DEC 18 | JAN
Altoona, Penn. (July 29, 2018) - In today's fifth stage of the Tour de Toona, the Kodak Gallery/Sierra Nevada Professional Cycling Team continued its aggressive racing over the course of four flat 19-mile laps in the town of Martinsburg.
Beginning with Glen Mitchell's attack off the start line, the team repeatedly sent riders up in the road until the plan hit a snag when Jackson Stewart, likely to be Kodak Gallery/Sierra Nevada's top finisher on the flat circuit, suffered a mechanical.
After Stewart's bike change, race officials refused to allow the Kodak Gallery/Sierra Nevada team car to pace him back to the field and, as Mitchell explained, ¿We went from being super aggressive to trying to follow wheels and neutralize the race so Jackson could catch back on.î
But the pack's momentum was too strong, although Stewart soldiered on and did eventually make the time cut despite riding alone almost the entire race.
Soon after Stewart's misfortunate, Kodak Gallery/Sierra Nevada's Tim Larkin found himself in the major breakaway of the day, with Colavita-Sutter Home's Aaron Olson, Jittery Joe's-Kalahari's Jonny Sundt, and several others.
Once again, the burden to chase was the Health Net-Maxxis team of race leader Chris Wherry and they managed to catch the break with under 4 km left in the race.
Then, Kodak Gallery/Sierra Nevada hit the front again in an effort to bring Dan Schmatz to the line.
In the final kilometer, a series of tricky corners allowed the Colavita-Sutter Home train to slip past Kodak Gallery/Sierra Nevada and sweep the top three spots on the stage, led again by Juan Jose Haedo.
Schmatz finished fifth in the stage after what Mitchell called, nonetheless, ¿one of our best lead-out efforts this year.î
With no KOM points in today's or Sunday's stages, Kodak Gallery/Sierra Nevada's attempt to retain Mitchell's KOM lead will come down to the three major climbs in Saturday's 93-mile stage.