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Kiwis finish Cascade on a high
Jul 25th, 11. With two 3rds in the final stage, a 3rd overall, three others in the GC Top 10 and a Best Young Rider title, the Kiwis finished the Cascade Cycling Classic with a flourish today.
Today's final of six stages was a hilly circuit race - five laps, 133km for the men and four laps, 107km for the women.
In the men's race, two Kiwis made the day's successful break which got free on the fourth lap; Shem Rodger (PureBlack Racing) and George Bennett (Trek Livestrong).
They stayed ahead of the peloton where Francisco Mancebo (RealCyclist.com) in the yellow jersey was doing his best to minimise any time losses.
The time gap came down, but the break group was still ahead at the finish line when things got a tad crazy - the front of the men's race caught the back of the women's race!
Amongst the confusion, one rider managed to get ahead for the win, Rodger finished 3rd and Bennett 4th.
"While I'm really happy with my result it was a pretty frustrating finish," Rodger said after his first podium of the US season. "I was in the perfect spot and was backing myself to go all the way when we hit the back of the women's race caravan.
"We were slamming on brakes, one of the Garmin riders crashed and the Kenda rider did the best job of slipping through the mayhem to take the win."
29sec later, Jeremy Vennell (Bissell Pro Cycling) finished the stage in 11th place and secured 3rd place overall behind Mancebo and Lachlan Morton (Chipotle). Vennell's result helped his team secure the Best Team Classification.
Glen Chadwick (Pure Black) finished the stage race 10th overall and Bennett 12th.
In the women's race, Kaytee Boyd (BikeNZ) had already finished by the time the men's field came to the line. She was 3rd, +1m02s behind the two stage leaders, who became 1st and 2nd on GC, and was 43sec ahead of the next rider to finish.
Rushlee Buchanan (Colavita) led the 15 rider bunch for 5th place in the stage, +2m17s. She secured her win in the Best Young Rider competition for the second year in a row and finished 8th on GC. Alison Shanks (BikeNZ) completed the Kiwi success with 9th place overall.
It was Buchanan's teammate Janel Holcolm who took the overall title, and helped Colavita to the Teams Classification win.
See - full Cascade Cycling Classic results
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