February 21, 2015 (New Zealand) – Tayler Wiles from USA national team took the 106km stage and the leader’s yellow jersey on a hot day of racing featuring a total of four climbs. Riders in the USA team have passed the Trust House Leader’s Yellow jersey four times over the last four days to three different riders in the team, day one was Megan Warnier, day two Lauren Hall, day three back to Megan Warnier and today after the top of the mountain finish, was stage winner Tayler Wiles turn to wear the leader’s jersey going into the final day.
Despite the great weather, racers were clearly nervous for this decisive stage. Riders and team managers alike checked the course last night before settling on 27-tooth sprockets for the hills to come. Almost 22km of the stage were uphill, but somehow most managed to stick with the main bunch up until the start of the final Admiral Hill.
After 15km of racing, a breakaway of eight riders escaped including Lauren Kitchen from (Australia national team), Tayler Wiles, Lauren Hall and Megan Guarnier (USA national team) Ellen Skerritt (Hi 5 Dream team), Denise Ramsden (Pepper Palace), Linda Villumsen (Ramblers) and Jo Hogan (Tibco).
They built a gap of almost three minutes in 22km. At the 56km mark riders in the main bunch lead by Holden and DNA teams rode hard up the six kilometer Te Wharau hill to close the gap down to 55 seconds.
The leaders continue to share the work and 15kmts later they had again increase their lead to two minutes and from here was all up to them to keep going hoping their lead was enough to go for a stage win.
At the bottom of Admiral hill with ten kilometers of climbing to go their lead was almost three minutes. Jo Hogan from Tibco team was the first to start attacking half way up the hill but the American riders’ were quickly to mark and make sure they control the tempo. With 4km to go Lauren Hall was drop but she manages to get back on and help her team mate in the last 3km.
The final sprint was between Wiles and Kitchen with Wiles taking the stage by a second to be the new race leader.
Evelyn Stevens lead riders in the main bunch 3.16 behind allowing Wiles to take the lead by six seconds from Megan Warnier.
“We don’t mind who wear the jersey as long as is one or our riders” new tour leader Wiles said.
Strong winds up the hill force riders to fight hard up the hill with the field spread out in the last final kilometers.
Tomorrow riders will complete the final stage, a 122km from Masterton to Alfredton and back.
Stage 3 – Hard day on the saddle for riders in women’s tour
With all five riders in the Top 5 on GC from the USA cycling team, the Australian riders decided to get aggressive on Stage 3 of the Trust House women’s tour of New Zealand. They threw plenty at Team USA and were rewarded with stage success.
“We gave it everything,” stage winner Katrin Garfoot from the Australian national team said and she is in third place only 18 seconds behind new tour leader Evelyn Stevens – USA team.
The race started slow with riders conserving energy for what laid ahead, ten laps of a 12km circuit with a tough hill climb each time around in hot conditions.
The action started with three laps to go, after a small group of thee riders, containing Tayler Wiles from team USA, Ellen Skerritt from Hi 5 Dream Team and Joe Hogan from Tibco attacked at the top of the hill managing to get away and create a lead of 55 seconds over the main bunch.
This didn’t last long as the USA and Australia national teams force the pace next time up the hill and once again the bunch was all together with two laps to go.
On the penultimate time up the hill, nine riders manage to break away containing some of the strongest riders in the tour such a Stevens and Megan Guarnier from USA, Lauren Stevens from Tibco SVB, Katrin Garfoot and Rachel Neyland from Australia national team, Tessa Fabry form Hi 5 Dream Team, Lucy Coldwell and Miranda Griffiths from Holden Racing Team and Ruth Corsett from team Fagan Motors.
They quickly gain a lead of 30 second that with 10 km to go grow up top over three minutes, from here was to come the stage winner of day three And a new tour leader.
The ride of the day was from DNA-K4 Gabrielle Pilote-Fortin from Canada After the breakaway of nine riders went off, Gaby attempted to bridge the 2 minute gap alone. She didn’t quite make it across, but the heroic solo effort earned her the Fagan Motors Young Rider’s White Jersey.
