Photo Courtesy of the Tour of the Gila
After five hard-fought days of racing, Brodie Chapman (AUS) today pulled off a stunning victory on the final day of the Tour of the Gila. Chapman poured herself into the last climb on the ‘Gila monster’ stage, winning the stage solo and securing her overall victory.
“Wow, what a day for the team,” said Chapman. “I could feel everyone’s commitment, and it gave me such confidence that the team believed in me. The plan was executed perfectly. I was fed, encouraged and led out like a sprint train to the base of the final climb where I just went and did my thing.
“I was really nervous that we might lose the jersey - but the team effort to fight for the win paid off in the end. I think I had the freshest legs out of the entire peloton! Rachel was really confident in my ability. I had incredible staff support as well - from the adjustments and massages all week by Michael San Jose to incredible mechanic work on our Fuji Bikes by Stef.
“Crossing the line like I did today wouldn’t have been possible without them. It was such a fantastic race, well organised, an awesome community and very tough competition.
“We don’t want easy wins, we thrive when we get to fight! I am really proud to do this on ‘home’ soil for our American team.”
“It was definitely one of the most exciting races of recent years, with the jersey changing hands every day,” said Rachel Hedderman, Head Sports Director for Team TIBCO - Silicon Valley Bank.
"With the strength of the TWENTY20 Team and just one second separating 1st and 2nd going into the final stage, we knew we had a real battle on our hands that would take a full team effort to win. The team did a perfect job of protecting Brodie through the stage and delivering her to the bottom of the climb in great position and then it was up to Brodie to do her thing.
“It was really special to see Brodie conquer the Gila monster stage and capture the overall race victory. The team was fully committed the entire race, and I’m looking forward to carrying the momentum into the Tour of California.”
Race Report: How It Happened
It was a nail biter of a finish, with Chapman and Chloé Dygert Owen going back and forth over the last three days of racing. Chapman scored the victory on the first stage, and then, a breakaway got away from the field on the second day, putting Chapman down to second overall.
Chapman’s outstanding time trial, second only to Dygert Owen, put Chapman back in the overall lead - but only by a few seconds. In the criterium, Chapman and the team had to chase the valuable bonus seconds, but Dygert Owen claimed just enough seconds to edge ahead of Chapman by a single second.
On the final stage, the team rallied around Chapman, keeping her legs fresh to attack the final climb, a strategy that worked flawlessly. Chapman set her own pace up the final climb and eventually distanced all of her rivals and caught the day’s breakaway. But with a maximum lead of 1:15 over the chasing group containing red jersey Dygert Owen and only a 6 second gap with 2km to go, it was a fight all the way to the line.
“I’m really proud of how the team is riding together,” said Linda Jackson, Founder of Team TIBCO - Silicon Valley Bank. “Thanks to the support of our partners and sponsors, we are able to run a solid program both here in North America and in Europe. Brodie’s result today, coupled with Alison Jackson’s 3rd place at the Tour de Yorkshire on Friday, shows the diversity and depth of our team. I’m looking forward to our next set of UCI World Tour races: the Tour of Chongming Island and the Amgen Tour of California.”