photo credits @ Tour of Utah/Twitter
Allie Dragoo (Twenty16-Sho-Air) claimed the opening stage of the women’s edition of this year’s Tour of Utah.
Amidst heavy rain, the Twenty16-Sho-Air rider managed to held off the peloton to seize a solo victory with almost a one minute gap over her closest rivals – Gretchen Stumhofer (Colovita-Bianchi) and Linda Villumsen (UnitedHealthcare), who was third.
“I’m super pumped to have this win. I just can’t believe it,” Dragoo said at the finish of the 75-minute race. “I just moved to Utah. It’s great. I’m pumped to do it for my new home state.”
Several competing groups emerge, after a small breakaway group was established 20 minutes into the day’s stage.
From there, Coryn Rivera worked alongside her teammate Villumsen to try and reel the breakaway back in. However, Dragoo had plans of her own, when she decided to attack her rivals.
“There was a break ahead of us for a bit. We were catching the group and I was just countering,” Dragoo said. “I thought for sure they’d catch me. I know that my team is smart enough to cover moves and not work in a break if they get in one and shut stuff down. It really worked out. It’s nice that we got the win today especially because we are such a small team.”
After that, Dragoo continued to widen her gap on the chase to about a minute, while the 6-rider chase had to contend with the 30-strong field closing the gap from behind.
Coming into the final corner on the last lap, Dragoo kept pushing all the way to line, celebrating as she crossed with no one else in the photo.
Gretchen Stumhofer (Colavita-Bianchi) gapped the rest of the chase in the last corner to finish second, 49 seconds behind Dragoo, while Linda Villumsen led home the remainder of the chase another 4 seconds further back, just pipping Alison Arensman (Twenty16) and Olivia Dillon on the line.
Dragoo had the following things to say, at the post-stage press conference:
“The first few laps there were a few attacks; I covered a few and then my teammates Chloe, Sofia, and Alison covered the rest. About 20 minutes in, we were catching a group and then I just countered on the hill and just went from there. I figured ‘oh, they’re gonna catch me’ but then I got like a minute.”
“The course today was pretty hard with the rain first off, and then the little climb that we had. I just knew to keep a tempo, keep it smooth, and keep the flow going pretty steady. I didn’t have to deal with anyone going into the turns since I was off the front solo, so it just made things easier for me.“
“It’s nice that we got the win today, because we were such a small team. Actually, the four of us have never raced together, so it worked out really well. We want to thank the City of Logan for hosting a women’s event and Ogden for tomorrow as well.”
Top 10 Finishers
1. Allie Dragoo, Twenty16-Sho-Air
2. Gretchen Stumhofer, Colavita-Bianchi
3. Linda Villumsen, UnitedHealthcare
4. Allison Arensman, Twenty16-Sho-Air
5. Olivia Dillon, Visit Dallas Cycling
6. Justine Clift, Fearless Femme
7. Amanda Miller, Visit Dallas Cycling
8. Coryn Rivera, UnitedHealthcare
9. Samantha Schneider, ISCorp Cycling
10. Hannah Barnes, UnitedHealthcare
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