The Elevate-KHS Pro Cycling Team traveled to Fayetteville, AR to race the Joe Martin Stage Race. This event is the first stop on the UCI America’s Tour, as well was a pillar of the Pro Racing Tour. With a strong 7-man roster, the team was poised for 4 days of excellent racing.
The first 2 days of racing brought challenges, however. With misinformation on time gaps to breakaways up the road and the team miscalculating the time and work needed to reel the moves in, 4th places finishes were the top honors for the team on both stages. The team put all their resources behind Piccoli on stage 1, which had a steep uphill final sprint for the finish.
The 3 mile uphill time trial on stage 3 also suited Piccoli, where he finished a close 2nd by 0.6 seconds to eventual overall winner Stephen Bassett. His performance in the time trial placed him 2nd going into the 4th and final stage, a technical criterium that also finished on a steep climb which the racers had to travers each of the 30 laps. With the time gap to the yellow jersey 14 seconds, the team knew they had to try everything possible if Piccoli were to overtake the lead. In the end, Bassett proved resilient and maintained the jersey while Ulises Castillo sprinted to 2nd place on the day to finish out the tour.
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