Amaran, Armstrong win Cascade Classic stage 2

Kristin Armstrong makes it three-for-three at Cascade and Luis Amaran wins the stage and takes the yellow jersey

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Kristin Armstrong went three-for-three Thursday at the Cascade Classic, while Luis Amaran took a win of his own and the yellow jersey in the stage 2 time trial at the Cascade Classic.

The 16-mile Crooked River Time Trial ran along a rolling out-and-back course on the Crooked River Highway, over which riders climbed 607 feet. The course gradually rose towards the turn-around point, after which the riders faced several small rises during an eight-mile descent.

Former National Racing Calendar champion Amaran (Jamis-Sutter Home) won the men’s stage by 21 seconds, covering the 16-mile course in 31:19. Nate English (Kenda-5-hour Energy) was second, in 31:40. Breakaway specialist and team comedian, Michael Creed (Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies) rode to third, in 31:52.

Amaran’s strong time trial lifted him to the top of the overall standings. Francisco Mancebo (Competitive Cyclist), having surrendered his leader’s jersey to Amaran, now sits at five seconds adrift on GC. Time trial specialist Tom Zirbel (Optum) rode himself to third overall with his performance, 13 seconds down.

In the women’s tilt, Armstrong (Exergy-Twenty12) maintained her stranglehold on this year’s race, making it three wins in a row with her TT victory. London-bound Armstrong’s time of 34:40 put her more than a minute clear of the field. Alison Powers (NOW-Novartis for MS) was second, in 35:57. Carmen Small (Optum) rode to third, in 36:07.

Armstrong’s win solidifies her place atop the GC with three days remaining. Mirroring the time trial results, Powers sits second, at 2:23, with Small is just behind in third, at 2:37 minutes down on Armstrong.

On Friday, riders face the Pacific Power Cascade Lakes Road Race. The men will ride 92 miles, with the women covering 70 miles. Both races will offer finish line time bonuses. The climbers will have two opportunities to grab mountains points, with intermediate sprint points up for grabs as well. Both races finish at the Mount Bachelor Ski Area after a tough climb to the base area, so look for Mancebo and Armstrong to attempt repeats of their stage 1 uphill victories.

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