Lauren Stephens Dominates Tyrone Time Trial, Extending Lead at Tour of the Gila

Lauren Stephens from Cynisca Cycling showcased her time-trialling skills yet again by claiming victory in the time trial that made up Stage 3 of the Tour of the Gila 2024. Stephens, who previously won on this course in 2015, outdid her own record by 23 seconds. Her triumph not only solidified her lead in the General Classification but extended it to a commanding 2:01 ahead of her closest competitor, Nadia Gontova from DNA Pro Cycling.

“It was quite windy out there, but it was a great ride; I couldn’t have asked for anything more,” Stephens remarked, reflecting on her performance.

The 26-kilometre time trial was marred by an unfortunate incident involving Emily Ehrlich of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Twenty24, who was a favourite coming into the race after her recent successes at the Redlands Bicycle Classic and the Pan American Track Championships. Ehrlich crashed on the descent of the Little Burro, leading to her withdrawal from the race due to a broken collarbone among other injuries.

“I hope Emily is okay,” said a concerned Stephens after witnessing the crash. “Seeing her reminded me to focus on safety first.”

Despite the setback, Ehrlich remains upbeat. She relayed through her team that she is in good spirits and doesn’t want people to worry about her. The crash, however, led to a reshuffle in the overall standings, with Alia Shafi from Fount Cycling Guild capitalising on the day’s events to finish second, 51 seconds behind Stephens, and moving into the top ten on GC.

Cécile Lejeune of PAS Steve Tilford Foundation Racing managed a strong performance to finish third, proving her resilience against the challenging conditions.

As the Tour of the Gila progresses, the spotlight remains on Stephens as she continues to demonstrate her dominance and experience, leaving rivals trailing and spectators in awe of her cycling tenacity. The action resumes with the Downtown Criterium tomorrow.

2024 Tour of the Gila Stage 3 result

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