Tour of the Gila 2022 Stage 5: De Crescenzo and Gardner Take the Overall Wins

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De Crescenzo emerges victorious in UCI Women’s Tour of the Gila; Marcolini finishes on top of Gila Monster stage

Anet Barrera (DNA Pro Cycling), Lauren De Crescenzo (CINCH Rise), Krista Doebel-Hickok (EF Education-TIBCO-SVB) and Maddy Ward (InstaFund Racing) stand atop the podium after five days of racing at Tour of the Gila following Stage 5, 2022 Tour of the GIla. Photo courtesy of the Tour of the Gila.

SILVER CITY, New Mexico (May 1, 2022) — Lauren De Crescenzo (CINCH Rise) left no questions on the table Sunday at the UCI Women’s Tour of the Gila when she snagged the overall red leader’s jersey, relinquishing the Gila Monster stage win to Emily Marcolini (3T/Q+M Cycling Team) from Canada.

De Crescenzo put nearly a minute into her closest competitor Krista Doebel-Hickok (EF Education-TIBCO-SVB) to secure the win after a rollercoaster week of lead changes and crashes.

“Oh my god, I feel amazing; I feel so amazing,” De Crescenzo said. “Six years ago, I was in a rehab center re-learning how to walk and talk, and now I win the biggest UCI stage race in the U.S. I never thought this could happen. Learning how to walk to winning the Gila, it’s insane, it’s totally insane.”

Lauren De Crescenzo (CINCH Rise) crosses the Gila Monster finish line and wins the red overall leader's jersey. Stage 5, 2022 Tour of the GIla. Photo courtesy of the Tour of the Gila.

Marcolini, who lost the overall lead at Redlands Bicycle Classic last week, said she wasn’t counting her chickens before they hatched when she rolled up to the line.

“I didn’t really have a ton of expectations,” Marcolini said. “I was just hoping to snatch up a few more QOM points and move up a bit in that competition. My hope was a top-three placing, but I never actually thought I could win it. It wasn’t until the last five kilometers that I actually started to think, ‘OK, maybe we could pull this off,’ and then we started hearing that Lauren was coming, and I was like ‘oh no, she’s gonna catch us,’ but we kept working together, and then in the last kilometer, I dug down as hard as I could to the line and hoped that I had enough of a gap to hold them off.”

Emily Marcolini (3T/Q+M Cycling Team) wins Stage 5 Gila Monster. Stage 5, 2022 Tour of the GIla. Photo courtesy of the Tour of the Gila.

After a mostly intact beginning, the peloton began to bust apart as the elevation increased on the 65.9 mile stage.

Doebel-Hickok, the Queen-of-the-Mountains leader, took maximum points on the first QOM and gained queen-of-the-mountains points on all opportunities thereafter, securing her polka-dot jersey.

At 20 miles into the race, Helen Gilbert-Snyder (Live Play Real Estate) launched a solo attack and stayed away for about 30 miles, putting three minutes and 15 seconds into the peloton.

“No one wanted to go into the headwind with me, so I did it myself for 30 miles, which was fun, and that’s what I’m good at – I can just put out the power on the flats for a long time,” Gilbert-Snyder said.

Helen Gilbert-Snyder (Live Play Real Estate) holds a solo break for 30 miles. Stage 5, 2022 Tour of the GIla. Photo courtesy of the Tour of the Gila.

Back in the field, EF Education-TIBCO-SVB and CINCH Rise controlled the pace and eventually reeled Gilbert-Snyder back in at the base of the second queen-of-the-mountains climb.

An initial selection of 15 riders including Marcolini, Austin Killips (Amy D Foundation), Doebel-Hickok, De Crescenzo, Diana Peñuela (DNA Pro Cycling) from Colombia, Maddy Ward (InstaFund Racing), and Anet Barrera (DNA Pro Cycling) from Mexico, who wore the white Best Young Rider jersey, started the assault up to the second and steepest queen-of-the-mountains climb.

As the gradients increased, the group split with Marcolini, Killips, Doebel-Hickok, De Crescenzo and Marcela Prieto Castañeda (Pato Bike) in the lead. Marcolini drove the pace hard and soon dropped De Crescenzo. As Marcolini attacked over the QOM, Killips followed. Doebel-Hickok, Prieto and De Crescenzo formed a chase group before De Crescenzo attacked in an attempt to bridge to Killips and Marcolini.

But Marcolini and Killips gained 20 seconds on De Crescenzo and kept her at bay all the way to the line. Doebel-Hickok took fourth on the stage and Prieto fifth.

Doebel-Hickok, who was only 12 seconds away from taking the overall lead the day before, ended up exactly one minute behind De Crescenzo in the finale for the red jersey.

