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Sutherland takes command early at Nature Valley

  • By Brian Holcombe
  • Published Jun. 15, 2011
  • Updated Jun. 15, 2011 at 9:36 PM EDT

Rory Sutherland won the stage 1 Saint Paul Riverfront Time Trial Wednesday morning at the Nature Valley Grand Prix. The three-time defending champion at Nature Valley, Sutherland (UnitedHealthcare) had never won the TT stage before and will for the first time take the leader’s jersey into stage 2 Wednesday evening at the Saint Paul Criterium.

Sutherland’s teammate Adrian Hegyvary finished second in the opening stage, while 2009 TT winner Tom Zirbel finished third.

Sutherland recently took a week-long break after finishing seventh overall the Tour of California. Earlier this month he began his build-up to the Tour of Utah and USA Pro Cycling Challenge in August.

“I’ve come off feeling good about what I’ve done there,” he said. “I come in here fresh, motivated.”

Depite rain throughout most of the stage, Hegyvary said he didn’t back off. “The roads were obviously wet, huge puddles, but it rode more like a dry course because I didn’t have to slow down for the turns,” he said. “The turnaround was probably the wettest part, but it’s a decreasing radius turnaround anyway, so you can’t just bomb through it.”

Taking the GC lead early at Nature Valley is new for Sutherland. He said the rest of the week would be a hectic mix of tactical racing and tough roads.

“I think there are three elements to this race,” he said. “First, it’s having a good time trial the first day, either gaining time or not losing much time. Secondly, you have to be attentive every single day in the criteriums and ride to the front as much as possible and be supported by your team. And third, you need to get through Stillwater. As simple as it is, it’s also hard at the same time. I think it’s better to be leading than to be chasing.”

Wednesday evening’s Saint Paul Criterium will be streamed live on VeloNews. The women’s criterium is at 6:15 CDT (7:15 EDT); the men start at 7:45 CDT. The video will be shown at VeloNews.competitor.com/live.

Men’s stage 1

  • 1. Rory SUTHERLAND , UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team
  • 2. Adrian HEGYVARY , UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team, at 5
  • 3. Tom ZIRBEL , Jamis Sutter Home, at 5
  • 4. Jesse ANTHONY , Kelly Benefit Strategies-Optumhealth, at 15
  • 5. Fernando ANTOGNA , Jamis Sutter Home, at 17

Complete results

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Brian Holcombe

Brian Holcombe

Brian Holcombe is the editor of VeloNews.com. Holcombe joined VeloNews in 2009 following years spent introducing students to whitewater kayaking and working in avalanche control, among other more risky ventures. A Master of PR and Marketing Communications, his graduate work at the University of Denver focused on innovation, digital media management and custom publishing. Holcombe is a CSU Ram fan and proud parent, and has been accused of attacking too much on the VN lunch ride. Follow him on Twitter @FCBrian.

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