TYRONE, N.M. – Serghei Tvetcov (Floyd’s Pro Cycling) gave the rest of the men’s UCI field a lesson in toughness Friday as he sailed through Tour of the Gila’s Stage 3 Tyrone Time Trial finish, shattering times with 33:21 — nine seconds faster than his winning time last year and after crashing the day before.
The Romanian wasn’t in contention for GC, but he put an exclamation point on his consistency for top finishes at Tour of the Gila — this is his third time trial win here. Canadian James Piccoli (Elevate-KHS Pro Cycling) extended his GC lead over Spaniard Oscar Miguel Sevilla Rivera (Team Medellín) to 46 seconds with a fourth-place finish.
“I felt great, I knew that course pretty good, but I’m not really sure about my feeling after crashing the first day,” Tvetcov said. “As soon as I finished, I saw my time, I beat my time [in the] previous year by nine seconds, so I thought probably for sure I’d be on the podium, so I’m really happy with Floyd’s Pro Cycling team for support and really looking forward [to the] next day, and [the] season.”
Tvetcov said he crashed at four kilometers to the finish during Stage 1. By then, he was out of GC contention and focused his efforts on delivering his teammates, Travis McCabe and Canadian Nickolas Zukowsky to the line in Stage 2.
His powerful effort on Friday moved him up 24 positions on GC from 48th to 24th, and he made up 39 seconds, putting him 5:47 back from the leader.
Meanwhile, teams waited for the rest of the field to finish as riders struggled to break the 34-minute mark. Eyes were on the final GC contenders to post times, and nothing would be set in stone until the final rider, Piccoli came across the line.
He finished fourth, with a time of 34 minutes, beating Sevilla Rivera by 38 seconds. Going into the time trial, Sevilla Rivera was sitting second on GC, eight seconds back from Piccoli. Now he’s 46 seconds back and retains second place.
“This is definitely the second big test of the week,” Piccoli said. “I mean this race traditionally is set up on Stage 1, and then still have a good time trial, then keep it all together in the next two days. Really happy that I had a good ride today and that I could defend the red jersey. I think we really proved that we’re the strongest team here, so the rest of the week will be devoted to protecting the red jersey and hopefully putting on a good show at the criterium too.”
Piccoli’s teammates, Canadian Adam Roberge and George Simpson finished second and third, respectively, putting three Elevate-KHS Pro Cycling riders in the top four of the time trial results. Roberge took over third place on GC, moving up from 11th. He improved his overall time by 21 seconds, now 1:02 back from the leader, and swiped the Best Young Rider jersey from Zukowsky.
“It was very fun,” Roberge said. “I love this course. It was the perfect balance between uphill and downhill. It’s not too much for a climber, but you still have to be able to climb, and the conditions were just perfect. Normally it’s super windy here, and today I was on the bike and I was like, ‘that’s so fun.’ I can just ride my bike without thinking about holding myself up. Yeah it was a great day.”
The previous third-place contender, Mexican Eder Frayre Moctezuma (Team California) fell to 10th, with a 2:57 gap to the leader. He lost a total of 2:46 on the day.
Zukowsky moved up to fourth on GC and sits 1:14 back, while Alex Hoehn (Aevolo) moved up to fifth from eighth and is 1:48 behind.
Another notable finisher was Canadian Travis Samuel (DCBank Pro Cycling), who finished fifth on the stage with a time of 34:10. Samuel has been ubiquitous at this year’s Tour of the Gila, appearing in breakaways, going for sprint points and now finishing in the top five at the time trial.
The teams will head into Stage 4’s Downtown Silver City Criterium presented by The Town of Silver City on Saturday, looking for time bonuses on three sprints and the finish line, hoping to gobble up precious GC seconds heading into the final Gila Monster stage on Sunday.
- James Piccoli (Elevate-KHS Pro Cycling)
- Oscar Miguel Sevilla Rivera (Team Medellín) – 46 seconds back
- Adam Roberge (Elevate-KHS Pro Cycling) – 1:02 back
- Michael Hernandez (Aevolo)
- Travis McCabe (Floyd’s Pro Cycling)
- Travis Samuel (DCBank Pro Cycling Team)
King of the Mountains
- James Piccoli (Elevate-KHS Pro Cycling)
- Christhian Montoya Giraldo (Team Medellín)
- Oscar Miguel Sevilla Rivera (Team Medellín)
Best Young Rider
- Adam Roberge (Elevate-KHS Pro Cycling)
- Nickolas Zukowsky (Floyd’s Pro Cycling)
- Alex Hoehn (Aevolo)
- Elevate-KHS Pro Cycling
- Team Medellín