“We raced to try and win the overall, but we weren’t successful in that, but taking away the QOM jersey and second [on] GC and the way the team rode, we can be really happy and proud,” Doebel-Hickok said.

Krista Doebel-Hickok (EF Education-TIBCO-SVB) kept the Queen of the Mountains jersey and finished 2nd overall. Stage 5, 2022 Tour of the GIla. Photo courtesy of the Tour of the Gila.

Out on the road, Ward hung onto her green Sprinter jersey and Barrera, who had a large lead on the Best Young Rider competition, kept the white jersey on her back.

Women's Stage 5 Results:

  1. Emily Marcolini – 3T/Q+M
  2. Austin Killips – Amy D Foundation
  3. Lauren De Crescenzo – Cinch RISE

Final General Classification Standings:

  1. Lauren De Crescenzo – Cinch RISE: 11:26:01
  2. Krista Doebel-Hickok – EF Education-TIBCO-SVB: 11:27:01
  3. Austin Killips – Amy D Foundation: 11:28:28

Final U25 Classification Standings:

  1. Anet Barrera – DNA Pro Cycling: 11:34:51
  2. Kira Payer – DNA Pro Cycling: 11:46:56
  3. Kyleigh Spearing – Cinch RISE: 11:48:28

Final QOM Standings:

  1. Krista Doebel-Hickok – EF Education-TIBCO-SVB: 34 pts
  2. Emily Marcolini – 3T/Q+M: 31 pts
  3. Lauren De Crescenzo – Cinch RISE: 19 pts

Final Sprinter Jersey Standings:

  1. Maddy Ward – InstaFund Racing: 26 pts
  2. Lauren De Crescenzo – Cinch RISE: 23 pts
  3. Rylee McMullen – InstaFund Racing: 23 pts

Final Team Classification Standings:

  1. EF Education-TIBCO-SVB: 34:44:42
  2. DNA Pro Cycling: 34:50:45
  3. InstaFund Racing: 35:08:11
Heiner Parra Bustamante (Canel's ZEROUNO), Jared Scott (Aevolo Cycling), Sean Gardner (CS Velo), Tyler Stites (Project Echelon Racing) don their leaders' jerseys after five days of racing at Tour of the Gila after Stage 5, 2022 Tour of the GIla. Photo courtesy of the Tour of the Gila.

Gardner swipes overall victory at UCI Men’s Tour of the Gila; Corte Cordero and Canel’s slay Gila Monster

Sean Gardner (CS Velo) rocketed to the top step of the overall podium Sunday at the UCI Men’s Tour of the Gila in upset fashion while Eduardo Corte Cordero (Canel’s ZEROUNO) and his team slayed the Gila Monster and took the stage win.

Gardner, an Everesting world record holder, ascended from eighth into the red jersey after fending off countless attacks from three Canel’s ZEROUNO riders in the last few miles – and the last climb – of Stage 5.

“At the base of the Gila Monster, three of the Canel’s guys – I just followed their wheels – they lit it up at the bottom, and then we got a gap and we just tried to hold on until there,” Gardner said. “They were flinging some attacks on this last little rise, and I did my best to hold on.”

Sean Gardner battles with Canel's ZEROUNO riders toward the finish in Stage 5, 2022 Tour of the GIla. Photo courtesy of the Tour of the Gila.

Gardner said he had no idea he had won the red jersey when he crossed the finish line, and most assumed Matteo Dal-Cin (Toronto Hustle), who wasn’t far behind on the climb, had retained it.

“It turns out I only got it by four seconds,” Gardner said. “The team was riding strong all day and was able to fight at the end and hold onto the Canel’s team. They were riding strong too. [We] got the overall GC …, so I’m pretty hyped.”

Attacks started flying from the gun in the 100.7-mile Stage 5 Gila Monster, which has four king-of-the-mountains climbs. A break of nine riders formed and although it broke up several times, several of its original members, none realistically in contention for the overall lead, stayed away for a total of about 75 miles.

Ethan Sittlington (Toronto Hustle) from Canada; Cyrus Monk (Meiyo CCN) from Australia; Nicholas Côté (Yoelo Test Team p/b 4MIND Project) from Canada; Brooks Wienke and Tobias Klein (Aevolo Cycling); Andrew Frank (Team California/HMS); Will Hardin and Ricky Arnopol (Project Echelon Racing); and Peter Behm (Rio Grande Elite Cycling Team) at one point had a six-minute-and-35-second lead on the main field.

But the group whittled down to three riders with about 30 miles to go – Monk, Klein and Hardin – after other riders in the break cracked, with one even getting off his bike and laying on the ground.

