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BEND, Oregon (VN) — A key withdrawal and a pair of crashes played parts in Saturday’s fourth stage of the Cascade Classic.
Carlos Alzate (Team Exergy) and Carmen Small (Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies) won their respective races in the Desert Orthopedics and Rebound Physical Therapy criterium in downtown Bend.
In the 75-minute men’s race, Alzate beat out Alex Candelario (Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies) and Jasper Stuyven (Bontrager-Livestrong) in a three-up dash for the line. The trio finished four lengths ahead of the main pack after two crashes in a single lap saw four riders drop out and several others rolling in long after the main field.
The GC standings remained unchanged, with Francisco Mancebo (Team Exergy) leading the overall by 22 seconds over Carter Jones (Bissell Pro Cycling) and 31 ahead of Larson Craddock (Bontrager-Livestrong).
The GC would not go unaltered in the women’s race. Kristin Armstrong (Exergy), winner of the first three stages, didn’t take the start in the 50-minute women’s crit. Small won the sprint out of a 52-rider finishing group and picked up a 10-second time bonus. Theresa Cliff-Ryan (Exergy-Twenty12) finished second and collected a six-second bonus, while Loren Rowney (Stevens Bikes-Pactimo) finished third, good for four bonus seconds.
With Armstrong’s departure Alison Powers (NOW and Novartis for MS) took over the lead on GC. Small moved into second, four seconds down, with Megan Guarnier (TIBCO-To the Top) third at 18 seconds.
Sunday brings the finale to the Cascade Classic — the Deschutes Brewery-Awbrey Butte Circuit Race. The 16.7-mile course features just under 1200 feet of climbing per lap. The men contest five laps of the course, for a total of 83 miles, while the women will race four laps totaling 67 miles.
Both races stage at Summit High School, and Powers and Mancebo will hope to take their GC rivals to school and defend their overall leads.