Armstrong, Haga take Cascade Classic prologue wins

Olympic champ, young Optum rider jump out to early Cascade leads

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Kristin Armstong (Exergy-Twenty12) and Chad Haga (Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies) took out prologue wins at the Cascade Cycling Classic Tuesday night in Bend, Oregon.

The new, 2.8-mile prologue lapped the Tetherow Golf Club and climbed a total of 189 feet. The first half of the course descended 134 feet, before riders gradually returned to their starting altitude, just shy of 4,000 feet above sea level.

A week before she leads the U.S. women’s team into the London Games, Armstrong has clearly recovered from her broken collarbone sustained at the Exergy Tour in May. She was the 93rd of 96 riders to start, and set the winning time in 5:24.130, with an average speed of 31.1mph.

Alison Powers (NOW-Novartis for MS) finished second, just seven seconds off Armstrong’s winning time. Jacquelyn Crowell (Exergy) was 12 seconds back.

Haga topped a tightly packed men’s field, logging a time of 5:02.640 seconds, at an average speed of 33.3 mph. Francisco Mancebo (Competitive Cyclist), last year’s overall winner, finished second, just two seconds down on Haga. Robert Sweeting (Kenda-5-hour Energy) was third, three seconds off Haga’s time.

On Wednesday, both the men and women will contest the Les Schwab McKenzie Pass Road Race. Mountain and sprint points are on offer, as are time bonuses at the finish for the top three. The riders will climb more than 6,500 feet as Mancebo will take his title defense into the mountains.

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