Fly V Australia put on a show of strength at La Vuelta de Bisbee Sunday, taking first and third in the final stage and securing the overall win for Darren Lill.
David Tanner won the 84-mile Tombstone Road Race, leading in the remnants of an 11-rider breakaway that ruled the day.
Lill, shepherded to the finish by his Fly V squad, finished safely in the main pack to retain his overall GC lead, giving him his second La Vuelta overall title in two years.
The stage started fast, with riders hitting 55 mph on the descent of Mule Pass leaving town. Aggressive riding saw numerous small breaks gain a few seconds and be quickly absorbed. No one was going to let a break gain 11 minutes, which happened in Saturday’s Sulphur Springs Road Race and put all but seven riders out of CG contention.
About 40 miles in, a break of 11 formed that was able to stick to the finish. The break contained Tanner and Fly V teammate Charles Dionne, Maxim Jenkins and Marc DeMaar of UnitedHealthcare-Maxxis, Christopher Hong of Team Exergy, Jonathan Garcia (Team Rio Grande), Marsh Cooper (Trek Red Truck) Joshua Bartlett (Rubicon-Orbea), Diego Yepez (Bicycle Religion) Andres Diaz (RaceMenu.com), and Michael Mathis (AZA Equitable).
The break’s lead stretched to 3:44 at the feed zone at 53 miles and was 4:06 ahead at mile 65.
The break was shredded by attacks after the leaders reached the upper pitch of Mule Pass. After eight miles of climbing, Tanner, DeMaar and Jenkins led at the top before plunging down into town.
A small pack of break members regrouped as they surged down past the huge Lavender Pit Mine and headed back up toward the finish.
Dionne attacked and took a 10-second lead, but was dragged back by the UnitedHealthcare riders.
“I went with 800 meters to go. I gave it everything I had,” Tanner said. “I knew I had good legs because I felt good on the climb.”
Tanner led in Mathis, Dionne, Diaz and Garcia for the stage win.
Two minutes, twenty seconds later, the pack came in, including Day resplendent in the leader’s yellow jersey.
“Thanks to the team it was an easy day for me,” Lill said. “I was pretty relaxed. I just followed our team around.”
The race was almost a mirror of Lill’s 2009 Bisbee, where he won the overall as well as the Sulphur Springs Road Race.
“Bisbee seems to agree with me,” he said. “It’s a really nice town and it has a nice vibe.”
1. David Tanner, Fly V Australia 3:19:59
2. Michael Mathis, Axa Equitable at 00:00:02
3. Charles Dionne, Fly V Australia at 00:00:04
4. Andres Diaz, Racemenu.com at 00:00:07
5. Jonathan Garcia, Team Rio Grande at 00:00:10
6. Marc De Maar, Unitedhealthcare at 00:00:12
7. Maxim Jenkins, Unitedhealthcare at 00:00:21
8. Marsh Cooper, Trek Red Truck at 00:00:30
9. Christian Helmig, Metro Vw at 00:02:15
10. Jared Gilyard, Rideclean at 00:02:17
1. Darren Lill, Fly V Australia 7:18:34
2. Roman Kilun, Unitedhealthcare at 00:00:23
3. Christian Helmig, Metro Vw at 00:01:25
4. Ian Holt, Team Rio Grande at 00:02:05
5. Jared Gilyard, Rideclean at 00:02:15
6. Corey Carlson, Trekbicyclestore at 00:04:15
7. Chris Aten, Bicycle Haus at 00:07:12
8. Michael Mathis, Axa Equitable at 00:07:49
9. David Tanner, Fly V Australia at 00:07:56
10. Andres Diaz, Racemenu.com at 00:08:04
Phil Zajicek (Fly V Australia) enjoys the ride safely in the main group.
On the road in the high Arizona desert.
Mule Pass Summit
The group crests Mule Pass at the start of the Tombstone Road Race.
Mike Mathis (AXA Equitable) pulls the second group over the top of the "divide."
Darren Lill (Fly V Australia) in the final yellow jersey.
Fly V in control
Fly V takes control of the peloton on the way back to Bisbee.
David Tanner (Fly V Australia) wins the stage.