Emily Marcolini (3T/Q+M) was victorious on the stage 5 challenging Gila Monster finale at the Tour of the Gila. Marcolini was the strongest on the final climb beating runner-up Austin Killips (Amy D Foundation), third-placed Lauren De Crescenzo (Cinch Rise) and fourth-placed Krista Doebel-Hickok (EF Education-TIBCO-SVB) in Piños Altos.
De Crescenzo sealed the overall victory at the Tour of the Gila.
Tour of the Gila concluded on Sunday with stage 5’s determining 105km race from Silver City to the summit of the 11km climb to Piños Altos. The route included 5,610 feet of climbing with two bonus sprints and three categorized mountains.
Rylee McMullen (InstaFund) won the first intermediate sprint as while the field was intact in the first 17km, separations opened up as the roads turned upward.
Doebel-Hickok secured the points at the top of the first ascent, at the 26km mark, but while it appeared a breakaway might emerged, a reduced field of about 30 riders were back together along the valley roads toward Lake Roberts.
Helena Gilbert-Snyder (Live Play Real Estate) cleared the field with a 25-second gap along the valley roads. She pushed her lead out to three minutes, but she was 35 minutes down on the overall classification and no threat to the GC contenders.
EF Education-TIBCO-SVB and Cinch Cycling led the pace from the reduced field behind.
In her solo breakaway, Gilbert-Snyder met the second intermediate sprint at Camp Thunderbird, 57km into the race, and took the full points, while behind overall race leader De Crescenzo and runner-up Doebel-Hickok took the second and third.
Doebel-Hickok’s EF Education-TIBCO-SVB team set the pace at the front of the reduced field and brought Gilbert-Snyder’s gap down to 1:30 heading into the second mountain ascent that located atop Wild Horse Mesa at the 86km mark.
A group of four emerged on the climb that included Marcela Prieto (PratoBike), Emily Marcolini (3T/Q+M), Doebel-Hickok, and Austin Killips (Amy D Foundation), while race leader De Crescenzo struggled to hang on and was distanced by about eight seconds.
The turn right toward Piños Altos for the finale ascent to the summit and the finish line and the select group caught Gilbert-Snyder.
Marcolini proved stronger on the ascent taking the stage 5 victory ahead of Killips in second, De Crescenzo in third and Doebel-Hickok in fourth.
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