Armstrong, Sutherland go wire-to-wire at Gila; Craddock wins on Gila Monster

Olympic champ, former NRC champ Rory Sutherland lead SRAM Tour of the Gila from beginning-to-end after Armstrong, Craddock take final stage

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Kristin Armstrong made it four-of-five at the SRAM Tour of the Gila Sunday, winning the Gila Monster stage to secure the overall in the National Racing Calendar event. Lawson Craddock won the stage and Rory Sutherland took the overall in the men’s UCI race.

Armstrong (Exergy Twenty12) won every stage besides Saturday’s criterium and beat Alison Powers (NOW-Novartis for MS) Sunday in one of the most difficult routes used in U.S. domestic racing. Carmen Small (Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies) finished with Powers for third, 1:55 behind Armstrong.

Small finished second overall, 6:45 behind Armstrong, who was on another level this week in the high desert of southern New Mexico. Powers was third, at 7:18.

Armstrong, the 2008 Olympic time trial gold medalist won Wednesday’s opening Mogollon stage and commanded the race all week.

Craddock and his Bontrager-LiveStrong teammate Ian Boswell finished together to go one-two on the stage. Chad Beyer (Competitive Cyclist) crossed the line six seconds later and locked up second overall.

Sutherland fought hard to come through for 11th, 2:25 back, and edge out Beyer by 15 seconds in the final GC. Sutherland led the race wire-to-wire after winning the Mogollon stage. Craddock’s teammate Joe Dombrowski finished seventh on the stage, good enough for third overall.

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