Denver, Colorado — On the penultimate stage of the Colorado Classic, Axeon Hagens Berman Cycling Team’s Jhonatan Narvaez powered to a top 10 finish on a challenging stage. The result means the Ecuadorian rider will don the HELIX Best Young Rider jersey heading into the final stage of the four-day American race.
From the start of Saturday’s 81-mile-stage, Axeon riders were aggressive on the front attempting to instigate the day’s break, but none of their attempts stuck. Axeon’s Team Race Director Jeff Louder said the stage felt very similar to Friday’s grueling climbing stage around Breckenridge.
“It was another really hard day,” said Louder. “It came down to who had the freshest legs on the climb. Luckily, we had Jhonatan, who felt good, and he managed to get up with the main group.”
Thanks to a 10-km gravel section on the first categorized climb and severe weather, the race situation was dynamic throughout the stage and led to some confusion within the peloton. By the time the rain stopped, the race splintered with a two-man group off the front followed by a sizeable chase group that featured Narvaez. The main group crossed the line more than ten minutes back.
Serghei Tvetcov (Jelly Belly-Maxxis) took the stage win while runner-up Manuel Senni (BMC Racing Team) moved into the overall race lead.
The final stage of the Colorado Classic is a ten-lap circuit race from the River North neighborhood to City Park. Axeon will be on the attack and is motivated to make it a challenging day on the bike.
“Owen sprinted well on the opening stage and tomorrow will be similar to it,” said Louder. “It’ll be a different stage, and no one has fresh legs, so but we will be ready to play that card if the opportunity arises.”
Photo: Davey Wilson