Stage 5 of the Tour of the Gila began with lots of carbs, coffee, and Topical Edge. The team was vigilant of the early breakaways for the first part of the day. A big group got away but the field didn’t like the combination up the road so kept the leash short all day. Coming into the first big climb of the day, the team kept Brett Wachtendorf and Sean Gardner in perfect position. The field dwindled to 15 riders up the climb with Sean making the selection and Brett not far behind. The group caught the breakaway as they crested the climb and rolled through the valley with Rally setting a fast tempo. As the next climb of the day came, attacks flew left and right and what remained of the field blew apart. The descent was fast and twisty coming into the final climb of the day, the Gila Monster. The monster inflicted pain upon its inhabitants and the field detonated. Small groups formed just to survive the day. Sean was able to maintain the 2018 Tour of the Gila best amateur in GC. The whole team showed a strong field presence all week and certainly showed that we belong racing with the best of the best. The riders as well as the team staff can sleep well tonight knowing that the plans were executed on point. Now the team heads off farther west to race Dana Point and get ready for our next big stage race, Redlands!
A big thanks to our host families, the race promoters and all the volunteers that make these big awesome races possible! Also, it was great spending time with Lionel Mawditt, even though he didn't get to guest ride with the Team as planned, we got to know him well and can't wait to continue to watch and do what we can to help him grow. Lionel took home 2nd place in yesterdays Stage 5!!