As the third and final day of the 45th Iron Horse Bicycle Classic wrapped up, it was Boulder’s Mara Abbott and Albuquerque’s Mindy Caruso alone at the top of the omnium standings.
Caruso edged Abbott to win the BP Time Trial, but Abbott managed to hold off Caruso for her second overall title in a row. Caruso’s time of 37 minutes, 53 seconds bested Abbott’s time of 38:25.1 on the 13.7-mile course that began at 1018 County Road 250 and finished at Old Shalona Hill.
“The course is always amazing, and the weather was nice,” Caruso said. “I had a bit of a headwind on this course, so that was nice early on. With the aerodynamics, I do better with the headwind. It was a good day.”
Abbott may not have won the time trials, but she cleaned up the competition in the Coca-Cola Road Race for the sixth time in her career. She finished the road race in 2 hours, 48 minutes, 44.5 seconds then returned to win the Morehart-Murphy Subaru Circuit Race on Sunday with a time of 53:26.6.
Abbott was satisfied with her final standings. Abbott came away with 74 points in the omnium, while Caruso finished with 72.
“It’s a really great event, and I’m really glad to stay and do all three races,” Abbott said, as she continued to praise the IHBC all weekend. “It’s nice that they have a variety of races so that everyone has something that they excel at.”
It was a battle between both Abbott and Caruso throughout the weekend, as Abbott managed to stay one step ahead of Caruso, who finished second in the road race with a time of 2:53:22 to go with a third-place result in the circuit race.
“(Mara) is clearly a superior athlete, and I’m so pleased that she got her sixth win in the road race,” Caruso said. “She’s so strong this year. I hope she continues to grow in the sport; it’s nice that she was here to play with us.”
Durango native Emily Jordan took third in both the time trial and the omnium. Jordan finished in 39:29.7 in the time trial and had 68 points in the final standings.
Jordan’s is new to the cycling scene, as she only began racing competitively this season. Last year, Jordan competed in the McDonald’s Citizen’s Tour, but this year she became a legitimate racer.
“I think I learned a lot about myself and how I’m willing to dig deep in those events and how much fun it is to race at this level,” Jordan said. “It’s going to push me to keep going and keep trying harder. I’m excited for the rest of the season.”
Jordan, who rides for Thump Cycling from Denver, added she had a very different perspective going from amateur to professional.
“I’ve been racing a lot this season, so this was a whole new level racing with Mara and Mindy and the field,” she said. “Those are bigger names than I’ve ever raced with. It was a huge challenge and an honor to race with them.”
Marisa Rorabaugh, who took second in the criterium, took fourth in both the time trial (39:29.7) and the omnium standings with 67 points. Emily Schaldach came in fifth in the time trial in 44:50.
“The course was pretty cool,” Rorabaugh said. “There were some surprises out there, especially the 180-degree corner at the bottom; I didn’t know that was coming up.”
There was slight confusion at the beginning of the women’s pro time trial. There were 30-second intervals between each racer, but two competitors didn’t show up, so Rorabaugh waited over one minute and still had a rider chasing her.
“I was the rabbit,” Rorabaugh said. “They were chasing me, and I didn’t have anybody to chase, so I was just going. So that in itself was very different because in the other races you’re trying to stay with everybody and follow surges. There are more tactics that are going on (in road races).”
Rounding out the rest of omnium standings were fifth-place Kristin Carpenter-Ogden with 22 points and Jenna MacPherson, who took sixth with 20 points.