Monday, May 5, 2014

Optum Pro Carter Jones Takes Tour of the Gila Overall

Photo credit: VeloNews
Carter Jones got his first professional stage race GC win at the UCI 2.2 Tour of the Gila, in Silver City New Mexico. Acknowledged as one of the toughest stage races in the United States, the Tour of the Gila finishes off with the Gila Monster stage, which covered 103 miles and almost 9,000 feet of climbing at altitude. Carter started the week of racing in the chaotic 100 mile Silver City to Mogollon stage 1 in which approximately 75% of the field was involved in two major crashes. The second pile up required Carter to make a bike change and 15 km chase to get back to the front group.  Despite the chase, Jones finished in fifth place twelve seconds out of the lead. In the third stage individual time trial, Carter finished fourth in the stage and moved into the overall lead by a mere two seconds. This was an especially dangerous position, as the Jamis-Hagens Berman team had three accomplished climbers in the top ten, all within thirty-eight seconds. In the stage four criterium, United Healthcare’s Ben Day lapped the field and moved into the overall lead, dropping Carter to second place, twenty-eight seconds back. Again, a difficult situation as Day was supported by the very strong professional continental United Healthcare squad. On the final Gila Monster stage, Carter’s Optum team played a savvy tactical game and Jones rode from a position of strength to finish ahead of Day and his closest rivals to take the overall, his first GC win in a UCI race of his professional career.

Photo credit: VeloNews
PCG Coach: Stephen McGregor

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