Copyright Rally Cycling

Evan Huffman flew across the high desert south of Silver City to take victory in the stage three Tyrone Time Trial at the Tour of the Gila. Huffman covered the 26-kilometer course in 33:07, 25 seconds faster than runner-up TJ Eisenhart (Holowesko-Citadel) and 35 seconds faster than third-place Serghei Tvetcov (Jelly Belly-Maxxis). Huffman’s impressive ride gave the team its third victory in three days and moved him into the overall lead. Overnight race leader Matteo Dal-Cin finished in sixth with Rob Britton in seventh. Although the men’s squad were elated with their third win of the race, the day was marred by the loss of Sara Bergen who crashed out with a suspected broken collarbone.

“I felt fantastic today, both physically and mentally,” said Huffman. “This was my fifth time racing this time trial and I won it in 2012. I knew of what power and speeds I had to produce for maximum performance, and I was able to deliver for the team. For myself, tomorrow’s criterium will just be about conserving energy and keeping the general classification guys in check. Eric (Young) is in top sprinting form so we may also try to set him up for a shot at the finish. The final stage will be incredibly difficult, as always. I have a good advantage on most of the pure climbers, and the team is riding well, so I’m confident I can keep the jersey until the end.”

Evan Huffman powered his way to the stage win and overall lead

In the general classification, Huffman now leads Eisenhart by 25 seconds with Matteo Dal-Cin in third, 30 seconds behind his teammate. Rob Britton remains a threat for overall victory sitting just 49 seconds back in seventh. With two stages remaining, the team will look to continue its run of stage wins and claim overall victory on Sunday. In tomorrow’s stage four criterium, the team will look to Young and Colin Joyce to keep the team’s streak of stage wins alive. On Sunday, the trio of Danny Pate, Adam de Vos and Sepp Kuss will be called on to assure the red jersey stays within the team.

“Coming into Tour of the Gila, I expected one of our guys to win the time trial stage,” said Team Director Pat McCarty. “We have a super strong squad of time trialists, who know this course and are in good form. For me, Huffman was the man to beat, and I am not at all surprised that he won. Our other general classification guys also made their mark today. The team continues to perform well, and we are thrilled with three out of three stage wins and the overall lead.”

Australian results: Stage 3 Tour of the Gila 21st April

1              Evan Huffman (USA) Rally Cycling             0:33:07

2              Taylor Eisenhart (USA) Holowesko / Citadel Racing p/b Hincapie Sportswear        0:00:25

3              Nigel Ellsay (Can) Silber Pro Cycling          0:00:33

5              Gavin Mannion (USA) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team          0:00:38

37           Lachlan Norris (Aus) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team             0:02:41

40           Samuel Burston (Aus) Mobius Future Racing       0:02:46

42           Jim Peterman (USA) 303 Project

43           Michael Rice (Aus) Axeon Hagens Berman           0:02:58

46           Angus Morton (Aus) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis           0:03:08

55           James Fouche (Aus) Mobius Future Racing          0:03:30

56           Joseph Lewis (Aus) Holowesko / Citadel Racing p/b Hincapie Sportswear               0:03:34

59           Ethan Berends (Aus) Mobius Future Racing         0:03:39

68           Karl Menzies (Aus) Cylance Cycling          0:03:52

76           Ben Carman (Aus) Mobius Future Racing              0:04:08

91           Scott Bradburn (Aus) Mobius Future Racing         0:04:41

111         Jonathan Clarke (Aus) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team         0:05:29

131         Peter Livingstone (Aus) Mobius Future Racing    0:06:52