Daniel Jaramillo Sprints To Stage 5 Victory As Team Jamis - Hagens Berman p/b Sutter Home Wins Sprint, KOM, U25, and Team GC at Tour of The Gila
Team Jamis - Hagens Berman p/b Sutter Home started the final stage at the Tour of the Gila leading the Sprint, KOM, U25, and Team Competitions as well as riding in 3rd overall with Gregory Brenes trailing the race leader by 30 seconds. The queen stage at the Tour of The Gila covered over 100 miles, crossing five categorized climbs, and finished atop the continental divide in the mountain town of Pinos Altos.
The stage started with a flurry of attacks. After 40 minutes, a group of 15 riders would push clear of the field, with Luis Amaran making the group, adding to his lead in the Sprinters Competition along the way. By the time the race had covered 30 miles, the leaders had built up an advantage of 2:30, and the chase in the field gathered momentum as Team Jamis - Hagens Berman p/b Sutter Home started to help with the pace-making at the front.
Hitting the first major obstacle, the Anderson Vista KOM, Team Jamis - Hagens Berman p/b Sutter Home hit the front of the field, with Eloy Teruel, Carson Miller and Tyler Wren all working to drive the pace on the climb. This reduced the gap to the leaders down to just 55 seconds by the time the peloton crested the KOM. Going out to the Cliff Dwellings, and coming back towards the second ascent of the Anderson Vista climb, it was Miller who helped to keep the speed high in the field, setting up a series of attacks from Team Jamis - Hagens Berman p/b Sutter Home. On the lower slopes of the climb it was Rob Squire who took over the pace-making, reducing the peloton to less than 20 riders, and in so doing, dropped the race leader from the group of race contenders. In the final 30 kilometers of the race, Matt Cooke and Daniel Jaramillo traded turns attacking out of the very select group of leaders. With 3 riders making it into the final select group of 8, Team Jamis - Hagens Berman p/b Sutter Home had strength in numbers, and put everyone else under pressure. Having dropped the race leader, Gregory Brenes tried several of his own attacks in the finale but was never able to make up the time needed to secure overall victory. As the leaders came into the final kilometer, Daniel Jaramillo was able to jump clear of the group picking up his second stage win of the week.
After the final stage, Brenes climbed one spot higher to 2nd Overall, leading Team Jamis - Hagens Berman p/b Sutter Home to victory in the Team GC, Sprint, KOM, and Young Rider Competitions. After the race, Brenes reflected on the week of racing in New Mexico with an honest assessment, "I am happy to secure 2nd in the GC, but should have been more aggressive in the Stage 1 finish. If I had attacked in the last kilometer there, I would have easily overcome the 2 seconds that I lost the race by." Looking ahead, Brenes was quick to point, "The Tour of California is coming, and now I know my form is good. I will recover, and then come to California with my best condition to fight for the overall [General Classification] there."