South Lake Tahoe – An Individual Time Trial has been noted to be the “race of truth,” as a cyclists comes face-to-face with their own personal doubts and fears to trust their training and motivate themselves above their own limits. There is nowhere to hide.
In a similar fashion, mountain stages bear out a cyclist’s daring and their resolve, as there comes a time when each is required to step to the forefront and demonstratively say, I am the strongest.
Stage 2 of the Amgen Breakaway from Heart Disease Women’s Race featured three racers, who dared to be great over the 108 kilometer mountainous course that was used for the first time ever in Amgen Tour of California history. In the tradition of the great bardoeur-rouleurs, Juliette Labous (Team Sunweb) went off the front of the peloton early in the race and stayed away until the peloton brought her back before tackling the 8-mile ascent up the Kingsbury Grade.
On the final ascent, a select group including current race leader, Megan Guarnier (Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team), Dutch teammate Anna van der Breggen, Coryn Rivera (Team Sunweb), UnitedHealthCare Pro Cycling teammates, Ruth Winder and Katie Hall, and Kristabel Doebel-Hickok (Cylance Pro Cycling). In the final kilometers up to the final QoM of Daggett Summit, Anna van der Breggen would press the issue with only Katie Hall capable of following. The two would battle each other back and forth for the final 10 kilometers, until Hall was finally able to separate herself up the short closing climb in the last kilometer to claim not only the stage win, but also the race lead. Anna van der Breggen would finish second, with Kristabel Doebel-Hickok (Cylance Pro Cycling) taking a more than respectable third.
Results – Stage 2, South Lake Tahoe (108 km, 67 miles)
1. Katie Hall (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team)
2. Anna van der Breggen (Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team)
3. Kristabel Doebel-Hickok (Cylance Pro Cycling)
Jersey Winners – Stage 2
Amgen Race Leader Jersey – Katie Hall (USA), UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team (USA)
Breakaway from Cancer® / Breakaway from Heart DiseaseTM Most Courageous Rider Jersey – Juliette Labous (FRA), Team Sunweb (NED)
Lexus Queen of the Mountain (QOM) Jersey – Katie Hall (USA), UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team (USA)
Visit California Sprint Jersey – Anna van der Breggen (NED), Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team (NED)
TAG Heuer Best Young Rider Jersey – Ruth Winder (USA), UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team
Next: Stage 3, Elk Grove to Sacramento (118 km, 73.3 miles)
Tomorrow’s Stage 3 presented by Lexus will take riders on a 73.3-mile flat and fast course from first-time host Elk Grove to the veteran race city of Sacramento, where the race will conclude Sunday following a circuit race around the California State Capitol building.
Photos: Leonard Basobas/LB Photos