• 2013/09/05 Young/Anderson Grab 2nd and 4th In Opening Stage of Tour of Alberta
    • Young/Anderson Grab 2nd and 4th In Opening Stage of Tour of Alberta Young/Anderson Grab 2nd and 4th In Opening Stage of Tour of Alberta
      Following very strong prologue performances by Chad Haga (6th) and USPRO time trial champion Tom Zirbel (9th) as the only domestic riders to crack the top ten, the Optum p/b KBS team took the Stage 1 Tour of Alberta bull by the horns today.

      A relatively flat stage opened up chances for the sprinters in this inaugural Tour of Alberta, which rolled through farm country from Strathcona County to the city of Camrose. The peloton entered the circuit scooping up the remnants of a breakaway, which was never given more than 2 1/2 minutes and headed toward a showdown of Cannondale's Peter Sagan vs the rest of the field.

      The Optum p/b KBS team was not left intimidated by Sagan and took control inside the final km of the last of 3 circuits. Ken Hanson took Eric Young and Ryan Anderson into the final corner at 500m to go for the uphill drag. Young began a leadout for Anderson however the super tight corner separated them slightly and Young noticed a significant gap heading up the hill. He gave his all to the line but was passed in the final 50m by Sagan, while Anderson battled from 5th in the last corner to 4th on the stage.

      Two top 5 results in the first stage of Alberta bodes well for another run a victory into the city of Red Deer tomorrow. Young, currently 2nd in the sprint competition behind Sagan, will wear the Sprinters Jersey during tomorrow's stage.



      Meanwhile the Optum p/b KBS women are underway in their European campaign, which began with a prologue tt at the Tour de l'Ardeche where 3 of our own cracked the top ten. The Stage 2 TT saw Jade Wilcoxson place 5th and today's Stage 3 delivered Canadian champion Joelle Numainville into a GC move that now has her in 9th overall.

      Rachel Heal Stage 1 report:

      With just 1 3rd cat climb, stage 1 of Ardeche is the flattest of the race and ended in the predicted bunch sprint. Optum p/b KBS was well represented during the stage with Leah scoring points in the intermediate sprints and Jade in the mountains, and Lauren sprinting to a top 10. All 6 riders finished ahead of a split in the pack and we're well positioned heading into tomorrow's split day, consisting of a short hilly TT in the morning and a hilly road stage in the afternoon.