The peloton, which carried all of the jersey competitors, then amped it up, and the chase was on headed toward the final two climbs. Breakaway riders were swallowed up, and five riders went on the attack.

Heiner Parra Bustamante from Colombia, the king-of-the-mountains leader, Efren Santos Moreno and Corte Cordero from Mexico, all on Canel’s ZEROUNO as well as Gardner and Toby Roed (Yoelo Test Team p/b 4MIND Project) from Norway, who was sitting third on GC, got away from the main field, showcasing their endurance, climbing abilities and strategy.

Heiner Parra Bustamante (left) kept his polka dot King of the Mountains jersey, but Matteo Dal-Cin (right) lost his red overall leader's jersey by four seconds to Gardner in Stage 5, 2022 Tour of the GIla. Photo courtesy of the Tour of the Gila.

Canel’s ZEROUNO put on a tactical training camp as they launched consecutive attacks and broke Roed. They tried to shed Gardner, but he fended them off until the last climb to the finish with Parra Bustamante and Corte Cordero riding away. Santos Moreno didn’t have enough in the last 500 meters for a Canel’s podium sweep, and Gardner took third on the stage with enough time to be awarded the red jersey and the overall lead.

“I’m really happy with the stage today,” Corte Cordero said in Spanish. “We knew it was the queen stage, and we knew it would be a lot of climbing. I’m really appreciative of our entire team – the job they did was impeccable. I want to especially mention Efren who did his job and Heiner and Nacho and all of my teammates. We knew we had to move on this stage because it would be the defining stage. We attacked and we found an opening, and we won the stage, and we’re happy for it.”

Eduardo Corte Cordero and Heiner Parra Bustamante cross the line in first and second respectively on Stage 5, 2022 Tour of the GIla. Photo courtesy of the Tour of the Gila.

Meanwhile, Tyler Stites (Project Echelon Racing), who was 34 seconds down on the overall lead, couldn’t bridge up enough to make up any time and ended up in 10th overall, but still winning the green Sprinter jersey. Dal-Cin came in second for the overall, just four seconds back from Gardner. Roed took third on GC, while Landis/Trek’s Sam Gilletly finished just shy of the podium for the overall race lead in fourth.

Tyler Stites rides to retain his green Sprinter's jersey. Stage 5, 2022 Tour of the GIla. Photo courtesy of the Tour of the Gila.

Jared Scott (Aevolo Cycling) managed to make up the eight-second deficit he had on the white Best Young Rider jersey to finish with it on his back, and Parra Bustamante retained the polka-dot, King-of-the-Mountains jersey.

“I’m super proud of the guys – they hung it out there for me today all across the board keeping the break in check, pacing up the climbs, making sure I was fed and watered,” Dal-Cin said. “Halfway up the Monster there, I think two or three of the Canel’s guys and Sean hit out, and I was really cramping up really on the ropes so I just did my best to ride my tempo and hope I could rally at the top and maybe my legs would come around. I was nursing some pretty good cramps. I gave it everything in the chase and I was so spent in the end. No complaints, left it all on the road and the stronger man won today.”

Matteo Dal-Cin battled for but lost the overall lead. Stage 5, 2022 Tour of the GIla. Photo courtesy of the Tour of the Gila.

Men's Stage 5 results:

  1. Eduardo Corte Cordero – Canel’s Zerouno
  2. Heiner Parra Bustamante – Canel’s Zerouno
  3. Sean Gardner – CS Velo

Final General Classification Standings:

  1. Sean Gardner – CS Velo: 12:58:04
  2. Matteo Dal-Cin – Toronto Hustle: 12:50:08
  3. Toby Roed – Yoeleo Test Team p/b 4MindProject 12:58:35

Final U23 Classification Standings:

  1. Jared Scott – Aevolo: 13:02:30
  2. Xander White – CS Velo: 12:04:47
  3. Tobia Klein – Aevolo: 13:09:21

Final KOM Standings:

  1. Heiner Parra Bustamante – Canel’s Zerouno: 33 pts
  2. Toby Roed – Yoeleo Test Team p/b 4MindProject: 27 pts
  3. Ricky Arnopol – Project Echelon Racing: 22 pts

Final Sprinter Jersey Standings:

  1. Tyler Stites – Project Echelon Racing: 36 pts
  2. Nacho Prado Juarez – Canel’s Zerouno: 20 pts
  3. Cyrus Monk – Meiyo CCN Pro Cycling: 18 pts

Final Team Classification Standings:

  1. Canel’s Zerouno: 39:05:34
  2. CS Velo: 39:08:12
  3. Project Echelon Racing: 39:28:23

 

 

 

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