Stage 1 – Feb. 19 – Masterton (TTT) – 15km
1. United States 0:18:49
2. Australia 0:00:18
3. Team Tibco-SVB 0:00:42
4. Holden Racing Team 0:01:05
5. Ramblers Club 0:01:15
6. HI5 Dream Team 0:01:30
7. Pepper Palace Pro Cycling p/b The Happy Tooth 0:01:33
8. DNA Cycling p/b K4 Racing 0:01:38
9. New Zealand 0:01:45
10. Japan 0:02:12
Stage 2 – Feb. 19 – Masterton – 142 km
1. Lauren Hall (USA) United States 3:57:50
2. Lauren Kitchen (Aus) Australia 0:01
3. Georgia Baker (Aus) High5 Dream Team
4. Emily Collins (Nzl) TIBCO – SVB
5. Katrin Garfoot (Aus) Australia
6. Jessica Mundy (Aus) High5 Dream Team
7. Ruth Corsett (Aus) Fagan Motors Cycling Team
8. Miranda Griffiths (Aus) Holden Racing
9. Lucy Coldwell (Gbr) Holden Racing
10. Karen Fulton (Nzl) Pepper Palace Pro Cycling p/b The Happy Tooth
15. Gabrielle Pilote-Fortin (Can) DNA Cycling p/b K4
27. Denise Ramsden (Can) Pepper Palace Pro Cycling
Stage 3 – Feb. 20 – Carrington – 130 km
1. Katrin Garfoot (Aus) Australia 3:41:18
2. Megan Guarnier (USA) USA
3. Lauren Stephens (USA) TIBCO – SVB
4. Ruth Corsett (Aus) Fagan Motors Cycling Team
5. Lucy Coldwell (Gbr) Holden Racing
6. Miranda Griffiths (Aus) Holden Racing
7. Tessa Fabry (Aus) High5 Dream Team
8. Rachel Neylan (Aus) Australia
9. Evelyn Stevens (USA) USA 0:00:03
10. Gabrielle Pilote-Fortin (Can) DNA Cycling p/b K4 0:01:25
38. Denise Ramsden (Can) Pepper Palace Pro Cycling 3:05
Stage 4 – Feb. 21 – Masterton to Admiral Hill – 111 km
1. Tayler Wiles (USA) US National Team 3:06:04
2. Lauren Kitchen (Aus) Australian National Team at 0:01
3. Joanne Hogan (Aus) Team TIBCO – SVB 0:05
4. Ellen Skerritt (Aus) HI 5 Dream Team 0:17
5. Lauren Hall (USA) US National Team 0:24
6. Denise Ramsden (Can) Pepper Palace Pro Cycling 2:25
7. Linda Melanie Villumsen (Nzl) Ramblers Club 2:25
8. Evelyn Stevens (USA) US National Team 3:11
9. Megan Guarnier (USA) US National Team 3:11
10. Katrin Garfoot (Aus) Australian National Team 3:11
17. Gabrielle Pilote-Fortin (Can) DNA Cycling p/b K4 3:43
GC after Stage 4
1. Tayler Wiles (USA) US National Team 11:07:07
2. Megan Guarnier (USA) US National Team at 0:06
3. Evelyn Stevens (USA) US National Team 0:09
4. Lauren Kitchen (Aus) Australian National Team 0:19
5. Lauren Hall (USA) US National Team 0:23
6. Katrin Garfoot (Aus) Australian National Team 0:24
7. Rachel Neylan (Aus) Australian National Team 0:27
8. Lauren Stephens (USA) Team TIBCO – SVB 0:48
9. Joanne Hogan (Aus) Team TIBCO – SVB 0:51
10. Miranda Griffiths (Aus) Holden Racing Team 1:16
16. Gabrielle Pilote-Fortin (Can) DNA Cycling p/b K4 3:41
19. Denise Ramsden (Can) Pepper Palace Pro Cycling 3:58