While Team Garmin-Slipstream races the Tour de Romandie in Switzerland, the U23 development program, Team Holowesko Partners-Felt, is currently racing the Tour of the Gila in New Mexico. And the strength of the peloton got a last minute boost from a couple of ProTour riders. But this has only served to motivate the team, with Peter Stetina taking an impressive second place on Wednesday’s opening stage.
Race report from Peter Stetina
The race went really well. We have a strong team here; the core guys that won the Redlands team GC, and we raced like it! Tito was in almost every early move save for the one that stuck and running into the climb when the positioning battle started, we all posted up front and didn’t let anyone get in our way. I was able to start the climb 2nd wheel. Lance set a mean tempo on the lower slopes and when I looked back I was surprised to see only SEVEN guys left! No attacks had gone yet and I was about to jump but Levi beat me to the punch — he went with two miles to go. I tried to follow but it was like he had rockets on his bike but was breathing out his nose! I dialed it back down under the red zone and rode with Baldwin until I jumped him with 200 meters.
Stetina stays with the tough pace of the elite group on the climb
Levi may have the most talented domestiques in the race but there’s only two of them and there’s four days to go. They want a hard training camp, so we’ll give it to them! Look out for Alex tomorrow, he’s sitting 16th after today; a prime spot for breakaway potential and jersey snatching!
Team Holowesko Partners-Felt U23 team, stage 1 and GC results
1. Levi Leipheimer 3h36.02
2. Peter Stetina +0.49
16. Alex Howes +2.28
77. Walker Savidge +6.05
79. Taylor Sheldon
85. Caleb Fairly +6.26