Kristin Armstrong and Francisco Mancebo lead the overall standings with two stages remaining.
The pelotons of the Cascade Classic contested the Pacific Power Cascade Lakes Road Race on Friday. The men raced 92 miles, climbing 4,332 feet, while the women competed over 70 miles and climbed up 3,685 feet of climbing. Both pelotons contested an uphill finish to Mount Bachelor with time bonuses and KOM points on offer.
Stuyven took top honors and a top scalp in the race to the ski area. Lawson Craddock led out his Bontrager teammate on the closing ramp to the ski area and finished second, with Gavin Mannion third. All three riders finished in the same time.
Mancebo (Competitive Cyclist) took his yellow jersey back from Luis Amaran (Jamis-Sutter Home), with Carter Jones (Bissell) second at 22 seconds, and Craddock up to third, at 31 seconds.
After Veronique Fortin (Tibco) launched hostilities on the final climb in the women’s affair, Albrecht (Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies) took a commanding victory. Andrea Dvorak (Exergy-Twenty12) was second, at four seconds back. Beth Newell (NOW-Novartis for MS) was third, at 34 seconds back, and one of only three riders to finish within a minute of Albrecht.
The GC was unchanged after nearly three hours of racing. Olympic time trial champ Kristin Armstrong (Exergy) still heads the standings. Alison Powers (NOW) is second, at 2:23 minutes back, with Carmen Small (Optum) in third, 2:37 minutes down on the Olympics-bound Armstrong.
Saturday’s Desert Orthopedics and Rebound Physical Therapy twilight criterium should have little effect on the GC standings, but will be the first and only chance for the sprinters to fight for a finish line, rather than an intermediate sprint.
The women roll off first, at 5:45 p.m. local time, for their 50-minute race. The men start at 7:00 p.m. for 75 minutes of racing. Three intermediate sprints, with points going three-deep, plus five-deep finish-line points, will keep the excitement high on the technically simple, four-corner, rectangular downtown Bend course.