The Tour of the Gila, a classic and much anticipated event on the US racing calendar, began in spectacular fashion on Wednesday afternoon with a challenging road race through the Gila Mountains of southern New Mexico. The UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team rode to strong performances on the steep finishing climb to the town of Mogollon. Abby Mickey topped the day’s results with a second place finish at the end of the 114-kilometer stage, which earned the lead in the best young rider competition.
The women’s race was aggressive, with small groups going away from the pack early in the stage. A dangerous move of eight riders went away before the final climb, with UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team represented by Katie Hall. As the gap to the break diminished, Mara Abbott of the Amy D Foundation Team came to the fore. Abby Mickey followed the move and made it into a select three-person breakaway that would decide the podium.Photo by Jonathan Devich
Mickey held on at the top of the climb for a solid second place finish and clinched the best young rider competition white jersey in the process. Teammates Katie Hall and Linda Villumsen performed admirably on the climb as well, finishing 6th and 8th on the stage, respectively. Mickey will now look to defend her lead in the white jersey for the next four days.
“I’m really happy with how the team rode today” said Rachel Heal, Sporting Director, “Abby had a great ride to finish 2nd on the stage and take the white jersey. With three riders in the top 10, I’m looking forward to a great week of racing.” The UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team is currently leading the Women’s Team Competition, thanks to the strong rides from the entire squad.