider) took the win for the Pro Women, five seconds ahead of Olympian Evelyn Stevens (Boels-Dolmans CT), who this week announced that she’ll attempt to break the hour record at the end of the month. Stevens was the favorite going into VOS.
“I just made sure to stay focused since it can be easy to have a wandering mind on a course like today where there is only one turn around,” Dragoo said. “It feels good to win, whether it’s beating Evelyn or anyone else, it is a nice way to start off the season.”
Dragoo said Stevens congratulated her after the race.
“That’s what I like about true professional athletes (cyclists), they are able to be competitive on the bike and modest, humble human beings off the bike,” Dragoo said.
Two of Dragoo’s teammates joined her on the podium – Leah Thomas in third and Alison Jackson in fifth.
Full results (available upon officials’ posting)
Photos of results on clippedin.bike’s Facebook page