For the second year in a row, a Tucson Bicycle Classic’s pro general classification win has been determined by time bonuses on the final day’s circuit race.
UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling’s Travis McCabe was sitting in second place, just three seconds behind Silber Pro Cycling’s Nigel Ellsay after Saturday’s road race. McCabe’s teammate, Danny Eaton, was 36 seconds back from a GC win.
As the circuit race heated up, literally, to 90 degrees, just west of Tucson on a 9k loop, Eaton found himself in a break with three others, gaining two seconds with a second place sprint bonus.
But the break, which gained at least two and a half minutes, was pulled back. McCabe, who has had early-season sprint success, recently in Malaysia at the Tour de Langkawi and in Tucson at the Colossal Cave Road Race, set up for a sprint.
Finishing anywhere in the top three, as long as Ellsay wasn’t there, would get McCabe the GC win: first place gets 10 seconds, second gets six and third gets four.
McCabe led the pack up the hill to the finish in a sprint, crossing the line first with Ellsay in eighth and nabbing the GC win.
“I’m not going to lie, it feels pretty [good] winning TBC,” McCabe told Clipped In. “I honestly came into this weekend with no expectations and came home with a chicken dinner. We just wanted to race hard and have an exciting race, and we definitely accomplished it.”
For the women, Rally Pro Cycling was setting up for a hat trick, but the team’s GC leader, Olympian Kelly Catlin did not race; she and teammate Katherine Maine caught an early flight back home to attend school the next morning, her team said.
But her teammates Kirsti Lay and Sara Bergen were taking up the No. 2 and 3 spots in GC anyway.
Lay went for a solo break, creating a gap that ultimately ended up being seven minutes and 36 seconds, according to results. She finished solo for the win.
Then, in a bunch sprint, it was Bergen who stole the show, wearing the yellow jersey passed down from Catlin.
Lay took the GC win.